Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thank you, from Hell

Just got an e-mail from a "not-fan".

"Dear Mr Lowrence, I red your book. You have talent but your talent wont help you in Hell."

I still kinda feel like I should say thanks.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cullen Gallagher at Pulp Serenade

Cullen delivers a gorgeously written review of the ole' Bastard thingie I wrote. It's here at Pulp Serenade.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jed Ayre's on the Wicked Preacher Man

The Bastard Hand inspired Jed Ayres to start a great list of bad guy preachers over at Ransom Notes. The Good Reverend Phinneas Childe is only the latest in a loooong list of wicked Men o'Gawd.
Props especially for Harry Powell of Night of the Hunter, and Sam Springer of Black Mass of Brother Springer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lynn Kostoff on The Bastard Hand

Lynn Kostoff is one of our modern noir heroes. The author of The Long Fall, Choice of Nightmares, and Late Rain took the time to read The Bastard Hand and had some very nice things to say about it:

"Like Charles Willeford's BLACK MASS OF BROTHER SPRINGER, Heath Lowrance in THE BASTARD HAND takes comfortable and conventional notions of religion, filters them through a pulp sensibility, and then renders both of them beautifully in a literary and page-turning style. Heath Lowrance and New Pulp Press deliver on this one. Get your hands, Bastard or otherwise, on this novel. You won't regret it."

Thanks, Lynn!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Heath at Vin Zandri's Vox

A little over a year ago, I made the acquaintancce of Vincent Zandri, and he's had my back ever since. My guest post at his blog, The Vincent Zandri Vox, is up today, prefaced by some really nice words from Vin.
Thanks, brother, I appreciate it. Looking forward to that beer!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Box of Books

Got home from work today and found a big ole' box a' books on my porch. I was excited, until I brought the box in, opened it, and discovered that it was a bunch of copies of The Bastard Hand. Man, I already read that.

Heh. Kidding, of course. Naturally I was thrilled. Although to be honest...

It's kind of weird, but none of it feels like you THINK it's gonna feel. You work for years to get to a certain point, and when it arrives you're sort of thrown for a loop. I dunno. I can't explain it. Don't misunderstand, I'm very pleased that my book is out there and people seem to be enjoying it, but the sense of accomplishment or contentment I expected is nowhere to be seen. All I can think of is, 'what's next?' I need to polish up the manuscript for the second novel I just finished. I need to get back to work on the third one after that. The Bastard Hand is over and done now, aside from the pimping stuff. I feel the need to make sure the next book is even better.

And I imagine, if I'm lucky enough to have my second novel published, I'll feel the same way, all over again. Nothing's quite good enough, is it?

Oh, some good news: I heard this morning from the literary agent I've been holding out for, the one I really, really wanted-- she wants to see the manuscript for that second novel I mentioned. So that's very cool, yes? Fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review at Dead End Follies

Ben at Dead End Follies has been one of my most outspoken supporters, and I truly appreciate it. Here's his official review of The Bastard Hand: Dead End Follies.
Thanks, Ben!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Champion Joe's page...

Joe Lansdale just started a fan page over at the FB today, the day after I started mine. So I'm like, "Joe, you gotta stop copying me, do your OWN thing, bro," and he says, "Yeah, I know, man, but you're just so cool, I can't help it," and I say, "Aw, don't sweat it. You're okay, Joe."

And then we bump fists.


Anyway, back to reality. The demi-god we know on this plane as Joe R. Lansdale has a fan page and a new book coming out and I have no doubt whatsoever that it's gonna rock as hard as everything else he's ever written. Vive le Champion Joe.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My own biggest fan?

So I started a "fan page" over at the Book of Faces. Yeah, that's right, I started my own fan club. It would save me some embarrassment if you dropped by and "liked" it or something. Here it is: Heath Lowrance, Writer.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Truth Hurts Me More Than It Does You

And of course, here's MY end of the blog exchange with Benoit. Ben, thanks a lot for letting me ramble on over at Dead End Follies. Cheers, brother.

Guest Post: Benoit Lelievre- Lineage

Benoit Lelievre is one of the most talented young unpublished writers I know. He has a keen mind, and a unique perspective on the world and knows how to verbalize it. His blog, Dead End Follies, is one of the few that I check on a regular basis, because it never fails to be relevant and entertaining.

When I asked Ben if he wanted to do a "guest blog" exchange, I honestly didn't expect that his would be about The Bastard Hand... don't get me wrong, I'm gratified as hell... but I DO feel a bit, what's the word? Self-conscious?

