Saturday, November 22, 2014

Roadkill Review: Wake Up Time To Die by Chris Rhatigan

WAKEUP TIME TO DIE is a stunning collection of shorts from author and All Due Respect front-man Chris Rhatigan. I had the privilege of reading this long before its summer release date, but being a lazy SOB it has taken me this long to getting around to reviewing it.
WUTTD is a hard book to slap a label on so I’m not going to try. The stories in this collection run the gambit from crime to horror to something else entirely.  Chris Rhatigan has the wonderful knack of making the familiar seem strange and the strange appear down right odd. These 12 superbly crafted tales are full of loners and losers that exist in the space between the edges. Their world is a place where Furbies pack heat and nothing is how it seems.
Rhatigan cuts his noir with Novocain, his prose is sharp as a junkie’s needle and his premise as hazy as the morning after. WUTTD is by turns darkly humorous, somewhat disturbing and always entertaining. Read this and I guarantee you’ll be jonesing for another hit. The highlight for me was “The Things I Need To Be A Hitman” which may just be the best short I have read this year. This is one habit you need. Go buy the book, you can thank me later.
Kneel before AMAZOD

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Blues, Mary The Blues

Is there anybody alive out there?
If there is then I expect you’ve been wondering much the same thing. Well, I’m still here...sort of. I’ll admit I have been letting this place slide of late. Life has developed this annoying habit of getting in the way of fiction. You know how that goes, right?
Anyhow, it’s high time I got back in the saddle and what better way to do so than with a brand new piece of flash fiction over at SHOTGUN HONEY.  I haven’t written anything this short for a long time and I forgot just how liberating it can be. Just like the Boss, “I’m sick of sitting around here trying to write this book.”  But distilling a whole story into just 700 words is also a real challenge.
That word limit is why I dig SHOTGUN HONEY way more than any of the other online zines.  You have to bring your A game, every single word has to count. Delta Blues is probably one of the tightest pieces I’ve ever written. It’s also one of my favorites. If you’re in the mood for a good old fashioned love story then head on over and check it out.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Maybe I should Just Shoot You In The Face

It’s been a long dry spell for Zelmer Pulp, but after several trips to rehab and one custodial sentence we’re back with new blood, fresh ideas and clean underwear.  

MAYBE I SHOULD JUST SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE is our first collective venture into the dark, gritty world of noir. For the ZP team that meant they were going home and it shows. This issue features stories from all the regular ZP offenders, including new fish, Benoit LeLievre and Gareth Spark. In an attempt to make us more attractive to woman we have added New Jersey Noir photographer Mark Krajnak to the ZP roster. His stunning photography appears throughout the book. We are also delighted to have our old pal and father of Brit Grit Paul D. Brazill along for this ride.  

The Tesla version is available right now for your electronic trickery at the princely sum of just 99 cents and a dead tree version will be arriving just as soon as we have slashed and burned enough rainforest. Check out this doozy of a trailer and then go buy the thing. You won’t regret it. Well, you might, but by then I’ll be like 3 cent’s richer and probably living in some offshore tax haven. Hammer down!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Good, The Bad And The Books

You’ll have to excuse the tumbleweeds blowing around this place of late. It’s been a crazy few weeks here in the Leek household. In between running around the country with the day job, Georgie and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.  I ain’t nobody’s bargain and putting up with me for that length of time is no mean achievement on her part. The following weekend our Katie turned 21. Both of these events resulted in me getting slightly drunk and a little sentimental, but I figure I was probably entitled. We also had a real scare when my niece, Marina had to undergo emergency surgery. Thankfully she is fine now and recovering well.

