Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here comes 2010 ...



So ... This is the post were I sorta look over 2009 and see if I can sum things up and at the same time look ahead to 2010 and try to make some predictions. In a way, I feel 2009 was all about setting the stage for 2010. Lots of getting my ducks in a row and getting puzzle pieces in the right place. Etc. 2009 taught me that I'll definitely need MORE COW BELL for 2010. (I have no idea why I'm thinking of old Will Ferrel SNL skits right now.)

Since moving to Baton Rouge, I've been teaching at the local community college. Some good folks there. I still have my pal Jason Glenn's copy of Gran Torino. Don't worry, dude, I'll bring it back. Anyway, I'm not teaching there anymore and will now be writing full time again. Not only will I be banging away on a couple of screenplays (one crime, one zombie) but I will be humping it hard as of January 1 on a new novel. You may recall a few blog posts ago I was trying to decide which of several nifty ideas would bloom into my next novel. Well, I've decided.


But I'm not going to tell you.

Take THAT, small handful of slightly curious blog readers.

I'm also hoping 2010 is the year some cool film stuff falls into place. A couple of my novels have been optioned, screenplays written, etc. We have a director on one and are close on another. Movie star types have been approached. Nothing to do now but chew off all of my fingernails.

And write comic books. The good folks at Marvel Comics have seen fit to toss some interesting projects my way ... more as developments unfold. But I'm having a ball. Thanks, Axel Alonso.
My new year's resolution (in addition to dragging my fat ass back to the treadmill) is to work hard. Sit myself down every morning after I get the boy off to school and really work hard. I have a lot of ambition for 2010. Let's see what happens.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

FINCH by Jeff VanderMeer


As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short. Lots of people have already heaped all kinds of praise of Jeff VanderMeer's excellent novel FINCH. Still, I felt the need to chime in too. This won't be anything like a full, professional review. Just me saying how much I liked the book.

Finch is sort of like Raymond Chandler meets Philip K. Dick meets ... well, I'm not sure. The action of this fantasy novel (can we call it fantasy?) takes place in a world that seems fully realized and completely original to me. A fungal, squishy world where something gross waits around every corner. This is the landscape in which our hero Finch must solve a double murder in the style of a good police procedural or private detective novel. Often Finch reminds me of the character Deckerd in Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) as he pushes forward in his investigation, in over his head, and often getting the crap knocked out of him.

Jeff VanderMeer's prose is razor sharp with no fat on the bones yet at the same time wonderfully descriptive and vivid. When I can get out from under all these dealines, I'll be eagerly picking up more work by VanderMeer.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trying to decide ...

So, I've given myself a deadline of January 1 to make a decision. What will my new novel project be? Why Jan. 1? Well, let's just say that by the beginning of 2010 my schedule will be radically different than it is now. I'll have a lot more time to go full steam ahead on a novel. Why will me schedule suddenly open up like this? Well, more about that later.

The point is that I have a handful of novel ideas, and I like all of them. Some days, I want to go in a more sci-fi direction. Other days, I feel I'd love to follow up THE DEPUTY (coming in April from Tyrus) with another short, sharp crime novel. There are some things I've been wanting to try for a long time, but I've always had other obligations, contracts to fulfill, whatever. Here's what I want: I want to feel 100% awesome about whatever I'm writing. Like my body and soul are perfectly confident in the knowledge that I have absolutely made the right decision.

So I've got November and December to try to get into that frame of mind. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cool


Cool things are happening in Deadpool land. (Rob Liefeld did this great picture of Lady Deadpool.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some times I ask you guys these things ...

Finishing up reading a great novel called FINCH which I will post more about later. The book has put me in the mood for more innovative novels that cross genres, mixes things up a bit. I love "hard to categorize" books. Stuff like that. Let's hear some suggestions.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thanks, Crimespree

In his review of VAMPIRE A GO-GO:

"I laughed till coffee came out of my nose, seriously."
-- Jon Jordan, CRIMESPREE MAGAZINE

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The 10 year career

So after twenty seconds of careful thought, I've decided that 2009 marks the 10th year of my writing career. A question: When does such a career "start"? I mean, as a young man in high school, I wrote stories to amuse my friends. Hardly professional writing, but I knew even then I liked to write and that I would attempt to get serious about it in one form or another. What about my first cash sale? I remember how thrilled I was to get a check for the handsome sum of twenty-five dollars for a story about a family of mad scientists called "Conquering the Andersons" which appeared in a magazine called Alternate Hilarities. But it's hard for me to see that as the event which kicked off my career. My science-fiction, fantasy, horror stories weren't making regular inroads. Acceptance letters were few and far between.

So when did I hear the starting gun? Some history: In 1998 (or was it late 1997?), I was working hard toward my master's degree in English at the University of West Florida. In a graduate fiction workshop, I wrote a short story called "Hitting Rufus" which I sold to a small journal called Lynx Eye. I was pleased. At that time, I wanted anyone to publish me. I just wanted to get the work out there. But it was later, after the story had been published, that I got an e-mail that was ... well ... a surprise. I'd moved on to the University of Southern Mississippi to work on my Ph.D. when I got word the story "Hitting Rufus" had been selected for the 1999 edition of Otto Penzler's Best American Mystery Stories. The editor that year was the late, great Ed McBain. I mark that as the official starting point of my career because not only was I in a bigger profile publication than I'd ever appeared in before but the story's protagonist was Charlie Swift, the mob gunman who went on to star in my fist novel, the Edgar-nominated GUN MONKEYS. I had a direction now: Crime writer.

