Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Newer Kind of Pulp

There are people who think I only read serious nonfiction. Of course that isn't true. I have my guilty pleasures. One of those is are the books about Mack Bolan, The Executioner. These books, that are firmly in the men's adventure genre, are really the Conan novels of the modern era. Bolan is a warrior. He kills those who deserve it, beds gorgeous women and is a bit of a loner. For those who don't know, he's also the inspiration behind the Punisher character from Marvel Comics.

I first got one author Don Pendleton's books back when I was a young boy. Bought it at Laneco. It was Stony Man Doctrine. I ate that up and then bought as many as I could, with culminated in finding about 100 of the novels a few years ago in a thrift store. Two tubs of them. Ten bucks. A steal.

Yeah, that is a guilty pleasure. I've always had a thing for pulp fiction, and this is current pulp at its finest. Yeah, there may not be demons or supernatural villains or even witches, but there is tons of violence, stereotypes and bare breasts. I think that fits the definition.

I'm still missing quite a few of the books, so it's a quest I'm constantly on. The earliest one I'm missing is number five in the series. I think I will snag it some day at a fair price. Until then, however, I have quite a few to read yet before I'm out of stories.

Sometimes the guiltiest pleasures are the finest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Manuscript Problems

I've been, as chronicled before, doing a new edit of the "cannibal manuscript" and the formatting is driving me nuts. I'm using Open Office and nothing seems to stick or work right. To say I'm pissed is an understatement. I rarely have time to write, and when I do I'm stuck reformatting and reformatting again ... and again.

It's enough to drive a crazy man crazier.

I've cut and paste. I've used my template that I have for manuscripts. Nothing is working. I may have to do it all manually, which will really drive me up a wall.

Just had to vent.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day Dreamer

Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan's book on Francis Parkery Yockey, is an eye-opener, especially if you love Reagan. Gotta love crazy Nazi sympathizers who commit suicide, black magic, and fascistic homosexuality. Coogan obviously packs a lot in, and it is a fascinating read for anyone interested in such things ... and it's nonfiction.

A lot of people get some strange looks on their faces when they see what I'm reading. They usually ask a lot of questions of nonfiction works, which is fine by me. I believe in being fairly well-rounded when it comes to things, but I can understand their surprise when they see the guy who had been reading about Japanese gardening is now reading a book on fascists. It throws them for a loop.

I have been gathering books on the unusual for close to twenty-five years now, so I've amassed quite a collection of esoterica. I have sections on my bookself for cannibalism, media, paranormal, UFOs, true crime, art, anarchism, film and more. People who love books seem to take some pleasure (tinged with a little fear sometimes) in viewing my shelves. It's a pleasure for me to talk about the books, which ones I like, which ones moved me and so on. Usually this invokes a good conversation.

Someday I will have an entire floor of a house devoted to books. My own mini-library if you will. That's my "day dream," as if that isn't corny enough. Rest assured, though, like Yockey, I'll be engaging in plenty of dubious activities and kinky sex when I'm not reading, however.

Sometimes you just got to balance things out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Joys of Not Getting Published

I've finished my latest draft of what I always call "the cannibal manuscript." I sent it out before and the publisher I sent it to rejected it because the ending was too downbeat. I would argue that it's realistic, but I don't think any publisher wants to hear that line of reasoning.

After getting that feedback I did something I never did before -- I let people read it. Friends from all different backgrounds with all different tastes. I wanted different opinions. I wanted honesty and brutal comments. Most of what I got back, though, was positive and fit with what I was trying to do with it.

So another rewrite was in order, and I did it. Added some stuff. Took out a tiny bit. Polished it. Now I wonder what will happen when I send it out again. Rejection is a given, but what will the reason be? Will I find a publisher? Will I self-publish? Should I?

I've wanted to be a writer since I read The Shining. I'm proud of my achievements. Not many people can say they outsold John Lithgow, caused a web site to get more hate mail then it had ever previously received, or have their daughter walk through a bookstore and say, "There's my dad's book." I've caused a major moral majority group to forgo a planned speech and instead attack an editorial I wrote. That attack lasted an hour. I've caused people to leave the room during a public reading of my fiction. I've done less than some writers, more than others. This manuscript, however, is one I want out there.

I feel good about this (but I always do). I feel like it could change things. All it needs is a chance. All it needs is a publisher to believe in it. All it needs is one person to give the nod, and I think I will be set. I won't be rich, but it's not about that. It's about being able to make a living off something only I can do. I'm the only one who can write my stories, tell my tales. Me. That's it.

When people say I should relax and take it easy, not work so much, it's obvious they don't get it. If I don't write these things, they don't get done. There is nobody there to pick up my slack. Hell, there can be no slack.

I want this one to get published. I want it to bother people. I want movie options. I want interviews in magazines and newspapers (it was cool to get interviewed by my old hometown paper during my lunch hour when my poker book came out).

I want it.

I will get it.

Or die trying.