Thursday, December 31, 2015

N@B 2015 Newsletter vol. 4

John F.D. Taff - Thank goodness I got off my ass just in time to host a N@B in town while Taff still lived here. I'm not sure if it was already in the works, but the guy split permanently right after reading at our tawdry little event. If you don't know him yet check him the fuck out. Dude's got chops. He'll give you nightmares and shit. Keep up with John, his work, opinions awards and accolades at his website.

Dennis Tafoya - Without a new book in 2015 Tafoya's actually been eclipsed by his own kids (Rachel & Scout). He can join Dan O'Shea in the therapy sessions N@B is sponsoring (mail me donations). But me-thinks there's something new in the works and new DT is always worth waiting for. Fuckin-A right. Check in with him here.
Richard Thomas - When he says he's going to do something he by-gosh does it. Don't ever doubt Thomas. Breaker is brand new, as is the Exigencies anthology and look out for Gamut magazine coming in 2017. Or hey, if you're in Oklahoma or Transylvania he might be near by teaching craft to the next generation of dark fictioneers... Neo-Natal-Noir. There's tons to keep up with at What Does Not Kill Me.

Mark W. Tiedemann - Mark stays busy, that's for certain. When he's not writing novels or to be found at Left Bank Books, you can find him keeping The Proximal Eye - a critical blog - as well as Distal Muse - an observational blog. I, for one, am holding out hope that one of his speculative novels will take off and he'll be rolling around in that sweet, sweet nerd money (which will trickle down to me). C'mon, make it rain.

Fred Venturini - This dude's been wined and dined and unjustly maligned for the last year since The Heart Does Not Grow Back was released, and I, for one, am looking the fuck forward to whichever semi-completed project is next. Dude's got too much to say to not have a couple books a year out... and they're waiting... One of my favorite ways to spend an evening is listening to Fred spin yarns over beers. I hope more of that is in store for 2016. Check in here.

Frank Wheeler Jr. - This Milwaukee transplant and demi-god of the psycho-cop genre has the most placid exterior for the roiling seas of deep, dark shit that surely lie beneath. Look at that face. Shake his hand. Receive an aw shucks smile and a how do you do. Then pick up The Wowzer or The Good Life and consider changing your name and burning your life to the ground hoping you've left no trace and can go on to some semblance of normalcy without fearing he knows you're still alive and is fixated on you somehow. Perhaps more than any other writer in the N@B community I can't understand why people aren't burning Frank's books and making a high holy stink over his lack of exposure. This guy doesn't just have the goods, oh crime fiction fan, he is those goods. Here's hoping Paul von Stoetzel's short film based on Frank's story Your Blind Spot is available to the public soon. And dammit, Frank, I want another book. 
Benjamin Whitmer - This motherfucker here. In the last year he's been to the French place and has a film in development over there (an adaptation of Pike - and maybe not starring Mel Gibson). I got to catch up with Ben this year and we talked about his next book, and I don't want to hear that any of you have been distracting him until that thing is out and ready for me to read. It sounds amazing. Go check out an opinion or two from Whitmer here.

Jonathan Woods - Yet another N@B community member who spent time in France in the last year, but Jonathan was there for the the Cannes Film Festival where the film Swingers Anonymous (based on Jonathan's story of the same name) was screened. I mean... I've had material at film festivals before, but... Keep up with Woods at Southern Noir.

Josh Woods - Book. Woods. Please. Find Josh's short fiction in several anthologies (several of which he edited), but this guy needs a book of his own. Fucking right now. 

Nic Young - I think my emails are getting stopped at the border, 'cause I keep suggesting that Nic and Roger Smith hop a flight from South Africa to do a special Cape Town edition of N@B, but sadly this has not and may never happen. I keep my eyes peeled, but have yet to find more Young to point you toward (so check him out in Warmed and Bound and Noir at the Bar vol. 2).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

N@B 2015 Newsletter vol. 3

Scott Phillips - Scott's kicking off 2016 with an appearance at N@B-Mitzvah ed. here on January 14th and then heading to N@B-Twin Cities on the 17th. Looking the hell forward to St. Louis Noir - the book he edited for Akashic's city noir series. I think it's gonna be great.

Tawny Pike - Have not heard nearly enough of/from Ms. P. Her fiction's a force of nature - you feel it and perceive its effects, but you can't quite capture and harness that shit... like in a book. I'd like that shit harnessed - printed and condensed into a clean-burning fuel source. Please. 
Robert J. Randisi - Still going strong with no signs of stopping. N@B's pulp-master don't mess around.