So what is this blog post about? I suppose it's half self-reflection and half state of the union address. I've come full circle now back to science fiction and fantasy. I hope everyone reading this has ten or twelve copies of Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and Vampire A Go-Go. Please remember that they make excellent birthday, Christmas and Arbor Day gifts. And yet my eager leap into these new genres in no way means I've given up crime writing. The cool folks at the shiny new Tyrus Books will publish my crime novel The Deputy in April of 2010. And since I'm keen on stories in all forms, I've been trying my hand at screenwriting and having a hell of a lot of fun with Punisher and Deadpool at Marvel Comics. Great writers like Lee Goldberg and Matthew Bright have worked (or are working) hard on excellent adaptations of my books. Lee's masterful adaptation of Gun Monkeys earned respect all over Hollywood, and we now have stylish director Ryuhei Kitamura attached to the project. I know once Matt's adaptation of G0-Go Girls begins making the rounds, people will be impressed too. And I have great faith in the talented young man currently humping it hard on the Shotgun Opera adaptation. More about that when the time is right. I'm hoping to dazzle you guys with some cool announcements very soon. So much happening!

And yet ... most days, I still feel like a rookie at this. So many things I'll probably never get to do, but I can dream. I'd love to write for Adult Swim. I'd love to write one of those thick-ass, horse-choking epic fantasy novels.

So that's where I am and where I've been. Now to figure where I'm going.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vampire A Go-Go Update



Folks, I'm getting one hell of a warm-n-fuzzy feeling. Thanks so much for all the messages telling me how much you're enjoying Vampire A Go-Go. My readers are the best. Obviously, the first couple of weeks after a book debuts can be a nervous time for an author. Will readers dig it? Will the reviews be kind? So thanks. Those of you who go the extra step to mention the book on your blog or elsewhere get a double helping of thanks.


(note: Christopher Lee is NOT in Vampire A Go-Go.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Writing Grill-a-thon

So ... the wife and boy are off to see grandma and grandpa, leaving me to catch up on a lot of writing here at Club Gischler. But that doesn't mean I can't also enjoy myself. Upon completion of this blog post, I will be again erecting the man pavilion outside by the grill. Yes, much scripting this weekend will take place grillside. I am back from purchasing a ginormous rack of ribs and a steak the size of a whale's ass. I am well-stocked with appropriate libations.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The New Book



Folks, today is the official release date of VAMPIRE A GO-GO. A tale of the vampire, werewolf, sorceror, alchemist, zombie, witch, grad student variety. I hope you guys will all stom your local book store and buy up every copy there is. Seriously, for us non-James Patterson type authors, word-o-mouth is crucial to a book's success. So if you happen to read it, and happen to like it, I hope you'll take the time to talk it up. Thanks.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Website A Go-Go

Hey, people! My new novel Vampire A Go-Go hits stores September 1, and we all know how important good word of mouth is for the success of a book. I'm hoping you'll help me by talking it up. Another way to help is to spread around this promotional website: www.vampireagogo.com The site is a bit minimal at the moment, but I'm hoping to add more content later. As always, I want to thank you gluttons for punishment who keep coming back for my next book. I luvs ya!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sell out!



Issue #2 of Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth has sold out and is on its way to a 2nd prinintg. Sweet. Super, turbo-thanks to all the cool readers who've been buying copies and passing along such nice comments. (And hey ... if I could just get ten percent of you guys to buy the new book ...)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

At home with Tyrus Books

Many of you know this already, but I thought I would make it official here at Blogpocalypse. My new crime novel THE DEPUTY will not be published with Bleak House books this August as planned. You may have heard that the main cool types at Bleak House (Ben and Alison) have run off to start another publishing enterprise called Tyrus Books. I'm pleased to report that Ben was able to sneak me out in a steamer trunk, and THE DEPUTY will be a Tyrus title in April 2010.

Now, I need to beg a bit of patience from some of you nice people. The move to Tyrus means a new ISBN# and some other paperwork. This means all you fine folks who awesomely pre-ordered it on Amazon or elsewhere might have to order it again once Tyrus gets it all straight. I hope you'll all stick with me as we make the transition. I've also had some helpful people say they're going to review it or mention it on blogs since they've read (and approved of) advance copies. Coolness. Just hang on a few more months. Thanks.

Again, I'm excited. I'm very happy so many of you enjoyed Go-Go Girs of the Apocalypse, and I'm grateful that so many of you have told me how much you're looking forward to Vampire A Go-Go. But I'm very eager about THE DEPUTY. You know .... to show I haven't called it quits with crime writing. No way.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Greetings from Maine



I'm having a great time as a guest at the Stonecoast MFA writing program. A great location, cool people, some talented students -- just a very positive experience so far. More as developments unfold ...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thank You, Publisher's Weekly

From PW:

Vampire a Go-Go Victor Gischler. Touchstone, $14.99 paper (288p) ISBN978-1-4165-5227-7

Gischler (Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse) populates a world of intriguewith supernatural creatures in this highly entertaining novel. AllenCabbot is saved from flunking out of graduate school by the extremelydifficult Prof. Evergreen, who invites him to join a research projectin Prague. Almost immediately, Allen finds himself tangling with Battle Jesuits, a Society of Witches and a vampire, and he learns that Evergreen’s real goal may be the philosopher’s stone. The feisty ghostof 16th-century alchemist Edward Kelley serves as narrator,complaining about the picture on his Wikipedia entry while explainingthe history behind Allen’s adventure. While the characters lack depth,even the villains are approachable and likable. Dan Brown fans whodon’t mind a little humor and magic mixed into their thrillers willenjoy this charming tale. (Sept.)

Cool!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Deadpool



Thanks to all you cool types who sent such nice comments about the debut issue of Merc with the Mouth. You rock and/or roll.


