Friday, September 18, 2009

Richard Tierney

A recent article on Richard Tierney mentioning Lovecraft.

MASON CITY — Richard Tierney’s prolific writings have attracted fans from Europe to Australia, but the soft-spoken Mason City man is a relative unknown at home.

“There is a limited audience for my work,” he said with a smile at his Mason City home.

An author, poet and scholar of cosmic horror-science fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, Tierney, 73, has written numerous short stories, books and poems, published worldwide starting in 1975.

He receives royalties for his books, “but it isn’t like Stephen King,” he said.

As a boy growing up in Mason City, he was influenced by the work of Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard — author of “Conan the Barbarian” — and Tarzan creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

“It’s been kind of an obsession with me,” Tierney said. “Back when I was a kid, they were considered trash. Now the pulps are some of the biggest names in movies and fiction.”

He appreciated how the so-called “weird fiction,” which has its roots in 19th century gothic novels, emphasized the atmosphere of the story, “not the blood and guts.”

“The important thing was to set the mood and draw the reader into it,” Tierney said. “They kept bringing in new revelations that caused goose bumps for their implications.”

Some of the words used in his writings were coined by earlier pulp fiction writers and have no meaning to the uninitiated reader. “I suspect that most readers wouldn’t make sense of it,” he said.

A 1961 graduate of Iowa State University, Tierney has a degree in entomology and worked for years for the U.S. Forest Service, primarily in the western United States and Alaska.

In 1972, he moved to Minneapolis to take up writing as a vocation. He and a friend collaborated on a series of “Red Sonia” novels, a female super-heroine warring against the Turks in 17th century Eastern Europe.

They were paid $1,000 per book to set the Red Sonia heroine in the era of Conan the Barbarian, 15,000 years ago.

In 1981, he returned to Mason City to take care of his mother, Margaret, now deceased. “I figured I could write here just as well as Minneapolis and I didn’t have to pay rent,” he reasoned.

His first book, “The Winds of Zarr,” was published in 1975.

His most recent novel, “The Drums of Chaos,” came out in 2008 and is set in the First Century Roman Empire. It is about “swords and sorcery” and has an element of the time-traveler in it, too, he said.

Another book, “The House of the Toad” (1993), is set in modern-day Iowa along the Mississippi River.

His short stories have appeared in various magazines. Several of his poems were published in “The Twilight Zone” magazine.

Australian publisher Charles “Danny” Lovecraft, who renamed himself for H. P. Lovecraft, has documented Tierney’s work and is publishing a book of Tierney’s poems, “Savage Menace and Other Poems of Horror.”

“He (Tierney) has written at least 170 pieces of dark and mystical poetry and weird fantasy verse, his favored and most gifted form of expression,” Lovecraft wrote.

“Acclaimed editor and critic of supernatural fiction and verse S. T. Joshi was brought to remark (in 2008) that ‘the progression of weird poetry over the centuries might be significantly aided with a comprehensive anthology containing work ranging from Homer to Richard L. Tierney.’

“Our man from Mason City has come far indeed,” Lovecraft said.


No comments:


Blog Archive


Google Analytics