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!

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.

Recent Reads and Trying to Reconnect With Leaisure

I dearly love to read. Always have, and always will. But, since taking over editing and acquisitions for Rooster Republic Press (and more recently for Journalstone’s imprint, Bizarro Pulp Press), I find myself reading far less than I have been accustomed. For most of 2021, my spare time has been dedicated to Hailey Piper’s QUEEN OF TEETH, as well as chipping away at my novella, OCTOBER ANIMALS. In fact, the only book I’ve managed to sandwich between these projects was a lovely/harrowing little novella called WATCH THE WHOLE GODDAMNED THING BURN (by Doungjai Gam). It’s a limited release via Nightscape Press, and one I’d heartily recommend. You can grab a copy HERE.

Before that, I spent most of the last few months in 2020 working on various other titles seeing publication in 2021. And the last title I read for leisure was during Spring 2020, THE SILMARILLION (which I loved). Hoping to change that, however, in the next few weeks, especially as work on OCTOBER ANIMALS draws to a close.

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OCTOBER ANIMALS preview

[The following is from the opening chapter of OCTOBER ANIMALS. The novella is still being worked on, so some elements may change before publication, as this is not a final edit. Thanks, and enjoy]

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Risk existed in the collapsing space between lips just before a kiss and the banks of the Mississippi were a cemetery to all that the river no longer wanted. Fireworks exploded, violent rainbows that looked of the heavens but stank of sulfur, and crackling light reflected across black waters. The people of Alton gathered here, as did the great beast, unseen, who patrolled those waters. Here they gathered, but their ceremonies were not the same. And the beast was not greedy; only a few would be chosen.

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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”