Guest DJ—Eryk Pruitt

Eryk Pruitt is a screenwriter, author, filmmaker and radio host. And starting today he is also a Guest DJ! Check out this amazing playlist featuring everything from Bob Dylan and Lee Hazlewood to Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and Sublime. And don’t miss our radio/podcast discussion about “Music in Crime Fiction” this Monday, Dec. 14.

The Crime SceneIf you aren’t already familiar with Eryk’s work, you’re missing out. His short fiction has appeared in The Avalon Literary ReviewThuglitPulp Modern, and Zymbol, among others. In 2014, his fiction was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and also a finalist for a Derringer Award. His debut novel, DIRTBAGS, and his follow-up novel, HASHTAG, are both available now.

He wrote and produced the short film FOODIE which won eight top awards at over sixteen film festivals. Since then, he has written several others, including KEEPSAKE and LIYANA, ON COMMAND.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview I did with Eryk Pruitt earlier this year.

ErykAuthorPhotoHow does your approach to short stories differ from your longer works?

I can write a first draft for a short story in a day. If I get the kernel of an idea, I can sit down and write and then set it aside and come back and rewrite a couple days later, then do it again… and after a couple weeks I will have a polished, fine-tuned little piece of fiction. That’s pretty rewarding. Finishing something is its own reward, and the short story allows you to reward yourself more often than you can with a novel.

Find Eryk Pruitt: Website and Amazon

Previous Playlists:

Guest DJ—Tom Pitts

Guest DJ—Craig T. McNeely

Guest DJ—Angel Colon

Guest DJ—Josh Stallings

29 SoCal Punk Songs

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.

Interrogation—Paul D. Brazill

profile pic Dec 2014 (2)Who: Paul D. Brazill

What: Author of KILL ME QUICK!, GUNS OF BRIXTON, COLD LONDON BLUES and THE LAST LAUGH, AND OTHER SHOTS OF NOIR.He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc. member whose writing has been translated into Polish, Italian, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including three editions of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME. He has edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling TRUE BRIT GRIT–with Luca Veste.

Where: Poland

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

I just read your new novella KILL ME QUICK! It’s gritty, fast-paced and hilarious. Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

I was in correspondence with the great Cathi Unsworth after reading her novel WEIRDO and Graham Greene’s BRIGHTEN ROCK back to back. We noticed that there weren’t too many other examples of ‘seaside noir’. It started me thinking about writing one. At about the same time, Chris Black launched Number Thirteen Press. I was a fan and wanted in. Soooo …

It was common at British seaside resorts for girls to wear Kiss Me Quick hats, so the title of the book was obvious to me.

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Recommended Reading 2015

rsz_screen_shot_2015-11-24_at_15354_pm

It’s that time of the year. I’ve made a list, checked it a couple dozen times, and now I’m posting it here.

This is not a “Best Of” list in the traditional sense. More of a “Man, I read some great books that got published this year!” list. The titles and authors are in no particular order, and there are probably a few I forgot.

If you haven’t already read these books, you should. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all great excuses to support your favorite booksellers. As if you need another excuse to buy books. (UPDATE: I’ve gotten some great suggestions for this list on other platforms. If you want to mention a book I didn’t, please leave it in the comments below Because: Conversation! —Thanks!).

WTD JS Go Down Hard_FrontCover Contenders med-res cover Young Americans

Novels

  • CANARY by Duane Swierczynski
  • CONTENDERS by Erika Krouse
  • STRANGE SHORES by Arnaldur Indridason
  • HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY KIDNAP STRANGERS by Max Booth III
  • THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
  • RUMRUNNERS by Eric Beetner
  • UNCLE DUST by Rob Pierce
  • THE MAGICIAN’S LAND by Lev Grossman
  • A NEGRO AND AN OFAY by Danny Gardner
  • WORM by Anthony Neil Smith
  • WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW by Jay Stringer
  • GO DOWN HARD by Craig Faustus Buck
  • VORTEX by Paul D. Marks
  • NEW YORKED by Rob Hart
  • YOUNG AMERICANS by Josh Stallings

Bull Hashtag Cartel Zero Saints

Currently Reading

  • THE MAN IN THE WINDOW by Dana King
  • THE CARTEL by Don Winslow

Still On The TBR List

  • KILL ME QUICK by Paul D. Brazill
  • HASHTAG by Eryk Pruitt
  • ZERO SAINTS by Gabino Iglesias
  • BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich
  • THE SUBTLE ART OF BRUTALITY by Ryan Sayles

safe-inside-the-violence_cover Redbone_Cover DreamingDeep Knuckleball_frontcover_dress_fin

Novellas & Anthologies

  • THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR by Angel Luis Colon
  • DREAMING DEEP by Anonymous-9
  • THE DEEPENING SHADE by Jake Hinkson
  • REDBONE by Matt Phillips
  • DEAD HEAT WITH THE REAPER by William E. Wallace
  • KNUCKLEBALL by Tom Pitts
  • SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE by Chris Irvin

December Boys City Of Rose Hard-Boiled Heart FLOODGATE

Looking Forward To 2016

  • CLEANING UP FINN by Sarah M. Chen
  • GRAVEYARD LOVE by Scott Adlerberg
  • CITY OF ROSE by Rob Hart
  • DECEMBER BOYS by Joe Clifford
  • ROUGH TRADE by Todd Robinson
  • HARD-BOILED HEART by Will Viharo
  • FLOODGATE by Johnny Shaw

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.

