Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fight Card: Bluff City Brawler free

For the next few days, my Fight Card novella, Bluff City Brawler, will be free to download for Kindle or Kindle apps. I hope you give it a chance. It was originally released last year the same week my second novel, CITY OF HERETICS, came out, and so I probably didn't give it the promotion it deserved. That's too bad, because in a lot of ways I think it's the most accessible thing I've written.

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Four Most Disturbing Stories

A friend asked me recently if I'd ever written anything that made me, as the writer, uncomfortable. I really liked that question. Truth is, while I'm writing, I tend to turn off the "self" and just go where the story needs to go, so in the process of writing I'm not thinking about offensiveness or reader comfort levels.

Having said that, I HAVE written a few stories that, reading them later, made me wonder a little what ugly place inside me they sprang from.

Four stories, in particular, struck me that way.

Two of them are in my collection DIG TEN GRAVES. "It Will All Be Carried Away", I think, is an emotionally brutal story. There's very little actual violence in it, but the realization that all of us are capable of extraordinary cruelty is a sobering one. And "Heart", although a very imperfect story, was written in a fit of rage that still strikes me as disturbing when I re-read it. It's an intensely mean-natured story, but I think it hits nicely on the sort of helpless fury that we all feel sometimes in the face of things we can't change.

The anthology OFF THE RECORD contains my story, "I Wanna Be Your Dog", which is one of those tales that just formed itself while I was writing it. Normally, I have some idea of where a story is going before I even sit down to write it, but that one... well, I winged it. And a bunch of "daddy issues" worked their way in, as well as a horribly nasty ending.

Finally, "My Life With the Butcher Girl", in PULP INK 2, was about obsession and dark sexual impulses, featuring my first (and so far only) graphic sex scene-- although the sex in question is not particularly erotic. In fact, it's kinda twisted.

A reviewer once suggested that, based on the stories in DIG TEN GRAVES, "the author would benefit from counselling". I loved that comment.

But writing the stories is usually all the counselling I need.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats

Not long ago, Chad Eagleton invited a handful of writers to contribute to an upcoming anthology of stories about '50's counter-culture. You know-- greasers, bad girls, fast cars... It's a great premise, and all the writers who were asked jumped at it. Well... I jumped at it, anyway, and I'm only assuming the others did the same. Who are the others? Check this line-up, Dad:

Thomas Pluck. Eric Beetner. Matthew Funk. Christopher Grant. David James Keaton. Nik Korpon. Heath Lowrance. And Chad Eagleton himself.

AND, as an added bonus, an introduction by Mick Farren.

Solid, Jackson.

The above-named writers are some of the sharpest, coolest cats working in the trenches these days, in my opinion, and I'm pretty stoked about it.

To order to recoup the publishing costs and to make sure the writers get some bread, Chad set up one of those indiegogo things, and is inviting YOU, the reader, to drop a buck or two. It's a clever approach, I think. I hope you consider pitching it, or if you're like a lot of us and have no moola, then maybe spread the word a bit? This is a worthy anthology packed with terrific stories, and deserves a big audience.

Check it out here for more info: Hoods, Hot Rods and Hellcats.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hawthorne at The Big Adios

Over at The Big Adios, I have a new, very short Hawthorne tale called "The Unholy; or, How the Gowan Gang Died". If you'd like a quick dose of Hawthorne, well, there ya go.

There's no dialogue in this one because I wanted to see if I could pull that off. Let me know, either here or in the comments section at The Big Adios if you think it works.

Thanks. And keep the West weird.