A year after I wrote The Crow: City of Angels, I was asked to write an original novel using the concept of James O’Barr’s The Crow. Though I was wearying of writing work-for-hire material, I agreed. I was simpatico toward the concept, which gave me total freedom in terms of characters and setting, something that nearly all other licensed properties did not.
Clash by Night, which appeared as a large trade paperback, explored the right-wing militia underbelly of the United States while using a female lead character and telling a tragic love story, and I was pleased with the result. For better or worse, it turned out to be a Chet Williamson novel. Ed Bryant said in Locus: “The passion in Clash by Night is furnace-hot, of a degree that is virtually Biblical…Chet Williamson knows what he’s doing…the heart is engaged. Lock and load, readers — and keep that box of tissues handy. With its risky juggling of passion and politics, indignation and melodrama, longing and loss, Clash by Night stands perfectly well on its own. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the Crow from the Owl and the Pussycat, or a Raven from a Writing Desk.”
The novel was collected, along with original Crow novels by David Bischoff and Poppy Z. Brite, in the hardcover anthology, The Crow: A Murder of Crows.
I said goodbye to The Crow with a short story published in The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams. It was called “The Blood-Red Sea,” a pacifistic Crow tale in which the protagonist, the ancient poet Homer, ultimately decides not to use violence against those who wronged him. It’s in my short story collection, Figures in Rain.