A Little Weekend Reading

Really stoked that people are interested in my debut mystery novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. Thank you all for the support. Please keep those Amazon reviews coming, it’s the best way to help authors spread the word in the Algorithm Age. At 16 now, aiming for 25 before the end of the year!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’ll be reading at Book Show in Highland Park on Sunday, Nov. 22. This is the launch party for the new Josh Stallings novel, YOUNG AMERICANS. The party starts at 5pm and also features readings by Tony Peyser and Danny Gardner. Info HERE. Come say “Sup, bro?”

And if you have a little extra time this weekend, here are some guest blog posts and interviews from the last week You might even win a signed copy of BCC):

Jochem Vandersteen Interview—This Q&A is brand-spankin’-new! It was just posted today over at SONS OF SPADE. In it we talk about BCC, my protagonist Greg Salem, the eBook revolution, punk rock and genre fiction.

Holly West Interview—I love the DO SOME DAMAGE blog, so I was thrilled when Holly West asked to do an interview with me. In this one we talk a bit about how it feels to get published, my writing process, and some of my  influences.

rsz_screen_shot_2015-11-17_at_60347_am“A Classroom With Liquor”—My guest blog post over at THE SIRENS OF SUSPENSE. This one’s all about the lessons I learned on both sides of the bar, and how it influences my fiction. Leave a comment at the bottom of that blog post for your chance to win a signed copy of BCC.

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.

Guest DJ—Angel Luis Colon

THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR was easily one of the best novellas I read in 2015. Angel Luis Colon has created a kickass character who is the kind of guy you’d want on your side in a fight, but somebody you would never want as an enemy. This book is a true page-turner—fast-paced, violent and intense.

Fury BlackyWhen I heard that Blacky was making a special appearance in the upcoming “Cruel Yule” edition of Thuglit, I asked Angel to create a playlist of songs that Blacky would love. The results are up above.

Here’s what Angel had to say about the new Blacky Jaguar short story, A Very Blacky Christmas: “After busting heads and making mistakes in THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR, our titular hero finds himself down south in a town called Christmas. Trying to make an honest buck, the holidays go a little sour when Blacky runs afoul of the most feared woman in town: Krissy Kringle.”

Cruel YulePrevious Playlists:

Guest DJ—Josh Stallings

29 SoCal Punk Songs

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.

Bouchercon, Blogs, Burbank, Bay Area

Motley Crew

It’s been a busy week. Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina was incredible. Great to hang out with friends, pick up some killer new books, learn a ton and otherwise lounge around bars and restaurants for four days with interesting people. The Noir at the Bar event that Eryk Pruitt organized was definitely a highlight. I was thrilled to read alongside Johnny Shaw, Les Edgerton, Jedidiah Ayres, Christa Faust, Ed Kurtz, Jen Conley, Thomas Pluck, Tom Pitts and Joe Clifford. I also got to sit in for a taping of Authors on the Air with Pam Stack and Tom Pitts who invited a room full of reprobates ranging from Brian Panowich, Nik Korpon and Warren Moore to Danny Gardner, Chris Irvin and Jack Getze. Shot some video of Jay Stringer and Angel Colon, too—we’ll see how that turns out.

The photo up top of me with Pam Stack, Tom Pitts and Joe Clifford is one of my favorites. It was shot by Absolutely*Kate. This one of me reading at Noir at the Bar in Raleigh was shot by the amazing Michelle Turlock Isler.

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Back In The Gutter— “Airplane Mode”

rsz_screen_shot_2015-08-08_at_125013_pm_2The Flash Fiction Offensive (at Out of the Gutter Online) was one of the first places to ever publish a short story of mine. That piece of flash was called “Dead Beats”. It features a murderous rock band on the road to a major label record deal—until the rhythm section kills a drug dealer.

After “Dead Beats” was accepted, my good friend and roving rock star Marko DeSantis (Sugarcult, Bad Astronaut,  Nerf Herder, Swingin’ Utters, et al) agreed to do a dramatic reading of it. That became the first in an audio flash series that I have been producing for TFFO/Out of the Gutter. Other installments have included “Daddy’s Girl” by Nicky Murphy, and “How I Got Into The Navy” by Travis Richardson. Today, my latest short story “Airplane Mode” went up.

