Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Zelmer Pulp Is Back!

That’s right, and this time we’ve brought friends.
While working on the Springsteen-inspired noir collection TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND with Gutter Books, we figured we'd be idiots not to capitalize on that tidal wave and we decided to start work on a noir collection all our own.

The end result is, MAYBE I SHOULD JUST SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE, a gritty no holds barred take on crime fiction that will leave you beaten, bloody and thirsting for more.  New Jersey-based photographer Mark Krajnak is contributing some stunning noir themed photographs to both the Springsteen collection and MISJSYITF, which will add a whole other dimension to our publications. The cover for MISJSYITF (above) is still a work in progress, but you get the idea.

If that wasn’t enough we have added 28.6% more awesome to the ZP gene pool with the permanent addition of Gareth Spark and Benoit Lelievre to the team. Gareth is one of England's leading noir voices and all-around hard-hitting presence, he came onboard as a guest writer for MISJSYITF and we soon realized we would be crazy not to ask him to stick around full time.  Ben is the eloquent but brutal mastermind behind the website DEAD END FOLLIES and author of numerous hardcore fiction pieces. There really wasn’t any discussion needed about inviting these two guys to join the party. Something just clicked. It just felt right. And there is no doubt that we will be stronger because of it.

Look out for MISJSYITF soon and for TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND in the fall.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Demonic Visions Book 4

Demonic Visions is back with another 50 tales of horror. The fourth book in this successful series includes many of the original writers from the previous volumes and one new addition in the shape of Ramsey Campbell, who is widely regarded as one of the best British horror writers working in the genre today. While I can’t hope to compete with horror royalty like Mr. Campbell, my story, The Persistence of Memory is probably my strongest work to date in this arena. In it I explore a different kind of Hell and how one person is doomed to live it every day.

If horror is your thang, you can pick up DEMONIC VISIONS #4 right now. It's available in both e-reader and dead tree formats from that evil on-line empire. You know the place, the one that keeps a roof over the head of us indie author types.  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Roadkill Review: Federales by Christopher Irvin

Buy from Amazon
In a country where corruption is a way of life and drug cartels own the police, Federal Agents like Marcos Camarena are the exceptions, not the rule. Marcos had devoted himself to his job and worked hard to bring the men who are murdering his country to justice, but even good men have their limits. His wife has already left him and now with his life under threat Marcos leaves too. He quits law enforcement and moves from Mexico City to a small coastal town.

Marcos is done fighting the good fight. He has lost his crusade against the cartels. But when an old friend asks him to help the outspoken female politician, Eva Santos with hers, Marcos knows he can’t turn away.

Christopher Irvin shows us the real Mexico, the one that exists away from the Spring Breakers and the tourist beaches of Cancun. He does this by skillfully wrapping his fiction around the real life courage of an incredibly brave and determined woman, Maria Santos Gorrostieta (Google her, I’ll wait). This alone makes FEDERALES worthy of your time. However there is more than just political commentary here; there is also a damn good story. The easy paced narrative allows Irvin to give his characters real depth and I soon found myself deep in their world of paranoia, doubt and danger. Add to that a strong plot with a seriously good left turn and you know you’re on to a winner.
If I have one gripe, it’s that FEDERALES is just too short. I was hooked. I wanted to spend longer in the company of Marcos and Eva. There is bags of potential here, more than enough for a full-blown novel and I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that it was all over so quickly. As it stands FEDERALES is a seriously good novella, with Chris Irvin at the wheel it could have been a great novel too.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Crime Storybundle

Is there anybody alive out there?  Yeah, I know, things have got kind of quiet around here of late. I blame the government. Well, I don’t specifically blame them for the lack of new content on my blog; I just blame them in general.