John Rector - Haven't seen John in a couple years. He must miss me something awful. Maybe he's avoiding me since I suggested a themed N@B anthology of celebrity chef erotica featuring his In the Kitchen With Rachel Ray (from Noir at the Bar vol. 2), Joseph Hirsch'Guy Fieri/Paula Deen piece Won't You Take Me to Flavor Town and any old thing Scott Phillips and Malachi Stone and y'know I think Laura Benedict and Hilary Davidson could really put this thing over the top. C'mon, John, I know you want to do this.

Caleb J. Ross - Haven't seen the man in a bit, but the good news is he's podcasting now. Like obsessively. Like... how many exactly? Several. Go here for podcast links. He's a man of many interests and someday he'll find one he's good at. I kid, I kid. Caleb's funny as hell and twisted too. Don't believe me? Then go here for links to his fictions.

John Joseph Ryan - John's debut novel A Bullet Apiece came out in 2015 and looks to be only the first of a few titles featuring detective Ed Darvis. Look for John and Ed on award ballots of the future.

Theresa Schwegel - It's been a bad year for stories involving Chicago cops. Hell a bad decade or half century. Fuck. Let's just put it this way - if you prefer your fucked up Chicago cops to be fictional, Theresa's got you covered. Get some.

Anthony Neil Smith - Every time I write a Smith update I fuck something up, so I'll try to limit my 2015 observations to this: Worm was released and it's got a beautiful paperback cover. I hear things about upcoming projects, but will refrain from speculation at this point. Someday I'll do an entire ANS speculation post and you can all Choke On My Lies.

Duane Swierczynski - I dig Duane's work with his original comics Ex-Con and The Black Hood a bunch, but what's really got me hot to trot is this just revealed cover for 2016's novel Revolver. The workingest man in work town over here. Work it. 

Malachi Stone - Somewhere in the wilds of south-western Illinois a man sits at a computer with a plastic bag on his head chatting online between fifteen alter egos about classic literature and philosophy, religion, the law, sex criminals and the bouquet of celebrity buttholes. I have met this man, but do not know his name. I know him only as Stone, Malachi Stone... and I've read his work. It will never make him rich, but it will make you more than a little uncomfortable, and if you value that rarity in the age of fifty shades of gilt-edged, buffed out, mass market smut rejoice. Dude has a bunch of novels available and probably more in the next year.

Jason Stuart - Guy took a much needed step back from the machinations of publishing (so long, Burnt Bridge, and thanks for all the books - Pig Iron was a helluva swan song) hosting N@B-NOLA and authoring writings. Not too busy to make movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger though. Did you see him in Terminator: Genysis or did you blink? Hoping to see more fictions from the man shortly and I'd really like to hear him read again. Hey, Jason - are you planning a N@B event for Bouchercon in New Orleans this year? Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

N@B 2015 Newsletter vol. 2

Kent Gowran - Kent's been a tent-pole of N@B-Chicago and I think N@B-Twin Cities and he's always making me jealous with the films he's watching and books he's reading and dammit, Kent we need more stories from you, sir. Thank God for Ron Earl Phillips, Jen Conley, Erik Arneson and Chris Irvin for their work with Shotgun Honey and One Eye Press for bringing Locked & Loaded: Both Barrells vol. 3 which featured Ken't story Time Enough to Kill. Kent read that one in St. Louis. It's a fucking good one.

Glenn Gray - Here's hoping that a year off of N@B-NYC hosting duties have recharged the good doctor's batteries and he's been lovingly crafting or perhaps Lovecrafteringly re-animating his own body of work about working with bodies. Seriously - if you'd like to lose a week or two of sleep - steer your gaze toward his collection The Little Boy Inside and Other Stories - he could induce shivers in any Cronenberg you'd care to name.

Kevin Lynn Helmick - Great to catch up with Kevin at N@B-Chicago in the spring. I'm sure he's got projects near dropping point, but if you've not caught up with his rough brand of heartland gothic, lemme point you toward his collection Driving Alone and Other Tales From the Outside which features the titular novella, a haunting bit of road-noir as well as No. 7 Valentine, his Jim Thompson/James M. Cain-ish story of sex and bloody fucking revenge that originally appeared in Noir at the Bar vol. 2.

Gordon Highland - Gordon did his Prince/Billy Corgan thing this year by releasing an album (under his musical moniker Flash) on which he mixed and produced every song and played every instrument. You can hear Finding the Light and catch up with his writing, music and film projects at his website. Highland: there can be only one.
Jake Hinkson - Jake's a busy guy between international travel as a celebrated black-novelist (Jake's Hell on Church Street was released amongst the franco people this year), teaching, freelance writing, hosting N@B-Chicago and publishing a couple books a year he still can't keep up with my demand for his stuff. C'mon, Jake, bleed for me. If you've not the discovered the foremost name in modern Baptist Noir what the fuck are you waiting for? 