The audio that accompanies “Airplane Mode” was read by LA-based mystery writer, Andrew Jetarski. Jetarski’s fiction has appeared in anthologies published by the L.A. chapter of Sisters in Crime (“Ladies Night” and “Last Exit to Murder“—Down & Out Books), and his story “The Sunset Premium” was featured as part of Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” series. His story “Dance Man” was a Derringer Finalist in 2014. You can find Andrew Jetarski on his website, Facebook or Twitter.

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016. 

Interrogation: Holly West

holly_office_hr-946x1024Who: Holly West

What: Author of the MISTRESS OF FORTUNE series, set in 17th century London and featuring Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortune teller. Her debut, MISTRESS OF FORTUNE, was nominated for the Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for Best First Novel. Her short fiction has appeared in NEEDLE Magazine, Shotgun Honey, and numerous anthologies, including the upcoming PROTECTORS 2 anthology.

Where: Northern California

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

I must admit that MISTRESS OF FORTUNE was probably the first historical mystery I have read (does “Name of the Rose” count?). What drew you to this genre as a writer?

Let me congratulate you on reading your first historical mystery. That wasn’t so hard, was it? And if you’re gonna read a historical at all, MISTRESS OF FORTUNE was probably a good place to start. I’ve been told that its paced like a “modern thriller.” That makes me happy because it was kind of my goal.

MistressSometimes I think my decision to write a historical—as my first novel, at least—was misguided. Explaining the politics of the time without being pedantic, building an authentic world without resorting to info dump—that shit ain’t easy. But in a lot of ways, writing a historical novel is no different than writing anything else. You’re trying to capture the zeitgeist of the time and place. In the case of 17th century London, much of that zeitgeist rests in our collective imaginations, based mostly on other films and books, because none of us were alive back then. That makes it easier to write in some way.

What? You’ve never imagined 17th century London?  Well, have I got a book for you.

But that doesn’t answer the question, does it? I wasn’t drawn to the genre so much as I was drawn to 17th century London. When I was a kid I read and loved a book called FOREVER AMBER and decided if I ever wrote a book it would be set in that time period.

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Two Great Books Out Today

Ladies and gentlemen, today is a good day to be a fan of great writing. There are two new books that I really think you should go out and grab: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by Terrence McCauley, and THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR by Angel Luis Colon.

I was lucky enough to interview both authors recently, and here’s what they had to say about their respective works.

Let’s start with Terrence McCauley:

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL FINAL COVERI just read your upcoming Polis Books novel SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL and I thought it was great. What was the inspiration for this novel?

The inspiration for the novel came from the gritty spy thrillers of the 1970s that depended on character and plot development. Movies like ‘Three Days of the Condor’ were gripping because they felt real to me, even when I was a kid. I don’t get that same feeling from modern-day spy tales that rely on gadgets and SWAT team raids and jump-cut fight sequences and the disavowed spy trying to clear his/her name. I certainly enjoy those kinds of stories, but they’re not the kind I wanted to tell.

Read the whole interview right HERE.

Buy SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL HERE.

Next up is Angel Luis Colon:

Fury BlackyI just read THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR in one shot. Totally couldn’t put it down. What dark corner of your soul did the title character emerge from? Where does he go when you’re not writing about him?

Great question. Blacky isn’t necessarily my id, but he’s definitely a creature of impulse. I wanted to create someone dark, but cartoonish enough to love, if that makes sense. Most of Blacky’s decisions are by the seat of his pants and most definitely low-hanging fruit. Though, in the story, we do see Blacky has sort of a moral compass. This doesn’t excuse the things he does, but in most cases you’d have a beer with the guy.

Read the whole interview right HERE.

Buy THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR HERE.

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Interrogation: Angel Luis Colon

ALCWho: Angel Luis Colon

What: His Derringer Award nominated fiction has appeared in multiple print and web publications. Book reviews have appeared in My Bookish Ways and he is an editor for Shotgun Honey, a flash-fiction website focused on noir, hard-boiled, and crime crime stories. Debut novella, THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR out in July from One Eye Press.

Where: New York

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

I just read THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR in one shot. Totally couldn’t put it down. What dark corner of your soul did the title character emerge from? Where does he go when you’re not writing about him?

Great question. Blacky isn’t necessarily my id, but he’s definitely a creature of impulse. I wanted to create someone dark, but cartoonish enough to love, if that makes sense. Most of Blacky’s decisions are by the seat of his pants and most definitely low-hanging fruit. Though, in the story, we do see Blacky has sort of a moral compass. This doesn’t excuse the things he does, but in most cases you’d have a beer with the guy.

That second part, I can probably answer that better when I’m actually not writing him! I’m currently working on a new Blacky story for the Thuglit Christmas anthology due out later this year. This crazy bastard won’t leave my brain, man.

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