OCTOBER ANIMALS has been a ride

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What you’re seeing above is a very small glimpse of Daniele Serra’s beautiful work for OCTOBER ANIMALS. And, besides some snippets published online and in my newsletter (which you should subscribe to), this art makes the book finally feel… real. If that makes sense? I mean, I wrote the damned thing, you think it’d be real to me. But, you know, life has been rough. Continue reading “OCTOBER ANIMALS has been a ride”

Now I am become out-of-print, the destroyer of sales

Man observes snow

Until very recently, I had several active titles in print. No longer. After some internal deliberation, I have reacquired the rights and interests in all my solo work. There may be a few copies floating around out there on various retail platforms, but the books are very much out of print. Every single title.

Continue reading “Now I am become out-of-print, the destroyer of sales”

I Signed Out of Twitter, Forever.

Weird couple weeks. Family member had emergency surgery (all good, no worries), so I traveled 4 hours away to help care for them. No computer access, really. On the plus side, without the computer, I was basically social-media free for almost two weeks.

I didn’t fucking miss it at all. After being off social media for a stretch, and breezing through various news stories, I had almost zero interest in returning to “internet life.” And that’s fine, because it’s mostly selfish terrorists doling out brain rot, 24/7.

Almost a year ago, I wrote an entry on this site titled “Being Inaccessible Is OK, Actually; And An Untitled Poem” and you can read that HERE. In that article I wrote:

“…being online is just depressing. People are depressing. Culture is disappointing. I try to, as much as it is possible to do so, exist outside whatever everyone else is doing. I’m happy with what I do. Validation is uninteresting to me.

I once noted that my ultimate goal was to become a ghost. What better way to do that than by fucking off and thriving on being left alone? I’ve taken one release out of print (Necrosaurus Rex) and you had better believe I am waiting patiently to run out the contract on the next book. When that happens, I’ll be having that taken out of print, too.

Anyway, I did sign out of Twitter. And, no, I won’t be signing back in. This site will remain, as will the newsletter (for now). These things will link to my Twitter account, but I will not be there. Good riddance, I say. Honestly, it’s not far removed from the liberation of dumping Facebook, so many years ago. Ultimately, all that shit is just a distraction from the work.

CHROMOPHOBIA is all but finished, at this point. We’ve taken a look at a proof of the print file, and we are making some interior adjustments. We’ll finish those over the next day or two. Then, it’ll be time to order physical proofs. Hardcovers are still shipping in July, as long as nothing too disruptive happens to supply chains in the next few months.

And, now that CHROMOPHOBIA is done, I can turn my attention back to OCTOBER ANIMALS. That novella will be finished soon enough, though some aspects of its production are still up in the air. It’ll be out this year, though, that’s for certain. OCTOBER ANIMALS is a weird book for weird kids. Here’s hoping you are a weird kid.

Once OCTOBER ANIMALS wraps, I am turning my attention to a trio of novels, and short fiction that will be a part of a newsletter-exclusive ‘zine. If that sounds like something of interest, here’s a link to sign up:

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What A Weird Fuckin’ Year, Man

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I, for one, am certainly not going to miss 2021. There were bright and shining moments through that year, but the overall feeling was oppressive. I wasn’t hitting a wall anymore. No, in fact, I had hit the wall so hard that I actually fused to it.

But, after much scrambling, several cross-country trips, and a move from Oregon to Illinois… the dust has settled and suddenly it’s a new year. And here I am, in 2022, writing new material and finishing long-gestating projects. Hard not to feel positive about it all after a year and a half of personal sludge.

Continue reading “What A Weird Fuckin’ Year, Man”

Social Media Marketing Is A Buffet; Take What You Want And Leave The Rest

Firstly, if you’re reading this, then thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate it.

Secondly, I’m (mostly) migrating from social media and utilizing this site AND a newsletter. I long ago dumped Facebook. However, I will keep the Twitter account running, as long as it does what I need it to do: move books.

I will be 100% honest: I am only on social media because it is a free and easy marketing tool. I do not have representation and, thus far, the presses I have worked with do not have marketing departments or marketing budgets. So, social media is where that proverbial buck stops.

“Now I am become Marketing, the destroyer of disposable income.”

And, there’s a lot of “cult of personality” types on various social media platforms. I am not one of those. Now, I certainly do not begrudge one’s interest in flexing their cult-building skills. If that’s your bag, then go out and drop those hot takes! There’s a whole load of folks who love hot takes. Hot takes, I’m sure, have even nabbed a sale or two. In general, I don’t give a single shit for hot takes.

But, I will tell you what I like about hot takes, even if they aren’t my particular bag. I like hot takes because I like reading people as much if not more than I like reading books. Hot takes, more often than not, are an open door into someone’s head. Enough hot takes, and you can start piecing together the inner workings of a person. I don’t mind taking a walk through your head, and I will do so if you open that door enough times.

Now, I get that a lot of shit on social media is, at best, performative… but so are interactions in the real world. Any single person is a multitude. You are getting to know someone, whether it is the subjective “real” or the projection. The distinction is awfully ethereal outside of true performance art. And, I am not picky. I’ll take whatever you’re giving.

