Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Busy, Busy Inksters...

Since the release of Pulp Ink 2, the various Inksters have been busily doing what Inksters do best.

Chris Rhatigan has signed on as an editor at Full Dark City Press, a new e-press dedicated to noir. I for one am hugely excited to see what they come out with, and the first collection in the works looks fantastic. He also gave away some free copies of PI2 on his blog, but I'm afraid you're a bit late for that one, they were snaffled up like hotcakes on a chilly, English summer's day.

Patti Abbot has been kindly hosting some of the Inksters in her 'How I Came To Write This Story' feature. Eric Beetner, Andrez Bergen, Katherine Tomlinson and Jow Clifford have all talked about the inspiration behind their excellent stories.

And talking of excellent stories, you can check out the openings to three of my favourite stories in the collection over at popculturenerd. Clearly the Nerd has exquisite taste, as of course do the people at Short Story 365, which has featured several of the stories.

Julia Madeleine has been encouraging readers in her own unique way: she captures men and forces them to read the book while simutaneously torturing them with a buzzing needle. Sort of a cross between A Clockwork Orange and the Saw movies.

And not content with having a story in Shotgun Honey, Andrez Bergen has been writing articles on new pulp for journalist Damien G. Walter.

Phew! I'm sure I've missed a few (let me know). And that's not even mentioning the non-PI2 themed stories and book releases. I, of course, have been busily bumbling around doing what I do best: procrastinating, and watching movies with a bottle of wine or two. Hectic, just hectic.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pulp Ink 2 and Other Stuff...

Fantastic weekend at the beach celebrating a friend's birthday. The sun was hot, the sea was warm, the cuba libres were cold. The sand was yellow and my skin turned pink (although I'm sure it'll fade to a lovely even honey colour over the next few days. No, really.)

Along with the friend, S.O, and myself were Marley and the latest addition to our household, Lady Bumble. She's a gorgeous 2 or 3-year-old of indeterminate origin, who had been fostered from a local dog shelter by a fantastic couple in Seoul.

Life's a bitch/beach - Lady Bumble (right) & Marley relax in the shade.
 Nobody's quite sure of her story, just that Bumbles came from Busan City dog pound about 6 months ago. Although she started very shy and nervous, she's really come out of her shell in the few days she's been with us, and is settling in very nicely indeed.

In the meantime, some people have been doing some real work, such as those lovely lot over at Snubnose Press. Pulp Ink 2 is out now. The first book earned a bunch of rave reviews and this one will do the same, I wager. You lucky yanks can even get your hands on a paperback edition (and thus get to hold Eric Beetner's cover in your own hands), or buy for your fancy-dan-ooh-it's-like-living-in-the-future Kindle device here (US) or here (UK). The line up is seriously good:


Where the first book was all about crime, this one is a crime/horror mixture. A lot of the crime stories have a horror bent, and vice versa - but it's still got the same cool vibe as the original. And with names like those above involved, you know you're in for a treat.

Great job everyone involved: Snubnose Press, editors Chris Rhatigan and Nigel Bird, and all those writers for giving up some fantastic stories to charity.

This is what the cool kids say:

“It’s varied, it’s wild and it’s not for the faint hearted… An addictive collection.” – Benoit Lelievre of Dead End Follies 
“This anthology shone so brightly that I felt I had to wear shades when reading it… This is up there with the best of them and possibly my most enjoyable read this year.” – Darren Sant of Daz’s Short Book Reviews 
“Murder and madness, sex and seduction, revenge and redemption, Pulp Ink has a little bit of everything going on.” – Elizabeth White of Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Publications and Other News...

- Pulp Ink 2: Chris Rhatigan and Nigel Bird have done a fantastic job as editors, and the charity anthology is with publishers Snubnose Press. Amongst a whole host of great writers is my little story, Topless Vampire Bitches of the SS. Available any day now. I've had a sneak preview and guess what: It's fricking awesome!

- About the time that I was editing TVBotSS, S.O. gave her first paper at an art conference. She attended by Skype to present a collaborative effort with a friend/ partner in the UK. AND, their paper was one of the few to be picked up for publication in a resulting journal. She's working on the final edits now, and the only thing that makes me happier than her success is the fact that with PI2 I will just about beat her to print publication.

- My story Dirty Beaches, published at A Twist of Noir last year, has been nominated by Christopher Grant to be considered for a new Otto Penzler edited anthology. The story is with Mr Penzler now, so I'm waiting to hear on that, but I'm going with the just so happy to have made it this far line.

- On its way to Mr Penzler, my story passed through the hands of a famous literary agent, who has emailed me to ask if I have anything longer to show him. And I do. I have lots of longer work, so instead of writing this I should really be sitting down to knock out a synopsis and editing my last completed novel. And that's what I'm going to do now.

- I have also completed the first draft of a crime novella. It needs plenty of editing and tidying up but I'm pretty pleased with the result. Unfortunately, nobody is interested in looking at it right now, but hopefully more places will be accepting submissions by the time I've done some more work on it. Otherwise I may just, possibly, perhaps, dip my toes into the chilly waters of self-publishing. Hmmm, more thought needed on that.

So that's where I'm at. With plenty to be getting on with and, inbetween, hopefully I'll be able to knock out a few more short stories. And hopefully some people will publish them, somewhere. Because that would be great.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gut Punches...

May and June: not so much months as a series of punches to the gut interspersed with good news and double whammies, just to make sure I was paying attention.

In May my oldest dog - six-year-old Maltese, Fritz - was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. At about the same time I unexpectedly became unemployed. This was better news as it meant between us S.O. and I could give Fritz the round the clock care he needed. And it was bad news as the vet bills rapidly mounted up.

Now I know what you're thinking about small dogs but this was one big personality. Fritz was a tough little dog, a real character who left a mark on everybody who met him. He loved doing things - anything interesting and exciting - and loved meeting people or exploring. He lived in 3 cities and about 7 different apartments, hung around bars and went to parties, climbed mountains and demanded recognition. Nothing fazed this guy. When he was diagnosed through a blood test, his levels were off the chart. The vets were amazed he still had so much energy and vigour. Even on a 24 hour IV infusion he loved nothing more than popping out to inspect his territory and mark everything in sight. Unfortunately, it was probably because he had so much lust for life (he was nearly named Iggy) that the disease was so advanced by the time it was diagnosed.

But the thing about CKD is that it doesn't show any symptoms until the kidney is almost gone. Even with a heap of medicine and a special diet, his kidney wore out quickly and so did his energy, and we were forced to let him go a little over a week ago.

So here I am with no job, and plenty of time to be getting on with my writing, but little energy or motivation. I certainly haven't got anything done in the last couple of months. But things do pick up day-by-day, not least because we still have Marley, Fritz's 5-year-old no-we-don't-know-what-he-is brother.

In the same couple of months there has also been good news, but that can wait for tomorrow.