Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In the Wake of the Boucher

Had a blast in Cleveland... like this:

Won first place in the Johnny Shaw Look-alike contest

Finally got to hang out with the cool kids at the Wonderbar (Eric Beetner, Josh Stallings, Dan O'Shea, Les Edgerton, John Kenyon, Jonathan Woods, Glenn Gray, Todd Robinson, John Stickney, Mike Dennis, Chris F. Holm, Sabrina Ogden, Greg Bardsley, Fleur Bradley, Kent Gowran, Peter Farris, Thomas Pluck, Peter Rozovsky)

Got to party in the 582 w/ Gray, Gowran, Shaw, Pluck and Robinson - where many films, real and imagined, were discussed in great detail. What imaginary films? The porno classic Five Easy Nieces, among others. But you wanna know who wins the imaginary film award? Stephen Romano, that's who. Check the hell out of his book Shock Festival, it's a-fucking-mazing. Right up the dark little alley of folks who dig the fake-sploitation vibe of shit like Blood & Tacos. (BTW - me and Robinson are cooking up a B&T-esque publication for fake cozies... Yarn & Whiskers or some shit - look sharp).

Discussed many late eighties/early nineties rock anthems and their excellent placement within my stories, as well as my/our love for them with Drew Thompson. We also suspect that Ben LeRoy and Jennifer Jordan really are on our wave-length, deny as they might that they are. Also, big thanks to Drew for pointing out the L.A. Guns/Guns 'n Roses connection that I was completely unaware of. (Also discussed - Firehouse, Warrant, Poison, Slaughter, AC/DC, Skid Row, White Snake, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Nelson, Shark Island... Christopher Cross and Henry Rollins)

Celebrated 100,000 copies of Already Gone sold with John Rector. Holy shit... also we agreed that Sean Doolittle's Lake Country would hit that mark in a just universe.

Creeped out Frank Wheeler Jr.'s lovely wife... it was really easy. Hardly fair. I hope I have another chance to make a last impression some day.

Got to hand out contributor and blurber copies of Noir at the Bar Volume 2 to Glenn Gray, Robert Randisi, Duane Swierczynski, Jon McGoran, John Rector, John Connolly and Sophie Littlefield (as well as a blurbage copy of A F*ckload of Shorts to Dave Zeltserman). Sold out of N@B2 tho. So, sorry you other contributors and blurbers, I've got more ordered and will get them out as soon as I can.

Nice bar chats with Tim Hennessy, Craig McDonald, Sophie Littlefield, Martyn Waites and Christa Faust - who had the best advice of the weekend (shave your balls) - later with Kenneth Wishnia, John McFetridge and Otto Penzler (who seemed to think I was claiming to be Scott Phillips - he wasn't buying it). By far, the most engaging chat with a stranger (already racked up good, teary/beery ones with Gray & Bardsley) was with the guy who turned out to be J.I. Baker, author of The Empty Glass (which has been drawing my eye from from out of the TBR pile for months - re-fucking-solved, I'm going to read the shit out of this one), by the way, thanks to Kyle Minor for setting that one in motion.

Took a long walk with Mr. Shaw and Helen Smith while we searched for Stuart Neville's Ratlines party. Never found it - sorry Paul Oliver - we really did try to find it, but it was a lovely stroll in the bracing, sober-making Cleveland wind.

Picked up copies of Kenyon's The First Cut, Stallings' Beautiful Naked & Dead, Jim Fusili's latest, The Protectors anthology edited by Pluck, Both Barrells - the Shotgun Honey anthology edited by Gowran, Ogden, Chad Rohrbacher and Ron Earl Phillips and Beetner's Dig Two Graves - which I read on the plane, and which has almost everything I ever wanted to know about prison blowjobs in its brief 130 pages. Loved it.

I also picked up an extra copy of Bardsley's Cash Out, which was released on the unsuspecting public yesterday. I read this one a couple years ago and just re-read it last week in preparation for seeing Bards - it's that good. Fans of his short fiction will be pleased as this one features many of his beloved oddities - Calhoun, Crazy Larry, The New Guy and Janice From Finance. Do yourself a big ol' solid and dig in to this slice of nuts (there's a pun in there). While you're at it, dig that P.S. section in the back of the book which features an interview with the author, conducted by yours truly as well as an author-recommends section where Greg gives us the hard sell folks like Charlie Huston, Victor Gischler, Jess Walter, Matthew McBride and more.

Back home and out of N@B2 - sit tight contributors, I've got more ordered - but damn - it's had a good opening week, (as has N@B1). I found some new reviews of Julian Grant's F*ckload of Scotch Tape  this morning. Some love it, some hate it. Tell you what, kids - this movie is polarizing critics, and that's cool. Frankly, I'd feel awfully strange with nothing but positive comments out there. My stories (and Julian's films) certainly aren't for everybody. That said, I tell you what, I'm gonna go ahead and ask for a few more reviews up on Amazon or  BN.Com or Goodreads just on your blog, magazine or wherever for A F*ckload of Shorts. I'll give you till November first to post one, at which time I'll draw a couple names from those who've posted reviews - don't have to love it - and send the winners a copy of Cash Out by Greg Bardsley. Now that should be motivation. Just be sure to alert me to your review, so you'll be eligible.

Tomorrow night Daniel Woodrell will be in St. Louis at the Frontenac branch of the library, and Saturday, in the same spot, is Dennis Lehane. Guess my plans are made.


Kieran Shea said...

it sounds like your b'con objectives were met. concise and staked well.

Frank Wheeler Jr said...

Jed, if my wife were bothered by being creeped out, do you think she'd have stayed with me for the last decade?

jedidiah ayres said...

K - objectives met

F - Guess we'll both have to up our game. Try harder.

Eric Beetner said...

Well I'm damn glad you liked the book. I always wanted to be read on an airplane.

Dyer Wilk said...

L.A. Guns + Hollywood Rose = Guns N' Roses. At least it did until Axl's ego pissed Tracii Guns off and he left to re-form L.A. Guns.

My favorite piece of trivia though involves the villain's eye-patch repeatedly switching sides in "Firewalker."

You know what I'm taking about, Jed.

jedidiah ayres said...

I don't. I mean, I remember Firewalker as a realllllly bad movie - like I knew it was bad when I was twelve - but I don't remember any details. I've oft fondly considered revisiting it.

Did Guns or Roses ever reference that movie?

Dyer Wilk said...

Not to my knowledge. "Firewalker" came out in '86, same year GNR released their independent EP "Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide." That's the only connection I could make.

You want real GNR trivia? Listen to Rocket Queen off "Appetite for Destruction." The sounds of the girl moaning orgasmically during the bridge are real. Axl brought the drummer's girlfriend into the studio and fucked her in the vocal booth with the tape rolling so he could capture the pornographic sounds he wanted in the song.

Greg Bardsley said...

Beetner, I also read a good chunk of Dig Two Grave on the plan ride home, and loved it, too .... I think it's safe to say DHS won't be optioning this to the Hallmark Channel

Peter Rozovsky said...

Dang, I am choked with emotion at being called one of the cool kids. Thanks!
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