Origin Story

SupernaturalOne of the first stories I wrote got picked up by Akashic Books for their “Mondays Are Murder” series. I was three-plus years in and several revisions deep on my debut novel and looking for ways to branch out. At the same time, a friend had given me the excellent Ian Svenonius book SUPERNATURAL STRATEGIES FOR MAKING A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL GROUP and I was totally blown away. This book is highly recommended for anybody who has ever played in a band or wanted to play in a band, or is a fan of rock music and/or great writing.

Svenonius popped up again in my Facebook feed yesterday. He’d written a fantastic article for New Republic called “The Rise and Fall of College Rock: How yuppies and NPR gentrified punk“. Here’s one of many interesting excerpts from that piece:

“College rock could be defined as a middle-class and art-conscious permutation of radio rock, without the Year Zero pretensions of punk. Though just a scant decade earlier rock ’n’ roll or ‘rock’ had been vaunted as the vanguard of a new revolutionary consciousness, by the seventies it had become codified, established, and even conservative; particularly since its courtship of the country music audience with its ‘Southern rock’ gambit (which begat Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, America, Molly Hatchet, Crazy Horse, et al). At the other end of the spectrum from rock’s Southern affectation was rock’s punk mode, which—though initially entertaining—had become alienating, remote, militant, and noxious (-looking and -sounding).”

rsz_screen_shot_2015-10-27_at_65304_amReading that article got me thinking about Svenonius and how he led me to publish my first short story. After reading SUPERNATURAL STRATEGIES, I started poking around the publisher’s website. That’s how I discovered that they had a flash fiction series that seemed right up my alley.

But what to write? I hadn’t been typing long when I realized it was becoming a back story for my as-yet-unfinished novel.

Living with these characters for as long as I had, it was second nature to dive back into their world whenever I was in front of the computer. “Swinging Party” gives a little glimpse of Greg Salem’s drug addict drummer, Marco, fifteen years before BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION begins. He’s on a midnight raid, looking for things to steal to support his habit, when he makes a gruesome discovery. Since a few of you have read BCC, I thought you might be interested in an additional 750 words about one of the main characters.

You can find “Swinging Party” on the Akashic Books website HERE. Enjoy!

S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available now from Rare Bird Books. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.


  1. Very inspiring article! I’m myself a great fan of punk movement (I grew up with) and writing and it has influenced my life on many levels. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

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