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, I thank you for a second time. I’d be thrilled if you signed up for my newsletter, and it will be the only way to get my upcoming novella, OCTOBER ANIMALS.

 

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OCTOBER ANIMALS; THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS; UNTITLED WEREWOLF NOIR

You know, GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST is closing in on its 2-year anniversary. If you told me it came out yesterday, I don’t think I’d have the strength to argue. The last year and change has been challenging, to say the least. I mean, I look like a wizard now. You don’t just end up looking like a wizard because you’re doing great.

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But, the dry spell is about to end. OCTOBER ANIMALS will be the first of these to see publication (in early 2022). THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS and my “Untitled Werewolf Noir” will be written in tandem. However, I suspect that “Untitled Werewolf Noir” will likely wrap first. The narrative is much more straightforward than THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS, which not only juggles multiple narratives but also drifts in and out of various timelines and realities. When will they come out? Who can say? But, I will be shopping both of these around, as I have no intention of publishing them myself.

So, here’s the pitch: OCTOBER ANIMALS will, indeed, come out in early 2022, though it will only be a limited release, available exclusively to people who have subscribed to my newsletter. I have no plans to shop the novella around for further publication, and I do not anticipate reprinting OCTOBER ANIMALS in any capacity in the immediate future. If you want OCTOBER ANIMALS, the first step is signing up…

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Two subscribers have already secured their copies of OCTOBER ANIMALS. I will outline how you can get your copy in my upcoming Thanksgiving newsletter. Sign up! Let me entertain you somewhere besides Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whatever hellsite is in fashion.

And, about that “Untitled Werewolf Noir” I am working on. Turns out . . . it actually does have a title. If you subscribe, you’ll find out exactly what it’s called in my next newsletter (due the last week of September). Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even tell you what it’s about (hint: I will tell you).

Thanks for reading!

Bodies Making Ghosts, Untitled Werewolves, and I Get To Read A New Hailey Piper Novel

I don’t normally lift content from the Rooster Republic Press site, but their newest post has quite a bit to do with me and what I have going on, personally, so here we are. And I wrote the original post anyway, so apologies to, uh, me, I guess. Apologies to you, too, if you already saw the post over at the Rooster site. I don’t steal very much, though, and I will elaborate here in ways I did not over there.

First thing, yes, there is a new Hailey Piper manuscript chilling out on my desktop. I began digging into this one, yesterday, and I am already liking what I am seeing. Methinks it’s nearly time to warm up the ol’ publishing contract. If all goes smoothly, then this book will be coming out from Rooster/Strangehouse in 2023. “More books” is always exciting. More books from Hailey Piper is . . . *EXPLOSION*

2023 title

Continue reading “Bodies Making Ghosts, Untitled Werewolves, and I Get To Read A New Hailey Piper Novel”

Memory Is Palimpsest

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I am taking a (short) break from OCTOBER ANIMALS, but then it is back to work. It feels like I have taken a lifetime to work on a book so short. I even had a (for myself) pretty detailed outline to work from. But the narrative started mutating right out of the gate and anytime I tried to force the outline it simply wasn’t working. The narrative wanted something else, and I have stopped fighting. Instead, I am giving the narrative what it wants and letting it go.

“If you love something, let it go” says the old adage. Except, i don’t expect this thing I love to “come back” and be mine “forever” or what have you. I intend to let it go, piece by piece, word by word. Every sentence, this story grows nearer to completion, and further away from me. As it should be. Someday, soon, I will let OCTOBER ANIMALS go and it will be yours, not mine.

And then, over time, my perception of the book will become foggy, as it has with works I’ve previously written. Narratives are like memories, in that way. An experience so utterly involving that shatters apart with passing time, to become hardly more than idle thoughts, half-remembered details.

Memory is palimpsest.

So are books.

I write a story to be half-remembered by myself and you read said story and you bring your own life and experiences and this perception of yours is grafted onto to certain words and passages, and so the story conjures thoughts and feelings and narratives within the reader, all of which is beyond my control. And that, is a kind of magic. I may put down the words, but it is the reader who gives life to the story. In their own way, every book is a spell.

And now, I must return to OCTOBER ANIMALS. I have spells to cast and creatures to conjure.

Thanks for reading.

GOODNIGHT KAFKA

I mentioned having written a riff on the Margaret Wise Brown classic GOODNIGHT MOON, focusing on Franz Kafka. It is, as of yet, not illustrated. I may get around to that sometime in the future. And I have been picking away at my own translation of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” for the last couple of years. Perhaps, once finished with both projects, I will collect them together and release them. Anyway, no reason not to share this, as I have no plans on shopping it around. Enjoy.

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GOODNIGHT KAFKA

In the great gray gloom

There was a kafkaroach

And a bug cocoon

And a painting of—

Continue reading “GOODNIGHT KAFKA”

The opening to OCTOBER ANIMALS

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Hello! It has been an awful long time since I last wrote anything here on the ol’ website. Let’s chalk it up to being busy, being massively depressed, and being generally fucking shocked by the state of things. BUT… it’s a new year and a new year means new projects. Mostly, I have been working on acquisitions and editing, with some production art thrown in for good measure. And, in my spare time, I have been plugging away at my upcoming novella.

Continue reading “The opening to OCTOBER ANIMALS”