HUGE News!! I’m Reading with Chuck Palahniuk, author of “Fight Club”

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I remember reading my first Palahniuk novel when I was 20. It was not long after seeing Fight Club for the first time on DVD–and because the Hastings I went to didn’t have Fight Club the novel–I ended up buying Choke instead. I read the shit out of that book. It was one of those books that had me thinking, “I want to do what this guy is doing.” It changed me…put me on the path to being an author myself.

Funny thing is, twelve years later…I still haven’t met the guy. I’ve read every single one of his novels, served as a workshop moderator for his site, and even made it into his anthology Burnt Tongues after a five-year trek…but despite assumptions, no, I’ve never met the guy. Not once. There have been close calls. A couple readings and signings that were in my vicinity, but I was never able to make it out either due to a scheduling conflict or lack of money or both.

So maybe it’s fate that after more than a decade of reading this guy’s work and making a career off the initial inspiration he gave me…maybe the first meeting was always supposed to a little grander, a little bit more special.

On October 21st in San Francisco, I’ll not only meet Chuck for the first time, I’m going to be sharing the stage with him. Out of the twenty authors in Burnt Tongues, four were selected to read with Chuck in select cities while he’s on his Beautiful You tour. You can check out the dates for those HERE.

Here are the details on the San Francisco reading that I’ll be at:

Tuesday, October 21 – 7:30pm                    
DNA Lounge
375 Eleventh Street
San Francisco CA 94103

TICKET AND VENUE INFO

Based on the small amount of back and forth I’ve had with Chuck, I can assure you this reading is going to kick ass. We’ll both be reading in our pajamas. There will be prizes, book giveaways, and all sorts of crazy shit happening. I’m going to do the opening set, and then Chuck will take it away with a reading from his new book Beautiful You.

This is a huge fucking honor, and I can’t thank Chuck enough for including me in this. I promise to bring my A game.

See you in San Fran,

-BT

Footage from the City Lit Books Reading in Chicago Hosted by Booked Podcast

Page-1-3-1140x855I’m a little late in getting this up, but here’s some linkage to the City Lit Books reading that I did in Chicago a couple weekends ago. Thanks again to the readers that came out and to Booked Podcast for hosting the event. It was a great time and I look forward to collaborating again in the future…hopefully, at AWP.

Anyway, the boys at Booked were kind enough to get the recording and put it online at their official site. It’s broken up into two parts.

PART 1: Jac Jemc and Richard Thomas

PART 2: Ben Tanzer and Brandon Tietz

A per request, I read some of “Dietary” from the Burnt Tongues anthology and some Billy Burke sermons from Good Sex, Great Prayers. Click the links to check them out on Amazon.

Enjoy!

Chicago Reading Hosted by Booked. Podcast

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Chicago reading is on! Join us at City Lit Books (2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.) on Sept. 6th at 5:00PM for a live reading hosted by the award-winning Booked. Podcast, feating myself, Richard Thomas, Jac Jemc, and the infamous Ben Tanzer.

RSVP on the official Facebook event HERE.

About the authors:

Richard Thomas is the author of five books: Disintegration, Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots, Staring Into the Abyss and Four Corners. His over 100 stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Pear Noir, Chiral Mad 2, and Shivers VI. Visit www.whatdoesnotkillme.com for more information. He is also the editor of The New Black, a collection of twenty neo-noir stories exemplifying the best authors currently writing in this dark sub-genre.

Jac Jemc’s first collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time, is forthcoming from Dzanc Books in October 2014. Her novel, My Only Wife was named a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. She is also the author of a chapbook of stories, These Strangers She’d Invited In (Greying Ghost Press). She is the poetry editor at decomP and web nonfiction editor for Hobart. She’ll be reading from her new story collection, A Different Bed Everytime.

Ben Tanzer is the author of the books My Father’s House, You Can Make Him Like You, Lost in Space, Four Fathers, which he co-authored with Dave Housley, BL Pawelek, and Tom Williams, and Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award in Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal, among others. He also directs Publicity and Content Strategy for Curbside Splendor and can be found online at This Blog Will Change Your Life, the center of his vast, albeit faux, lifestyle empire. He will be reading from Four Fathers, a collection of thought-provoking, heartfelt essays on fatherhood. 

Brandon Tietz is the author of Out of Touch and Good Sex, Great Prayers. His short stories have been widely published, appearing as such print works as Warmed & Bound, Spark, and most recently, the Burnt Tongues anthology, which was co-edited by Richard Thomas and Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. Tietz also serves as a regular contributor for LitReactor.com. He lives in Kansas City. He will be reading from his new novel, Good Sex, Great Prayers and “Dietary”, his story featured in Burnt Tongues.

About Booked. Podcast:

Established in April of 2011, Booked. is a weekly podcast where two avid readers review and discuss books, conduct author interviews, and make recommendations for good books they’ve read. Our goal is to deliver book reviews by everyday readers, for everyday readers.
*Diverse*
We strike a balance between reviewing books with large readership, and independent or small press books that don’t benefit from the amount of promotion that comes with a large publishing house.
*Fresh and New*
We review timely books. We’re always looking for recent or soon-to-be released books to review. We consider books of any genre a possible review – as long as our listeners can find and buy them.
*Interaction and Community*
In addition to reviews we do author interview episodes, open format episodes where we discuss topics our listeners suggest online, and “Intro to genre” episodes where we explore genre fiction with a guest ‘genre expert’. Using social media, we do book giveaways and share interesting book-related articles and discussions.

