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 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, 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.'



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.