Much obliged.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Publisher's Weekly on THE DEPUTY



The Deputy Victor Gischler. Bleak House (http://www.bleakhousebooks.com/), $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60648-046-5; $14.95 paper ISBN 978-1-60648-047-2


At the start of this solid noir from Gischler (Suicide Squeeze), the police chief of Coyote Crossing, Okla., asks Toby Sawyer, a part-time deputy, to keep an eye on the bullet-ridden body of redneck Luke Jordan, found late one night lying half-in and half-out of an old pickup truck. Since a 17-year-old girl Toby's fond of lives nearby, he can't resist the temptation to take a break from his vigil. On returning to the truck and discovering the corpse gone, Toby fears his dereliction of duty will end his job with the sheriff's office. In the course of his desperate search for the cadaver, Toby encounters a truckload of illegal Mexican aliens as well as corrupt colleagues. Meanwhile, as the body count rises, Toby's wife, with whom he has a loveless marriage, leaves town. The ending may be a bit upbeat for true noir devotees, but it leaves the door open for a sequel, which would be a welcome prospect, given Toby's appeal as a protagonist.
-- Publisher's Weekly


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rally Time, Mofos

Anthony Neil Smith has written a kick-ass follow up to his novel Yellow Medicine and it's called Hogdoggin'. In support o that, he's whipped up a virtual motorcycle rally. Cath up with the action below as guest-blogger Neil brings you up to speed. Pay attention or I'll smack you in the mouth. I'm Neil Diamond!


From Anthony Neil Smith:

In the Last Episode, Jedidiah Ayres spit in your soup at Hardboiled Wonderland.

It had been a strange few days for Steel God--the attempt on his private parts, the run-in with that strange guy at the Bibliothecary, and now being haunted by Emerson LaSalle. Or was it the pills and booze?

Even now, LaSalle’s plug of his bio-pic Pulp Boy--co-written by Anthony Neil Smith and Victor Gischler, being developed by Jake Dickey of Explosive Entertainment--echoed in his head like those song lyrics you just can’t remember, or like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle that vanished before you even opened the box.

Why would one of his heroes dis him like that? Especially if it was a figment of his own drug-addled, sleep-deprived imagination?

But Steel God was still sharp enough to realize he was being followed. Had been since the cemetery. It wasn’t a “blend in” sort of car. A convertible BMW. Whoever it was had been keeping about a half-mile back, obvious but not aggressive. He’d already figured out it wasn’t law--only one guy. That left jealous husbands (easy enough), vigilantes (easier), or one of the big fish from the drug trade (those were tough).

The follower would speed up when Steel God sped up, slow when he slowed. It took a truck stop outside of Sioux Falls to finally bring the guy out of the shadows.

Steel God went inside to grab some coffee and a slice of pie. It wasn’t ten minutes later when a disheveled man slid onto the stool beside him. Salt-and-pepper hair, usually very-well styled, sort of a hungover mess. Aviator shades, five o’clock shadow. Smelled like he’d worn the same clothes a week.

“Just a Sprite,” he told the waitress, stinking of bourbon.

Steel God just glanced at him, didn’t say a word.

Then the man asked, “What did he tell you?”

“Pardon?”

“LaSalle. Wh-what did he have to say?”

Steel God’s blood chilled in spite of the scalding black coffee. “The fuck are you talking about? Dude’s dead.”

“Then who were you talking to? What set you off?”

He’d been there watching the whole time. Waited out the blackout. And…he knew.

Steel God said, “Who are you, man?”

Ticked a grin, then nothing. He said, “I was rich. I was successful. I did it all in spite of LaSalle. But in the end, we became friends.”

“All right.”

“He was supposed to tell me the secret. He’d been working up to it, the secret of his prolificacy.” His voice cracked, and he lifted his fist, shook it at the sky. “But then that bear! That goddamned bear!”

Steel God took a bite of pie. It was nice pie. Chocolate.

“He did it on purpose. Let that bear get him. To foil me, I tell you. He had to have the last laugh over Stone Q. Mann.”

He glanced over. Steel God waited.

Mann said, “Ever heard of me?”

“Can’t say I have.”

“They made movies of my books.”

Steel God pulled a five from his pocket, laid it on the bar, and started to go. If this Mann fellow wasn’t hooked into the drug trade, then he was just some loon. Better ignore him.

Mann grabbed Steel God’s shoulder. “Wait. I can show you more. I can give you what it is you’re searching for.”

Any other man would’ve grabbed God that way, he’d have lost use of his arm. Immediately. But something about sad-sack Stone Q. Mann made him pause and give the guy a chance.

On their way out to the parking lot, Mann filled in some holes. “I met LaSalle at my first sci-fi convention when I was sixteen, seventeen, something like that. He was a hero! So I hoped he would read one of my stories. But when I approached him in the bar, he humiliated me. Handed my ass to me. So I vowed to top his success. And I did! I was the best-selling speculative novelist of the nineties.”

By then, they were at the trunk of Mann’s car. He opened it to reveal several boxes full of LaSalle’s books. Next to them was an electronic contraption that looked like something Q would give to Bond.

Mann went on, “When we buried the ax, I began learning so much more. I felt free as a writer, no longer tied to science or reason.” He spat those words like they were poison. “I mean, my sales plummeted, and I was handed off to smaller and smaller presses until, well…maybe they didn’t sell, but I was writing the best shit of my entire career! And just when I came to the point where LaSalle was ready to give me the final answer--”

“He croaked. Got it.”

“Yes! Croaked indeed. But I knew that his physical form could be transcended. I’ve been waiting for his ghost to return from the great beyond and deliver the final puzzle piece.”

Steel God grinned. Maybe Stone Q. Mann did understand.

“So, please, Mr. Biker, sir. What did LaSalle have to say to you? What as it I’ve been waiting for?”

“Well, he was kind of a prick.”

Mann’s excitement fell. His face went blank. “Still?”

“You knew him better than I ever did. He called me a fool.”

Mann shrugged. “So…four hundred thousand thousand dollars and career down the drain over…a real jerk.”

“Sorry.”

Just then, a Toyota Prius pulled up alongside Mann’s BMW. Then another on the other side. And then another roaming the edges of the parking lot. Inside all of them were men in Roman collars and dark sunglasses.

Mann looked panicked. “They found me. Oh shit. I’ve said too much. You need to get out of here.”

“Dude, take it down a notch.”

