Saturday, December 31, 2011

RESOLVED

Much like my last blog post, this one also seems somewhat obligatory at this time of year. Yeah, the old resolutions for 2012. For one thing, I need to get serious again about what I eat and how much exercise I can tolerate. I lost 25 pounds in 2011, but put some of it back on at the end ... especially during the holidays. So, sure, one of my resolutions will be to find my discipline again.

But I wanted to come up with some writer-centric resolutions for this post. It wasn't so easy. As a guy who writes for a living, I feel I have my face smashed to the grindstone pretty good most of the time. I generally make deadlines and do my job. Still, there are some trouble spots that could use some work. Here we go.

1. Have more patience. I am NOT by nature a patient person. I feel like I am constantly tapping my foot and waiting for somebody else to get off the dime. I must force myself to realize I am but a single writer and not at the center of my editor/agent/producer's universe.

2. Don't have TOO much patience. Waiting to be sanctioned or waiting for permission isn't a good use of time. I'm going to use that time to GO. Work on SOMETHING rather than sit by the phone or constantly check email to see if my pitch/manuscript/idea was green lit or flushed down the toilet. Writing is a very make-it-happen-yourself business.

3. Finish things. I have eclectic interests. Eclectic is code for scatterbrained. I love science fiction, crime, fantasy. I write comic books, novels and screenplays. The result is I have a bunch of projects started and all in different formats and genres. Time to get organized and see these projects through to the end. I will sit down and prioritize which projects get attention first and for how long, etc. If I have a deadline, then I'm good about meeting it. But the projects I'm working on for myself always seem to sit there half-finished. No more.

4. Clean up/out my office. Declare "this is my writing space" and get to work.

5. Make contact with good artists, inkers, letterers, colorists, etc. Writing for Marvel means I've been privileged to work with some outstanding artists. But as I stumble and bumble my way toward some creator-owned projects, I need to do the legwork of meeting many of these types of professionals myself.

6. Drink more coffee. Is this even possible? We'll see.

7. Find that sweet spot between indulging myself and writing what a large audience might want to read. I always write better and faster when I'm working on something that interests me. I never think of audience. I tried to write a "big commercial thriller" once and it was a huge flop of a smelly turd. Got a hundred pages in and had to abort that puppy before I hurt myself and others. So I write for myself. But that doesn't mean I don't want other readers to like it too. So where is the balance? I hope to find out.

8. Write EVERY day. Sometimes, after I meet a big deadline, I think, "Okay, Dude, you deserve a few days off." As Clint Eastwood said in Unforgiven, "deserve's got nothing to do with it." Even if it's just a paragraph, I will do my damnedest to write every day.

Okay, that's it for now. Not brilliant, earth-shattering stuff. Just some common sense things I hope will help.

What about you? Any resolutions that could help a fellow scribe?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So long 2011 ... What you lookin at, 2012?

So why should I be any different? I mean, it's that time of year, right? Looking back .... looking ahead. What else is a blog for?

In a way, 2011 felt like loading a bunch of bullets into a gun, bullets meant to be shot in 2012. On the film front, a lot of progress was made toward the film versions of this novel and also this novel. I even wrote the screenplay adaptation of this novel myself. But it will be in 2012 that we see if any of these efforts go anywhere. Fingers crossed. Toes crossed. Eyes crossed.

2011 also saw new life for THE DEPUTY a novel I always felt maybe fell between the cracks a bit when it was making the jump from one publisher (Bleak House) to another (Tyrus), but thanks to a cool promotional giveaway by the publisher, the novel found a ton of new readers.

In 2011, I took two trips to Italy. Hello, Italian readers! I love you. Coming to see you again in 2012.

On the funny book front, I continued to write X-MEN for Marvel Comics. An honor and a privilege. 2012 will (I hope) bring some new funny book surprises. There is a strong possibility I'll be adding the words "creator owned" to my resume.