John Hornor Jacobs - His latest fantastic story Foreign Devils (the follow up to The Incorruptibles) is just another demonic steam punk alt-history saga of mercenaries crossing the world beyond the borders of everlasting Roman empire. Every time I think I've got a cool idea, I pick up a Jacobs book and hate myself. Fuck that guy. Oh, and watch this video of John playing the typewriter with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Liam Jose - Because international niche publishing is just too solid a venture, Crime Factory partner, Jose bought a bookstore in 2015. It's one thing to run a magazine and a publishing house whose titles are available electronically all over the world, but to operate a brick and mortar printed-word based retail operation from the backside of the earth? Takes guts. Good luck to Liam and his partners in their latest venture. If you're in Melbourne and can read or have friends who can, I implore you to patron Grub Street Bookshop. I hear the retail price of all items is Juan Hundred dollars.

Joseph Hirsch - Crime, horror, science fiction and in 2015 Hirsch added Western to his formidable list of genres he can kick my ass in. The Dove and the Crow is a slim, weird, terrifically violent tome of yore. In 2016 look for his realistic, biographical, horrorshow Up in the Treehouse and his supernaturally-tinged hell is eternal warfare Veteran's Affairs. This guy is prolific as fuck and fucked as anything you'd care to compare him to. Get on board.

David James Keaton - The midwest/upper south corner of the country I call home got a little less weird this year as the Keaton/Lueck household left Kentucky for the sunny land of California. Already miss thems. Seemed every few months there was an event I might run into Keats at, but now I have to watch FB updates of him hanging with folks like Joe Clifford, Danny Gardner and some dude called Ron Hansen. Fuck him. 2015 saw Keaton's western Pig Iron and his collection/deconstruction of zombie fiction Stealing Propeller Hats From the Dead escape the loony bin and run wild leaving a trail of blood and guts and snot across the recently mopped floor of respectable literature.

Matt Kindt - Mind MGMT, Matt's ebrain-busting, cognizance-cluttering, frontal-lobe-fornicating epic of psychic warfare wrapped up in 2015, but that might be B.C. Don't cry for me, Argentina - Matt's not short of work. There're plenty more Kindtian universes yet to explore, but MM was something extra special. Look for the penultimate collection The Immortals in January 2016.

Tim Lane - If you can't bring yourself to peel your eyes from the gorgeous pages of The Lonesome Go, don't let me take you away. In fact, drowning in the inky images would be a perfectly acceptable way to go. I'll just drop in your ear that Tim's graphic bio Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool ought to be available in 2016. That's all. 

Chris La Tray - Missoula's metal man, N@B's fuckbeastiest member and modern pulp's most probable werewolf La Tray continues to rove the wilds of the country making musical mayhem and slaughtering silence with aplomb. A little too quiet on the fiction front for my appetites, but please avail yourself of what's out there and don't forget to stop by the The Missoula Independent where Chris writes book reviews and other various arts-based non-fiction.

Clayton Lindemuth - Lindemuth's joined the swelling number of my friends who are loved in France. His novel Cold, Quiet Country was just published and is sure to be the first of many of his black novels to hit the Norman shores with about the same amount of artillery as last time. Check him out discussing religion in crime fiction from October with Ed Kurtz, J. David Osborne and Eryk Pruitt on The Crime Scene.

Erik Lundy - Finally there's a collection of Lundyfied fiction for your eReader. Man, if you've not checked out Erik's fuckwittian fiction you're missing out. Small Timers is the perfect title for the collection and if you know me you know it's exactly my kind of thing - the kind of guy who'd do anything for money except work. Fuck yeah. Buy your copy here and keep up with Erik at Workplace of the Damned.
Jason Makansi - Patriarch of the Makansi writing dynasty and super smart dude who frequently slums with the great unwashed at N@B. Gotta gotta gotta convince him to slum a bit more, 'cause his  performance at N@B is still the best use of 'nipples' we've yet had. Looking for some nastkansi flavor to sprinkle on my new year.

Matthew McBride - Reclusive N@B figure who gave up the wilds of Gasconade county, MO. for the muggy atmosphere of Bali for the better part of the last year. 2015 also included a stop in France where the translation of Frank Sinatra in a Blender was just published. Last I heard of Matt... Y'know, I'll leave him to your imagination. It's good. Looking forward as always to whatever's next from McBride.