“No, you down notch it, sir! These men…they are stone cold killers.”

“They’re priests.”

“Exactly. You’d better hurry.” Mann shoved a box of books into Steel God’s arms, slammed the trunk and hopped in his car. He spun out of the parking lot, followed by all three of the Priuses.

Steel God stood watching a few minutes…then dropped the box of books, mounted his bike, and throttled up.

But before he left, he reached in and grabbed a couple of LaSalles--Sheriff Dracula and Death Throes of the Serpentine Queen. Why the hell not? It got dull on the road sometimes, even for a biker badass like himself.

*

What haven’t I said about Victor Gischler on these pages? You know I went to grad school with the guy, and he was there in the beginning of Plots with Guns. We read each others’ first drafts. We try to hit a few cities together for tours, conferences or just a round of golf along with our buddy Sean Doolittle whenever we can.

Plus, he’s a “genre chameleon”, able to slip into and out of sc-fi, crime, fantasy, superheroes, and literary fiction without skipping a step--it’s about telling a good story, and whatever instrument helps tell that story, that’s the one he’ll play.

Then there’s Emerson LaSalle, Gischler’s pseudonym/alter ego, designed as a way to revel in the glories of a type of sci-fi we don’t see much anymore: cheap, indulgent, and full of imagination, thus the LaSalle Principal: “Technology ruined science fiction.

A typical LaSalle novel would theoretically blend a sci-fi landscape with a Western or Crime plot, dotted with bad science (even for its time!) and flagrantly sexist depictions of giant-breasted alien women. Plus, he would rail against Nazis and animals a lot. And supposedly, he wrote over 400 of them.

When we talk LaSalle, we’re talking about the tendency to let logic fly in favor of ol’ fashioned shoot ‘em up, Cinemascope, Technicolor wonder. It’s like a spice you add to a work that might not be quite doing it for you on the page while you write.

You can find some LaSalle leanings in Gischler’s Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse, and even more so in his forthcoming Vampire A Go Go--featuring alchemists, vampires, werewolves, crack squads of battle priests, and ancient treasure. And I’ve heard his plans for even more actually using the nom de plume.

But let’s get to the heart of it all: Gischler is a true pulp hero. He writes fast, he writes smart, and every book or story is going to grab you by the balls. In an age when it feels like we’ve lost the thrill of grabbing a cheap paperback off the newsstand and leaving it behind on the bus for others to read, the story spreading like wildfire, Gischler gives us that again every time out of the gate.

And man, he got to write a Wolverine! How fucking cool is that? Keep up the good work, buddy.

Another thing we’ve got in common--one of the best damned publishers in the country: Bleak House Books. Hogdoggin’ is hitting stores now (Buy it on June 1st, please! Hogdoggin’ Monday!), and The Deputy will be following right behind in August. It’s a great fucking book. Mine’s a road romp through the raw and rough Minnesota prairies, and his is a dusty scorpion-bite noir set in Oklahoma. Both well worth your time.

*

Tomorrow, Sophie Littlefield can’t stop, won’t stop whuppin’ ass.

On the Main Stage: William Shatner, “Common People”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

wow. dullsville around Blogpocalypse these days. Why don't I post more? Hmmmm. I must suck. Yeah. That's almost certainly the answer. Although, I have been working rather hard on multiple projects at once. Comic books. Novels. Screenplays. I'll be a household name any day now. A very strange household in Madagascar. Full of drunk insane people. That sort of household.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

LOOK


Saw a great film yesterday called LOOK. This gem did incredibly well at the festivals and is just now available on DVD. It's directed by Adam Rifkin and one of the producers is Brad Wyman, the cool cat responsible for Monster and also the guy currently trying to organize the Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse film. When I was out to L.A. for the book festival and visiting with Brad, I expressed my interest in Look, and he generously slipped a DVD into my hands. Nice guy!


Look is shot entirely with surveillance cameras. The opening treats us to this informational tidbit: There are over thirty million surveillance cameras nationwide, and the average American is recorded more than 200 times a day. Whoa.


At first, Look would seem to be a voyeur's dream. The film begins with the audience spying on some very attractive teenage girls in a mall dressing room. We get to see just about everything. We also follow a department store manager's sexual exploits as he takes multiple female employees into the back room for ... well, you know.


But just when the film has comfortably seduced us with it's voyeuristic yumminess, things turn dark. The cameras record various characters making some very bad decisions as we take a left turn into noir territory. Some of these criss-crossing stories become quite chilling.


If you're looking for something a bit different, I suggest you give Look a try.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

THE DEPUTY



This just in. the new groovy cover for my forthcoming crime novel THE DEPUTY.
Kudos to designer Kristie Langone.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hey you tough-ass, hardboiled writer types!

Check out the new kids on the bock : New Pulp Press.

They look fun and word on the street is that they're open to submissions.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

LaSalle Remembered











As you all know by now, Anthony Neil Smith and I have penned a screenplay called Pulp Boy based (loosely) on the life of the late, great pulp author Emerson LaSalle. Well, LaSalle's estate sent me a package the other day containing some great photos which just shows you the sort of life LaSalle led. Enjoy.







































Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WINNER

My novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse has won the Bookspot Central book vs. book march madness style smackdown tournament.

I bet you're all glad this tournament thingy is over, so you can stop hearing me beg for votes. Hey, I'm glad too. I was getting sick of myself. I think I e-mailed ever person I ever met to get them in on the action. So it's over. No more harassing you. (At least not about this.) And man, this tournament lasted a MONTH. At first I was all like, "Hey, maybe vote for me if you have the time." But by the end it was "Oh, God help! I Need votes NOW!" So it feels good not to be so manic about it anymore. Yeah, time to calm it down. Breathe, Gischler. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

And it's also time to thank some folks. For everyone who voted in any round (many of you in every round): Thanks. I mean it. I really appreciate your taking the time. It's quite likely some of you logged into the Bookspot Central website specifically to vote for me and don't plan on ever going back again. Understandable. But it's a good website, full of entertaining reviews and commentary, so I hope you'll go back for a visit now and then.

