Monday, April 29, 2013

Taylor Grant Bio

This week's special guest is Taylor Grant!

Taylor Grant is an author, multi-hyphenate filmaker, actor, Hollywood script consultant, and award-winning copywriter. His work has been seen on network television, the big screen, the web, newspapers, comic books, national magazines, anthologies, and heard on the radio.  He is an Active Member of the HWA and is currently the Editor in Chief of Evil Jester Comics, a recently launched publishing company dedicated to quality horror comics.  His horror stories have been published in the Bram Stoker nominated anthology Horror for Good, as well as A Feast of Frights from the Horror Zine, Box of Delights; the forthcoming anthologies Horror Library Volume 5, Fear the Reaper, Blood Type, Nightscapes Vol. 1, and Cemetery Dance Magazine.

Visit him online at his website and the Evil Jester Comics webpage.

And don't forget to come back Wednesday for Taylor's interview!

Friday, April 26, 2013

PPWC13: Character Building with Tony and Dr. Phil

This workshop was led by Jaxine Daniels.  Although these are my notes, the workshop content is attributed to Jaxine and the participants who offered input and discussion.

"I believe that all good fiction is character-driven." - Jaxine Daniels (and a lot of other people besides)

The Question:  What makes people tick?

The Answer: Goals, Motivations, & Conflicts (GMC, Debra Dixon)

Good story forces characters to redefine their beliefs, values, and priorities.  Ask yourself:  What would make someone behave this way?  What would they have to believe to do that?

Discomfort = Conflict
  • Your job as a writer is to torture your characters.
  • Put them in positions/situations they wouldn't ordinarily find themselves in.
  • It all has to be motivated and catered specifically to that character.
  • Remember that villains are people too.  They have their own GMC.  They believe they are the heroes of their own story.  
Dr. Phil's Life Law #3
People do what works.  Everything we do is for a payoff. 

Payoffs can be:

(1) Monetary: easy to measure
(2) Psychological: acceptance, approval, praise, love, companionship, greed, punishment, safety, security, fulfillment
(3) Spiritual: peace, sense of connectedness with a higher power, righteousness, morality
(4) Physical: sense of well-being, eating right, exercising, intimidating others, preoccupation with own body (or the body of another), self-afflicted pain
(5) Achievement: accomplishment, recognition, a job well-done
(6) Social: feeling a part of a group, contribution, leadership, obligation, craving social acceptance

*Most people approach payoff through the path of least resistance.  Sometimes it's just easier not to.

"People go to far greater lengths to avoid pain than they do to obtain what they desire." - Tony Robbins

The anticipation of pain can often be greater than the pain itself.  Intense pain can be a motivator for characters to change.

Values can affect wants and desires.  They are more vague than goals; once they are more focused, they become goals. Each of these (listed below) has associated behaviors.  We all define values define values differently.  What does it mean to be free?  To be secure?  To fail or succeed?

Positive Values (what they seek): Love, freedom, intimacy, security, adventure, independence, power, success, comfort, health, growth, happiness, fun, creativity

Negative Values (what they seek to avoid): Rejection, frustration, failure, humiliation, loneliness, guilt, jealousy

Most people are motivated by fear.  Fear can be someone or something threatening a person's values.

Recipe for Great Conflict:
Pit one good value against another.
  • compassion vs honesty
  • contentment vs adventure
  • power vs intimacy
  • justice vs truth
  • security vs happiness
  • truth vs loyalty
Beliefs tend to be emotional and extreme.  They can be illogical and not well-thought out.  We show our beliefs by what we say, how we act, our internal dialogs, our external relationships.  Not every character needs a traumatic childhood.  But everyone carries baggage.  Little things make up most of our scars.  Focus on the heroes' belief system by showing them in action.

Currency is what matters to a person.  Women express their feelings in words.  Men use their own currency.  Men will give to those they love in their own currency - whether they value that or not.  Figure our what he values and then watch and see if he's giving that or not.

Men are highly competitive.  They never stop wanting to be the knight in shining armour that saves the damsel in distress.

Example:  What values can come crashing together? A knight wants to take care of the damsel.  But the damsel wants to take care of herself.

How do we show it?  Visual, auditory, kinesthetic.

"Give your characters dreams worth failing for."