Some years seem to drag by, endlessly pummeling us with misery. I've had those years. But now that I look up and rub my eyes and look at the wake I've left plowing through 2011, I sort of wonder where the year went. I got a lot done ... and yet ... and the same time I have an acute feeling of so many things left undone. Come January 2, I'll be hitting the gas pedal hard to make things happen.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat

Hey, folks. People have been giving me books lately. Lots of them. For blurbs or just to check out or often for no reason I can understand at all. I'm not complaining, but it has been hard to get to them all, and I'm swamped as hell.

So when when Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen was brought to my attention I lamented the fact that I just don't have time to read it ... but I probably will when I can clear some time as it seems like my cup of java.

I'm not familiar with Another Sky Press, but both the press and the novel seem well worth investigating. Apparently, the press gives the books away for free or at cost depending on the format, and you can send a contribution to the author if you dig the stuff.

Anyone know anything about these guys? In the meantime, give this book a try and report back. If you've read it, let me know what you think.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA RE-WATCH

I never watched Battlestar Galactica on TV for the simple reason I knew I'd want to see it but I also knew I'd miss episodes and I hate having to catch up. So I ignored the entire run of Galactica ... until it came out on DVD.

I then power-watched the whole thing in like a week. Frazzled my brain.

Now ... a couple years later ... I'm watching it again. And enjoying it again. There are certain shows that I find very re-watchable, and I'm finding Battlestar Galactica to be one of those shows. (Although I've been warned that the last few episodes of the final season are not worth re-watching. We'll see.) I also have Band of Brothers on DVD and re-watch that from time to time as well as The Venture Brothers. I'm also partial to the Family Guy Star Wars parodies. I think I might also grab Archer on DVD.

A good run of a re-watchable show is an important commodity. Something to put on in the background while working or to provide entertainment when I'm just flat out too lazy to delve into something new.

So let's hear it. What shows do you find re-watchable?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's December. Don't wait until the last minute for your last-minute shopping!

Okay. It's the season of giving, and I want your money.

Wait. That didn't come out right. What I mean to say is, hey, why not give the gift of Gischler this year? It's easy and fun and just a few clicks away. Some examples:

G0-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is the first of my novels ever to be turned into an audio-book, so for the loved one in your life too lazy to turn pages click here.

But maybe that's a little expensive. Hey, you can still get THE DEPUTY on kindle for FREE if you're an Amazon Prime member. Non-members only pay 6.99 and the "give as a gift" button makes it an easy choice for last minute gift-giving.

Or you can really go low budget with my very early work THREE ON A LIGHT. Mmmmm, smell the cheapness.

So why not inflict some Gischler on folks this season. They "deserve" it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank you for reading THE DEPUTY

I want to sincerely thank all the new readers who have given THE DEPUTY a try. After last week's big publicity push, a ton of you downloaded THE DEPUTY on kindle to give it a read, and the results have been great. You're awesome. If you enjoyed the book and would like to be sprayed with hot buttery karma, then send a hundred friends right here to get a copy of the novel so they can try it for themselves. Thanks again!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Help an author ... and it won't cost you a dime.

Folks, I've been pushing my novel THE DEPUTY the last few days. A lot. Why? Because it is FREE on Kindle and Nook right now. You're probably wondering how that helps The Gischler. Steady on. I'll explain.

But first let me express sincere gratitude to those of you who actually paid money for this thing. When the novel first came out, you reached into your own pocket and paid the going rate for a paperback or hardcover or eBook. You rock. I luvs you and that's for reals. But THE DEPUTY is not a shiny new book anymore, and the recent FREE sales promotion is a chance to breathe new live into the novel and get it out to more readers.

I've talked to my publisher Tyrus/F+W Crime who explained that giving the novel away for free really is a good strategy in the long run. It helps build interest and momentum. So by getting a copy for free, you are helping me. Give it as a gift. Use the Kindle app on your Droid or iPhone. Spread the word. Hey, it's free. No risk to give it a try or to harass ten friends to give it a try.