Just an FYI…there will probably be some sort of post-reading after-party involving lots of booze.

Five Easy Ways to Help an Author Out

kim-kardashian-crying-face-2-zap2itI have a plan, and the plan is to get people talking about books more than Kardashians. The plan is broken down into five easy steps as they relate to authors and their books. Thank you for taking part in “Operation: Stop Giving This Talentless Family Attention”. I appreciate your patronage.

  1. Buy their books: Pretty obvious, I know, but this really is the best way to support an author. Of course, Amazon is always going to be the most cost-effective avenue for this…but if you really care about royalties and the like, consider buying directly from the publisher. You’re cutting out the middle man (Amazon), which means more money is going towards the author and the publishing house. The best thing you can though–and authors fucking love this–is request a signed copy. Seriously, don’t be shy. Chances are the author has a small stack of copies sitting around specifically for this reason.
  2. Read and review: Reading isn’t the problem. Reviewing, on the other hand, is about as impossible as Stephen Hawking trying to breakdance for some people. They just don’t (or can’t) do it, and that’s unfortunate because this is one of the biggest ways in which to support (or take down) an author. Second only to the author blurb, reviews serve as an endorsement…and we can never get enough of those. Honestly, I don’t base my book-buying decisions based on reviews, but some people do…and for that demographic, every review matters. So, please…pretty please…if you read a book, try to review. Doesn’t have to be fancy or particularly long. A paragraph or even a couple sentences can make all the difference. Having said that, the more places you post your review the better. I’m talking Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, etc. Spread that shit around.
  3. Connect online: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, tumblr, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Pinterest…all that shit. If you like an author, feel free to stalk their ass. Chances are if you dug their book you’ll dig their social media feeds.
  4. Sharing is caring: Authors–especially the independent ones–don’t just benefit from word of mouth…they depend on it. Not very many authors have an advertising budget. We can’t afford ad space on Goodreads and Amazon. And we typically don’t get big reviewers like Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly because they want some ungodly amount of money to review the thing. That means we end up leaning on the reader pretty hard to talk us up, and all things considered, it’s really not that difficult. Share an Amazon link, share quotes, share pictures of the book. Spread the word. This is how one sale becomes three…becomes twenty-six…becomes nine-hundred-and-eighty-four. The last nine out of ten books I picked up where all because I kept hearing about them, either through social media or writers’ forums or a friend. Word of mouth is actually more powerful than advertising, but it’s the readers that make it happen.
  5. Connect in real life: Sometimes authors have readings, and sometimes they just so happen to be in or around your location. In the event that that happens–fucking go. Show up, cheer, clap, drink, buy the author drinks, get your book(s) signed, take pictures. All that shit.

BURNT TONGUES release day!!

Burnt Tongues double coverHoly shit, did it take a long time to get here. A very long time. But now the wait is over and Burnt Tongues is officially live, shipping, and on bookstore shelves. Yep, that’s right…I finally made the brick and mortar stores. Look at me now, dad!!

Anyway…this journey started for me way back in 2009 when the only credit I had to my name was the self-published edition of Out of Touch. I joined the Chuck Palahniuk writers’ workshop, competed to get in this thing, and after many years of heartbreak and delays, we finally got a deal. For the full five-year affair, go check out the column I wrote for LitReactor…Burnt Tongues: A Behind the Scenes Chronicle.

Also, the boys over at Booked Podcast recently did a review of Burnt Tongues. If you’ve never listened to Booked before, these guys do a wonderful job of breaking shit down over the course of an hour and keeping it pretty free of spoilers. You can check that episode out HERE.

In another first, I’ve got my first official mention from Kirkus…so that’s kinda neat. Read their review of Burnt Tongues HERE.

Also on Kirkus, the man himself, Mr. Chuck Palahniuk, talks about the book and short story writing. You can read that interview HERE.

Don’t forget to “like” the official Burnt Tongues Facebook page.

Finally, make sure to buy the damn book and give it some review love on Amazon and Goodreads.

BURNT TONGUES is Shipping Early!!

Burnt TonguesIf you pre-ordered a paperback copy of BURNT TONGUES you may have already gotten it. My copy came in over the weekend (pictured left). So you can ignore the August 12th release date. These puppies are shipping right now. As for the Kindle version, looks like those will be available July 21st.

You can buy BURNT TONGUES on Amazon HERE.

Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads and write a review when you’re done.

“Good Sex, Great Prayers”: A Journey in Publication

GSGP-cover-pic.jpgTwenty-two months ago, LitReactor published the first in a seven-part series of columns regarding the process of making Good Sex, Great Prayers — from conception, to the writing process, and most recently, the release party and reviews. It’s a good read for any writer working on their own novel, or, if you’re just curious to see how this fun nightmare known as publishing actually works. Here they are:

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 1: Origins): conception of the idea, hooking up with the publisher, signing the contract.