One of the purposes of the tournament was to get people talking about books and maybe put readers onto authors they haven't read before. It worked. I've ordered Goblin War by Jim Hines and plan to order The Way of the Shadows by Brent Weeks. And while I do think some folks will order Go-Go now that might not have before, I think this strategy has backfired a bit too ... at least to some minor degree.

The tone of the competition seemed to change slightly in the last two rounds. I suspect some people will be resentful their pet book didn't win and will avoid my book at all costs. Indeed, some of the comments in the final round were a bit sad. One voter said that we should all vote for Brent Weeks since he was the "underdog" because Gischler has "published 25 novels." Did I? Did I black out for a decade? If so, then some publishers owe me a shitload of back royalties. I haven't published 25 novels. Not even close. And I assume that most of Weeks' reader are upstanding decent folk. Anyway, it's only a slight blemish on an otherwise positive experience.

But the fact remains that it is very damn cool that I've won. Hey, I lost an Edgar Award and an Anthony Award. So it's about time we scored one for the Gischler

Again ... you guys. YOU guys. Thanks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Your last chance for quality karma!

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank those who've voted for my novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse in Book Spot Central's tournament. You're the best. But voting is still open, and the race is too close to call. Voting closes tonight. So if you've been waiting to vote to make a last minute, dramatic impact, now is the time. Please go here and vote. Thanks!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

HOME ALONE



So the wife and boy are away to see grandma and grandpa. I am home alone bachelor style. I always take these opportunities to hurt myself. Later today hot wings. At some point I will cook a crock pot full of my famous 12-alarm radioactive death chili. Jackie is one smart, pretty helluva wife, but she does not truck with spicy food. I will probably also smoke cigars until I wheeze, twitch and pass out. This is why it's good that I not be left alone too often or for very long. I also stay up late and watch DVDs, so I'll be sleep deprived on top of everything else. Later today, I will be setting up my bachelor pavilion outside -- computer for novel writing, TV for viewing the Masters, near the grill for wings, etc. It better not rain [shakes fist at sky.]


Oh, and you didn't think I could stop myself from mentioning this again, did you? Please vote for my novel Go-GO Girls of the Apocalypse at Book Spot Central. It's a tight race, and I need your help. A number of people have already earned their awesome-wings by voting. Please help and go right here to vote.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Once more into the breach, Dear Friends!

Folks, if you've been following blogpocalypse recently, then you know I've been bugging the crap out of you to vote for me at Book Spot Central's book vs. book smackdown tournament, a competition organized like March Madness basketball. At first it was sort of a lark, but then I was in the sweet sixteen, then the elite eight, and then -- much to my sincere surprise -- the final four.

Now I'm in the finals, and, I'll be honest, it's still all for fun ... but I really really want to win. I admit it.

This is going to be a tough one, people. I'm definitely the underdog. I'm up against a fantasy novel called The Way of the Shadow by Brent Weeks. Right now the vote count is as tight as hell, but Weeks has a lot of loyal readers and once they really wake up and mobilize, the Gischler is in some deep doo-doo.

You guys have taken me me this far. It's all you. And I'm grateful as hell. I'm going to be borrowing against good deeds until the year 2024 to pay back the karma debt.

But I need you just one more time. One more vote (and they also ask for a sentence or two to explain why) and I can stop hounding you about this. For those who've vote already ... thanks. Go get your friends and neighbors to vote now. For the rest of you, baby, this is it. The final push. Please go here and vote. You do have to register, but I understand it just takes a minute.

Thanks and double thanks.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Sequel ... to go back for seconds or not?

Those who've read my books (and thanks for doing that) know that I don't write a series. I'm not a series kind of guy. This is not to say anything against those who do write a good series. Heck, that Reacher fellow has a lot more readers than I do. But it's just not for me. When I sit down to write a novel, I like knowing I can do anything I want with the cast of characters. I can use them up. Nobody needs to survive for further installments. And then I have a nice clean slate for the next book. New characters, new situations. I don't have to go back to earlier books to maintain continuity. Clear sailing.

Recently, I got an e-mail from a dude named Scott who suggested I stop jacking around and get to work on a a sequel to Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse since he liked it so much. Scott is not alone in this sentiment. I have gotten a lot of requests for a sequel. Dare I say a shitload? Yes, I dare. Some of these requests came in the form of e-mails, others in person when I went around doing some signing events last summer. It seemed like the first question out of everyone's mouth was "when are we going to see more adventures with Mortimer?"

Here's the thing: For the first time ever I was actually excited about the idea of writing a sequel. I even went as far as thinking up additional characters, a general plot and strategies for avoiding what I consider to be common pitfalls with sequels. I pitched the idea for a sequel to my publisher.

My publisher said this: "You should shove that idea straight up your ass, Gischler."

Okay, they were more professional and polite than that. They explained that traditionally sequels only sell half as well as the first novel. They were not hip to a sequel. (Although calling my next novel Vampire A Go-GO sort of makes it sound like a sequel.)

So there you have it, people. I anticipate I will still have readers requesting a sequel, and I wish I could have better news for them. But until my publisher (or some other publisher?) comes demanding I get writing the next apocalypse book, it looks like a NO-GO instead of a GO-GO.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse in the Final Four

Well, folks I owe all of you a heartfelt thanks. Your votes have put my novel into the final four in Book Spot Central's book vs. book tournament. I'm actually surprised as hell because it looked to me like Jim Hines' novel Goblin War was going to run away with it. My thanks to Jim for running a good campaign. He's got a lot of loyal readers, and I think the tournament has done its job in bringing worthy novels to our attention. Well done, Book Spot Central.

I'll refrain from the hard sell at the moment, but if you happen to want to vote, I'd appreciate it. VOTE HERE. Let's keep it on the level people. One vote per person.