Anyway, you probably need to buy some new books, right? Good, thought so. In that case you should get over to Storybundle and pick up this month’s offer. For as little as $3 all in you can snag nine killer crime titles for your kindle machine, including titles from Jake Needham and Declan Burke. You’ll also get the EXILES charity anthology, edited by Paul D. Brazill. This features stories from some of the best indie crime writers working today, and another one from me. This deal is only available for another couple of weeks, so you best get on it.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Casualties of War

Whatever your views may be on the Amazon / Hachette spat, please think carefully before jumping on board the 'boycott Amazon' bandwagon. As far as I can see, neither party is blameless and neither one is really in it for the good of the creative people who actually write the books. It’s all about the money. Regardless of which billion dollar corporation ends up having the biggest dick in this pissing contest, it is the small presses and indie authors who are getting a literary corn-holing.

I’m all for the freedom to choose. I want you to be able to purchase the books you love from a vendor of your choice. Amazon has the right not to stock Hachette’s titles in the same way that other bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble have the right not to stock titles published through Amazon’s publishing arm, Create Space. But as an author, who is signed to independent publishers I don’t have the luxury of choice. I know that Amazon has massive flaws, but it is the best and in the case of my self-published short story collection, SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM, the only viable platform I have.
Maybe, if people were to keep boycotting Amazon for the year or so it would take to make them financially sit up and take notice then things might start to change. It could even herald the arrival of new companies to provide both Amazon and the traditional publishers with some fresh competition, although somehow I doubt it. One thing I know for sure is that any prolonged embargo will mean the end for a lot of small presses and indie authors who depend on Amazon to get their words out into the world. If you stop buying your books from Amazon, for thousands of writers that means you stop buying their books period.
I have a day job. If you don’t buy my books I can still pay my mortgage and feed my family. That’s not the case for every independent author and publisher. It’s all about the money for them too.


Monday, June 2, 2014

All Due Respect #3

Go get some awesome!
ALL DUE RESPECT is back with another killer issue, featuring the likes of Jake Hinkson, Angel Luis Colon, Patti Abbott, Jessica Adams, Mike McCrary, Rob Hart, Alec Cizak, Jen Conley, and yours truly. Being published in ADR is a pretty big honor. High quality crime fiction magazines are hard to find these days and even harder to get into. ALL DUE RESPECT is right at the top of the tree.

Huge thanks to Chris Rhatigan and Mike Monson for allowing me to lower the tone of their excellent publication.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Roadkill Review: Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

If you have heard of Nic Pizzolatto, the chances are it will be because you watched, True Detective. I saw the first couple of episodes, but found myself struggling to connect with the story. I’m not a big fan of ritual and occult themed stuff. However, I had no problem connecting with Pizzolatto’s debut novel, GALVESTON; in fact I couldn’t put the damn thing down.

Roy Cady is a bagman for the New Orleans mob. The newly diagnosed cancer in his lungs and his past indiscretions both mean that his time is nearly up. Roy knows that the routine job he is sent on by his boss is just a thinly disguised attempt to hasten his demise. The hit doesn’t go as planned and a blood-soaked explosion of violence somehow ends with Roy as the last man standing, or as Lleweyln Moss put it, the ultimate hombre.
The last woman standing is Rocky, a beaten-up teenage prostitute who turned the wrong trick that night. Roy is no knight in shinning armor, but even a hard bitten ex-con like him can’t bring himself to leave this young girl to her fate. They take off together, heading west along a road littered with dive bars, low-rent motels and shattered dreams. Neither Roy nor Rocky seem to have much of a future and it’s hard for them to see what’s coming when they have to keep looking over their shoulders.
Nic Pizzolatto’s concise prose paints a colorful yet unsentimental picture of the south that at times reminded me a little of Gifford or Crumley. Although Pizzolatto's descriptions of the run-down towns of the gulf coast almost verge on the poetic in places, they never get in the way of the story. His characters soon become flesh and you find yourself being pulled into their ashed-out world of tough breaks and faint hopes. It would require a heart of stone not to feel for Rocky as she tries so hard to keep from fucking-up again.
While the narrative is prone to jump around at times and there is nothing particularly ground breaking about the plot, these picky gripes are easily washed away by the sheer power of Pizzolatto’s writing. GALVESTON may just be my read of the year. It’s a brutal, haunting and beautifully doomed piece of noir with a finale that feels like a knife being twisted in your guts. As John Travolta once exclaimed, I say, god damn what a rush!
Seriously, you need to read this.