Monthly Archives: January 2014

Chuck Palahniuk’s Introduction for BURNT TONGUES

Chuck PSource credit: The Cult, the official site of Chuck Palahniuk

One of the advantages of being in a Chuck Palahniuk-produced anthology is that we also got an introduction written by Chuck himself. So here you go, ladies and gents…enjoy!

My favorite books are the ones I’ve never finished reading. Many of them I hated the first time through: The Day of the Locust, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five. Even Jesus’ Son occurred as something so odd that I balked and set it aside. High school spurred me to hate The Great Gatsby and the stories of John Cheever. I was a fifteen-year-old pimple factory. How was I supposed to swallow the embittered disillusionment of a thirty-year-old Nick Carraway? Growing up as I did, in a trailer house sandwiched between a state prison and a nuclear reactor, Cheever’s genteel world of country clubs and commuter trains seemed more make-believe than the Land of Oz.

After a few years of such false starts, I picked up an almost-forgotten copy of Bret Easton Ellis’s The Informers and read it cover to cover in one sitting. Since then I’ve bought copies to give to friends, copies and copies, with the caveat: “You’re going to hate this at first . . .” Continue reading “Chuck Palahniuk’s Introduction for BURNT TONGUES” »

GOOD SEX, GREAT PRAYERS makes the “Reads of the Year” list over at Books & Booze

Books & Booze reads of the yearThe picture pretty much says it all.

GOOD SEX, GREAT PRAYERS snags its first official endorsement from the crew over at Books & Booze podcast…and with months to spare before the fucking thing is even out yet. 2014 is starting off right. And I’m honored to be on the same list as Craig Wallwork, Salvatore Pane, and Mr. Stephen Graham Jones.

A big thanks to Renee, Dakota, and Jessica for bearing with that extra huge PDF I sent them and taking the time to read the beast while it was still in it’s 500+ page state. You guys rock.

You can listen to Episode 75 of their podcast by clicking HERE.

And once again, you can pre-order GOOD SEX, GREAT PRAYERS right HERE.

Five Signs You’re Dealing With Princess Syndrome

Princess1.)   She’ll actually say, “I deserve to be treated like a princess.”

Wow, really?! Are you Kate Middleton? Have you been performing your royal duties without reasonable compensation? Is this the part where I bow down and pledge my allegiance to the throne (which is actually a loveseat from Nebraska Furniture Mart in your studio apartment)?

Here’s the deal, guys. Not every girl with princess syndrome actually says this, but some of them will. Some of them will be so passive about it they won’t know any better.  If that happens, thank her. Show heaps of gratitude for the fair warning. If the North Korea of dating scenarios was about to fire a nuke at your wallet, wouldn’t you want to advance notice? Isn’t it better that she’s straight up telling you, “I’m a vapid, materialistic person who only cares about myself and my own needs.” What you have to understand is that this relationship isn’t even a relationship; it’s you (the suitor) catering to this person’s every desire and whim. You are a servant, a wallet with legs and exceptional verbal skills. Better to know that up front than find it out the hard way…on a credit card statement.

Continue reading “Five Signs You’re Dealing With Princess Syndrome” »

The Chuck Palahniuk anthology “Burnt Tongues” is now on pre-order!! (now with cover art)

Burnt TonguesIt’s finally upon us. After years of effort (around seven, I believe) the Chuck Palahniuk anthology Burnt Tongues is now on pre-order…and you can get it right HERE.

To make a long story short, this all started way back when Chuck announced that his writers’ workshop would be hosting a competition of sorts. The premise was simple: submit your stories; if your story makes it through the various rounds of cuts, it could wind up in front of Chuck himself to critique and be considered for the anthology. Needless to say, many writers threw their ring into the hat (myself included). The process was long, and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t without its fair share of missteps and delays. Chuck is a busy guy and getting this thing off the ground proved to be extremely difficult, even with the Palahniuk name to back it…but fast-forward to now and it’s almost a reality. We’ve got our final line-up: twenty of the workshop’s best and brightest not to mention a fantastic publisher, Medallion Press.