Get it anyplace they provide eBooks on any format, but mostly on the Nook or on the Kindle.

Thanks.

And if you have a free or cheap eBook you want to promote, then leave a link in the comments and tell us about it. I don't mind sharing my stump.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Triumphant Return of EMERSON LaSALLE!

Folks, it's been a long time coming, but at last Emerson LaSalle is back! Pulp legend LaSalle is the author of over 400 novels and 1200 short stories and continued to write up to his death in 2007 when he was fatally mauled by a bear outside his cabin in Calamity, Idaho. LaSalle is famous for saying "technology is ruining science fiction" and embraced the often derided term "sci-fi."



Now, you can introduce yourself to his work with this .99 cent short story "Harry Truman vs The Aliens" available on kindle. Go. Buy. Hurry.





I implore you to give this legend a try. Ignore these reviews, LaSalle has recieved for his work over the years:




"Just ... no." New York Times.



"Wh0?" Locus.



"I feel dirty and betrayed." St. Louis Post Dispatch.



"It is everything that is wrong with Science Fiction." Washington Post.



"On a personal level, I'd like to punch Emerson [LaSalle] in his fucking face." Arthur C. Clarke



"Somehow, LaSalle has taken every mistake every writer has ever made in the history of literature and fit them all into a 5000 word short story. It truly is a miracle of failure." Gore Vidal



























Thursday, November 3, 2011

CONtraflow in New Orleans, Mofos

See that picture of a spaceship? That's just to put you in a sci-fi mood. Because if you come see author guest of honor David Brin at CONtraflow in New Orleans this weekend, you can also find me hanging around cluttering up the place too. I'll be happy to sign books and drink beer or do a little dance. Whatever pleases thee. I'll be on some panels and junk. See you there.





Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A New Crime Thriller from Anthony Neil Smith

Here at Blogpocalypse, it's my pleasure to occasionally pimp for pals, and my pal Neil has written a new winner, a novel called ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS. This is an eBook with the new Blasted Heath Press, a publisher specializing in eBooks. No print. Print is on the way out? Maybe. It doesn't matter. Today's important message is GO BUY NEIL'S NEW NOVEL!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Black Corsair





On my recent trip to Italy, I was proud and grateful to be awarded THE BLACK CORSAIR along with fellow authors Joe Lansdale, Tim Willocks and Massimo Carlotto. The award is given to writers who "expertly mixed noir, pulp, and adventure in his novels, in the tradition of Emilio Salgari."

I'm honored.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back from Italy




I have lots of fun stories to share from my visit to Padova, Italy for the Sugar Pulp festival. But first I want to thank Tazio Bettin for his great art inspired by my novel GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE. A really nice surprise. I'm thrilled my novel was good enough in his eyes to motivate a couple of neato drawings.








Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Don't walk, RUN to your local comic book store!






And get the spiffy-keen first issue of HULK vs DRACULA!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

X-MEN and the FF together, baby!



The current arc of X-Men featuring the FF is one of my personal favorite things I've written for Marvel. I was especially delighted to discover how fun it was writing Ben Grimm.


So ... it's never too soon to pre-order.

Sweet!





Deadpool Corps lives on!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Blogpocalypse Interview: Jeff Shelby



Author Jeff Shelby is a stand-up guy. I've had beers with him and played golf with him among the tractors and emus. So when I heard he had a new book out -- LIQUID SMOKE -- I thought it would be cool to give the four readers who frequent this blog a chance to find out about him.













BLOGPOCALYPSE: So Liquid Smoke is a book or something?

JS: Well, it's also something you add to your BBQ, but in this case, yes. It's a book. With words and everything. Not big ones, but words nonetheless. It's about a PI in San Diego who finds out his father is a horrible human being and then basically his life implodes. So...it's a feel good story you might find on Lifetime.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: Surfing. When’s the last time you did this, and how do you keep from drowning? Tell us why it’s an important part of your novels.

