Lancelot Schaubert tells us about Bell Hammer and Of Gods and Globes 2

Welcome to today's featured author Lancelot Schaubert!

 Tell us about your life outside of writing.
I'm an artist chaplain in NYC who makes it easier for people to make what they feel called to make. We use grants, community development, and intense human resources inserted into hyper concentrated weekends to bolster portfolios and create time for projects that wouldn't get greenlit via traditional funding or production. We're also there for counseling and therapy. 
NYC is insane during covid, but so are a ton of places. Doing everything we can through the literary journal to support neighbors and artists. My bride's a knitter and is teaching me to knat, but she also makes things. Have a big, rowdy family mostly based in Illinois (a la BELL HAMMERS). I watch film when I can, but mostly read — particularly through the classics. Love tea. Will travel. Send soup and juggling circus bears.

Do you have a work in progress?
Several. I'm working on a horror novel that's basically Little Red Riding Hood meets that 80's film The Warriors. A YA dystopia that's something like The Circle meets The Giver with a bit of Tripods, Little Brother, and Ready Player One thrown in for spice. A children's book that's an inverted Narnia. A Pratchette-esque, Gaiman-esque fantasy satire of two buddy cops possessed by each other's bounty, an angel and a demon. Other odds and ends — couple comics, couple scripts, couple stories. I treat it all like an orchard. The first two I mentioned are the closest to done.

What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Piece: I once wrote a story all in the future tense just to see if I could. The future tense itself made that hard.
Section: writing BELL HAMMERS from interviews of two grandpas who died in the writing of the novel in back-to-back Christmases. It was extremely cathartic, but I was laughing and crying while typing, which doesn't usually happen: I'm not that often emotional while writing. Or at least not in that extreme.

What sort of research do you do for your work?
I'm always reading the classics. I look for oddly specific details from the crafts or sectors of society in the characters. I travel to places. I interview folks directly involved in those industries. I'm always reading writing books, not because writing books are particularly brilliant or earth shattering, but because I always pick up one or two tricks of the trade I didn't know prior.

Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
I read everything Rowling wrote. Then I read everything she read: mainly Lewis, Tolkien, Potter, and the Greeks (Aechylus and Homer are her bread and butter for her stories). Then I started reading everything Lewis wrote which is basically the cannon plus Chesterton and MacDonald. That keeps me busy, but I also read Le Carre, Rothfuss, Sanderson, Gaiman, King, and lots and lots of metaphysics, history, some political stuff, literary theory, prayer journals, lives of the saints, weird mechanical journals and how-to books like Country Wisdom and Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live off the Land.

Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
My dad and grandpa taught me to write stories. My grandmas read to me. My mother bought me books. But honestly most of the teachers I had held me back in reading, even shamed me for being a boy — all women. Many of the men made fun of me for reading. Closest I came was getting encouraged to do theater by one teacher named Lisa Stephenson when they heard me recite a Robert Burns poem in the original brogue. First real encouragement came from professor and author Jackina Stark, who has been a mother to me and is the reason — a million times over — I made progress and haven't quit. My first day of class with her, some jock said, "Jackina, you think I can be a famous author?"
She said, "I don't know, Matt, do you like working with sentences all day long?"
He said, "No."
She said, "No."
And I thought to myself, "I do." She's stuck with me ever since.

Two excerpts of Lancelot Schaubert's debut novel BELL HAMMERS sold to The New Haven Review (Yale’s Institute Library) and The Misty Review, while a third excerpt was selected as a finalist for the last Glimmer Train Fiction Open in history. He has also sold poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to TOR (MacMillan), The Anglican Theological Review, McSweeney’s, Poker Pro’s World Series Edition, The Poet’s Market, Writer’s Digest, and many similar markets.

Spark + Echo chose him for their 2019 artist in residency, commissioning him to write four short stories on top of the seven others he sold them.
He has published work in anthologies like Author in Progress, Harry Potter for Nerds, and Of Gods and Globes — the last of which he edited and featured stories by Juliet Marillier (whose story was nominated for an Aurealis award), Anne Greenwood BrownDr. Anthony CirillaLJ CohenFC Shultz, and Emily Munro. His work Cold Brewed reinvented the photonovel for the digital age and caught the attention of the Missouri Tourism Board who commissioned him to write and direct a second photonovel, The Joplin Undercurrent, in partnership with award-winning photographer, Mark Neuenschwander.


Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of "merry men" carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops of off the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.

Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood's well.

Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:

"We need the world's greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that'll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don't got no consequences, right?"

