Wednesday, June 24, 2015


My first book, which has been out of print for a while, is being re-released through Riot Forge! And check out that awesome new cover by Luke Spooner! Currently, it's available on Kindle here, and soon there will be a print edition. [EDIT: The print edition is here!]

For those who only know me primarily from my horror and bizarro work with StrangeHouse, this is a hardcore crime novel. Imagine if Jim Thompson and Richard Stark had a kid together and gave it to Mickey Spillane to raise, and you have STRIP. It's ultra-violent and hyper-sexed, so if your tastes run toward hardcore, and you're iffy about a crime book, this is probably up your alley. A group of criminals try to pull a strip club heist, but it's a mafia joint, and none of them know that one of the strippers is an undercover cop trying to take the owner down. If that doesn't grab you by the nuts, I don't know what will.

But what the hell? Here are some satisfied Goodreads readers talking about the book, Hellnotes did a great review, and apparently people want to pirate it, so I must be on to something, right?

I'll let you know as soon as the print edition is available. Thank you, as always, for reading.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Long time readers of GF know how much I idolize my grandfather. Whether I'm talking about his life as a mad man, or the stories he's told me of his youth, or even when he used to take me to Tank Park, you all probably know a surprising amount about him, even though he probably doesn't know it. He doesn't understand the internet, much less blogs, etc.

We hit a rough patch recently. For a while, he's been getting cataracts, but he doesn't want to remove them because he figures he'll be dead soon. Why waste the money? He feels the same way about his hearing loss, refusing to get an aid. It irritated me because he was still strong. I knew he had quite some time left, and I was annoyed that I had to yell at him just so he could hear what I was saying. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I sometimes took out my anger on him. I shouted at him, telling him that he should have some consideration for those around him. For all he knew, he'd still be around for another 10-15 years. 88 isn't the end of the world.

God, I'm such an asshole. I hate myself for doing that.

A few months ago, my grandfather started doing weird things. At first I thought it was because he couldn't hear or see us very well, but before long, I started realizing that it might be due to something else. Something deeper.

He started imagining people who weren't there. He lost control of his bowels often. I was once called upon to help him because he'd fallen, but that just happened to be the day after I learned I'd broken my tailbone in a recent accident. I was in too much pain to help him up. When I saw that he'd left a trail of shit from my grandmother's bedroom to the upstairs bathroom, I was in shock. He'd fallen in a pile of his own feces, and I simply didn't have the strength to help him. The best I could do was drag him to a table so he could use its leverage to get to his feet.

Oddly, the whole time I was trying to help him, he was yelling at me to leave him alone so I could answer the door. The problem was, no one was at the door. He kept saying the bell was ringing, but it just wasn't.

Have you ever seen THE JUDGE? There's a scene in which Robert Downey, Jr., has to help his father, Robert Duvall, in the shower. The problem is, Duvall has lost control over his bowels, and I couldn't help but think of this devastating scene. Later, when I read Christopher Eccleston's account of his father's illness, it struck me in the heart and drove me to tears.

My grandmother simply couldn't take care of him, especially since I couldn't help due to my broken tailbone. My aunt came by to take my grandfather to the VA, where they kept him for a few weeks. I visited as often as I could, and something odd came over me. It's hard to describe.

While my grandfather seemed to be in better shape, his mind was still . . . off. At first, it made me feel sorry for him, but then another thought came over me: he might be in a better frame of mind than he was when he was healthy. You see, he didn't know where he was. He recognized me, my grandmother, my aunt and my cousin, but his time reference was completely off. He thought he was on a family vacation in California that he took back in the 'Sixties. Or another day, he thought he was on a business trip to Oregon back in the 'Fifties.

I knew he'd become dissatisfied with the current world, and to know that he was time traveling, almost like Billy Pilgrim, was a comfort to me. He was in a world he could be happy with. He always grinned for us, even though I could never have fit into his time traveling vacation (me, having been born in 1978, that is).

Goddammit. He was in a world where my mom--his daughter--was still alive.

Her death hit him even harder than it hit me. He set up a shrine in the living room, in the chair she used to sit in every day and night while her sickness ate her alive. Every year on her birthday, he buys a bunch of flowers for her. He makes sure that all of her sons, me and three of my brothers (I have a sister and brother from my father's side, but they've never met Mom), sign cards for her on that day. There is still a shrine to her (complete with our birthday messages on her portrait, a picture taken when she graduated high school in 1975), but now it's on my grandmother's china cabinet, complete with the container of her ashes.

To my grandfather, she was still alive, and that must have been a wonderful feeling.