JS: It's been awhile. You keep from drowning by waving at the lifeguards before the sharks get to you. I grew up around San Diego, never far from the beach and the ocean was always a big part of my life. I thought that using San Diego as the backdrop for a crime fiction series would offer me the opportunity to use an underutilized locale in fiction. I thought that having a character who was an avid surfer would a small extra layer to the character's persona. I also thought it would offer me the opportunity to travel to San Diego and write the cost off.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: You’ve had a little hiatus since your last novel was published. Catch us up and talk about your expectations going forward.

JS: Ah, yes. The hiatus. Otherwise known as publishing no-man's land. It took awhile to find this third Noah book a home. I quit on it for awhile and then enough people told me not to quit on it, so I pushed forward. I found a fantastic agent (yes, BEER FOR LIFE) who believed it and found it the right home. I'm incredibly pleased that this book is now out there. My expectations going forward are to write a few more Noah books, win the Powerball and then run for governor of Texas. Also – I'm grilling a hamburger for dinner.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: I hear you’ve got an alter-ego writing another book. Spill.

JS: His name is Jeffrey Allen. His book is called Stay At Home Dead. It's about a stay at home dad, his family and a dead body in his mini-van. Also – there's a midget, which guarantees New York Times bestseller status. It's a goofier, less serious mystery than Liquid Smoke because that's how Jeffrey Allen rolls. It comes out in January.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: If you get wind of a dudes trip to play golf at Disney, you want in, don’t you? Admit it.

JS: Hell yes. And then we can get our nails done afterward!

BLOGPOCALYPSE: Are you working on anything else? What should we be watching for?

JS: I'm working on several other things – a standalone, the next Noah book, the next Jeffrey Allen book and a compilation of short stories. In the ever changing world that is publishing, I have a feeling you'll see them sooner rather than later. Does that sound cryptic? YES IT DOES.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: Any conventions or signings coming up. Tell process servers where they can find you.

JS: Sadly, no. Given that I am now enlightening America's youth as a full-time high school English teacher, travel has become a bit difficult during the school year. I will, however, be at the grocery store tomorrow if anyone wants to meet me there. I'm usually in the cookie aisle.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: What’s your one secret wish?

JS: I would like to star in a remake of Top Gun. And I'd like you to play Goose. I swear – this time I'll be able to reach the ejection handle.




I just hope Jeff is a better pilot than I am a golfer.

Readers are encouraged to leave rumors you've heard about Jeff (or made up yourself) in the comments section.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MUST HAVE!









You people are supposed to be my friends, yet none of you made me aware of this product.

HULK SMASH!




Friday, August 26, 2011

Bring Back Skully!

The current arc of X-Men kicked off this week with #16. The very cool guest stars are Sue and Reed Richards and the Thing and other members of The FF. But the bonus guest star is SKULL THE SLAYER a cool, pulpy character from the 1970s. I wish Marvel would let me write the further adventures of Skully. It would be a blast. Or if somebody else wrote it, I'd be happy to read it. I read a fistful of SKULL THE SLAYER comics to get a grip on the Scorpius Dimension for the current X-MEN run, and they were just cool and crazy and pulpy. Any other closet Skully fans out there?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Writing Advice about Writing Advice




Go to the blog of any writer, and chances are you'll find some advice about writing or a list of dues and don'ts, whatever. Once a writer achieves a certain level of success, they can't stop themselves telling you how to do it. You'll notice there isn't a lot of that here at Blogpocalypse. Hey, I used to teach writing at various colleges and whatnot? Shouldn't I be sharing my wisdom? What a selfish bastard I am.



The fact is I don't share any writing advice here for a few reasons. First, I don't want to bore the crap out of you people. The best writing advice is usually pretty basic stuff. Which means you've probably heard it a thousand times already. The other reason is that other writers on other blogs are already doing a better job giving advice, so you don't need it here.




