Boston, Massachusetts, 1990. Music is the one sure thing twelve-year-old Robin Gates has in her life. Though she’s disgusted by the looks she gets from grown male patrons, playing guitar and singing in her mother’s strange bar provides a path to her envisioned future. Until she reads a newspaper from 2006 that contains her obituary…
The so-called Clarkwoods Literary Universe (CLU) includes the mostly “realistic” books published under the Clarkwoods banner since 2002, but its origins stretch back to the mid-90s comic book series Blood Red—which the then 14-year-old Clark published with the help of his father (and his father’s office photocopier).
The marketing copy for the 2017 book Out of the Woods describes the tone of the universe well:
On one side of the forest lay the lands of psychological realism. On the other rest the realms of fantasy and fabulism. And the in the long shadows of the trees themselves…
In these pages, you will find families fracturing around dining room tables just like yours. But you will also find members of those families traveling through time to try (perhaps wrongly) to turn back the clock and earn themselves another chance at redemption. Here you’ll find a dog catcher who longs for nothing more (or less) than another day with pooch she lost as a girl, but you will also find a young woman trying to put an end to the literal cyclone in her heart. And what happens when an undertaker is a coin short on the banks of the River Styx? Something very important to everyone who calls this universe home.
They just don’t know it yet.
This Official Handbook of the Clarkwoods Universe, powered by WorldAnvil, is a vital extension of the books of E. Christopher Clark. And it’s written by Mr. Clark himself, the fulfillment of a decades-long dream to create a story that you experience by clicking through it—just like the hypertext fiction his undergraduate creative writing mentor first exposed him to back in the day.
So, we hope you enjoy reading it. Clark is certainly going to enjoy writing it.