Jon McGoran - McGoran's debut novel (under his own name) Drift won accolades and scared the crap out of people for the last few years. Hell, it made me start washing my hands after peeing. I know, not quite connected, but y'know... germs n shit. Health shit. Hey, I live in Monsanto-town. If you like having the holy heck forcibly removed from you through a choose your own adventure orifice, Dust Up his latest Carrick and Watkins we're all fucked book will be showing up in April 2016.

Kyle Minor - Kyle's hanging out in the Best American Mystery Stories again, this time selected by James Patterson (of the remarkably simpatico taste) and Otto Penzler. Minor's A Kidnapping in Koulev-Ville ought to be enough to send you running for his collections In the Devil's Territory and Praying Drunk. If not, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Aaron Michael Morales - Morales's next books Eat Your Children and Latrinalia and somewhere in the works/edits/sales/publishes stage and regardless of subject matter, I have a prediction... incisive, and emotionally un-sparing. By the way, the last time I saw Morales... he was with Funk.

Derek Nikitas - You want to explore some dark themes in your fiction? One of the best places to do so these days is in the world of YA publishing. Derek's first venture into that territory is Extra Life - a time travel mind-frack-mining exercise in extracting the holy from shit.

J. David Osborne - Dude's got a field of plates spinning hypnotically in the Pacific northwest - not least amongst them his own fiction. Black Gum is the follow up to his excellent Oklahoma noir Low Down Death Right Easy and to be read by me very soon. Check out the titles from Broken River Books - the small press he's running the fuck out of and keep your eyes peeled for shots of him in The Green Room in 2016.

Dan O'Shea - In an act of Penance for his Greed, O'Shea is relocating from Chicago to Milwaukee as I write. We'll see if the contriteness of his soul can pry his intellectual property from the clutches of a bunk publisher or maybe we'll just get something brannew from him soon. Y'know, as long as he continues to post movie reviews by his son, I'm good.

Ande Parks - Between straight up crime titles like Capote in Kansas, Union Station and Ciudad, Parks has worked on The Lone Ranger, Green Arrow, Green Hornet and Kato. Dude looks good in a hat too. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

N@B 2015 Newsletter Vol. 1

Cameron Ashley - Knuckles white on the helm, the intrepid Crime Factory crew sails on with our Oz-born brethren Cam, Andrew Nette, Liam Jose and David Honeybone steadfast through the tempest of international niche publishing. It's been nearly a year since issue 17 dropped and from the other side of the world comfy in my lazy-boy I like to picture Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, kicking against the pricks in the last year to bring us a new Single Shot title, Double Exposure by Kat Clay and the debut novel by Jimmy CallawayLupo Danish Never Has Nightmares (if that title sounds familiar, lookit the Uncle B's Drive-In Fiction novella anthology from a couple years back - Danish won't be the first piece from that book to get the the novel-length expansion - nor probably the last). But c'mon, man. I want my Ashley fiction too. Here's hoping Cam puts out some more of his own stuff soon. Eye itch. Eye need. Eye want.

Jedidiah Ayres - Hey I had my first short story publications in four years in 2015. Back on the horse - not heroin this time! Shotgun Honey Presents Locked & Loaded vol. 3 included my story The Plot and Jewish Noir got less genteel and more gentile with the addition of my piece Twisted Shikse - hey and another story titled Have You Seen Me? was accepted for the 2016 collection St. Louis Noir from Akashic Books. I got to read from that one at N@B-Oxford alongside many heroes and pals in the spring and Twisted Shikse's N@B-Chicago reading was recorded and put to pod by Livius Nedin and Robb Olson of The Booked Podcast. I also had a swell Noirvember co-host gig alongside Mike White and the already missed Rob St. Mary of The Projection Booth and got to discuss Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows. I was pleased to do N@B in Raleigh, Dallas and Denver as well as a St. Louis event this year too. My collection of short stories is currently out of print, but look for a new edition coming in 2016 from Broken River Books... and who knows, maybe Peckerwood's sequel Shitbird flies soon. 

Laura Benedict - The Bliss House trilogy(?)'s second installment Charlotte's Story took us back in time for a harrowing helping of hell and a glorious glop of goth. It's a seedy saga of sex that Publisher's Weekly assured us would trouble readers. I love, love, love having Laura read at N@B events and watch her make the tough guys squirm. She's taking over the world and making you like it.

Pinckney Benedict - For my money one of the chief voices of the Appalachian wild whose every short story contain a novel's worth of heart and haint, blood and strange gave us a couple new ones - Orgo Vs the Flatlanders a graphic fiction in a collection of essays Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean and Zog-19 from How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook For Aspiring Aliens might be the most whimsical wholesale slaughter since Kurt Vonnegut destroyed the world. Can't wait till there's book's worth of new stuff!