So I've decided on a twist. Here is some writing advice ... about writing advice.



1. Write what you know. We've all heard this gem. The problem with this is ... what if you don't know jack shit? People, I know a LOT about sipping coffee in my boxer shorts and watching golf on TV. I'm an expert at it. But I'm not sure that would make much of a novel. (If you disagree, Dutton, make me an offer.) So obviously you need to get out in the world and know some shit. Live life. Explore. If you want to write what you know, then start filling your brain with stuff to tap into. This advice should really be DON'T write what you DON'T know. If your novel takes place in Prague then go there or at least hit the library and come home with a stack of research. Yes, you can fake it. I've done that too. But faking it can only get you so far. Also, some people think "write what you know" means certain topics are off limits. They're not. You just have to educate yourself.



2. Sit your ass down and write. This I actually agree with, but what bothers me about this advice is that it is so obvious I find it hard to believe anyone needs to be told this. It amounts to "pull down your pants before you sit on the toilet." Yes! We know! This should not be called advice. It should be called DUH.



3. Rules for writing. I flinch when people refer to "rules" for writing. There are no rules. When you go to a writing class, you are not learning "rules." When someone refers to rules, they are simply telling you good strategies that mostly work most of the time. That's not the same as a "rule." Even punctuation is up for grabs. Ever read Faulkner? Yeah. Name any rule you want, and a good writer will know how to break it or get around it or flat out ignore it. "Your first person protagonist must be alive at the end; otherwise, who is telling the story?" Fuck you. "Your protagonist must be sympathetic." Fuck you sideways.



4. Lists like this. Total bullshit. I'm obviously procrastinating.



5. Real writers write every day. Tell that to spouses and kids who actually expect you to engage with them now and then. Real writers would like to write every day. (And maybe that's not even true.) But just because your a special, creative, precious writer doesn't mean your off the hook from the other stuff that demands space in your life.



6. Carry a pad and pen with you at all times to jot down those great ideas. If you can't remember, then they're not so great. Anyway, just e-mail it to yourself with your smart phone.



7. Process. That word officially has no meaning. All the crazy crap you do to juggle your schedule and bust your ass to make a deadline is way too chaotic to call a "process." It's just survival. Here is my"process": Pour coffee. Start writing. Interviewers, please never ask me about my process again.



8. If you stick your thumb up your ass, it will help focus your ideas. What? You never heard that one? That's because I just made it up. Stop looking for "tricks" to get you writing. Writing is work. You do it, you sweat, you revise and you keep busting your ass.



So what am I missing? Let's hear what sort of writing advice you've been given and what you think about it.


Update: If you're going to give writing advice, then THIS is how you do it. Even if some of it might be advice you've heard before, you've never heard it delivered in this way. Nice one, Chuck.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Because I want your money is why!



I was talking with my family the other day, and Three on A Light came up in conversation. It's the collection of stories I wrote a long, long time ago. Two small presses wanted to publish it and folded before that could happen. So I put it on the Kindle and the Nook. My wife has always been a fan of this collection of linked short stories about a hardboiled shamus who takes on cases involving werewolves, vampires, witches, etc. In my opinion, the stories show the signs of "an author's early work" so I've never really pushed hard to sell a lot of copies.


But once in a while I feel the need to remind everyone it exists. For .99 cents I feel it's a pretty good deal. So go buy it RIGHT HERE. Because I want your money. Give it a try. Come on, you bargain hunters. Pony up.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Self revealing office cleanup party



Ten minutes into cleaning up (cleaning out?) my office, I knew it would result in a blog post. Maybe there is just something in the air because it seems like THIS GUY is also jettisoning some old baggage.


First, a little bit about my office. It really is more like a workshop. But I would chop off my own hands or something with anything resembling a tool, so I've put a desk out there, a computer, a DVD player and a TV.