(And I promise a non-"vote for me" blog post coming soon.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Begging for votes ...



If you've tuned into this blog the last week or so, then you know I've shamelessly been asking folks to head over to Book Spot Central and vote for my novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. (I'm even getting a little sick of myself.) I was actually pretty surprised to win the first couple of rounds. But now I've run up against the novel Goblin War by Jim C. Hines. Hines must have some pretty loyal fans, because he's really piling up the votes, and I probably won't be able to catch him unless a miracle happens. Win or lose, I'm proud to say that I think Mr. Hines and I have put on a pretty good show and my book vs. his looks to be the biggest match of the tournament. (So far anyway.)

Having said that, I feel a very warm and fuzzy swelling of gratitude to the many folks who have voted for me. And hey, it's not over yet. I'd appreciate anyone's vote right now if you haven't voted yet. Go and vote now!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Go-Go makes it to the Elite Eight ... but all is not rosey



I'd like to thank all of you who've been voting for my novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse over at Book Spot Central's book vs. book smackdown tournament. But I'm currently getting my ass handed to me by a a book called Goblin War. Folks, get over there and vote. I know, I know. I'm getting tired of hearing myself ask it. But we've come to far to give up. GO VOTE!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book vs. Book Smackdown ... One last plea

Folks, Book Spot Central's book vs. book tournament rages on. Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is in a tough battle and needs your vote. Those who have voted already are officially declared awesome by the state and local agencies in charge of such things. Those of you who have been waiting to vote in order to build suspense should go vote now! Voting will close soon. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twitter me this, Batman

So I used to be on Twitter. Then I quit. I just couldn't imagine people wanted to get updates on what I was eating or watching on TV. So I bailed. Then some dude tricked me into going back. Now I'm a twit. Or is it twitterer? Huh. The point is that I need followers. Why? To conquer stuff, I guess. Something small at first. Maybe the Popeye's Chicken down the street. They are SO SLOW and ALWAYS get my order wrong. No gravy on the mashed potatoes, bastards!

Where was I? Ah.

So if you are a twitter person, or think you might like to be, then please consider following me on Twitter. Don't you want to know what I'm doing every second? Sure you do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bullet point of the apocalypse

* First, many many thanks to all of the awesome folks who voted for Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse over at the Book Spot Central book vs. book smackdown tournament. Your efforts have propelled me into the Sweet Sixteen round. Voting is open for the next round, so I hope you'll stick with me and go vote again. Thanks!

* Next, thank you thank you thank you to the cool people in the Louisiana State University English Department who run the Readers & Writers Series and invited me to read last night to a very receptive crowd. It was fun. Double extra thanks to Professor Brannon Costello who introduced me and made me sound like a big shot. Poet Laura Mullen put the whole event together. Thanks heaped onto her also. The other reader on the bill was poet Oni Buchanan who dazzled the crowd the a multi-media presentation. Super-keen fun all around.

* If you enjoy apocalypse and own an X-Box360 then you should be playing THIS.

* Vampire A GO-GO has sold to Germany.

* TEASER. New awesome projects in the works. Stay tuned to this blog for announcements.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book Spot Central book vs. book smackdown ... Go-Go Girls against the ropes



Folks, voting is still open at Book Spot Central and my novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is trailing by just a vote or two. Don't wait. Go and vote now! The Go-Go Girls will thank you. (Not in person.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SNIKT



The cool folks over at Comic Book Resources caught up with me recently to ask a few questions about the upcoming issue of Wolverine I wrote for Marvel Comics. Go check it out.

Book Spot Central book vs. book smackdown tournament: part 2



I'm still not exactly sure how this works, but apparently my novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse has made it past the first round. If you didn't have a chance to vote before (or would like to vote again) then go to Book Spot Central and vote for the fighting Go-Go Girls. If you do, you'll build Karma.

Monday, March 16, 2009

GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE March Madness Tournament Smackdown!



Just got word that Book Spot Central is running some sort of March Madness type tournament in which they pit novels against one another in a cage match. Blood and carnage. If you read Go-GO and enjoyed the novel, then please go vote. I'm only just hearing about this tournament, and I'm not 100% clear on all the details, but everyone loves a good fight, right? GO VOTE!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday night wine choice



Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Blind animals.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yo, Cross-genre types, PLOTS WITH (ray) GUNS needs you.



Anthony Neil Smith needs your kick-ass noir/transgressive stories ... but with a future twist. You can check out submission details RIGHT HERE.

Okay, writer types. Lets see if you have the chops for PWG.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pulling the plug on the bullshit (before somebody puts an eye out)

Over at the Emerson LaSalle entry at wikipedia.org there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not LaSalle is a hoax and if the entry should be deleted. They claim Emerson LaSalle might not be real.

Uh ... duh.

Really, wasn't it sort of obvious? Did anyone think this was a serious attempt to fool anyone? I mean, maybe for a second until people think, "No way." I've gotten dozens of e-mails asking something like, "Hey, you're just screwing with us, right?" And I always write back and say, "yeah it's just a goof" or words to that effect. A number of people have also noticed that photos of LaSalle have really been pictures of Irish author James Joyce. Most people enjoyed playing along and totally "got it."

I appreciate all of the people who have been in on the joke. Believe it or not, I didn't create the LaSalle wikipedia entry or the entries on GoodReads.com, nor did I write all of the "scholarship" and "tributes" that appears on other blogs and web pages. I'm only responsible for what's appeared on this blog. Basically this started with a lot of people having fun and pretending. But now this hoax business is apparently endangering our American way of life. It's time to stop the madness.

More to the point, I don't want the fun goof of a fake LaSalle to distract from the very real news that Jake Dickey at Explosive Entertainment Motion Pictures has optioned PULP BOY, the screenplay I've co-written with Anthony Neil Smith. This news, at least, is very very real, and Neil and I are very happy that Mr. Dickey gets the character, story and style of humor. I'll post further film news as things happen. (And it's real. I mentioned that, right?)

