Guest DJ—Tom Pitts

Tom Pitts has had a busy year. He is half of the editorial team that runs The Flash Fiction Offensive for Out of the Gutter. His new monthly podcast for Authors on the Air, “Skid Row Chatter,” has had great interviews with crime fiction luminaries like Todd Robinson, Benjamin Whitmer, Jack Getze and Les Edgerton. And somehow he still found time to promote his debut novel from 2014, HUSTLE, while releasing a killer novella, KNUCKLEBALL, as a follow-up.

Knuckleball_frontcover_dress_finHere’s what Mr. Pitts had to say about KNUCKLEBALL in our interview earlier this year: “The impetus for the story came to me while I was in Golden Gate Park walking the dogs. The whole Bryan Stow thing was happening at the time. Bryan Stow was the poor bastard who was beat down at a Giants game at Dodger Stadium and to this day has never recovered. The search was on for the assailants and that afternoon a police artist’s sketch came out with an accompanying description: 5’10” Latino male. That was it. The sketch, the description, it could have been anybody. They were describing half of L.A. So I wondered … man, if you knew someone who looked even remotely like that, you could really fuck them up if you fingered them. All it would take is some hatred and a phone call.”

Tom Pitts at BoucherSo what’s next? Well, rumor has to that Mr. Pitts is sitting on two new novels that fans like myself hope will see the light of day in 2016. In the meantime, he’s on the turntables this week spinning everything from John Prine and April Wine to Johnny Thunders, Black Flag and The Replacements.

If you need more Tom Pitts in your life, you can find him on his website, Amazon and Facebook.

Previous Playlists:

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.

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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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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Interrogation—Les Edgerton

LESEDGERTONWho: Les Edgerton

What: An ex-con who spent two years and change in prison on a plea-bargained down 2-5 sentence for burglary, armed- and strong-arm robbery, and possession with intent to sell, at Pendleton Reformatory in Indiana. Since his release, he’s earned a B.A. from I.U. and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and had 18 books published. His career for many years as a criminal and outlaw lend an air of rare verisimilitude to his crime novels.

Where: Indiana

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

I just read your most recent novel, THE GENUINE, IMITATION, PLASTIC KIDNAPPING and loved it. Very dark and very funny. How did you come up with the character of Pete Halliday? Why New Orleans?

FINAL COVER FOR KIDNAPPING2The novel stemmed from a short story that was published in The South Carolina Review and was about a guy who embodied many of the same elements that make up my own life. He went to the Big Sleazy because that was where I was from and knew the milieu well—especially the criminal areas.

You have published some fiction and some non-fiction—with baseball straddling the line. When did you first develop a love baseball? If you had to explain the game to a space alien, what would you say?

Interesting question! I’ve always loved baseball. Played it as a kid and in high school and had an uncle who was a year older than me who played for five different major league teams back in the sixties. Had a son who was extremely good. If I had to describe it to Yars from Mars, I’d tell him it was chess for athletes. Then, I guess, I’d have to explain chess to him… And then what athletes were… Seems like a lot of work. Best thing would be just to take him to a game in San Francisco and watch the Giants beat the Dodgers. He’d quickly get it…

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Quick Quotes—The Week In Publishing

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Eric Campbell at Bad Citizen Corporation

“Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.”—Ceridwen Dovey at New Yorker

“The best advice that I could give you about networking is STOP TRYING TO NETWORK. If the goal is to connect with people who like the sorts of things you like, just go be you and it’ll happen.”—Chris Holm at Maine Crime Writers

“While technology often seems to move at the speed of light, books grow like trees do: slowly, meditatively.”—Claire Fallon at The Huffington Post

“My buying-to-actually-reading ratio is 387 to 1. I buy a ton of books. I have actually convinced myself that buying books is the same as reading.”—Judd Apatow at New York Times

“The writer who can master the art and craft of defining their characters by their actions is going to be the author whose work gets read.”—Les Edgerton at Writers In The Storm

“Genres only start existing when there’s enough of them to form a sort of critical mass in a bookshop, and even that can go away.”—Neil Gaiman at New Statesman

“The history of the novel, as much as that of any other art, is a history of experimentation and change. And, after decades of post-postmodern confusion, the novel is finally in a new phase of form expansion.”—William Pierce at Electric Literature

“Writing is a very solitary act, and it’s the communities we build around that act that elevate us.”—Rob Hart at LitReactor

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, 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.