Frank Bill - Frank's kept his head in his work and it looks like his speculative novel The Savage wont be getting to us until early 2017. Fucking hell. That's gonna make for a long year's wait. I'm looking into being cryogenically frozen. 

William Boyle - Bill puts on the grandest N@B events with more noir, shit tons more bar and enthusiastic audience members down in Oxford and I had another swell trip to Mississippi thanks to the dude. Seriously if you want to spend an evening sharpening your general understanding of music, film or literature there are few avenues I could recommend ahead of hanging out with Boyle. Shit, get a taste of it with Death Don't Have No Mercy, his 2015 short story collection. It's a thing of broke-axel beauty. 

Jane Bradley - If you, like me, were bruised up but good by You Believers and or The One Good Thing (her Booked Podcast Best of Anthology-award winning contribution to Noir at the Bar vol. 2) you've been eager for her next novel The Snow Queen of Atlanta too long. Jane, I'm going to hire somebody to break in to your computer and steal it for me. But don't panic, folks - she's got two short story collections you can catch up with in the mean time.

Liam Cassidy - Ex-musician, podcaster, bartender and graphic designer for N@B, Liam's nipple deep in grad school write now and shit, I'm getting itchy for some new fiction from the dude. Everybody who caught his debut reading at the era-ending N@B event in July is too. Stay tuned and maybe license some of his artwork for your book cover, huh? Check it out at his website Cheap Fun.

David Cirillo - Has been building Terminal, a Kindle serial, and quietly turning out other strange tales that can be found for your eReader on Amazon.

S.L. Coney - From debut fiction publication in Noir at the Bar vol. 2 (2012) to St. Louis Noir (2016) one fucking (four year) step. Coney's got chops, teeth, big league chew. Get ready world. You can't handle the tooth.

Hilary Davidson - Next novel, I'm not sure, but damn, her short fiction is always nasty and needed and you can find her story The Siege in the December issue of Ellery Queen Mystery MagazineSister Cecilia appeared in The Protectors 2: HeroesSwan Song in Unloaded and Misteltoe in Thuglit's invite-only holiday anthology Cruel Yule. Plus her story A Hopeless Case (All Due Respect issue 4) won the 2015 Derringer Award for best long story. I think that speaks volumes that you can't say on TV.

Sean Doolittle - Somebody made this guy co-Toastmaster at Bouchercon 2015? I just hope they counted the toast beforehand. If you picked up a copy of Murder Under the Oaks (the 2015 Bouchercon Anthology) look up my boy's story. Meanwhile the big screen treatment of Sean's novel The Cleanup tentatively titled Beg the Devil (okay, that title's pretty badass) has some interesting casting rumors on its IMdB page. Which will hit first, the movie or Sean's next book? I dunno. Which will hit harder? That one's a no-brainer.

J. Christopher Dupuy - Is mysterious... and has disappeared off the face of the earth. So check for him around  the nipples - that's always a good bet. Rumor has it, a long-time-coming novel is ready for to take on the Big Six New York Literati, which is a car right? So, I'm confused. I'm off to the nipples with some questions. Or hey - check in at his website

Les Edgerton - I got to catch up with N@B's favorite ex-con and read with him in Raleigh where he won the night with his story of civility and bonhomie behind bars. Les is one of a kind and I highly suggest you seek out his work and jump if you get an opportunity to hear him read. 

C.J. Edwards - Just the other night somebody came up to me and asked about that guy who read that crazy story at a N@B event. Heh. Get more specific, pal. I figured out eventually that he meant CJ. I've seen Chris read a few times and his shit does get wild, and he is N@B's eyes and ears into the Indianapolis P.D.'s sex crimes division (thanks, IPD for helping nab Jared Fogle btw), but I was more than a little disappointed to discover that he's not actually the author of the Human Cow Milking erotica books I've enjoyed so much. Next time I hear from CJ I'm expecting big news.

Matthew C. Funk - The world needs more of it, booties must be loosed. We want it, we gotsta gotsta have it. Where you at, Funk? 

Jesus Angel Garcia - Here's one you don't see every day: dude writes a religion/sex/southern culture satire and tours the country with a performance art bit, writes songs based on his own novel, forms band around same songs and then goes full steam ahead with the music. Soon you'll hear some kid at a dirty bluegrass festival say "I heard the singer from Three Times Bad wrote a book!" He did, son. Yes he did. Will he write another? Let's hope so.