Steve Finn and his best friend Ghost are a pair of musicians who live in Missing Mile, North Carolina. Steve is a regular guy who works in the local record store and has a tendency to drink too much; Ghost is a bit of a mystic, raised in the North Carolina mountains by his herbalist grandmother Miz Deliverance. They have a band called Lost Souls? in which Ghost is the singer and Steve the guitarist. These characters first announced themselves to me in a 1986 fragment called "Wanna Kitten?", but were soon appearing in real stories and making it known that they would play a major role in my first novel.
The most frequently asked question about these characters is, "Will there be more stories?" While I'm surprised and thrilled that they have been so popular, I am obliged to disappoint the questioner by reporting that, after almost 15 mostly happy years with Steve and Ghost, I am done writing about them.
"Night Story 1973" (with Caitlin R. Kiernan), FROM WEIRD AND DISTANT SHORES (a collection by Kiernan). 6 1/2-year-old Ghost and his grandmother, Miz Deliverance, face a mountain mystery.
"Hotel California," first chapter of unfinished novel, published in CON PARTY AT HOTEL CALIFORNIA, a chapbook given away with Gauntlet's tenth-anniversary edition of LOST SOULS. 11-year-old Steve Finn buys his first record album.
"Wanna Kitten?," first published on this website. Steve and Ghost in a pizza place.
"Angels," first published in THE HORROR SHOW, Vol. 5, no. 4 (the Rising Stars Issue). Reprinted in my collection WORMWOOD (a.k.a. SWAMP FOETUS). On one of their frequent road trips, Steve and Ghost encounter a pair of Siamese twins who never wanted to be separated.
THE SEED OF LOST SOULS (novella that later became novel). Steve and Ghost get mixed up with some shady characters.
"The South Central Rain Story" fragment, published in CON PARTY AT HOTEL CALIFORNIA, a chapbook given away with Gauntlet's tenth-anniversary edition of LOST SOULS. Ghost is sick in the mountains. Steve goes to a party. [Note: This story fragment was written after the novella published as THE SEED OF LOST SOULS, but before the first draft of LOST SOULS. The events of the novel changed things sufficiently that this fragment no longer really fits anywhere in the chronology, but if it did, this would be its approximate place.]
LOST SOULS. Steve and Ghost get mixed up with even more shady characters, a whole novel's worth.
"Stay Awake," first published as a chapbook by Camelot Books. Reprinted in Gauntlet Press tenth-anniversary edition of LOST SOULS. Another road story, this tale answers the most frequently asked question about Steve and Ghost.
"America," first published in BACKSTAGE PASSES. Reprinted in my collection ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT? (a.k.a. SELF-MADE MAN). A ditty from the same road trip as "Stay Awake."
Lost Souls? members Terry Buckett and R.J. Miller appear in "The Rest of the Wrong Thing," a collaboration with Caitlin R. Kiernan, published in our mini-collection WRONG THINGS, and in my novel DRAWING BLOOD. Steve and Ghost are mentioned in these two works set in Missing Mile, but do not appear because they are on the road.
"How To Get Ahead in New York," first published in GAUNTLET #4. Reprinted in my collection WORMWOOD. Steve and Ghost get in trouble in the big city.