While all of this was going on in the real world I have been burning the midnight oil in an attempt not to blow a DEMONIC VISIONS deadline and trying to keep on top of all the other stuff that goes along with having three books drop in the space of a week.
THE BIG ADIOS western digest, which I edit with head honcho, Ron Phillips and deputy dawg, Ryan Sayles made the leap from webzine to quarterly print and e-book. The debut issue features killer stories from the likes of Tom Pitts, Jim Wilsky, Aidan Thorn and ZP’s own Gareth Spark.
Hot on the heels of TBA was another debut, this time in the form of Craig McNeely’s DARK CORNERS. Weighing in at nearly 300 pages this pulp spectacular has reviews, interviews and some really great fiction. I have a western in this inaugural issue, which lines up alongside crime, noir and sci-fi in a glorious smorgasbord of pulp and genre fiction. ZP are well represented here too with both Chuck Regan and Ryan Sayles in the mix. Craig and his team have produced a hell of a magazine. Seriously, you should buy it.

Finally, this week saw the much anticipated (at least by me) release of my western novella GOSPEL OF THE BULLET. I can’t tell you how much that means to me, but I can tell you how grateful I am to Ron Phillips and ONE EYE PRESS for publishing it. A big shout also has to go out to my uber-talented ZP brother, Chuck Regan for creating the gorgeous cover. The initial reaction to GOSPEL has been universally positive and also little overwhelming.  If you have dropped your dime on it already then thank you, I hope you dig it.
The next few weeks should see a return to calmer waters, as another Chris once said, it’s been emotional.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chatterrific: Chris Leek talks GOSPEL OF THE BULLET

I'm over at Chatteriffic today, talking with Gerald So about my new novella, GOSPEL OF THE BULLET and all things western.

Chatterrific: Chris Leek talks GOSPEL OF THE BULLET: Mitchel McCann may have lost a war, but he never lost his belief. The preacher kept his faith throughout all the blood and the dying; trad...

Monday, September 8, 2014

The All New Badass Big Adios

Originating as a weekly online western fiction magazine, The Big Adios has graduated to a quarterly print digest with this debut issue featuring the works of David James Keaton, Tom Pitts, Jim Wilsky, Dawn Vogel, Paul Lorello, Robert Lowell Russell, Coy Hall, Aidan Thorn, Gareth Spark and Christopher Davis. Here you will find the west in all its guises. We’ve got the weird and the wild and a whole lot more besides.
The debut edition is out on 22nd September in both dead tree and electronic formats. You can pre-order it right HERE for your kindle doodad for the princely sum of a buck 99.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Gospel According To OEP

From the dark, weed smoke-entombed van came an English accented voice "Come, we have such sights to show you." – Brian Panowich.

As summer starts to fade like the beach town radio station on your long drive home. it's time for me to congratulate myself on avoiding the clutches of the reaper for another year. And it’s also time to get back in the saddle and tell you a little bit about my upcoming western novella, GOSPEL OF THE BULLET.  Well, actually it’s Ron Earl Phillips, head honcho of One Eye Press who is doing the telling, but I’m sure you’re good with that.

ONE EYE PRESS is excited as we hit the 6 week window to the release of our first western novella, GOSPEL OF THE BULLET by Chris Leek.
As a tease, please enjoy the cover reveal with art by C D REGAN. Chuck, as we know him, is a talented creator – designer, artist and writer – the whole enchilada. You can see some of his outstanding work in and on the many excellent ZELMER PULP collections.

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Price: $7.95 print $3.50 digital

Mitchel McCann may have lost a war, but he never lost his belief. The preacher kept his faith throughout all the blood and the dying; trading his pulpit for a saddle and delivering his sermons with a brace of Walker Colts. McCann still believes in God, but he is no longer sure that God believes in him. Now fate has given him a chance at redemption; the opportunity to save a life instead of taking one.

Justice Simpson was only seven years old when she lost father. She has been losing steadily ever since. The Yankee ball that did for Dan Simpson also killed his wife, Rosalee, although it took another nine years to do it. Alone and destitute on the unforgiving streets of Saint Joseph, Missouri, Justice knows that the sooner or later the bullet will find her too.

In the winter of 1872 the war is long over, but on the Kansas—Missouri border old wounds are slow to heal and they leave ugly scars. The past is something that neither the preacher nor the girl can escape.

All I can add to that are my thanks, firstly to Ron for making this happen and also to my ZP brother, Chuck for making it look drop dead gorgeous. As birthday’s go, this one is shaping up to be pretty good.