Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization

Hey, everybody! I’m very pleased to finally announce that late this Summer, Turn to Ash will be publishing Jonathan Raab’s new novel, Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization. A title like that obviously bears a little explanation and, indeed, even the explanation will bear a little explanation and, even then, I’m not entirely sure how much sense it will make when… How about I just lay out, in rough chronological order, how this project came to be and you can make of that what you will? Here goes…

Late last year, I received a letter (excerpt below) from a film company seeking a micro-indie horror publisher to begin working on the novelization of, arguably,  the most misunderstood of the entries in the Camp Ghoul Mountain series. I was floored. CGM VI is a legendary, if not controversial, treasure of underground horror cinema. When I was a kid, not even the laxest of parents would let us watch this movie at their house. Everyone believed it was too violent and promoted drug use and/or Satanism. Or something. Despite these parental concerns, all the lucky teens in the neighborhood who had seen it assured us that the movie actually sucked. It was too weird and strayed too far from the rest of the series. It went off on strange tangents that your average slasher fan was confused by and uninterested in. Because of its bad rep, it sank into relative obscurity. By the time I finally watched it, I’d dropped enough, shall we say, life experience, to feel a certain kinship with the batshit events that unfolded on the screen. But those weird, wild days are long behind me and I’ve never been a vocal champion of the flick, so I had no idea why the film company was reaching out to me. I was excited to be invited to such a project, but I was more than a touch confused.


Then I noticed the name of the company that sent me the letter and my heart sank: Malthus Pictures, International. The villainous, cabalistic, occulted corporation that appears in a number of Jonathan Raab’s stories. I was certain that he had dreamt Malthus up years ago after ingesting a powerful edible and few hearty belts of Old Crow, so I assumed at this point that he was pulling my leg.

I called Jonathan up and explained that while the stunt was cute, I didn’t appreciate getting my hopes raised and dashed like that. He rather curtly dismissed my complaint and explained that he was not terribly amused that I had called him several times over the previous couple of weeks, always in the middle of the night, and left, long, mostly silent voicemails (audio clips below). He also suggested that I lay off the sauce and get to bed at a decent hour like a decent person. I explained that I hadn’t been placing those calls and that is was possible that my phone was malfunctioning and that I’d get it checked out. Furthermore, I continued to explain, I was drinking responsibly and sleeping quite well, thank you very much. Eventually, after far too much explanation, tempers cooled and we chatted for a while about Castlevania, living mansions, and UFO disclosure for a bit and then said farewell. I decided it must be someone else in our little community, probably Breen or Edwards, having a laugh at our expense with the Malthus thing and didn’t give it another thought. Until I got my phone bill.

$65,000. Sixty-five thousand US dollars. Even. That was the cost of my single, sub-60-minute phone call to Colorado to talk to Jonathan. Nobody at Verizon could seem to figure out how or why I’d been billed such an astronomical fee for one call, and after about 3 hours speaking with various tiers of customer support, I was no nearer to getting the issue resolved. I decided to give up for the afternoon and get on with my life.

That evening I got an email from Phillip O’Leary – the same supposed man from Malthus who’d supposedly sent me the letter – telling me that he looked forward to working with me on CGM VI and that he’d reached out to “some friends” and taken care of my billing issue. I logged into my account and, sure enough, back to normal. I called Raab again.

He immediately cut me off and told me he’d accepted O’Leary’s terms and had already begun working on the novelization. He’d received a large cache of archival material on the film and I’d be getting a similar shipment shortly. The next day, I got it. And a contract, complete with deadlines and some very intensely worded clauses on what happens if I miss said deadlines. The non-disclosure agreement in the contract forbids me from speaking to the specifics, which is just as well, as I’d rather not even think about them. Not long after that, I was contacted by artist and friend, Will Fugman, who told me that he understood that he would be supplying the cover art for the novelization. I don’t know to what degree, if any, Will is compromised by Malthus or the (business?) entity going by the name Malthus, and again, I’d rather not know. The important thing now is that we all get our work done and done on time so that none of us have to deal with the ramifications of section 7(c) of the contract.


So, yeah, I’m actually and contractually terribly excited to be publishing Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization by Jonathan Raab!! The book will include a great deal of archival material related to the creation of and inspiration for the film, as well it’s enigmatic director, Monty Blackwood. Watch this space in the coming months for updates, news, and warnings regarding the novel! Maybe in the meantime, go snoop around over HERE and buy a copy of Turn to Ash, Vol. 3. There won’t be another issue of the zine out for quite a while, so get your fix while you can!

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