After the VA, he was sent to rehab to build up his strength. It took him a while, but now he's stronger and his mind is back in the present. He just recently came home, and he's getting back into his groove. He gets around with a cane now--which he would have despised mere months ago, as he sees it as a sign of weakness--but he's healthy again. I'm forever grateful for that.

For a while, it looked like he might not have that 10-15 years I thought he had in him, but now that he's in better spirits, I have hope that I'll have him in my life for years to come. That sounds a bit selfish, and I recognize that. I idolize him so much that I was selfish enough to have said, more than once, that I want to die before he does. I can't imagine a world without him.

But that would fucking cripple him.

I've been giving a lot of thought to my own mortality of late, especially considering how I almost died a year and a half ago. My grandfather is the only one who visited me every day, even though it was highly inconvenient for him to do so. The pain I saw on his face as I suffered . . . I knew I couldn't ever put him through that again.

I'm glad he's home. I'm glad that he's getting better. I'm even glad that he's back to watching Bill O'Reilly at top volumes, even though I can't stand that asshole.

I'm glad I have more time with him. I was deathly afraid that every time I saw him in the hospital would be the last, so I made certain to tell him before I left every day that I loved him.

I'm just glad, that's all. Even if he says he's going to vote for Donald Trump in 2016. (Even though his own grandson is running for president next year!!!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I'm all packed up and ready to go to the Printer's Row Lit Fest this weekend (and, of course, the new Bizarro Hour at G-Mart Comics on Saturday night). Two big boxes and one small box, all full of books, magazines and other wonders. You should see the box Shamus and Erika at Rooster Republic sent me. It weighs a shit-ton, and it's completely full of amazing books. When the fest is over, I'll be half-tempted to say that I shipped it back, but it must have gotten lost in the mail. (Heh.)

Seriously, I haven't seen so many StrangeHouse books in one place, not even at the horror shows when I worked their booth. Plus, there's a lot of Rooster Republic titles in there. If you're going to the fest, and you haven't gotten any of these books yet, you're going to need to stop by our table, which is 205/207 in Q2. I don't know where that is, specifically, but that's where I'll be this Saturday and Sunday with some kick ass writers, eager to sell some books.

This box is so fucking heavy, though, that I want it to weigh a lot less when I take it back home with me. A LOT. It is my mission to sell so many of these books that I can carry the box for blocks without it bothering me. I want to make it so that it weighs three-quarters less than what it weighs now before this weekend is through. Not just because I have a broken tailbone and shouldn't be lifting heavy things, but also because dammit, I want these writers to make some money and get some recognition.

As it turns out, all my books sold out at Texas Frightmare, so none of the books that were included in the package were TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE or POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS. I'm supplying my own copies for the show. That's what's in the one small box I mentioned before. The other big box, though?

Here's the deal. I have fourteen of my own books with me. I also have fourteen incentive packages. If you buy my book (either of them), I will give you one of these packages for FREE. FREEEEEEEEEEEE. These packages include all three issues of my old genre fiction magazine, TABARD INN, in addition to two bumper stickers I used to sell back in those days (PUSSY SATISFIES and IT'S A PARASITE NOT A CHOICE) and the brand new Bruni/Danger US presidential bumper sticker. All of that for free with the purchase of one of my books.

Hell. If you're still at the show near the end of the day on Sunday, and I have some of these packages left, stop by and I'll give 'em to you, no strings attached, just so I don't have to take that giant fucking box home with me. But don't count on that. I might just sell all my books and not have any packages left.

Or if you want to be a cheap bastid, come out for the Bizarro Hour, and I'll give away free issues of TABARD INN just for showing up. It'll just be single issues, not the packages, though.

Bottom line: I want to go home with zero boxes. I'm a realist, and I'm going to just have to accept that it's probably not going to happen. I don't want to come home with any incentive packages, though. And I will consider it a failure if I haven't reduced the RRP box to a quarter of its size. Help me make this happen.

By the way, I've been told that book prices are $10 each. $25 if you buy three. Those are some great prices. I hope to see you all there, and I hope you all take it easy on my broken tailbone. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 1, 2015


Are you going to be in the Chicagoland area on June 6? Do you like horror and bizarro? Then come on down to G-Mart Comics and listen to a bunch of us mad fuckers read crazy shit. Did you miss our previous show? You can watch what happened here. If you can't make it, I'm sure we'll be live-streaming it again, so stay tuned for more information. And if you're so inclined, join us for the Printers Row Lit Fest on June 6 and 7. You should see the giant box of books Rooster Republic shipped to me for the show. I hope to see you all there.