Short Story in a Song — “Vacation”

This Go-Go’s hit has been on my mind since I wrote a short story inspired by it for an upcoming anthology. Having lived through the band’s meteoric rise in the 80s, I always thought of “Vacation” in terms of the kitschy waterskiing music video that got tons of play on MTV. Listening to this track with a crime writer’s ear, however, changed my mind about the possible meaning of the lyrics.

The narrator sets the story up in the first verse—she’s love sick and still reeling from a recent break up. My perception of those lyrics hadn’t changed much over the years, but things take a darker turn in the second verse. This is where our protagonist admits that she should have run after first meeting her ex. It might simply be an over-dramatization of their failed relationship, but it could also hint at something much darker. If so, it would explain why she has to “get away.” Does she simply need time to heal a broken heart, or does she fear for her safety?

I’m probably over thinking it, but it was a fun exercise to reimagine this new wave classic. The Go-Go’s-themed anthology featuring my short story is called “Murder-A-Go-Go’s.” It’s being edited by Holly West and published by Down & Out Books in early 2019. In the meantime, give the song another listen and decide for yourself.

Read the full  lyrics for the Go-Go’s “Vacation” HERE.

More “Short Story in a Song” posts:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

Writer Types Podcast—Episode 4

The new podcast is available now on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud!

This time around, my co-host, Eric Beetner, and I went to Chicago to catch up with some talented crime and mystery writers including Sara Paretsky, William Kent Krueger, Lori-Rader Day, Marcus Sakey, Sean Chercover, Jon and Ruth Jordan of Crimespree Magazine, our reviewers Kate and Dan Malmon, a short story from the vaults of Shotgun Honey by Carmen Jaramillo, and a special edition of the unPanel segment with the likes of Holly West, Angel Luis Colon, Suzy Calkins, Bryon Quertermous, Danny Gardner, Hector Acosta and more!

And we’ve also got a new blog post up over at Crimespree Magazine all about the podcast. You can check that out RIGHT HERE.

If you have listened to Writer Types and you like what you heard, please consider leaving a Rating/Review at iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud. And if you want to hear more, please Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

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S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Notes From Murder & Mayhem in Chicago

It’s pretty amazing to witness the birth of a new event. Even more so when it’s so perfectly executed. Murder & Mayhem in Chicago might have been in its first year, but you would never know from the size of the crowd, the quality of the panels, and the caliber of authors in attendance.

I was there along with my podcast co-host and M&M in Chicago emcee, Eric Beetner (who, based on his performance last Saturday at Roosevelt University, might have a future in comedy). We did interviews with talented writers like Sara Paretsky, William Kent Krueger and Shaun Harris. And checked in with several dynamic duos, from M&M in Chicago masterminds, Lori Rader-Day and Dana Kaye, to Crimespree magazine’s Ruth and Jon Jordan, and on to a hilarious conversation about book tours with Sean Chercover and Marcus Sakey—not to mention our fearless reviewers, Kate and Dan Malmon. You can look forward to hearing most of that and a few other little surprises on a future episode of Writer Types.

I also got to hang out with members of my extended crime fiction family including Holly West, Angel Colon, Lance WrightBryon Quertermous and Gretchen Beetner, while sharing some inappropriate laughs with Erica Ruth NeubauerThomas Pluck, Hector Acosta and Gregory Rossi (among others). And many of us feasted on some truly insane deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s thanks to Chicago native and masterful panel moderator, Danny Gardner.

Jealous yet? Well, don’t be. Murder & Mayhem in Chicago will be back next year and, based on what I experienced over the weekend, for many years to come. So give Murder & Mayhem in Chicago a LIKE on Facebook and make sure to sign up for next year’s conference when registrations open up again. And register for sister event, Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee, in the meantime. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you there this November!

crossedbonesx2700-2S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, was published in October 2016. His first Tommy & Shayna crime caper, CROSSWISE, is available from Down & Out Books. The second novella in that series, CROSSED BONES, will be published in May 2017. He is also the co-host of the crime/mystery podcast, Writer Types.

Thanks For One Hell Of A Year

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As the year comes to an end, I wanted to thank all of you awesome people for supporting my debut mystery novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. It’s a dream come true to publish a book, but nobody would have heard about it if it wasn’t for the feedback, support and encouragement of the greater crime/mystery universe that I am lucky enough to roam.

And thanks to my partners over at Rare Bird Books, and my editor Elaine Ash. Looking forward to bringing a second Greg Salem novel into the world in 2016 with your help. But not until Down & Out Books publishes my novella, CROSSWISE, in March.

Thanks for one hell of a year! Looking forward to another great one in 2016.

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I also published 52 interviews on this blog in 2015. That’s a new Q&A every Monday for an entire year. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to participate.

I have learned a lot about writing, publishing and marketing by connecting with such talented people. I can’t wait to continue reading your short stories and books, following your blogs and listening to your podcasts in 2016.

Here is a small collection of awesome quotes from those interviews in 2015:

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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 March 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.

New Author Interview

rsz_screen_shot_2015-11-18_at_73441_am_2As many of you reading this blog already know, I do weekly author interviews every Monday. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of the week—getting to connect with another writer and finding out how they tackle this monster.

So, it’s always fun for me when the tables are turned. Today, Holly West gives me the third degree over at DO SOME DAMAGE

Also, it’s not too late to win a signed copy of BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION. Just visit my guest blog post over at THE SIRENS OF SUSPENSE and leave a comment for your chance to win! That post is all about why bars and crime/mystery fiction go hand-in-hand.

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.

Great #writingtips From Authors & Publishers

We’ve had the good fortune to interview some fantastic authors and publishers in the last year. Here’s a collection of writing tips and quotes from the last few months. Please click through to read the whole article and get to know these amazing talents.

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Read my interview with Les Edgerton

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The Damage Done

Very honored that I got to do a guest post at Do Some Damage today (you have Holly West to blame). If that’s what brought you here— “Come in, come in. Make yourself at home. Don’t mind the dog, he’s imaginary.”

Like most writer blogs, this one can be a little scattered. So, please allow me to give you a tour:

Enjoy!

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.

Recent Author Interviews

We’ve had some great author interviews around here lately. Check it out.

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Angel Luis Colon interview HERE

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Paul D. Marks interview HERE

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Holly West interview HERE

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Craig Faustus Buck interview HERE

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Max Booth III interview HERE

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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