At Ransom Notes I'm talking about Sara Gran's brave new direction for the American PI novel, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead. Man, if you haven't read a Gran book yet, fix that shit. I have yet to read Saturn's Return to New York, but if it's half as good as her others, it'll be the best book I read all month... unless that month is my next. Holy crap, I've got some good shit ahead including Megan Abbott's The End of Everything and Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time. But go ahead, I vouch for Dope and the recently reprinted Come Closer. I was thinking that the new cover for Come Closer looked awfully familiar and it took about ten seconds to place it... what do you think?
Going out of town this weekend. Hope to have some time to read and write. First time I'll have been back to Colorado in hmmm 17 or 18 years. I used to live there though and I definitely still miss the weather. I had some drinks and fatty foods with previous N@B participant Richard Thomas the other day. He used to live in St. Louis and over the Memorial Day weekend return visit he was so moved by the awful humidity he wrote a flash crime piece called Gateway inspired by it and it was immediately published at Doc O'Donnell's new fiction site Dirty Noir.
We talked about books - we're swapping care packages - including anthologies we're excited to be taking part in. Of course, Richard is included in the N@B antho which ought to be available sometime over the summer (Matt Kindt just turned in some really fantastic artwork for it btw) and he's also involved with The Velvet anthology Warmed and Bound (which sounds like a really dirty cookbook to me) alongside names like Paul Tremblay, Nik Korpon, Christopher J. Dwyer, Kyle Minor, Caleb J. Ross, Stephen Graham Jones, Craig Clevenger and Chris Deal (plus too many more to name). I've never gotten involved with online writing communities in any official way, but The Velvet seems like a pretty good place to hang out if you're looking for a home.
Of course when I return home next week I'll be gearing up for N@B with Frank Bill, Fred Venturini, John Hornor Jacobs and Aaron Michael Morales. Damn, that's a solid lineup and gonna be hard to beat. We've just added some names to the August 6 N@B event though. Joining Jesus Angel Garcia will be David Cirillo and Jane Bradley whose book You Believers I spent this Ransom Notes piece gushing over.
It's been a busy week for N@B people - The Concord ePress went live this week with titles by our people Scott Phillips (2 from my man - Rut and his first collection of short fiction Rum, Sodomy and False Eyelashes) and the debut novel Frank Sinatra in a Blender by Matthew McBride. ANS has had the e-version of Hogdoggin' released featuring more seriously badass work by future (I'm counting on it) N@B performer, Erik Lundy. Damn. The Lund delivers on those, (he also retooled the Yellow Medicine e-cover). Also, Sean Doolittle alerted me to his next book's December release - Lake Country is due in December and I can't wait. Matt Kindt has a brand new book he illustrated, The Tooth - which looks plenty bizzarre. Pinckney & Laura Benedict are putting together Surreal South '11 and Dennis Tafoya's short story How to Jail (from Crime Factory 3) is being made as a short film by director Paul Von Stoetzel (Snuff). You can be a part of this uber cool film's odyssey by supporting it right here and following the Brute Force Films blog. My lil' ol' film update is that Julian Grant (The Defiled, Fall Away, RoboCop Prime Directives) is gearing up to begin shooting A Fuckload of Scotch Tape near the end of the summer and I'm stoked about that. And has anybody not seen Adam Wangler's short doc Pitch Black Noir shot in part at N@B? It focuses on Malachi Stone and Scott and features a snippet of Anthony Neil Smith reading Crotch Rockets (from Kung-Fu Factory).
Finally, I'm watching the first season of David Simon's Treme on DVD and really enjoying it. The music is of course fuckin ridiculously infectious and the cast is stellar (Wendell Pierce is stealing it though). Each episode so far has featured a large number of cameos - mostly uncredited - and last night I just about choked on my Schlafly beverage when Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly had about two seconds of screen time. I backed up the disc and made my wife watch it over and over - I know that guy, sweetie, we're like this (makes twisted finger sign), you (pointing to her) went to school with them at the University of Arkansas, don't you remember? She was so impressed, lemme tell you. I had to go dig up this picture of me and Scott and Tom and John H. Jacobs being entirely sober to really make it sink in.
At the risk of sounding like Chris Farley, do you remember when we all met up in Arkansas at that guy's house? That was awesome.