Do you hear, dear reader, that mournful wind in the hallways of our once busy abode, the insects in the walls, scuttling to and fro? Or perhaps you saw the hastily painted sign on one of our many front doors, or peered in a window and glimpsed the layers of dust on the furniture. We have not dusted in a while, we know. In fact, we are all off adventuring in the wilds of various Continents, and are hardly ever in, except to snatch up the odd satchel of ruby-dust, or a brass periwinkle machine, or other such necessities.
In short, we are on a brief hiatus from our storytelling and cataloging duties, and will announce our re-opening when we have returned to the Cabinet hale and healthy. In the meantime we wish you all the very best on your own curious adventures, and hope you will return to us, in time, for our new crop of shivery and downright bizarre tales of a brief and sinister nature.
There has been a slight upset in the chronology of the Curator’s home: In June, we wandered down a little used-corridor in search of our miniature wind-up pearl-catapult and found ourself caught in a time-loop, desperately recording our own voices on phonograph and sending them out into the aether in the hopes that someone would hear our cries and rescue us. We have since rescued ourselves, and have found the experience quite enjoyable, but will nevertheless be returning to our previous schedule of one frightening and downright odd story per week, on the subject of maps.
Many things can be mapped. Countries, and lives, and root-structures. And what else can be mapped? The road from Hell to Gloucester perhaps? Or the lines on a dead man’s hand. Many things. Four will follow in the coming weeks.
We would also like to thank all of you who, in your search for morbid things, have bought copies of our stories for yourself or your impressionable young ones. If you’ve read it, we would be delighted and terribly thankful if you took a moment to review it on your favorite book website:
Dear curious friends and readers,
As you may know, our anthology The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister releases this Tuesday, May 27!
We are positively thrilled to be sharing this collection with you. Not only does this book feature stories from this very site, but it also features shiny new stories, as well as exclusive bonus content and correspondence between we four intrepid Curators–and beautiful illustrations from the genius mind of Alexander Jansson.
Unfortunately, the four of us are currently off on adventures in disparate corners of the world–hunting for cursed artifacts in long-abandoned tombs, unearthing graves of particular interest, hacking through overgrown forests in search of legendary flora, and navigating mazes long hidden from mortal eyes (and for good reason). Alas! We therefore cannot celebrate the release of our book all in one place, as is customary for such events. Such is the life of a Curator, I’m afraid–full of constant and perilous adventures that often require us to spend long weeks out of our beloved Cabinet.
But we do, of course, wish to commemorate this momentous day in some way–and so we shall.
If you, as we do, love all things frightening, mysterious, and bizarre, please join us at the following events, which will take place on Twitter and elsewhere online in the coming days:
Tuesday, May 27 – #ShareScary Twitter Event
Follow @CabinetCurators as well as individual Twitter accounts @Stefan_Bachmann, @kmcatmull, @clairelegrand, @EMentior, and the #ShareScary hashtag! The Curators will be popping in and out of #ShareScary all day, sharing our favorite scary books and films, some of the most frightening things that have happened to us in the line of duty, and what scares us most of all. You are welcome to share your scary as well–your favorite scary books, films, moments, photographs, and your deepest fears! For what better way to face the darkness than by confronting it with friends? We will also be giving away oodles of fun prizes throughout the day!
Tuesday, May 27 – #CabinetParty Twitter Chat
Join @CabinetCurators, @Stefan_Bachmann, @kmcatmull, @clairelegrand, and @EMentior at 3:30pm CST/4:30pm EST for an hour-long Twitter launch party! Follow us and hashtag #CabinetParty for Q&A, discussion, behind-the-scenes trivia, and giveaways!
Tuesday, May 27 – Guest Post at Fiction University
At Fiction University, we talk about the benefits of experimenting with short fiction.
Wednesday, May 28 – Guest Post at The Enchanted Inkpot
At The Enchanted Inkpot, a fantastic blog for writers and readers of fantasy, Curator Catmull interviews Curators Bachmann, Legrand, and Trevayne about life at the Cabinet, how the Cabinet came to be, and how the Curators spin tales from the objects they collect on their travels.
