Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Alive!

So enough waiting around, already. Go buy this shit from Subterranean Books! Noir at the Bar Volume 2 is in stock and already eroding the display shelves. Special thanks to Erik Lundy and Jon Bassoff for big help making this one come off.


Erik Lundy - Shootout at the K-Y Corral
John Rector - In the Kitchen With Rachael Ray
Caleb J. Ross - The Lipidopterist
Hilary Davidson - Necessary Evil
Aaron Michael Morales - New Mexican Drive-By
Matthew C. Funk - Froggy, Micky & The Blonde
Kevin Lynn Helmick - No. 7 Valentine
John Hornor Jacobs - Glossolalia
Jane Bradley - The One Good Thing
Matthew McBride - The Tar Hole
Cortright McMeel - Kiev, Ukraine
Fred Venturini - The Low Man
Scott Phillips - Babs
Gordon Highland - Untitled Stephenie Meyer Novel
David James Keaton - Three Abortions & A Miscarriage (A Fun "What If?")
Sonia L. Coney - Dead By Dawn
Nic Young - Buying Time
Jason Makansi - Trophy Wife
Robert J. Randisi & Christine Matthews - Quick
Jesus Angel Garcia - Gun, Knife & Doll Show
Tim Lane - Spike
Nate Flexer - The Last Time I Die
Glenn Gray - Venice Beach Birthday Boogie
Duane Swierczynski - Easy Meat
Jon McGoran - The Return Trip
Les Edgerton - A Streetcar Not Named Desire
Frank Bill - Devil Dog
Jedidiah Ayres - Throw Like a Girl
Mark W. Tiedemann - Dragons of Memory
Benjamin Whitmer - If One Won't Another Will

Not available on Amazon! Never going to be an eBook! Buy it NOW from Subterranean Books!

And big thanks to our brave blurbers for keeping the shameful tradition alive...

"Not just bad for literature - it's bad for bars."
- John Connolly (Wrath of Angels, Every Dead Thing)

"Who do these cocksuckers think they are? Fuck them!"
 - Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Poachers)

"If Amazon doesn't kill publishing, this book will."
- Josh Bazell (Wild Thing, Beat the Reaper)

"If I had written a story for this book, I would join the Witness Protection Program."
- Vicki Hendricks (Cruel Poetry, Miami Purity)

"How did you get this number? I'm calling the cops."
- Sophie Littlefield (A Bad Day For Mercy, A Bad Day For Sorry)

"Please stop wasting America's time."
- Victor Gischler (Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse, Gun Monkeys)

"Of all the books I've read this year, this is one of them."
- Jason Starr (The Follower, Tough Luck)

And what's this? The folks at Subterranean also have A F*ckload of Shorts on the shelf? Go support the shit out that store!

Robb Olson and Livius Nedin of le Booked podcast are wasting some time on Noir at the Bar Volume 2. Not only are they reading it, they're interviewing a selection of contributors. For anyone interested in that kind of thing, you can hear their conversation with -

Matthew C. Funk right here

another with Benjamin Whitmer right over this way.

Still, not enough? How about John Hornor Jacobs at this place?

More Booked N@B2 Sessions coming. Go! Buy! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Not Mellow Costello

This is brilliant. Found this flyer posted on a community bulletin board and, though the photo was clearly Woody Harrelson, I've got to admit, it took me a while reading through the content to realize that it was a promotional campaign for Martin McDonagh's hugely anticifuckingpated Seven Psychopaths. Can not wait.

For what else can I not wait? How about the film version of James Ellroy's Blood's a Rover? Heard that shit is on the way. Probably a ways away, but it makes my nipples poky just thinking about it. And, jeez, did you hear the one about Guillermo del Toro and Sara Gran? Holy craps - check it out!

Over at Battle Royale With Cheese, Pablo D'Stair has a lengthy piece about Julian Grant and F*ckload of Scotch Tape. Of course, the big news today out of Grantland is the 'world premiere' of F*ckload of Scoth Tape at the Chicago International Film Festival in October! 3 chances to see the film on the big screen, October 18, 20 & 23 (click here for more details).

I'm a huge fan of Grant's artistic philosophy, very DIY, and fuck 'em if they won't get behind you (an odd mash of expressions there, I realize), and if you'd like to get on board as a producer of his next crime flick Sweet Leaf - you can do that in several ways right here.

Here's another Duane Swierczynski / Anthony Zuiker collaboration - a short assassin flick called Execution Style.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jiffy Lube

"First let's agree that the only reason we're examining this is because Jedidiah Ayres is making us do this. Nobody wants to see it, but he's an asshole." - Caleb J. Ross

Of all the stories I've had published, none have received a more vocal or visceral response than Hoosier Daddy (originally appearing in Beat to a Pulp: Round 1 edited by David Cranmer and Elaine Ash). I've read several reviews of that book that single it out as a low (or once or twice high) point. I'm proud of it - I think I've made one or two readers barf. It's the only story I've used reverse engineering for - that is, I had an ending and I needed a story to get there - because stories that hang on a sensational episode of plot aren't generally what I'm drawn to. Rather I tend to look for amazing characters who can't help but lead to something memorable plot-wise, but I had this moment... this terrible moment that would be the un-ignorable wake-up call to a fella that his relationship is doomed, if not over, and I had to then construct a character who I believed could end up in the awful predicament my guy Carl does.

