“Life During Quarantime”

“This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling arooooound…”

Well, there’s been a bit of fooling around, if I’m being honest. Which I am. There’s been birthdays (mine, included) and cake and presents and those are all lovely things. There hasn’t been much disco, though, that part is true. There’s been loads of work, though, that’s for sure.

Fun, however, that’s the real important shit. And, sometimes, fun is delicious.

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Anyway, this is what 40 looks like, I guess:

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Or, is this cabin fever? Why not both?

Quarantine life is not too removed from how I normally go about business. Even the existential terror is mostly the same, except now there’s a very specific reason not to go outside. And, being selectively homebound, I have reacquainted myself with working out. This is good. It keeps me from sitting all day and becoming too sedentary, which is a real problem for someone whose work is primarily to sit at one desk to write and to sit at another desk to draw, and also to sit in various places and read.

But sitting has its advantages too. I have finished lots of work through the spring. Lots of art, and LOTS of editing.

Work wrapped on CRIES TO KILL THE CORPSE FLOWER for Journalstone’s imprint Bizarro Pulp Press, and that is now available HERE

Work wrapped on LEVELS for Bizarro Pulp Press, as well, but that book won’t be out for a couple months. You can see the full cover wrap for LEVELS and CRIES TO KILL THE CORPSE FLOWER in THIS ARTICLE on the Rooster Republic website.

There are two more books Rooster Republic acquired for Bizarro Pulp Press. Production art has wrapped for both books, though assembling the interiors is yet ongoing. We expect to finish work on these titles by the end of July. Rooster Republic Press debuted the cover art for Andrew J Stone’s THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR DANCE-OFF yesterday, and I’ll share that here:

TUDD0 Media Cover

And I’ll share the line art for the unfinished cover to John Bruni’s TALES OF UNSPEAKABLE TASTE:

ToUT

Again, this is just the line art and the cover will have to go through quite a bit of work before we can show off the finished piece, but I’m definitely happy with the direction it is going.

And that’s all the books we have in store for Journalstone and Bizarro Pulp Press in 2020.

Rooster Republic Press, on the other hand, has two more titles coming out. Sara Tantlinger’s follow up to the Bram Stoker Award-winning THE DEVIL’S DREAMLAND has a special edition going up for pre-order tomorrow! Here’s the full wrap for CRADLELAND OF PARASITES:

Cradleland Dust Jacket MEDIA

Don Noble handled layouts for this piece, working from my photo elements. The special edition includes 15 black and white photos that I took during the late winter and early spring. Happily, all of that was accomplished prior to quarantine. There’s only going to be 100 copies of this edition, and all the exterior and interior art is exclusive to it. The standard edition will be available this Halloween.

Not too long ago, I wrapped edits for K.P. Kulski’s FAIREST FLESH. It is a helluva debut and I was pleased as punch to be able to work on it. Rooster is also releasing a special edition of this title, pre-orders will begin on August 1st. I provided four interior illustrations exclusive to the special edition. There will be a standard release of Kulski’s book, of course, and it will be available during Halloween.

And having wrapped just about all of 2020’s obligations, I have finally been able to turn my attention to my next book, THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS. Right now, I am mostly making notes while reading, reading, and reading. I like to read A LOT before I bother hammering out a draft of anything. I’ve got about 20-odd books set aside that’ll serve as preparatory reading. Not every one of these books will have much impact on my own work, though I imagine that some of them will be essential inspiration. Here’s what I’ve managed to blow through in the last few weeks:

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And, as often happens during this period leading up to that elusive first draft, details start to change, pieces of the narrative puzzle begin falling in place, characters start illuminating themselves. The writer-brain becomes a bit of a bubbling and hissing cauldron. I absolutely LOVE this part of writing. The book is still whatever I want it to be, at any given time, and if that’s not magic then I don’t know what is.

Anywaaaaay… more about the book as it comes together. I’m just happy that is is finally coming together. Good day to you.

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