Archive for January, 2013
DEAD THINGS comes out in a week. So I thought I’d give y’all a taste of what’s in store. Here’s the first chapter. Enjoy.
When I pull up to the bar, the truck kicking up dust and gravel behind me, I know it’s already too late to help anyone. Of the eight or nine cars in the parking lot, two of them are Texas State Troopers’, their roof racks still flashing.
The car I’m looking for, a ‘73 Cadillac Eldorado convertible I’ve been following since Miami, sits parked neatly in the dirt lot next to a couple of F-150s with gun racks and mud flaps decorated with chrome women.
I check to make sure I have my gear on me, making the sign of the cross as I touch each thing. Like that old joke: spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch.
Only this is a smudge of graveyard dirt on my forehead, my belt buckle (an intricate weave of braided iron to ward off the Evil Eye), a straight razor I stole from the man it’d been buried with, and yes, a watch. An Illinois Sangamo Special from 1919. Railroad grade. Keeps great time.
I hope I don’t have to use it. More…
As some of you may recall there was a Kickstarter by Evil Hat Productions last year to fund a series of tie-in novels for their Spirit Of The Century role-playing game set in a 1930’s pulp world chock full of THRILLS! CHILLS! DERRING-DO! And other such ACTION PACKED THINGS!
Including a genetically modified, hyper-intelligent, lowland gorilla who teaches at Oxford named Professor Khan.
And since so many people clamored for more and more of these novels, I was lucky enough to be brought in to write about this primate intellectual and his adventures on the mysterious Red Planet ruled by the Weather Witch, Princess Cyclone. Part Flash Gordon, part John Carter, part Wizard of Oz this book is chock full of crazy.
And here’s the cover. Click to embiggify it.
Don’t have a release date, yet, but I’m told that the Kickstarter backers should be seeing it sooner rather than later, with the general public being able to grab a copy not long after.
KHAN OF MARS is about as far removed from my other work as it is possible to get. It’s not dark, it’s not bleak. It has Heroes and Villains and, spoiler alert, Good triumphs over Evil. It’s also free of swearing. Give it to your 12-year-old with a clear conscience.
This was a fun one to write. It’s pretty off the hook and, strangely, might actually be the most challenging thing I’ve written.
Hope you enjoy it.
A little while back I gave some ARCs of DEAD THINGS away to good homes. Sadly, I only had four of them. And a lot of you wanted a copy.
Now you’ve got another chance.
Penguin Books is giving away twenty copies of DEAD THINGS over on Goodreads. The contest goes on from now to January 31st and anyone can enter.
So head on over to Goodreads and toss your name in the ring. Don’t need to do anything special but sign up.
DEAD THINGS comes out in less than a month. Paper copies are winging their way to bookstores across the globe. People can pre-order it from IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and it’s even out on them new-fangled Nook and Kindle machines.
Publisher’s Weekly liked it, saying, “Urban fantasy readers will appreciate the polished, assured writing and hope for a bevy of sequels.”
Romantic Times (behind a paywall for the next few weeks – sorry) REALLY liked it, giving it four and a half stars and and naming it a Top Pick for February. “Gritty, emotional and phenomenally imaginative, Blackmoore’s sophomore book is a pitch-perfect success.” TOP PICK. PITCH FUCKING PERFECT, people.
Over at Tree Is A Tree, Govneh gave an early ARC a stellar review, saying, “This book grabbed me from chapter one and held on through the end, calling to me from the nightstand every day I couldn’t find time to read.”
That’s high praise. And the book ain’t even out, yet.
In a couple of weeks the promo bus cranks into high gear.
I’ll be co-hosting another Noir At The Bar L.A. the night of January 20th and believe me I’ll mention it at some point during the evening. Probably several times. Loudly. While drunk.
On Monday, January 28th I’ll be on a panel discussing short stories for the Independent Writers of Southern California. I have no idea who else is going to be there, but we’re gonna be talking two things I like most. Shorts and stories.
On February 3rd, I’ll be at the L.A. Sisters In Crime meeting in Pasadena talking all manner of noir things with Gary Philips, Christa Faust and Gar Anthony Haywood.
And then we have RELEASE DAY! I will be at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach the night of February 5th talking about the book, signing the book, and doing unspeakable things to hobos.
That Saturday, February 9th I’ll be in Burbank at the wonderful Dark Delicacies doing the same thing for all you folk on the other side of the hill.
And then that Sunday I’ll be down south at Mysterious Galaxy San Diego talking and signing and doing the hobo thing.
So if you can make it to any of those events I’d love to see you there.
Don’t make me beg.
Have you made your Jack Burton face today?
I hope so. Because you should be making that face every day.
A lot of the people who come by here seem to be other writers, or at least people who are interested in what it takes to be a writer. Or an artist, musician, etc. Creative folks. People who want to do things. People who want to get shit done.
I’m not the greatest at advice, but here’s one thing that’s helped me. It’s not so much something to do as something to be aware of, something you’re going to have to deal with. Ready? Here it is.
Be prepared to piss people off.
If you want to get shit done, make things happen, write that book, start that band, make a splash on the art scene, create a magazine, get into porn, design a game, be a hand model, learn how to knit, carve tiki statues out of telephone poles with a chainsaw, you will run into someone who is not happy about it.
It’s inevitable. There will always be someone who wants to keep you in your box. Someone who doesn’t get what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. They might not oppose you, they might not even get in your way. But they just won’t get it. And you’ll hear about it. Or get a disapproving glance. Or an upturned nose. It’ll be your mom, your boyfriend, some random jackass on a bus who asks what you’re scribbling in your notebook.
If you want to get things done you’re going to have to push them aside. And that’s gonna fly like a lead balloon.
Learn to be okay with it. Learn to accept that you’re not going to make them happy, that some of them are going to actively try to keep you in your tiny little box.
Then tell them to go fuck themselves and do it, anyway.
Let 2013 be the year you piss those people off by doing the things you want to do.
Did you make noise last night? Scream into the air when the new year came? Set off fireworks? Rattled your chains? Sound your barbaric yawp? Even if it was just to puke out all that peyote-laced tequila on the neighbor’s lawn?
Good. Keep it up. You can do this.
Sure, it’s just a date. An arbitrary milestone. No big deal, right? It’s just a year.
It’s YOUR year. Your year to make the way you want it. Your year to make it all work. Your year to grab by the balls and make that motherfucker yelp and not take any of its backtalk.
You OWN this fucker.
And when things get rough? Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says, “Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.”
Yeah, you got this one.