Did I succeed? I dunno, but Caleb J. Ross apparently thinks so. Hoosier Daddy is included in my collection A F*ckload of Shorts and senor Ross has put together this helpful video review of the book, and included a really disgusting diagram of the awful scene. Thanks, CJR.

"Hoosier Daddy is the most twisted love story I've ever read. Wow." - Roger Smith

Twisted and wrong - Chris La Tray

Wins my I just threw up in my mouth a little bit award - Charles Gramlich

The kind of sex that would make Larry Flynt reconsider his position on the first amendment -  Scott Phillips

Watch this video, then watch Paul von Stoetzel's short film based on my story Viscosity (also included in A F*ckload of Shorts) and tell me I don't have some serious issues. 


Yeah, I laughed my ass off right through that scene in Killer Joe, too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Still Life With Peckerwoods

Over at Ransom Notes I listed some of my favorite fictional bootleggers inspired by having just seen John Hillcoat's Lawless. The bootlegger, that back wood independent, swinging away with the big hickory fuck-it stick is an archetype I've been especially enjoying recently. I'd want to revisit Lawless soon. In fact I'd really like to see it back to back with The Proposition for comparison. Both films revolve around sets of three brothers living on the far side of the law whose chief antagonist is a foppish sadist (Guy Pearce in Lawless, David Wenham in The Proposition) who get their rocks off, dishing out punishment for law and order types, and both films kick around in oft-romanticized eras of high criminality - westward expansion and prohibition. Did I dig Lawless? Hell yeah. Was it as good as The Proposition? Nope. But then, what is?

Both have Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave going for them, and both have great casts and amazing landscape to muck about with, but where The Proposition is focused and precise - with a simplicity of  conceit in the opening moments (kill your one brother by Christmas or I'll kill your other) - Lawless is a scatter gun plug at a shaggy-dog of a plot (it's about this, no it's about this, no, really it's about this over here) - which may be the result of it being an adaptation of a novel (Matt Bondurant's The Wettest County in the World) and a reluctance to pare down the source material further (I bet Bondurant's book would make a fantastic television series).

And, for all the concern out there that Shia LaBeouf's presence was going to fuck up the badass stew, I'm happy to report that he does not. It should be noted that his role is to be the weak-link in the brotherhood and not, as the film's marketers may have you believe, on an equal plane of hardness as Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Pearce or Gary Oldman. (he's the Mike Burns of the bunch or Richard Wilson to Hardy's Danny Huston). Believe it or not, it's Hardy's performance that grates more. His mush-mouthed tough-guy thing is wearing thin (after Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises), and there's no dangerous spark of Charlie Bronson to leaven this role either. Instead, his Forrest Bondurant comes across more mentally impaired than crafty, formidable or imposing - his idea of "Controlling the fear" seems to be to act confused any time any body says or does any thing to him.

But enough of the nitpicking, Lawless has some damn good things going for it. Too many amazing moments break through, too many little touches that nail the intangible and never quite articulated targets of the script, to treat the picture as anything but a welcome, worthy and exciting addition to the canon. How about that scene in the church? Fuckin lovely music - and I kept thing about Peter Farris's Last Call For the Living - wondering if it was about to jump off into bat-shit violence. And the violence. Ah, the violence. Rather like last year's Nicolas Winding Refn offering Drive, there is no such thing as casual violence in this picture. Every violent encounter is terrifying, from the beat down LaBeouf takes from Pearce to the throat-punching Hardy gives that dude in the bar - just wow - awful, the way film violence ought to be.

And if we're talking about memorable screen violence of late, I've got to mention Killer Joe. I've had more than one interaction with persons on the street, in the office, or at the coffee joint who were shook up by that one. You know the one, I mean. And I love to hear them talk about that scene, all the horrible things going on... reminds me of Angelica Huston and Pat Hingle in Stephen Frears' The Grifters. I once heard a panel discussion on violence in pictures where a side-trip was made into discussing the scene where Hingle beats the shit out of Huston with a bag of oranges. Remember that one? No you don't. It wasn't in the movie. Instead, Hingle forces Huston to stuff the bag with fruit and explain why he's going to beat her with it. It's a horribly intense scene and a testament to the power of the film making that even though no onscreen violence occurred, you do remember every single (non-existent blow).

So, how good a year is fucking Matthew McConaughey having? It's sick the sudden jump in quality, not to mention quantity, of pictures he's appearing in in 2012. What the hell happened? Not a single Kate Hudson rom-com on the list this year.

