What a crazy journey! When I first began writing this book in 2006, I had no idea that it would become my magnum opus. I’d been a fan of Poe’s work since childhood, but there are several authors who have inspired and shaped my work over the years. So why Edgar Allan Poe?
When I first decided to write this book, it was sort of a gag. A reviewer had commented that one of my books had “too many poop jokes,” so my response was to create Edgar Allan Poo–complete with outhouse “birth.” What this story has become surprises no one more than it surprises me!
As I’ve already said, I grew up reading Poe’s stories and poems and watching Roger Corman’s film adaptations of his work, so Poe has definitely been a major influence on my work. No doubt about it. But it wasn’t until I began studying Poe’s life that I felt more than mere admiration for his work; I felt an unexplainable bond to Poe himself. A man of sorrow and loss, he would never taste the fruit of success; never enjoy the level of notoriety and renown that he so richly deserved. At first this merely moved me. But as I read his work again in light of the incredible sadness, loss, and marginalization he experienced in his lifetime, I developed a strong bond that goes far beyond respect and admiration. I felt as if we were kindred spirits; brothers from out of time, somehow linked by this madness called “writing.”
The “Birth” of Terra Somnium
The inspiration for the land of Terra Somnium comes from a lifelong love for the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, and J.M. Barrie. But I would also have to thank Homer, Virgil, and Dante as well. When considering what one of the greatest literary minds would dream about in a time of crisis–I imagined–it would be more lofty and nuanced than what an average man would dream of. So what may Poe have dreamed of? Well, I thought, he would have certainly dreamed of death, his disappointments, and his own work, but he also loved mythology, nature, and classic literature. And so, by combining all of these elements, Terra Somnium was born. And it’s only blossomed and grown as I continue to view its breadth and depth in my mind’s eye. As you will see over the course of the series, it only becomes richer and more exotic, and, yes, more disturbing, as the epic journey continues.
And speaking of Terra Somnium, artist Louise Fitzpatrick and letterer Marco Della Verde and I have posted a BRAND NEW page for your viewing pleasure at Line Webtoon! Please do check it out:
An Epic Adventure
If you have joined us on this journey already, then you have my sincere gratitude. If you have not, I ask you to take a risk, purchase the book, and unite with us. Whether you love Poe’s work or just enjoy a good story, I’m certain you will enjoy the ride!