I can deal with self-conscious. If all literary commentary was this well-written, it would be a much better world.

Thanks, Ben, and welcome to Psycho-Noir...


"I don’t mean to piss you all off, but I have read The Bastard Hand already. Believe me, it’s going to bruise a lot of sensibilities when it comes out. Right-wing nuts and well-thinkers are going to check-in in the nearby hospitals for third degree burns to their fingertips. But you know what’s awesome? Since I am technically a literature teacher (got the paper, just not the class yet), my word just got infused with wisdom and value. And I can tell the well-thinkers and the Jesus freaks that The Bastard Hand is a product of its time. It’s at the end of a lineage of novels with a precise goal. Destroying your sense of false security.

You can notice influences in Heath’s writing. Because in originality lies the word origin. It’s been a long way to Reverend Childe to happen, but the fruit of Mr. Lowrance’s demented mind bear small resemblance to the dirty south of Flannery O’Connor, the lawless landscapes of James Ellroy and razor thin morality of David Goodis. It lied in the small details, hidden in the cracks, in the middle of the sentences, but it helped me bond with Charlie Wesley, as tainted as he is.

The Bastard Hand, like its predecessors, is a witness to the false truths to which large groups of people live their life by. It’s what would happen if the walls of greed and deceit would come down crashing. Whether you write noir, transgressive or simply crime fiction, your work is to attack the sacred and debunk the human nature under it. It’s exactly what The Bastard Hand is doing. It watches the humans burn as god has went into hiding."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bastard Hand is Out, Brothers and Sisters

I believe it was Etta James who so wisely said, "At fucking last".

So I get home from a long crap day at work (not writing; I mean the job that pays the bills, almost), and I'm checking my e-mail and blog and FB and all that good stuff, and I get two nice surprises:

Number one: Jason at Pulp Metal likes the story I sent him and is gonna use it.

Number two: my friend and fellow NPPer Pete Risley of Rabid Child fame has posted a link to Amazon... where The Bastard Hand is now for sale!

I had no idea it was up already, but mind you I'm not complaining. Here's the link:

Buy The Bastard Hand or else something bad will happen.

I'm assuming a cover image of the book is forthcoming, but whatever. It's finally available.

I will of course post more about it later, until you can't stand it anymore. But for now I'm gonna bask for a while.

Cheers, friends!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm a guest at WorstBookEver....

And here, the very gracious Aaron Patterson allows me into his abode. I swear, I didn't break any furniture.
Clickity-click here.

Guest blog: Aaron Patterson on Clean Fiction

The subject of language keeps coming up lately in my writing life, so it seemed like an appropriate time to welcome Aaron Patterson to Psycho-Noir. Aaron is a very good writer and a terrific guy. He's written Sweet Dreams, Dream On, 19, and the forthcoming books Airel and In Your Dreams. He's the head honcho of Stonehouse Ink.

He's also a Christian, and his religious philosophy colors his ficton dramatically-- that includes sex, violence and... you guessed it... language. Of course, I have opinions on this subject, but we'll save that for another time. Aaron is my first guest blogger, so I'm very happy to present a view of crime fiction completely different from my own...

Thanks, Aaron, for dropping in to the den of sin and inequity that is Psycho-Noir...

Aaron Patterson: Clean Fiction

I grew up reading books and figured out that some were great and some could have been great. The one thing that would kick a book out of the great place was the Sex and Profanity. Now this is just my personal opinion and what I write, as I don’t see the need to have this in my writing.

Clean fiction is not just a personal stand but a good business move as well. I am able to sell into the regular market as well as the Christian markets. The age range also goes down, as without language and sex scenes a younger audience is able to read my work.

There is much talk over what is or is not Christian fiction. I am not a part of that debate, this is clean… and yes you can still have deep real characters, if you are unable to create a good character without using profanity I would look into creative writing. We are after all writers; we use words, so find other ways to say the same thing. I am sure you are able to do this.

So no matter if you are writing from a personal belief or from a business standpoint. Clean fiction has many benefits. Bigger market, more potential fans, and faster market growth. No nasty letters from a mother who is angry, or a religious person who puts your book down because they were offended.

One prime example is Vincent Zandri’s new novel “The Remains.” It was revamped and released as a thriller. It is a hard cutting edge of your seat ride and all done without the use of profanity or sex. And he is a bestseller on Amazon with this novel. The proof is in the pudding as they say.

Aaron Patterson is the author of two #1 Kindle Bestselling novels and the author of three short stories.