You can preorder BELL HAMMERS from:

“BELL HAMMERS is written in a style not unworthy of John Kennedy Toole and William Faulkner – the vivid characterization of Southern ethnography commingled with stark, episodic spectacle breathes with the spirit of quintessential Americana. It is a text I would happily assign in an American Novel class and would expect it to yield satisfying discourse alongside works in the canon, whether beside the sardonic prose of Mark Twain or the energetically painful narratives of Toni Morrison.”  — Dr. Anthony Cirilla

“Schaubert’s words have an immediacy, a potency, an intimacy that grab the reader by the collar and say, ‘Listen, this is important!’ Probing the bones and gristle of humanity, Lancelot’s subjects challenge, but also offer insights into redemption if only we will stop and pay attention.”  
— Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

“Myth, regret, the lore of our heritage and the subtle displays of our castes — no one so accurately and imaginatively captures the joys and sorrows of life in the Midwest as Schaubert does here. BELL HAMMERS is a Tree Grows in Brooklyn as told by Gabriel Garcia Marquez if Marquez lived in rural Illinois and only told stories to his grandkids. Seriously a delight to read.” 
— Colby Williams, author of the Axiom Gold Medal winning book Small Town, Big Money

“Loved BELL HAMMERS because Lancelot wrote about people who don’t get written about enough and he did it with humor, compassion, and heart.” — Brian Slatterly, author of Lost Everything and editor of The New Haven Review

“I’m such a fan of Lancelot Schaubert’s work. His unique view and his life-wisdom enriches all he does. We’re lucky to count him among our contributors.” — Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters and Editorial Director of Writer Unboxed

“Lancelot Schaubert writes with conviction but without the clichĂ© and bluster of the propaganda that is so common in this age of blogs and tweets. Here is a real practitioner of the craft who has the patience to pay attention. May his tribe increase!”  — Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove, author of Common Prayer and The Awakening of Hope

“Lancelot's attentive, thoughtful, a bit quirky, and innovative. He continues to impress me. He ‘sees,’ and BELL HAMMERS is full of details that enable his audience to see. Bravo, Lance.”
— Jackina Stark, author of Things Worth Remembering and Tender Grace

“Schaubert’s narratives are emotionally stirring with both a vulnerable sensibility and rawness to them. BELL HAMMERS will take you on a journey full of open wounds, intimate successes and personal delights. Lancelot’s words have a calmness, a natural ease but the meaning is always commanding and dynamic.”  — Natalie Gee, Brooklyn Film Festival

“BELL HAMMERS is the kind of story that makes you a better person and stays with you long after you put it down."  — F.C. Shultz, author of The Rose Weapon

Lancelot Schaubert (Goodreads Author)Kaaron Warren (Goodreads Author)
Howard Andrew Jones (Goodreads Author), F.C. Shultz (Goodreads Author) (Contributor)
JT Glover (Contributor)Carole McDonnell (Contributor), Emily Munro (Contributor)
Brandon Ketchum (Goodreads Author) (Contributor)Anthony G. Cirilla (Contributor)

Once more, my friends and colleagues and I have banded together to compose literature connecting astronomy and mythology: to write Of Gods & Globes II. Each one of us chose a name that connected astronomy (science fiction) and mythology (fantasy) such as "Janus" and wrote forth.

But why on Earth -- or off Earth -- would we do such a thing?

Well for starters, in his introduction to Bernard Silvestrus's Cosmographia, Winthrop Wetherbee III (which, let's be honest, is a doozy of a name but PERFECT for anyone destined to study and teach Latin) said that the thinkers of the classical and middle ages offered up: The idea the events of earthly life were governed and predetermined by the orderly disposition and activity of the heavenly bodies and could, in part, be foreknown through the careful analysis of celestial phenomena... Adelhard of Bath, in the De eodem et diverso, extols the power of the Arts to guide the soul in its earthly journey; they teach her to recognize her special relation to the rest of creation, to know the nature and intuit the divine pattern of the universe. For the soul's basic affinity is with the divine rationes of things...

Man, like the universe, lives and moves through the interplay of rational and irrational forces... which evokes preoccupation with the archetypal implications of myth and the themes of classic literature. We had such a successful launch last time that we decided to come together and write even more stories around this theme. We have continuations on a couple of new universes, hilarious new additions, heartbreaking horror stories, and flirtatious little romps.

In the spirit of drawing on themes of myth and classic literature and of the tidal influence of the constellations, I rounded up sci-fi and fantasy writers to write about cosmic influence. The fantasy writers took a more mythological approach, speaking of the symbolic (or perhaps godly) Mercury and Mars and Neptune. The sci-fi writers tell you what it's like to live on Jupiter and Uranus. All of them, though, speak of the influence of what one writer called "the music of the spheres." These are stories Of Gods and Globes. They're quite the ride: I enjoy each of these stories differently. They made me laugh and cry and chilled me to the bone with terror and one of them made me long for a home that... well for a home I don't think I've ever been to before.

Come fly with us. Let's fly. Let's fly away.

Or, if you prefer, to appeal from Sinatra to Sinatra:

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars.
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars...
Fill my heart with song
And let me sing forevermore
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore

Lancelot Schaubert Brooklyn, New York 2020

"The entertainment value, and the hints of even greater revelations about the past of the iconic characters, and the world, make me very interested in how Howard Andrew Jones continues the story." -- TOR

"Kaaron Warren proves that horror fiction can do more than just deliver dis­turbing imagery and violence. It can also compel us to confront our own assumptions and moral principles, to look outside the ordinary." -- LOCUS

"Lancelot Schaubert's words have an immediacy, a potency, an intimacy that grab the reader by the collar and say, 'Listen, this is important!' Probing the bones and gristle of humanity, Lancelot's subjects challenge, but also offer insights into redemption if only we will stop and pay attention." -- Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl


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