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 2: Writing the Novel): the writing process, time-management, how to outline, decompression.

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 3: Art & Stuff): tramp stamp covers, designing GSGP, taking author photos, image rights/legal.

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 4: Spinning Plates): extensions, promotion vs. pre-promotion, misc. publications.

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 5: Editing and Beta Reading): first draft, celebrate the win, beta readers, content edit and editing tips.

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 6: Pre-order and Print Copies): more editing feedback, GSGP goes to pre-order, initial blurbs and accolades, print and signed editions.

Good Sex, Great Prayers: A Journey in Publication (Part 7: Release Party, Reviews, and a Fond Farewell): flashback to 2009, release party, reviews and more blurbs, a fond farewell.

Buy GSGP on Amazon

“Good Sex, Great Prayers” Deemed So Offensive It’s Unreadable (or: how to be a lazy reviewer)

My publisher put me on something called a blog tour. I guess the deal is that they provide the books and all these “reviewer” cats have to do is write something about what they read. In all honestly, I had never heard of any of these people. Didn’t seem like they had big followings compared to places like Booked. or Shock Totem, but I was interested to see the reaction of people who had never heard of me and were outside my circle. Anyway…earlier today my publisher sent me an interesting read, the blog tour notes courtesy of Naomi Leadbeater. Enjoy:

GSGP blog tour notes

A couple things before I get to the real meat of this.

First, my villains act like villains. If they made your skin crawl or twisted your stomach like a wet towel–hey, guess what–I did my job. I did my job so damn well it manifested in physical sense.

Regarding a change in cover and title: how do you think this works? That some blogger suggests this major change and the publisher just hops to it? Are we supposed to recall every print edition of the book and make those changes along with the aforementioned disclaimer? I hope to Christ my publisher didn’t pay you for this sort of input.

But let’s get back to that disclaimer issue. Naomi says: “It needs a disclaimer, while the synopsis was well written, it still gave me the impression I could read it — which I definitely couldn’t.”

Continue reading ““Good Sex, Great Prayers” Deemed So Offensive It’s Unreadable (or: how to be a lazy reviewer)” »

Richard Thomas Blurbs the Shit Out of GOOD SEX, GREAT PRAYERS

59992_151349841564547_6042096_nRichard Thomas is a busy man. He reviews books for The Nervous Breakdown. He’s a regular contributor to LitReactor and Buzzfeed (yeah, that Buzzfeed…the one with all those lists you love). He’s the editor in chief over at Dark House Press which is enjoying a very successful release of their anthology The New Black. And speaking of anthologies, he’s the co-editor of Burnt Tongues, the Chuck Palahniuk anthology which is due to drop this August through Medallion Press. He’s also an author, and most recently he snagged a two-book deal with Random House Alibi. I can’t even get into how many short stories the guy has published…but it’s a numerical fuck-ton. The dude has even appeared right alongside Stephen King himself.

Believe me, I’m only scratching the surface of this guy’s resume. More importantly, he’s a friend and consummate supporter…so I’m fucking thrilled that Richard took the time to read my newest release and drop some blurbage for me:

Sacrilegious is one word that comes to mind. Transgressive is another. This novel carries a lot of heat, mixed with epiphanies, regret, and disgust. But it is not without humor—the harsh truth lying just beneath the punch lines that coat the scarred surface. A strong voice that always entertains and never disappoints, GSGP is a wild ride, from start to finish.

Thank you, Richard…this made my week.

Pick up your copy of Good Sex, Great Prayers HERE.

Advanced Review of BURNT TONGUES from Booklist

Burnt TonguesAs most of you know, a very special anthology is coming out courtesy of Mr. Chuck Palahniuk and the crew behind The Cult entitled Burnt Tongues. Twenty transgressive stories by twenty authors that were submitted and vetted through Chuck’s workshop–Burnt Tongues represents the cream of the crop, hand-selected by Chuck himself. We now have our first advanced review from Booklist:

Despite its little-heralded status in literary circles, the counterculture genre known as “transgressive”fiction, wherein the author and/or protagonist bucks social conventions by violating one or more taboos,actually has a rather illustrious history.  Classic novels such as Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment,featuring the murderous Raskolnikov, for instance, can be categorized as transgressive fiction.  In thiscollection of 20 contemporary short stories, lead editor Palahniuk makes certain each piece qualifies as anexample of both first-rate craftsmanship and something that pushes the envelope of social acceptability. InNeil Krolicki’s opening tale, “Live This Down,” three humiliated high school girls plot their suicides usinga poison gas recipe gleaned from the Internet.  An animal shelter technician in Chris Lewis Carter’s“Charlie” recognizes the tortured cat someone drops off as one he himself abused when it was a kitten.Matt Egan’s “A Vodka Kind of Girl” recounts the sad fate of a calorie-counting, bulimic woman. Anyonelooking for boundary-breaking tales that also pack a haunting, powerful punch will find hours ofentertainment here.  —— Carl Hays

Burnt Tongues comes out August 12th. You can purchase it HERE.