And junk. Lots of damn junk. When we moved in, all the boxes of crap we didn't want to bring into the house went out into the workshop/office. I could have thrown that shit away in Oklahoma, but I thought it would be really clever to haul it all to Louisiana, let it sit around a few years and THEN throw it away. Because I'm an idiot, that's why.


I found a cool picture of my signing at a small book store in Oklahoma. It was when the UglyTown edition of Gun Monkeys first came out. I had long hair and was skinny. (Okay, not "skinny" but not the fatass I am today.)


I also found a stack of Ian Flemming paperbacks. My wife's. I've never read a Bond novel. I prefer the films because in the novels you have to hum the theme music yourself. I found copies of the French edition of The Pistol Poets. I never really caught on in France. I found a stack of 45 records. (Pet Shop Boys?) I threw them away to prove I am not a hoarder. I found a bunch of grad school books which I kept so I could put them on my shelf in my campus office when I became a big shot professor at a large university. (HAHAHAHAHA!)


I also found a very old, cheap journal that printed one of my poems. I read the poem. I then ripped up the journal into six thousand pieces, assuring it could never be reassembled.


People change. I can't imagine why I kept some of the papers I tossed out. I can't quite picture the person I used to be. I have no idea when I'll be like in ten years. I don't plan to spend too much time dwelling on it.


I do plan to spend more time in my office now. Man cave. Fort Gischler.






Monday, July 18, 2011

HOME IMPROVEMENT: Undead Edition






I'm pretty excited. Home Improvement: Undead Edition hits the world on August 2, and I happen to have a story in there. I can't tell you how grateful I am to editors Toni L.P. Kelner and Charlaine Harris for inviting me to submit a story.


In fact, I've already begun a fantasy novel based on the characters in the story. So double cool for Gischler.


Anyway, this blog post was spurred by the fact I got my contributor's copy today. Lucky me!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Calling All Nerds ...



I need your help.


First, some background: Every Tuesday evening is "No tech night" at Casa de Gischler. We unplug all video games, TV and computers in order to force ourselves to behave like a family and interact with one another. It's actually kinda cool. Anyway ... we also often have some kind of theme dinner and put a little extra effort into preparations.


This Tuesday, we're attempting a Lord of the Rings themed meal. My wife proposed this (she's re-reading Fellowship right now), and after I agreed, I found out that the idea was inspired by that hippie meal Tom Bombadil serves the hobbits in the Old Forest. I reminded my wife that Gimli mentions roast pork and "meat on the bone" at least once in the trilogy. We also talked about Googling a recipe for Waybread.


Anyway, I need Lord of the Rings suggestions for this meal. The suggestions can be inspired by a particular scene from the books or films, by a particular race, a theme, anything at all. If you can recall a scene in which Legolas eats ribeyes that would be especially helpful.


I'm counting on you, people.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Clockwork Woman






The cover for Emerson LaSalle's 1928 debut novel The Clockwork Woman! Thank you, Tony Lewis for the cool artwork.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Too much? Not Enough? How many hours in a day?



Lately I seem to find myself wanting to get a bunch of projects going at once. Even more than usual. I'm deep into a crime novel. And also deep into a very pulpy sci-fi novel. There is a fantasy novel I want to get back to. Now I'm starting to think about sequels to books I've written. I almost never think about sequels. But I have a couple of good ideas, and when my brain won't let an idea slip away, when it sticks in there and keeps picking at me like a big scab, that's when I know an idea is a good one.


Oh, and screenplays. And a non-fiction proposal. And funny books for Marvel.


I think if you're going to write for a living, it's good to have a lot of things going. A LOT. On the other hand, I find myself starting lots of projects and not finishing anything. The exception is my work for Marvel. Missing deadlines would be BAD and since that's one of the primary ways I pay my mortgage, I'm not going to lose focus on those.