Consider that, so far, he's carried weight in films by Steven Sodebergh (Magic Mike), Richard Linklater (Bernie) and William Friedkin (Killer Joe) and he's still got Lee Daniels' The Paperboy and Jeff Nichols' Mud yet to land before the Mayans disappear.

Am I a particular fan of M&M's? Not really. Never had anything against him other than that the projects he chose didn't always fail to suck, but I have to stop and take notice when any body's career makes this sharp a turn for the better.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Thuglit is back in a new format - 99 cents for your eReader. What does that get you? 8 stories from the likes of Johnny Shaw, Jordan Harper, Court Merrigan, Jason Duke, Mike Wilkerson, Terrence McCauley - Plus N@B2 contributors Matthew C. Funk and Hilary Davidson.

Do me a favor and purchase this one - as I'll be snuggling rooming with Big Daddy Thug his own bad self at Bouchercon, and would like him to be in as sweet a humor as possible.

Other shits you might wanna purchase - Blood & Tacos Issue 3 w/ N@B vet Chris La Tray alongside Garnett Elliot, Stephen Mertz, Rob Kroese and, yeah Todd Robinson.

New Pulp Press's latest Ugly Behavior by Steve Rasnic Tem is a very chewy short story collection and my own publisher - those badass motherfuckers at Snubnose Press this week released brannew Nik Korpon (Bar Scars) and Heath Lowrance (City of Heretics).

And can no one stop Roger Smith? He's got another novel out (second of the year after Capture - which followed his novella Ishmael Toffee by only a few months), Only this one's a horror story called Vile Blood released under a pseudonym Max Wilde.

And speaking of novellas - I just got my electronic hands on one by N@B2's Kevin Lynn Helmick called Driving Alone... Between it, Grant Jerkins' The Ninth Step and Escape by Perihan Magden - I think my weekend is spoken for.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Quiet Belief in Sockpuppets

So, it's official, I'll be crashing the Bouchercon Cleveland party next month. And you - if you're around - are invited to a live event Friday night. Snubnose Press is hosting a nasty-ass reading featuring myself, N@B alum Dan O'Shea, N@B-LA host Eric Beetner and vet Josh Stallings, Grift Magazine big-wig John Kenyon and my KC-MO-Bro from another Ho Ryan Sayles. And guess what? you don't have to be registered for Bouchercon to attend. It's a free, public event. It's at a bar - there'll be books, booze and bloodshed.

If you can't be there... there will a few more chances for us to meet face to face this year. Scott and I will be putting together another St. Louis N@B event or two for the caboose of Mayan imagination, and I'll be making a handful of appearances in other towns to promote a couple books - first, the one I'm publishing Noir at the Bar Volume 2 and second my own collection of short fiction. Thanks for all the nice things you've been saying about A F*ckload of Shorts - if more of you do, than I can stop posting reviews under other folks' names - people don't like it when you do that apparently.

Dicks in socks are nothing new
Have you been following the RJ Ellory 'Sockpuppetting' story? UK author Jeremy Duns has published his case (on Twitter of all places) accusing the bestselling author of keeping multiple online identities for the promotion of his own work (many five-star reviews) and, worse, taking a dump on other writers' books (Duns' Twitter feed in sequence can be read here). The Twitters and FaceBooks and Blogosphere has been all agitated 'n shit about similar behavior from Amazonian-wunders like John Locke and Stephen Leather for weeks, but Ellory is the first really 'legit' - as in people-give-a-shit-about-him - author to be exposed for this kinda thing. And, Ellory's copped to it. Folks are upset. Really upset.

Buuuuut - Is this really what passes for scandal these days? It's stupid, low-behavior, but in the end it's just.... petty - not so blackly evil as you'd think from reading the response from the crime community.

My questions:

Why is anybody surprised?

Does anybody think Ellory is the only 'big name' doing this kind of thing?

Can you not picture yourself doing it?

I can. Totally. I don't do it, but hey, I can imagine circumstances in which I could absolutely be tempted to blow off some steam like that. Not proud of it, but the truth is that I can be a real weenie sometimes. I hope it never comes to that, but... there, but for the grace of God, go I.

In a weirdly prescient bit of psychic harmony, my squirrelly little brudda on the otha udder Jimmy Callaway put together (co-wrote and stars in) this here short film about a ventriloquist, The Small Time Vent. He's damn funny, no?

Jimmy also let me drop in at The Criminal Complex to talk about the experience of having my short stories adapted for film. I got to drop load of love on Julian Grant and Kevin Quain. You know, A Fuckload of Scotch Tape isn't the only story to originally appear in Out of the Gutter to be made into a film by Julian. He's also made shorts based on Matt Wallace's Maidenhead, Bruce Stirling's Screw the Pepperoni and he's just done an animated adaptation of Matthew Louis's own The End of Christopher's Gang (also from the Revenge issue).

You know who that is as the voice of Chris? Booked Podcast's Livius Nedin. Bully for Booked. You'll be getting more Booked links soon...