What's the story behind your Internet name?
I chose my handle after an obscure character, supernatural investigator Thomas Carnacki, from the early 20th century horror stories by William Hope Hodgson. I used Hodgson's Carnacki as a character in my own (as yet unpublished) vampire novel and was in the middle of rewriting when I joined the orange place. I hadn't put much thought into a computer handle. For years I was known as Odysseus on various BBSes. There was a story behind why I chose Odysseus, but when it came time to sign up at another site, I just chose the first name to pop into my head. Since my manuscript was in my thoughts, I logged in as Carnacki. It seems a good handle because the name is strange enough to be memorable. In the Hodgson tales, which I highly recommend, Carnacki is an investigator of hauntings. The tales are told as if a friend is hearing them from Carnacki. Each of them begin in a similar way to this opening from The Whistling Room:
Carnacki shook a friendly fist at me, as I entered, late. Then, he opened the door into the dining-room, and ushered the four of us -- Jessop, Arkright, Taylor and myself -- in to dinner. We dined well, as usual, and, equally as usual, Carnacki was pretty silent during the meal. At the end, we took our wine and cigars to our usual positions, and Carnacki -- having got himself comfortable in his big chair -- began without any preliminary:-- "I have just got back from Ireland, again," he said. "And I thought you chaps would be interested to hear my news. Besides, I fancy I shall see the thing clearer, after I have told it all out straight. I must tell you this, though, at the beginning -- up to the present moment, I have been utterly and completely 'stumped.' I have tumbled upon one of the most peculiar cases of 'haunting' -- or devilment of some sort -- that I have come against. Now listen.Hodgson's tales appeal to my love of English detective characters and supernatural horror. I do hope you read them. So I'm curious. What's the story behind your online name?