Blog: TheWorstBookEver

StoneHouse Ink:

Books by Aaron Patterson:

Sweet Dreams (Book one in the WJA series)

Dream On (Book two in the WJA series)

19 (A Digital Short)

The eBook on eBooks (A Digital Short)

The Craigslist Killer (A Digital Short)

Airel (Coming soon)

In Your Dreams (Book three in the WJA series, coming soon)

Monday, March 14, 2011

"To Keith, Thanks, Ray Bradbury"

Just recently, my daughter Kate says to me, “We read this really cool story in class by Ray Bradbury, you woulda loved it—it was this house sometime in the future but a nuclear war or something had happened and all the people were dead, but the house was automated and it just kept going and going, until finally it caught on fire. And that was the end of the story. No characters or anything, but it was still really cool.”
Almost as soon as she started telling me about it, I had to contain the sudden welling of nostalgia that came over me. Because that story, that very same story, was the one I had read at her age and filled me with such emotion that I knew, right at that moment, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. For some reason I’m still not able to fathom, that particular story really affected me.
It was called “There Will Come Soft Rains”—no doubt you’ve read it yourself. Or at least you’ve read SOMETHING by Ray Bradbury. Literally every single person I know who is in any way a reader went through a “Ray Bradbury period”, a time in which you were convinced that white-haired dude with big black glasses was some kind of literary godhead.
I told Kate about the huge impact Bradbury, and that particular story, had on me when I was her age. She looked appropriately interested for a moment, said, “Really? Wow,” and then started to tell me something about Full Metal Alchemist or Soul Eater or something.
Because the conversation had moved on to manga and anime, I didn’t tell her about how, in my mid-twenties, I actually wrote a letter to Ray Bradbury—an actual FAN letter. It’s the only one I’ve ever written in my entire life. I told him how much his work meant to me, and how I still read him and marveled at his beautiful language and his empathy for humanity and his brilliant imagination. And much to my surprise, several weeks later, Bradbury wrote back—just a quick note saying, “Wow! What a great letter!” He included a signed photo that read “To Keith, Thanks, Ray Bradbury”… but he actually cared enough to catch his mistake, cross out “Keith” and replace it with “Heath”. That sorta meant something to me.
I had that photo framed and kept it on my desk for a long time. I don’t have it anymore. It got lost somewhere in one of those sudden shifting fissures that occasionally open up in our lives. But the impact he had on me has not diminished. And the impact he’s having, even now, on a whole new generation, shows no signs of abating.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book trailer for The Bastard Hand

Here's the trailer for The Bastard Hand, finished today. Ron Warren put it together, and Nat Pike (one of the most versatile musicians on Earth) did the original music. What do you think?

Check it here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Man in Three Places at Once...

10 Days to go.

I've popped up in two different places this morning (three, if you count right here). First, I make up a bunch of shit over at Patti Abbott's blog for her How I Came to Write This Fucker series... thank you for having me, Patti, hope you'll do a guest blog here at Psycho-Noir someday...

And second, I'm at Paul Brazill's place, You Would Say That, Wouldn't You? spouting off about humor and tragedy or something like that. Paul has already promised to give me an exclusive peice of flash fiction here soon. (I've said it in public, Paul, now you HAVE to do it! Bwaahaaa.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Cover, final version

Here's the final version of the cover to The Bastard Hand, designed by Ron Warren of Ron Warren Photography with text placement done by Jon Bassoff of New Pulp Press. I'm well-pleased with it.
Ron is available, of course, for hire...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lucky 13

13 days from now… The Bastard Hand comes out. I like that. As god-awful as yesterday was, today seems a bit better because it’s 13 DAYS. I’m reverse-superstitious, I reckon. To me the number 13 is gorgeous and evocative and I just love it.

In fact, I’m thinking about putting out a short story collection on Kindle come summer time and the only thing I know for sure is that it’ll have 13 stories in it. I’ve written more than that, but only 13 will go in. Maybe when I have another 13
I’ll do a second one.

I intend to write 13 novels in my lifetime.

My daughter is now 13.

The Ramones put out 13 albums.

I once ate 13 tacos.

When I first started doing this blog, I had 13 followers by the end of the first day.

I was 13 when I realized I wanted to be a writer.

I have 13 minutes before I have to go change the cat litter.

And in 13 days, The Bastard Hand comes out.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I need Pirhana shoes...

... to use on the Real World.

