The new Cemetery Dance edition of Alexander’s Song is dedicated to five writers whose work has inspired, informed, and enriched my own. In the months before I began writing the novel, I happened to read books by two of those writers. Peter Straub’s brilliant Mystery was one of those books. The other was Charles Palliser’s ingenious The Quincunx. Alexander’s Song bears little resemblance to either one, but I felt their influence, still strong inside me, with every word I typed.Continue Reading
Cemetery Dance is proud to publish Paul F. Olson’s novel Alexander’s Song in September 2022. Check out the trailer below, and don’t forget to read Olson’s behind-the-scenes essays on the creation and publication of the book. Part One of “Singing Alexander’s Song” is here and Part Two will be available tomorrow!
ABOUT THE BOOK
For a time in the 1940s, Alexander Bassett was one of the brightest stars in the literary firmament, an acclaimed novelist, poet, and playwright, a voice for social justice. But the years took their toll, Bassett’s work fell out of favor, and eventually, the man himself dropped out of sight. By the time the world learned of his death in 1969, few noticed or cared.
Years later, a school teacher named Andy Gillespie sets out to write about Bassett’s life and visits the author’s hometown, eager to learn about his early years. He arrives in Rock Creek, Michigan, expecting to find a small town proud of its famous son, but what greets him is something much different. Only a handful of old-timers even remember Bassett’s name, and most have no interest in Andy’s quest. Doors are slammed in his face. People turn away. Even the few who seem willing to talk – an enthusiastic high school student, an eccentric shopkeeper, a colorful hotel owner, an elderly hermit – raise more questions than they answer.
Despite the odds against him, Andy continues to dig. From dusty library shelves to the neglected stones in a lonely graveyard, from the pages of forgotten journals to the shores of a remote island, he keeps on searching, and gradually he begins to unbury fragments of the truth, revealing glimpses into Alexander Bassett’s past that are unexpected, mysterious, and frightening.
Then the notes start to arrive.
Alexander’s Song is the story of an author nearly forgotten by time, a man whose life was nothing like it seemed, and a chain of darkness that began decades ago and is not finished yet.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cemetery Dance is proud to publish Paul F. Olson’s novel Alexander’s Song in September 2022. We’ve invited the author to give us all a peek at the inspiration and work that went into the book. We’re proud to bring you Part One today. Turning it over to you, Paul!
Writers get a lot of advice. Most of it — all those dusty old rules beginning with “always” or “never”— should be listened to politely, acknowledged with a smile, and then promptly thrown out the nearest window. But some bits of writing advice are actually worthwhile. Here’s one of my favorites: “Write the kind of story you want to read.” My dark suspense novel Alexander’s Song, about to be published by Cemetery Dance, is a good example of that rule.Continue Reading