We'll see what happens. Who knows? Six months from now I might look up and find multiple completed manuscripts on my desk. All I need is enough coffee.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday = Good



So ... I busted my ass to get in an X-Men script on time. I'm rewarding myself today by putting some beer on ice and grilling up a slab of ribs. I might jump in the pool. No writing. Tomorrow, I'll need to get back to work.


But not today.


How's your weekend shaping up, people?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

GISCHLER GETS CHEAP




Three on A Light is my collection of linked short stories from my grad school days. The stories revolve around private eye Dean Murphy who gets tangled up in cases with a supernatural flavor. This happens as a result of a cursed Zippo lighter. Since this is a collection of my very early writing, it can be a little rough around the edges in places, but frankly I've alwys had a soft spot for these stories and characters.


Now, I'm no kind of expert on how to market a book for kindle or what price is appropriate for eBooks, but I know people like a bargain. So in an effort to stir up some interest, I've lowered the price to .99 cents.


That's right folks, CLICK HERE if you want to get Three on a Light for your Kindle for the uber-meager price of 99 pennies.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ITALY



Tomorrow I hop a jet to Italy for a music and literature festival in Cremona. I am weirdly nervous and anxious, and I'm not sure why. I'm not afraid of flying or anything like that. Maybe I'll just miss my wife and son who I hope can come with me some time. The Italian people have always been very welcoming, and Italian readers are sharp and seem to really get my work. Probably once I get there and get into the swing of things, I'll feel right. Wish me luck, people.


And if I die, this will then seem like an eerily strange blog post.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Emerson LaSalle Art by Tony Lewis








Local artist Tony Lewis has generously volunteered to create some art for the Emerson LaSalle revival. In this picture, we see LaSalle inspired (haunted?) by some of his creations.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Confessions of a dorky Disney junkie.



I'm sort of a Disney junkie. So whatever is happening RIGHT HERE is probably going to be trouble.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blogpocalypse Interviews Dr. ADAM OPENHEIMER

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of pulp master Emerson LaSalle, and when I heard that they would soon be re-issuing his novels, I tried to find out as much as I could about it. I was fortunate enough to find the contact information for Dr. Adam Openheimer who is professor emeritus at Gothic State University and the nation's leading (only?) Emerson LaSalle scholar. He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

Blogpocalyps: What is it that first got you interested in Emerson LaSalle?

Openheimer: I fought in Korea, and we'd spend a lot of days on the march or in a foxhole or wherever just waiting. So we'd do just about anything to relieve the boredom. I traded a deck of playing cards for a dog-eared copy of Sheriff Dracula. I complained every single page all the way through it, so much that I'm sure I irritated the fellow in the foxhole next to me. Such lunacy! Such utter nonsense! And yet I couldn't stop reading. I simply had to keep turning pages to see what crime against literature LaSalle would commit next. I attended Slippery Rock University and earned my B.A. on the G.I. Bill and continued to read LaSalle, claiming I was trying to discover how such trash could continue to be published, but what was really happening was that I was falling in love. When I eventually began work on my Ph.D. at Princeton, I knew without a doubt what the subject of my dissertation would be.

Blogpocalypse: LaSalle was still alive and writing when you were studying his work at Princeton. Did you ever meet him? Did he ever contact you?

Openheimer: I wrote a review of LaSalle's novel Pray for Rain, Tommy Sunshine for the Kansas City Star in which I praised LaSalle's imagination and the usual energy he brought to his work, but I was rather hard on what I thought was a heavy-handed use of theme. Subtlety was never LaSalle's strength. He evidently took issue and send me a dead herring in the mail. Years later, I met him in person at a convention in ... oh ... 1978 or 1979 and asked him if he remembered mailing me the fish. He said that didn't really sound like something he'd do, but when I got out to the parking lot later all four tires on my Buick were flat.

Blogpocalypse: Tell us how you got involved with the reissuing of LaSalle's novels.

