In May 1999, Douglas Clegg's novel Naomi became the Internet's first publisher-sponsored e-serial, garnering write-ups in Publishers Weekly and Business Week. The former called it "arguably, the first major work of fiction to originate in cyberspace." Some four thousand mailing list subscribers received free chapters of Naomi on a weekly basis, boosting print numbers for the Leisure paperback (published in spring 2001) from the low 50,000 range to over 125,000.
Born in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, Clegg grew up in an artistic family, and wrote his first story, about the death of his pet mockingbird, at the age of nine on a typewriter his parents had given him a year or two earlier. For years, he kept his writing secret, hiding his stories and sometimes destroying them, if he thought they might be found. He cites as formative influences the Edgar Allan Poe poems and Bible stories his mother used to read aloud when he was younger than five, and Twilight Zone episodes...followed soon after by Shakespeare, Shirley Jackson, and many other writers.
Douglas Clegg received a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Washington and Lee University, where he co-founded an International Film Program and became a morning news DJ on college radio. After graduating, Clegg taught junior high English, and worked as an editor for Ziff-Davis Publishing in Washington, D.C.. In 1986, he moved to Los Angeles to work for KCBS News. Throughout this period, he wrote reviews and entertainment articles for a small magazine. His first novel, Goat Dance, was nominated for Outstanding First Novel by the Horror Writers Association. Finished in 1987, Clegg was convinced it would languish until an editor from one publishing house took it to Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, which published it in 1989. Pocket also published his second, third, and fourth novels, Breeder, Neverland, and Dark of the Eye. Clegg changed his publisher to Dell for his next novel, The Children's Hour, but Dell dropped its horror line four months later, leaving him without a publisher. His sixth novel, Bad Karma, written under the pseudonym Andrew Harper, was published by Kensington/Zebra, and adapted for the screen by Randall Frakes. The resulting movie, directed by John Hough and starring Patsy Kensit, was released as Hell's Gate in the United States, and Bad Karma internationally.
Clegg found a new publishing home with Dorchester's Leisure imprint, a small New York publisher committed to its horror line. Leisure brought out The Halloween Man in 1998, Clegg's short story collection The Nightmare Chronicles, (which won the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award) in 1999, and two novels, You Come When I Call You and Mischief, in 2000. Also that year, Cemetery Dance Publications published the print edition of Clegg's novella Purity, which Clegg had made available for free download on his website, and the author launched another e-book, Nightmare House, which was serialized on a weekly basis on the DouglasClegg mailing list at Onelist.com. A bidding war erupted between three companies for sponsorship of the mailing list for the duration of the serial. Cemetery Dance won, and paid Clegg a five-figure fee for his free email novel, which was published in hardcover the following year. Cemetery Dance also sponsored the Harrow Haunting website, which offered readers multi-media along with the e-book. A sequel to Nightmare House, The Infinite, became Leisure's first hardcover in 2001.
Since then, Clegg has published several other novels and collections, including the Shocker Award-winning collection, The Machinery of Night, published in 2004 by Cemetery Dance Publication. His current publishers include Cemetery Dance Publications, Tor Books, Berkley/Ace, Leisure Books, and Wildside Press. Other works include The Abandoned, Mordred, Bastard Son, The Priest of Blood, Afterlife, and The Attraction. Under the pseudonym Andrew Harper, the novels Red Angel and Night Cage also were released. Also published: the novellas The Necromancer, and Isis (summer of 2006.) In late 2006, his novel, The Lady of Serpents came out in hardcover. His 2002 novel, The Hour Before Dark, was optioned for film and is in pre-production in Hollywood.
Clegg's latest published works include Isis, Neverland and The Priest of Blood, a dark fantasy about vampirism and mythology, set in an alternate medieval history. It hit the extended New York Times bestseller list in hardcover in late 2005, and came out in paperback in August 2006.
In 2009, Lonely Road Books announced that they will be publishing Douglas Clegg's The Vampyricon Trilogy: The Definitive Special Edition. It is scheduled to include all three of the Vampyricon novels: The Priest of Blood, The Lady of Serpents, and The Queen of Wolves. All the novels have been re-edited to the author's liking. Plus, an addendum of around 50 to 100 pages of exclusive "deleted scenes" and "lost material" is scheduled to be included along with color and black and white artwork by Erin Wells. It will be available in two editions: A Limited Edition of 250 copies and a Lettered Edition of 26 copies.