Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fun Little "Interview" About the WIP

What is the [working] title of your book in progress?

     Ugly As Sin.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

     I wrote a short story for Horror World a few years back, this silly little thing that mixed pro wrestling with Lovecraftian monsters.  It sold, but I never was really happy with it.  I thought there was something better buried inside that scenario, hidden inside those characters.  I gave the story a hefty rewrite -- not the least of which involved excising all of its supernatural elements -- and it became the Prologue to a "white trash noir" novel called Ugly As Sin.

Which actors would you choose to play the characters from your book?

     Oooh . . . that's a great question.  I've never thought about it before now, but Ron Perlman might work just fine as my protagonist, ex-wrestler Nick "The Widowmaker" Bullman.  Jennifer Carpenter (from Dexter) would be a really good fit for his troubled daughter, Melissa.  As Nick's unlikely sidekick, a twitchy little speed-freak named Leon Purdy . . . hmmm, that one's a little tougher.  He's probably a little young for the role, but maybe the dude who plays "Skinny Pete" on Breaking Bad (I'm typecasting the poor fella, but if you're good at something you're good at something).  As the main baddie, I was gonna say William Hickey, but I just learned from a quick Google search that he died in '97.
     Those are just off the top of my head, but I kinda dig that list.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
     A former professional wrestler thinks he's got it bad after he's disfigured by two psychotic fans, but his world is once again turned upside-down when he receives a disturbing phone call from his estranged daughter. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?
     I'm currently looking around for an agent in hopes of selling the mass-market paperback rights, etc., but it looks like the limited-edition hardcover rights are already spoken for.  News to come soon!

How long did it take you to write the first-draft of your manuscript?
     We won't talk about that.  I'm a terrible procrastinator, and this one should have been finished a looooooooong time ago.

What other books in your genre would you compare this story to?

     I'm pretty sure that readers of Joe R. Lansdale's "Hap and Leonard" series will really enjoy Ugly As Sin.  I'd like to think so, at least.  If you liked Tom Piccirilli's The Fever Kill, or Duane Swierczynski's "Charlie Hardie" series, chances are you'll dig Ugly As Sin.
     Oh, yeah . . . and I can't forget John Connelly's "Charlie Parker" series.  His anti-heroes are some of the best around, characters who aren't necessarily "good people", yet they live by a strict moral code that makes you love them even as their actions cause you to cringe.
     All I know is, if I find myself thinking as I'm writing, "Man, this is the kind of book I would love to read!", then I'm probably onto something good.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

     Like I said, I'm a huge fan of Joe R. Lansdale's work.  Ed Gorman is a huge inspiration as well.  I'm so envious of the way he can write scenes of nail-biting suspense, while simultaneously setting a melancholy tone, populating his fiction with damaged characters who do what they have to do to survive while the past haunts them at every turn.
     I think there's a lot of that in Ugly As Sin -- characters who are scarred inside and out, but they refuse to throw in the towel.  As long as they're still breathing, they'll try to make up for all the bad things they've done through the years.  They can never make it perfect.  Nothing is ever perfect.  But they know it has to get better. 

What else might pique the reader’s interest in your book?

     It's an autobiography.  I was once a world-famous wrestler.
     All joking aside . . . I think it's just a good, engaging crime/noir tale with a touch of pitch-black humor.  I can't wait for everyone to read it, as I think Ugly As Sin is the best thing I've written to date.  I'm excited to finally get it into readers' hands!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

UGLY AS SIN: The "Playlist"

It won't be long at all now.  Hopefully I will be able to announce very soon that I have completed my fourth novel, Ugly As Sin.  Finally!

In the meantime, I thought this might be fun for those of you who have followed the book's progress . . . .

As I near the finish line, I present to you my Ugly As Sin "playlist".  These are either: 

     A) songs I listened to repeatedly as I wrote my lil' tale of Southern-fried noir . . . these are the tracks that became in my mind a sort of unofficial "soundtrack" for the story, influencing the mood, pacing, tone, etc.
     B)  they are directly mentioned in the manuscript itself . . . a few of these will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb, but they deserve to be here because they are "heard" in the novel at some point (i.e. thumpin' during the strip-club scene, or when my protagonist decides a local drug-dealer called Coko Puff would look great with a tire iron upside his head   :)

     More soon!  Enjoy, my friends, and thanks for reading/listening . . . .

OTIS TAYLOR:  "Nasty Letter"

HOWLIN' WOLF:  "Built For Comfort"

LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS:  "Goin' Back Home"

ETTA JAMES:  "Trust In Me"

SUNNYLAND SLIM:  "The Devil Is a Busy Man"

SONNYBOY WILLIAMSON:  "Your Funeral, My Trial"

ROB ZOMBIE:  "Living Dead Girl"

LIL' WAYNE:  "Lollipop"


AC/DC:  "You Shook Me All Night Long"


BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE:  "Midnight Walker"


JOHN LEE HOOKER:  "I'm Bad Like Jesse James"

NINA SIMONE:  "Feeling Good"

MOTORHEAD:  "The Game"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Now Available In Trade Paperback: MIDNIGHT RAIN

Check it out . . .

I'm proud to announce that my first novel, Midnight Rain, is now available as a beautiful trade paperback from Evil Jester Press.  Originally published by Leisure Books, this one's been out of print since around late 2005.


Enjoy!  And please tell your friends!