Tag Archives: Burnt Tongues

2015 Preview; 366/Vanity

2015 Preview:

2014 was a release year. That meant readings, promoting, book clubs, trying to get reviews, and just generally anything I could do to increase awareness of Good Sex, Great Prayers.

2015 is a write and sell year. Two projects are currently in the works.

366:

In 2008 I came out with Out of Touch through iUniverse (a vanity press). After an offer from Otherworld Publications to put out the book in a second edition, I cancelled my iUniverse contract and went with them. Not long after the second edition release, Otherworld Publications closed its doors. That meant that no more copies were going to be produced and I officially wasn’t making any royalties on that book anymore. I actually have no fucking clue where the money goes if you buy a copy on Amazon (there’s less than twenty available).

Here’s the thing: I put years into that book, so the last thing I’m going to do is let it rot in “out of print” status. Having said that, I’m completely aware that simply slapping a new cover on this thing and putting it out in the world again will probably not equate to huge sales numbers. That is more or less what happened when I took OOT from iUniverse to Otherworld. They were a start-up press. There was no huge marketing push or major reviews done. Their idea of marketing was for me to leave copies at dentist offices and Jiffy Lube waiting rooms. The principle difference between the two houses is that I was getting less of a royalty cut in order to call myself “traditionally published.”

Recently, a friend and colleague of mine, Fred Venturini, came out with the novel The Heart Does Not Grow Back through Picador. What a lot of people don’t know is that that book originally came out through a small press under the title The Samaritan a couple years previous. Fred took a good book, reworked it, and re-released it through a major publishing house.

Continue reading “2015 Preview; 366/Vanity” »

Top 3 Highlights from 2014

Good Sex, Great Prayers releases:

I’ve been writing for a solid twelve years now, so it’s kinda hard to believe that I’m only just now releasing my second full-length novel. 2012/2013 were nose-to-the-grindstone years. 2014 was the year all that hard work paid off and Good Sex, Great Prayers released through Perfect Edge Books. LitReactor gave me a platform to talk about the entire process, which you can read HERE.

Bottom line: I’m proud of this one. Reviewers and casual readers alike are enjoying it, and it’s been a blast to perform at live readings. Most importantly, this was the book no one was expecting from me. I told myself very early on that I want to do something entirely different from my first book…and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

Synopsis, author blurbs, and links to reviews can all be found HERE on the information page.

Burnt Tongues releases: 

 

In 2009, not long after the vanity press version of Out of Touch had released, I had a choice to make: either write a second novel and hope for better results…or, I could enter this anthology contest that Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club) was running on his website.

I decided to go with the contest, and five years later, my story was appearing in Burnt Tongues, the Chuck Palahniuk anthology. Yet again, LitReactor was kind enough to give me a platform to talk about the process of that. To read about the entire affair go HERE.

The short version is that this has been truly life and career-changing, and I owe a great deal of thanks to Chuck, Dennis Widmyer, and Richard Thomas. My inclusion in Burnt Tongues also leads to our third and final highlight.

Continue reading “Top 3 Highlights from 2014” »

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!

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.

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.

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” »

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.

The Chuck Palahniuk anthology, Burnt Tongues, will be published August 2014 through Medallion Press

BT TOCWell, it’s finally happening. After many delays and roadblocks, the Chuck Palahniuk anthology has been sold to Medallion Press with the publication date set for August of 2014. Check out the full TOC on the left here. You may recognize some of the names.

This is a major breakthrough in a very long and arduous process. “How long?” you may ask. Well, my first story submission was all the way back in June of 2009. However, this idea was originally conceived years earlier by The Cult’s webmaster Dennis Widmyer, so a big thanks to him for not losing faith or his drive to see this thing become a reality. Another big shout-out goes out to Richard Thomas who sold this thing like a champ and got us this fantastic deal with Medallion.

As for the stories themselves, I’ve read most of them back when I was hitting the workshop hard. They’re good. They’re really fucking good. And they’ll be even better once Medallion’s editors have sharpened them up, so get excited. This is going to be a highlight reel of transgressive fiction from some of the best up-and-coming talent in the industry.