Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse hasn't even come out yet, but I'm already deep into writing Bad Alchemy, and I must admit that the research I've been doing the last few days has my longing to get on a jet and head across the Atlantic again. Most of the novel take place in Prague. Wish I could get back there, and I probably will, but who knows when.
Anyway, the photos give you an idea of what the place looks like. At least the places most tourists see -- which is not to imply they're bad places. Prague Castle is pretty effing cool.
Currently working on the next novel for Touchstone and it's coming along quite well. I'm not usually prone to progress reports, but I'm feeling relieved that it's coming together, so I thought I'd share.
Say, anyone out there up on their Hebrew mythology? Is there a term for a Jewish wizard or man of magic or something like that? Yes, I know I should do my own research (and I will) but I thought if anyone wanted to point me in the right direction it would be neato-keen for me.
Anyway, I want to try to finsih a chapter before the Florida vs. Florida State game comes on TV.
I'm two-thirds of the way through Emerson LaSalle's final novel. It's a crime novel and it perfectly captures the pulp feel of the 40's and 50's while still staying contemporary and relevant. A masterpiece of lowbrow pulp. Amazing. More when I'm finished.
The FedEx package had been accidentally sent Belgium. But it's here now. The FedEx people were very embarrassed and put a special rush job on it. (I thought they were ALL supposed to be rush jobs.)
I opened the package with shaking hands, breathlessly eager to see the title of the FINAL LaSalle manuscript. I got a little surprise. In addition to the final manuscript, there was also a copy of LaSalle's one and only attempt at a "literary" novel, his 1951 effort The Reluctant Enthusiast.
I'd heard of this novel, but never thought I'd be holding a first edition in my hands. It was probably the only thing that could have distracted me from the new manuscript, and I must admit that I began reading it that very minute, sitting in my easy chair with the shreds of the FedEx package still in my lap.
It's a love-triangle story, something about a piano and a tree surgeon and a teenage girl keeping some sort of long-winded diary. At times, LaSalle's efforts almost seem like a parody of a literary novel, but his raw earnestness is clear and I'm almost glad my friend is not alive to ask my opinion of his attempt at literature.
It's sad really because the rich themes in almost any of his pulp novels make better literature than his one conscious attempt to accomplish the same thing. His 1960 novel I Was a Teenage Android offers one of the most stunning comments on human nature and free will ever written in English.
LaSalle often made fun of my academic background, but I think secretly he wanted to win my respect which might be why he willed The Reluctant Enthusiast to me in addition to his final manuscript. How I wished I'd let him know. You always had my respect, Mr. LaSalle. Always.
The manuscript of Emerson LaSalle's final novel DID NOT ARRIVE by FedEx as expected. I am in a sweaty panic. The books was typed on an old Smith Corona and there is NO COPY!!! We've tracked the package as far as New Orleans. I'm thinking of driving down there with a revolver and making it clear that I fully intend to have that manuscript.
Many of you have probably already heard, but one of my all-time pulp heroes author Emerson LaSalle was killed yesterday in the woods near his home in Calamity, Idaho where he was mauled by a large black bear. I was shocked and stunned to hear it and saddened as well since I'd only a few months ago made good friends with the author.
Mr. LaSalle did not care for me at first and that's putting it mildly. I wrote him an e-mail some time ago professing my admiration for him and telling him how much his work had been an influence on my own. Here is part of his reply:
Yes, I am aware of your little novels. It seems you have taken the liberty of stealing my best stuff, watering it down, and passing it off as your own. How clever of you. Did they teach you that in MFA school, you little tit?
As you can imagine I was stunned by this reply. At first I thought it best to slink away and leave this bitter old man to his own devices. Instead, I doggedly continued to e-mail him. I'm glad of my decision, for I eventually won him over, and in his last months he even became something of a mentor.
Anthony Neil Smith and I were lucky enough to get Mr. LaSalle to let us write a screenplay based on his memoir. The screenplay is called Pulp Boy and it's an amalgam of events found in his unpublished memoir set in the present day. Neil and I are very eager to find interested producers. I'd love for the film to be made since a talent like Mr. LaSalle's deserves such a fitting tribute.
LaSalle wrote over 400 pulp novels in his lifetime -- mostly science fiction and horror but a good mix of crime and a few westerns too. Some of his standout titles were Vixen Shamus, Guns of Old Mars, Sheriff Dracula and Whorebots of Planet Vegas.
I was stunned when the executor of LaSalle's estate called me last night to inform me that LaSalle had left me the manuscript of his final novel. It's being sent to me by FedEx along with all the rights and I've been on pins and needles waiting to get it and read it. The final LaSalle novel! What's the title? What's the plot? Who are the characters?
I will miss my new friend. Our aquaintance was far too short. But I salivate at the thought of the new manuscript.
As regular readers of Blogpocalypse might remember, I told everyone some time ago about how I'd pulled eleven dirty coffee mugs out of my car. I was quite impressed with myself. Well, I'm proud to report that today I removed an astonishing (my wife would say "appalling") thirteen coffee mugs from my vehicle. (And also a thermos.) I'd like to thanks the fine folks at Community Coffee for helping to make this possible.
As many of you might already know, I'm good friends with this Anthony Neil Smith guy. Smith brought you Plots With Guns and also the gritty crime novels Psychosomatic and The Drummer. So it's with great pleasure that I command you to pay attention to THIS.
Later today I will be on a discussion panel at The Louisiana Book Festival. The panel is called Two Guys Noir. Many of you who know me well will fully understand how eager I am to discuss "noir" for perhaps the 750th time. I do so relish the discussion. I am chomping at the bit to define exactly what noir is and which authors are legit noir while others are damn imposters.
Perhaps I'll get to use a bunch of fancy words I learned in grad school.