TheWellman Letters #1
This letter is dated March 17,1973, and was in response to E.P.Berglund's queries for the 2nd edition of the Reader'sGuide to the Cthulhu Mythos:

"Thank you for your letter of the 14th, concerning your Lovecraftian READERS GUIDE.

"I should think that myonly writing to connect with Lovecraft and his work is THE TERRIBLE PARCHMENT. You mention THE LETTERS OF COLD FIRE, and I don't remember any referenceto Lovecraft or Chthulu [sic] or so on.  In any case, the story wasbased on an Icelandic legend, including the book with the hairy cover andthe cold-fire writing, and probably should be referred to pagan Teutonicsources somewhere.  As to SHONOKIN TOWN, if I mentioned Lovecraft,it was a casual mention.

"Both LETTERS OF COLD FIREand SHONOKIN TOWN are part of my series about John Thunstone, a sort ofpsychical detective, and while somebody might see some similarity betweenthe Shonokins, as a race inhabiting American before the Indians, and Lovecraft's'old ones', here, too, similarity is only fortuitous.  I dependedon various primitive Indian legends for developing the Shonokin people,and made up the name Shonokin myself.
When these stories beganto appear, I was pleasantly mystified by letters from people saying theyhad heard Shonokin myths themselves.

"At present I write a supernaturalstory from time to time, mostly dealing with beliefs among the Southernmountain people.  My main body of work just now is non-fiction, mostlyregional history.

"I used to read Lovecraftwith great pleasure and profit, and always admired what he did, but whatI say here is all I can offer for any Lovecraftian influence on my work."



The Wellman Letters #2
Again from E.P.Berglund, this one was dated February 25, 1976, and was in responseto a query concerning a proposed anthology:

"Thank you for your letterof the 22nd, about your projected LOVECRAFT CIRCLE anthology.

"Probably I should remindyou that I wasn't really of the Lovecraft Circle per se; that is,I was contemporary with him at old WEIRD TALES, but I never met or hadcorrespondence with him.  I remember being urged to write to him. I didn't.  It seemed to me that those who did visit him and swap letterswith him were more or less his disciples and I never made a good disciple. I always admired him and recognized his gifts.

"When it comes to that,I doubt if I was much influenced by Lovecraft, more than I was, say, byArthur Machen, M. R. James and Ambrose Bierce. I was always trying foreffective understatement and still do.

"I wrote many, many stories,but let me see what possibly might suit you:

"One of my favorites isas autobiographical as I ever got, UP UNDER THE ROOF, WT Oct 1938, andincluded in my collection WORSE THINGS WAITING, Carcosa, 1973; about 2,200words.

"Then, an effort at a Lovecraftianstory, THE TERRIBLE PARCHMENT, WT Aug 1937, also in WORSE THINGS WAITING;about the same length, or a little more, say 2,600 words.  I wrotethis and dedicated it to Lovecraft at the time of his death.  It'sa Necronomicon piece.

"One I wrote with somethingof the Lovecraftian notion of a whatisit from God Knows Where is ONE OTHER,first in F&SF, Aug. 1953, and included in WHO FEARS THE DEVIL?, mybook about John the Wanderer, Arkham House, 1963.  About 5,500 words. WHO FEARS is, of course, out of print, both hardcover and paperback inthis country, though it can be still found in England."


The Voice of the Mountains - The Life and Writings of Manly Wade Wellman http://www.manlywadewellman.com c 2001 Daniel Ross Updated August 31, 2001