The Real World can kiss my ass. I keep trying to reconcile my own life with it, and it won’t cooperate. It’s not like I haven’t put out my hand in friendship, said to it, “Okay, let’s you and me reach an understanding—I’ll do my best to not ignore you if you stop messing with me,” but you know, that just ain’t good enough for Real World. It keeps rearing up whenever I need it to chill for a few hours so I can get the important stuff done.

By “important stuff” I of course mean writing. And by “Real World” I mean appointments, phone calls, digging myself out of one financial crisis after another, etc. You know, stuff.

Used to be, I ignored the Real World entirely. Just acted as if it didn’t even exist. That was a bad call on my part, because after years of being ignored Real World decided enough was enough and laid the hammer down on me. Found myself wrenched away from my fairly comfortable existence and into a sinkhole of misery—sleeping in my car, freezing in the winter, not knowing where the next meal was coming from, all the time dodging like crazy all the people and institutions who needed money from me.

All stuff that could’ve been avoided if I hadn’t ignored Real World to being with.
So, after the long crisis was over and most of the pieces were picked up again (some pieces were never picked up; you can’t go through something like that and expect all the pieces to still be there, waiting for you), I vowed to find time for the Real World, just so it wouldn’t beat the shit out of me again.

But is the Real World thankful? Is it, fuck. Still steals time from me enough that I’ve become extremely jealous of the time I have, to the point really where it's a bit pathological.

I suspect this isn’t gonna change. My first novel, The Bastard Hand, is coming out in about twelve days (the first day of Spring, yo!), but if I’d been expecting Real World to say “Wow, you’re a published writer, maybe I should cut you some slack and let you do what you’re good at doing,” well… I’m familiar enough by now with the devious ways of Real World that I’m not gonna fool myself on that one.

Still, it beats sleeping in the car on a cold winter’s night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tights and (optional) cape

When I was about eight years old, my mom took me to the barber shop one afternoon and while sitting and waiting to have my head decimated I happened to glance at a little table next to me and spotted a comic book. A figure that was barely recognizable to me as Batman graced the cover, swathed in shadows and looking very spooky and gothic.

I was puzzled and intrigued. The only Batman I knew was the bright and funny camp of the Adam West TV show, which I of course adored at the time. I picked up the comic, started reading… and from that moment on I was a Born-Again comic book fan.
I still remember the story, even: Batman was chasing some crook through the woods, over a suspended bridge at night. He tracked the guy to a little camp where a group of circus freaks were hanging out. The story’s climax featured Batman rescuing some kid with flippers from being thrown off a bell tower. I wouldn’t know (or care) until years later that this was a classic issue written by Denny O’Neil and illustrated by Neal Adams—creators credited with ushering in a newer, darker version of Batman that harkened back to his earliest adventures.

But whatever. At the time I just knew that the story made my heart race, the art was full of sinister grace, and Batman was seriously fucking cool in it.

After that, no trip to the local drug store (they actually had comic books at the drug store in those days!) would be complete without me begging and cajoling for three or four comics. My mom fed my habit willingly because comics were cheap those days and kept me occupied. When I wasn’t reading them, I was emulating them: wrapping a towel around my neck, running around humming my own theme song and jumping off the porch to pounce on invisible bad guys.

Batman was my favorite, but anyone in colorful tights (and optional cape) was okay in my book. Spider-Man, Captain America, Flash, Hawkman, whatever. I was a fanatic.
Over the years, of course, my taste in comics changed, just as the comic book industry did. If you’re a fan at all, I don’t need to tell you about the explosion of maturity and talent in the eighties, like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, or Frank Miller’s dystopian Dark Knight Returns. I was on-board for all that, sure. And then, of course, the halcyon days of Vertigo. I still enjoyed the occasional foray into super-heroics but most of my pull list consisted of stuff like Doom Patrol, Sandman, Shade… and then later, Lucifer, Preacher, 100 Bullets… you get the idea.

In the last few years, sad to say, I’ve almost completely lost interest in those fellas in the tights and capes. I mean, I’m 45 now, after all. I suppose it comes down to your own personal world view, because despite the fact that super-hero comics have indeed matured and often contain adult subject matter, they still tend to be occupy a rather simple moralistic place. There’s good and there’s bad and the areas of gray in-between are dangerous traps that a true hero needs to steer clear of.

These days my comic book reading is a little harder-edged, a little more challenging not only morally but emotionally. They still have all the visceral punch that we expect from comics but are much broader. My pull list these days: Scalped, PunisherMAX, American Vampire, and Hellblazer.

Oh, and two Batman titles: Batman & Robin and Batman, Inc.

I still love Batman, sorry.