So, just to be very clear, Emerson LaSalle is not any more real than Big Foot or Santa Clause or James Patterson. (But the film news is real.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pony up for SAFER



My pal Sean Doolittle has a new novel out today called SAFER, a helluva thriller. Sean's back in hardcover, and deservedly so. Buy this book or you will go to hell. That's straight from the Pope, people. Safer or hell. Your choice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The story behind the Emerson LaSalle screenplay PULP BOY



It was back in grad school at the University of Southern Mississippi that I co-wrote my first serious attempt at a screenplay with author and pal Anthony Neil Smith . It was called Crescent City Smackdown, a zealously violent and darkly humorous tale about wannabe criminals and corrupt New Orleans cops. We would split a six-pack of cheap beer, sitting side by side at Neil's computer, trying to iron out exactly what was funny and entertaining and what wasn't. We finished the screenplay, showed it to people. Many complimentary notes from a number of quarters, but nobody was coming close to optioning this thing or making it. It was hard to get it in front of the right people. We didn't have agents then or novels or anything at all and might as well have tossed the thing into the street as send it to producers. The script became just another random stack of papers in my desk drawer. So as you might imagine, it was a while before I decided another screenplay might be worth the time and effort.


Eventually, I approached Neil with the idea of Emerson LaSalle. Neil and I were living our after grad school lives now, so we couldn't collaborate as we had before, but we spent some time on the phone, getting a battle plan together, deciding on the tone of the screenplay, the characters etc. You see, we felt strongly we couldn't approach this like a standard bio pic. There was too much and it was too disorganized. Emerson had sent me boxes and boxes of false starts and ragged attempts at a memoir, some of it on floppy disks and much more on yellowing typed pages. He'd start off on his time in the Sudan and three pages later he was off on some story about some girl who'd given him a handjob at a sci-fi convention in 1971. There were long rants against people I'd never heard of, and just when I was about to give up and quit reading, Emerson would ease into an eloquent string of self reflections which were nearly poetic and always insightful. So it was a mess. Boxes and boxes of mess. But there was gold down in the mine if one were willing to dig for it.
So I decided, and Neil agreed, that we should approach it like a story and make Emerson LaSalle the protagonist. Treat it like any other tale.
Almost as if LaSalle were fictional.
So we updated everything, took events from LaSalle's life which transpired here and there over fifty years and compacted them into a plot. We combined characters. We played fast and loose with timelines. But what we accomplished, in my humble opinion, was a fair depiction of the man himself and the themes that cropped up again and again in his life. The result was a screenplay called Pulp Boy.
It has been said that Philip K. Dick is the poor man's Kurt Vonnegut. If so, then Emerson LaSalle is the poor man's Philp K. Dick. LaSalle always seemed one or two (or ten?) steps removed from the limelight he so richly deserved. I'm just glad that Jake Dickey and Exlposive Entertainment Motion Pictures is going to take a crack at this. Fingers crossed that it all comes together.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Emerson LaSalle for the Big Screen?

I've been waiting a while for the folks over at the LaSalle website to finally break THIS NEWS so I could talk about it. Seems there was quite a bit of litigation over intellectual property rights, but that's all been settled now. I'll be back soon with a post full of details and juicy anecdotes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Legends of the Smith Corona #00



"In 1950, I wrote an epic space opera called To Swallow the Sun in eleven hours. The book was 600,000 words long. To be fair, I passed off a number of short chapters as 'cloud person' talk which basically consisted of random groupings of the letter F. So a typical cloud person conversation might go like this:

'Fffff ff f fffffffff fffff f ff fffff.'

'Ffff?'

'F.'

And so on. It was a pretty damn long novel, so I would often take chapters from the beginning and copy them over again at the end. Nobody seemed to notice. The last three hours I snorted lines of Ovaltine to keep awake. I could not afford milk then and lived mostly on army surplus k rations and Brill Cream."

-- Emerson LaSalle in an interview with Hugh Downs, 1970.

The perfect nightly snack




Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now it can be told ... film edition

As you know, I've been waiting for a few things to fall into place, so I can announce them here at Blogpocalypse. It is with pride that I recently announced the fine folks at Bleak House Books would be publishing my new crime novel The Deputy. Now I'm happy to report that producer Brad Wyman -- the dude responsible for some pretty cool films -- has optioned my novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. Mr. Wyman is eager to make the film version as close to the novel as possible, and I'm thrilled as hell.

I'll keep you updated as I find out more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Now it can be told ...



I've been waiting for a few bits of news to become "official" so I can crow a bit here at blogpocalypse. Now I can share at least one of these news items. As many of you already know, I went on a tangent into a new genre with a new publisher (Touchstone) and I tried my hand at some post apocalypse fiction -- as well as some vampire and werewolf stuff coming this September.

But you didn't really think I was going to leave crime writing, did you? I'm happy to report that Bleak House Books will be publishing my next crime novel The Deputy later this year. I'm excited as hell. The team at Bleak House is tops.
The Deputy is a short, tight pulpy little book that I'm kinda-sort of proud about. I was thrilled when the Bleaksters shared my enthusiasm. More as developments unfold ...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

25 random things (yeah, this meme caught up with me too.)

Over at Facebook, writer Lee Goldberg tagged me with this 25 random things meme that's been bouncing around the blogs. I'm supposed to list random things about me. So ... here it goes:

1. I was a huge lover of science fiction and fantasy long before I got into crime fiction.

2. I have a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern Mississippi.

3. I *hate* shaving but don't think I look particularly good with a beard.

4. My Italian publisher is Meridiano Zero. They treat me like a king and I love them!

5. I enjoy drinking beer at Epcot.

6. I enjoy traveling with my father. We've been around the world and all over Europe and the USA.

7. My wife also has a Ph.D. and is a much better academic than I am.

8. I am training my five year old son to be a Jedi Knight with plastic light sabers we got for Christmas.

9. I love independent films and am about to finalize an option for my 2nd screenplay.

10. The show Father Ted cracks me up.

11. I am eagerly waiting for season 3 of Venture Brothers to come out on DVD.

12. I love to grill and prefer charcoal to gas.

13. Even as I fool around with thise meme, I'm behind on other writing projects.

14. I've been "best man" for two weddings and would have been best man for a third but got very sick very suddenly and had to bail. (For which I was very sorry.)