Thursday, May 29 – Guest Post at Cynsations
Be sure to stop by Cynsations, the blog of illustrious author Cynthia Leitich Smith, for a discussion of using prompts in writing and how the Curators draw inspiration from the monthly theme prompts! (There is also a giveaway! We like giveaways.)
Monday, June 1 – Week 1 of the Cabinet of Curiosities podcast!
Join us every Monday in June for a podcast of your Curators reading some of their favorite stories of the past year! Podcast will be available via the iTunes store, as well as on this website. The first podcast will feature Curator Legrand reading her unsettling tale “The Tin Man’s Price.”
We hope you can join us for some–or perhaps all!–of these events! And if you are curious about the book, please do explore this sample, provided by our esteemed publisher, HarperCollins.
Thank you in advance, dear readers, for your excitement and support–and your courage. We realize it can be frightening, visiting the Cabinet–but we promise to take good care of you while you’re here.*
*We do not, however, have much control (any, in some cases) over the curiosities therein, so we must advise you to be always on your guard. You never know when a new room will appear (sometimes right under your feet)–and what it might contain.
Please note that, during the month of May, we Curators will be posting our stories about collections every Thursday, rather than every Wednesday.
On every Wednesday in May, the kind folks at our publisher, Greenwillow Books, will be hosting a contest in which they will post an exclusive story written by one of us, as well as give away an art print by our illustrious illustrator, Alexander Jansson.
We encourage you to enter these contests, and to follow us on Twitter, where we will be announcing each one as it happens.
Please make your way to the first contest, and follow the instructions to enter the giveaway.
The Cabinet of Curiosities has received a STAR from Kirkus. Not a real one. Real stars are difficult to come by, even more difficult to preserve, and our specimen, in the mason jar under the third-story windowsill, has become dull and melancholy in his captivity. He will be replaced by this new one, we think, as it is really more of a figurative star and much more practical.
But in all earnestness: Kirkus, that venerable place known for chewing up books the way werewolves chew up children, has bestowed on our little collection of horrors a STARRED REVIEW. If you are confused as to what a starred review is, fear not. It simply means that the review has a star on it, like a Sneetch, and the star means that Kirkus liked the book a great deal, and to us, this is a vast and humbling honor. In fact, we’re all rather in a tizzy right now, fainting all over the furniture. You must excuse us. Would you like to see the review? Here it is:
“Styling themselves ‘curators,’ four of horror fantasy’s newer stars share tales and correspondence related to an imaginary museum of creepy creatures and artifacts.
In addition to Bachmann, the authors include Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand and Emma Trevayne. The letters, scattered throughout, record adventures in gathering the Cabinet’s eldritch collections or report allusively on them: “I just let them creep or wing about the place,” writes Curator Catmull, “and stretch their many, many, many legs. What jolly shouts I hear when the workers come across one!” The stories, most of which were previously published on the eponymous website, are taken from eight thematic drawers ranging from “Love” and “Tricks” to “Cake.” Along with a cast of evil magicians, oversized spiders and other reliable frights, the stories throw children into sinister situations in graveyards, deceptively quiet gardens or forests, their own bedrooms and similar likely settings. Said children are seldom exposed to gory or explicit violence and, except for horrid ones who deserve what they get, generally emerge from their experiences better and wiser—or at least alive. Jansson’s small black-and-white vignettes add scattered but appropriately enigmatic visual notes.
A hefty sheaf of chillers—all short enough to share aloud and expertly cast to entice unwary middle graders a step or two into the shadows.” (Horror/short stories. 10-13)
Isn’t it lovely? Evil magicians, oversized spiders and other reliable frights? Lovely. If you like odd and scary stories, too, or if you have a pet, child, or corpse who likes odd and scary stories, you can pre-order this collection at one of these fine retailers: amazon | barnes & noble | indiebound | the book depository | itunes | books-a-million
As for us, we’ve revived from our fainting and are off to collect more stories for the coming weeks. Thank you, Kirkus, from the bottom of our damp and echo-y hearts.