Here is the official synopsis:

Transgressive fiction authors write stories some are afraid to tell. Stories with taboo subjects, unique voices, shocking images—nothing safe or dry.

Burnt Tongues is a collection of transgressive stories selected by a rigorous nomination and vetting process and hand-selected by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, as the best of The Cult workshop.

These stories run the gamut from horrific and fantastic to humorous and touching, but each leaves a lasting impression.

Some may say even a scar.

Once again, you can pre-order on Amazon HERE. The book is also listed on Goodreads.

Own the Night: Anatomy of the Club Scene

AuraStuart Salomon has been in the nightlife business for over twenty years, serving as owner of such clubs as: Fallout, Coliseum, Atlantis, XO, The Beaumont, Karma, Zen, Grand Emporium, and most recently, Aura. He also has a seventeen-year background in law enforcement, now serving as a part-time deputy sheriff.

Own the Night chronicles the events of May 10th, 2013.

10:30 p.m. – I arrive at Aura and hang out front with the door guys while smoking a cigarette. There’s a poster-sized digital sign on either side of the entryway explaining that—yes—the paint does wash off, and that you only need to worry about being sprayed if you’re on the dance floor. Everywhere else is a safe zone.  Enter at your own risk, it says. Then I spot Stu parked curbside and rounding the back corner his SUV; he’s wearing a white button-up and jeans, black shoes. He pops the trunk, which is more or less a mobile version of his home office and just as messy. It’s crammed with bags, security supplies, and stuff for the club.

I approach and he tells me, “This whole thing has been an absolute clusterfuck. I was figuring this shit out until 9:00 or so.”

Stu’s holding a paint party at the club tonight. The problem is that the idea was conceived before the method. Last time I saw him (on May 8th), he was trying to modify a handheld paint gun for recreational needs. That meant getting the paint at a consistency to actually be able to course through the mechanism. Also, the PSI of the gun had to be enough to squirt it across the room, but not so much that it would sting or cut someone’s skin. Unfortunately, the guys at Home Depot were of very little help in this arena.

“We don’t know much about painting people,” they said.

Continue reading “Own the Night: Anatomy of the Club Scene” »

2014 Resolutions (in no particular order)

xmas books1.) Read more books: Yeah, I know, I know. Everyone’s saying this, but last year I only managed to knock out a couple books over the year because most of it was spent writing the 517-page monster that is GOOD SEX, GREAT PRAYERS. The time just simply wasn’t there, however, I’m currently in the middle of Dora: a Headcase by Lidia Yuknavitch and Nefarious Twit by Tony McMillen and loving both of them. Santa was good to me in the book-giving department.

2.) Read less horseshit: Richie Incognito, Trayvon Martin, the lesbian tip scandal…I’m sorry to admit that these stories along with many others ate up a ton of my time. This isn’t to say that these aren’t important issues in their own respective ways. The problem is I fell for the fucking click-bait on the latest development of the Anthony Weiner scandal or whatever else was hot that week, and I was no better off for it. No one was. News, I’m finding out, is more about inspiring outrage than giving information…and there was a lot of outrage this year. Having said that, it’s okay to have an opinion, but I found it interesting how when George Zimmerman got the “not guilty” verdict, every motherfucker on Facebook suddenly had a law degree.

3.) Write less: I can’t do another year like last year. No way. Anyone who’s every written a 500+ page novel in under a year can attest to the degree of difficulty. 2014 is going to be about promotion–not just for GOOD SEX, GREAT PRAYERS–but for the Chuck Palahniuk anthology as well as a few other things I have in the pipe. Expect more readings, interviews, and book club stuff. I’m still going to be writing, but in a less demanding sense…mostly short stories and columns.

4.) Obtain better trolls: THIS isn’t going to cut it anymore, but I do appreciate the fact that at 5:37a.m. Christmas Eve I was the first thing on your mind.

5.) Keep widening my readership: I’m hesitant to use the term “fan base” as it seems a little presumptuous, but I do happen to be in the unique situation that from time to time a total stranger will contact me through Facebook or Twitter saying how much they liked something I wrote. I like that…never gets old, and I’m hoping with these next couple projects coming out in 2014 I can build upon what’s already there.