15. I drink waaaaaaay too much coffee.

16. I am writing this on Super Bowl Sunday and could care less about the Super Bowl. I'm much more interested in the final round of the FBR Open.

17. I've written issues of Punisher and Wolverine (forthcoming) for Marvel Comics.

18. I used to live on 5 acres in backwater Oklahoma where deer and other animals routinely wandered through the yard.

19. I get my news from TV and radio ... not newspapers.

20. I own a double-barrel shotgun.

21. I stayed in Baton Rouge for Hurricane Gustav.

22. Some douchebag swiped my lawn mower.

23. I am buying a new lawn mower today.

24. I like a rainy day as long as I don't have to go anywhere.

25. In my opinion, Warren Zevon kicks ass.

Okay. I'm now supposed to tag 25 people, but after doing a little math, I realize I don't even know 25 people. So the first 25 people who read this should tag themselves.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Trying to Sci-fi Myself



I've started three science fiction novels in the last few weeks and tossed them all down before finishing. Not because they were terrible. No. They just didn't grab me. Then I got my mitts on THE LAST COLONY by John Scalzi. Ahhhhhh. Good stuff. Solid entertainment. Good work, Mr. Scalzi. I've also enjoyed (very very much enjoyed) Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades. Somehow Zoe's Tale slipped thru the cracks, but I'm, sure I'll get back to it sooner or later.


Again, Scalzi = awesome.


Trev Maviano ... back in action

During the first run of Plots With Guns, there was this fearless dude who wrote a column. His name? Trevor Maviano. This guy ain't afraid to stir the pot, and it looks like he's coming back to the new Plots With Guns to spit warm gin in your eye. Catch the attitude over at Anthony Neil Smith's blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thanks for playing

Much obliged to those who helped shape my world view by giving me a thumbs up or down on some controversial issues in my previous post. Now the answer key:

Anchovy pizza is definitely a thumbs up. I used to tell people I ordered little fish on my pizza to keep bum pals of mine from asking for a slice. But the fact is I really do like the taste. Coors Light. Alas, a thumbs up. This almost not beer serves a purpose when mowing the lawn on a 99 degree day or slaving over a hot grill. Deep down, I know it's bad beer, but a fellow needs to hydrate. Abba is soooooo far down that it is back up again. This is simple pop culture physics, people. The Wii is cool and I love the golf. But it's expensive and my wife nagged me or one. Thumbs down. Phil Mickelson. Up, douchebags. Roy Orbison. Up. But my pals made fun of me in high school, so I wasn't sure. American Idol. Down, and yet for some reason I watch it anyway. I'm ashamed. The film DEATH PROOF is a sluggish up. I heard from so many people that it sucked, that my expectations were rock bottom when I saw it. And naturally it wasn't that bad. Real wives of ANYWHERE is a thumbs down. (The show, I mean. Not actual wives.)

I forget the rest. Meh. Who cares?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Extremely controversial issues


Folks, for years I've found myself in the middle of a storm of controversy over some issues which seem to pop up again and again in my life. I've decided these important issues can only be solved by blog readers. So I need you to weigh in on the following issues which remain of paramount importance to our nation ... indeed to the whole world.

Please give me your thumbs up or thumbs down on the following:

1. Roy Orbison
2. Anchovies on pizza
3. Coors Light
4. The film DEATH PROOF
5. Real Wives of Atlanta
6. The Wii
7. Texas
8. Abba
9. the Kindle
10. the McRibb sandwich
11. Air France
12. Phil Mickelson
13. Shaving
14. Grits
15. Wal-Mart
16. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
17. Fresh water fishing
18. James Joyce
19. American Idol
20. any card game where you "bid"

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Conan the Barbarian Meets Mad Max"

It warms my heart parts that Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is still getting some nice mentions.
Thanks to the folks at Arcon Citadel for this great review.

John Mortimer R.I.P.



Word is making its way around the blogs that author John Mortimer has passed away. This is sad for obvious reasons. On a personal level I'm even a bit more sad. My wife and I do not share the same tastes in television shows, but Rumpole of the Bailey was one of the few programs we watched together and both loved. We own all the episodes on DVD, and each episode is introduced by Mortimer himself. Might be time to watch those again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gischler says: "Pay attention to Scott Phillips"


You can do that by going HERE.

Do it, damn your eyes! I have commanded you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pulpy Sci-fi Goodness



Everyone has checked out the new Emerson LaSallle web-joint, right?


Well, do it. DO IT, I SAYS!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gischler sucks / Gischler's awesome

In a recent one-star Amazon review for Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse, Jayna Pavlin writes, "I love the genre when it's well done and this book was not. It is full of predictable and flat supporting characters, female characters fully content with the loss of rights, sexual stereotypes, and a main character that is just not very interesting at all. The writing is about on par with a work of puberty fueled fan fiction."

Ouch. No hard feelings, Jayna. I appreciate your giving the book a try. I hope you get all the Dr. Who stuff on your Amazon wish list.

On the other hand, horror author Bryan Smith's Top Ten Reads of 2008 lists Go-Go as one of his favorites. So, that's worth like at least eleven stars, right?

So really I'm way ahead.

Monday, January 12, 2009

So bad it's good?



Every word of this negative review just made makes me want to subscribe more and more. Thanks to Professory Fury for the heads up.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Emerson LaSalle

I think there will soon be some interesting Emerson LaSalle news. It will probably be announced (eventually) right HERE .... so stay tuned.