My last post was on June 30th, and three days later my father died, just short of his birthday. He would have been 67. I tried making it out to Illinois every year, but because of the pandemic, I had yet to make it in 2020. My brother and my mother were with him when he died, and I find some solace in that. Turns out, the last time I would ever see my father was the morning of August 6th, 2019. The last picture I took of him was in 2018. He was playing with a dog at an animal shelter. He loved dogs.
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.
I’m not one to normally share correspondence, but I received back-to-back inquiries that are closely related, and in the spirit of artistic transparency, I decided to turn both of my answers, slightly edited from their original form, into a post. This type of thing keeps me accountable to not only my work, but the work of others. And there’s the likely event that others, especially indie press publishers, feel the same way that I do, and I believe a little solidarity goes a long way.
So, to the first question(s) I received: “How are you? How’s the biz?”
I keep making my handwritten notes, and I have a stack of books to read for research, and in a few weeks time I will “officially” begin working on my next manuscript:
THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS.
A writer is the work, finished or not, published or not. It’s always the work, I think. If you’re lucky, after you die someone will read the work and in those moments you will exist.
Today is the first day of May. It is very, very nice outside. All the green is returning and flowers are blooming and the days are getting warmer. And, on top of all that, I’m receiving emails asking about the film/TV rights for my new collection, Nobody Gets Hurt and Other Lies. And from a very reputable company, to boot. Chances are, you’ve seen their handiwork.
This is exciting, while also not being that exciting. Let’s discuss!
Grind Your Bones to Dust is coming together very nicely. The first part (of four) was just wrapped up, Monday night. I sent the draft to an interested party on Tuesday. As with all things writing, now I wait. But that doesn’t mean I stop writing. And it certainly doesn’t mean I stop reading.
There had been a Facebook trend to list ten or so books (over the course of ten or so days) that you felt had lasting impact on you and your work. I didn’t partake in that when it was infecting the timeline like a malicious virus, but I’ll drop it here, all in one go, like a wicked 24-hour flu. For the really curious, I even took a picture.
I’ve been quiet over here at the little website, but that’s mostly because I was busy crushing a deadline like a champ. At ~56K words, my second short story collection is complete and it is looking rather gorgeous.
At The End of The Day I Burst Into Flames is finished (and under contract with Journalstone/Bizarro Pulp Press) and though it must still be ushered into the second stage of its life, I am now faced with developing one of many existing manuscripts to a point of completion:
- a follow-up collection of short stories, one which has all ready eclipsed the length of Now That We’re Alone. Like the last collection, there’s a bit of everything included, but the overall theme seems to be . . . body horror.
- a novella (approaching novel-length) crime fiction/kaiju monster mash up.
- an apocalyptic sci-fi, the third (and final) entry into my unofficial “Cyclical Narrative” trilogy that began with Necrosaurus Rex and At The End of The Day . . .
- a full-length mystery about an amateur sleuth in the throes of early-onset Alzheimer’s.