Openheimer: I was contacted to determine which ones were the best candidates ... the cream of the LaSalle crop, I guess. I can't really talk too much about it, but I can say GESTAPO MARS will be the first novel reissued. It's one of his best ... and his most ridiculous in certain ways. Pulp publishing practices at the time also hindered the selection. Many of the novels are full of filler. Vixen Shamus is a good example. It's brilliant, but once you take out the forward, the afterward and all the advertisements for other books and an inexplicable list of Hungarian baby names, the "novel" ends up being only fourteen thousand words long and that's not really marketable. These are the sorts of issues we're dealing with. I guess you can say I'm basically an overall consultant on the project.

Blogpocalypse: Which LaSalle novel is your favorite?

Openheimer: I'd say Spaceport Floozy. That's LaSalle really tapping into the exploitation vibe, but still retaining strong sci-fi sensibilities. It's the longest running rollercoaster of sustained sex and violence I've ever seen in a novel by any author.

Blogpocalypse: Why has it taken so long for LaSalle to be recognized?

Openheimer: I think the gatekeepers long decided that Philip K. Dick filled that niche well enough and we really didn't need two of those guys. That's one theory. I think it's also likely that nobody can really put their finger on why we actually like Emerson LaSalle when he seems to do so many things wrong. Yet after a reader finishes a LaSalle novel, it's not long before they start looking around for another. My roommate at Princeton would moan and complain upon completion of each LaSalle novel he read, and I finally said, "Then stop reading them, you jackass." He said it was impossible. They were like bowel movements. Sooner or later it had to happen. Same with LaSalle novels. Sooner or later you have to pick up the next one. It's not a choice.

Blogpocalypse: Any more hints about when readers can get a hold of Gestapo Mars?

Openheimer: Sorry. I'm sword to secrecy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MY BIG FAT ITALIAN NOVEL







The only reason I have success in Italy is because of the tireless help of some great people. One of these people (pictured here) is Matteo Strukul the bright and cool publicity dude who makes sure people pay attention to my books.


He's standing in front of a fairly large book cover. MY book!




Thanks, Matteo!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deadpool Corps: You Say You Want a Revolution










And here's some Deadpool Corps Five-0 to get you in the mood.

Top 10 Westerns of All Time





Last night while watching Anthony Mann's excellent Winchester '73 I tweeted that I thought it was one of the top five westerns of all time. This got me thinking about my top ten and I thought it would make a good simple fun blog post. So in no particular order, I give you my top ten. This list is SCIENTIFIC FACT, but I know some of you will insist I left some good ones off the list, so feel free to chime in.


1. Winchester '73

2. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

3. The Searchers

4. Unforgiven

5. High Noon

6. True Grit (you can argue about which version)

7. The Wild Bunch

8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

9. The Magnificent Seven

10. Hombre


Honorable Mentions:


Shane

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Thursday, May 5, 2011

X-MEN #11








Behold the coolness. Coming next month. Professor X fans should pop a frosty one, sit back and enjoy the awesome.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Debut Novelist Steve Ulfelder's PURGATORY CHASM




Hey folks. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Ulfelder's debut novel Purgatory Chasm, so I thought I;d give it a shot out here at Blogpocalypse. It's a great read, and Ulfelder seems like a writer who's been doing it for years rather than a first time rookie.

From the back cover: "Our Hero Conway Sax, a smart-talking former alchoholic who owes everything he's got to the Barnburners, the Alchoholics Anonymous group who saved him. So when they have a problem, he fixes it. When obnoxious, blowhard Barnburner Tander Phigg gives him a call, Conway reluctantly agrees to help. But then Tander turns up dead, and Conway becomes the cops' top suspect. He needs to catch the killer, not only to clear himself, but because he's also the type of guy to honor his promises, even whern the guy he made them to is dead. Conway Sax isn't a hired gun, or a sophisticated urbanite; He's just a car mechanic trying to make his way."


If you enjoy the "regular guy as hero" type story, then give this one a try.

And check out Steve Ulfelder's website for more info.