A Note About Writing About Tweens & Young Adults:
Young people haven't quite figured out their own values and beliefs.  They usually carry around their parents' beliefs (or) are rebelling against their parents' beliefs.  Usually, it is a combination of rebellion and owning parent/guardian belief/value system.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

PPWC13: Pacing, Fast as a Snail

This workshop was led by Deb Courtney.  Although these are my notes, the workshop content is attributed to Deb and the participants who offered input and discussion.

What do editors, agents, and beta readers mean when they say "The Pacing is Off?"
- There is too much irrelevant information.
- You haven't ramped up the conflict enough - readers aren't interested.
- The description is too heavy - too many adjectives and adverbs.
- Your action scenes feel too slow.
- There is too much or too little exposition.

When the "Pacing is Off," one of three things might be the culprit:
(1) The story didn't start in the right place.  Solution: change the scene.
(2) There is too much extraneous information.  Solution: tighten prose.
(3) An actual pacing problem.  Solution: see below. 

"Pacing" = the speed at which your novel or parts of your novel move.

Generally speaking, fight scenes should be fast-paced and romance scenes should be slow-paced.   If your pacing is off, readers will have trouble connecting with your story and your characters.  For example, if a romance scene is written with a fast pacing and uses a lot of short choppy sentences, the readers are not going to come away with the emotive quality the romance scene requires - they will feel uneasy. 

How to Spot Pacing Problems:
(1) Look at the conventions of your genre.
(2) Review your overall story arc.
(3) Comb through your manuscript, scene by scene.
(4) Review the lists below to ensure you are using the appropriate technique to obtain the desired pacing.

Move Scenes Faster:
  • action
  • reduce narrative
  • eliminate inner thoughts and reflection
  • pull in tight (as in a camera angle)
  • stick to one POV
  • use short sentences and words
  • eliminate adverbs
  • minimize dialog to only what is crucial, absolutely necessary
  • use vocab with auditory resonance - hard consonants 
  • short paragraphs
  • what you let sit as a standalone phrase, sentence.
  • condensation of concepts, ideas
  • don't list - this is bad for escalation of tension
Move Scenes Slower:
  • Reflect and describe
  • eliminate action
  • pull out wide - have characters things
  • lengthen sentences and words; be holder with complex sentences
  • use some adverbs and adjectives (but not too many, remember what Stephen King says: "The road to hell is paved in adverbs.")
  • use dialog more loosely (but never really loosely; dialog must fulfill its role properly)
Good Examples:
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PPWC13: How to Write a Successful Novel Synopsis

This workshop was led by Terry Banker.  Although these are my notes, the workshop content is attributed to Terry and the participants who offered input and discussion.

The key to a good synopsis is two-fold:
  • Know your story.
  • Know your characters.
A Synopsis can be described as the following:
  • a summary with feeling
  • a brief story bridge
  • a promise, encouraging the reader's trust
  • a summation of interesting characters in crisis with a fulfilling solution.
What Agents Look At: Page 1 and the Synopsis.  They want to know, in roughly this order: Can the writer write?  Can the writer pull off the ending?  Can the writer be entertaining?

Terry recommends two techniques:
 (1) The Story Sentence (Gary Provost)
 (2) The Heroes Journey (Christopher Vogler)

Every synopsis begins with the Hook.  The hook is one sentence meant to encapsulate your entire novel and pull the reader into the story.  Include who, what he/she wants, and why they cannot achieve his/her goal (which implies the ending).  Remember, fear, sex, and curiosity always hook readers but curiosity is never enough.  And the shorter the sentence, the better. 

The Story Sentence
This is a good synopsis style to begin with as it helps you construct the basic structure of your synopsis.  This type of synopsis is composed of 11 parts and can be condensed into one paragraph or expanded into 11 paragraphs, or the basic 1-2 page synopsis.  This synopsis should really only focus on the main characters, protagonist and antagonist, and the main conflict (ie. one clear path to the end).  Think of the story sentence as a chart; for each numbered phrase, write a sentence which describes your novel's equivalent action.  

(1) Once upon a time, something happened,
(2) to someone, and he decided that he would pursue a goal
(3) so he devised a plan of action, and even though
(4) there were forces trying to stop him, he moved
(5) forward because there was a lot at stake and just as
(6) things seemed as bad as they could get, he
(7) learned an important lesson, and when
(8) offered the prize, he had sought so strenuously,
(9) he had to decide whether or not to take it
(10) and in making that decision he satisfied a need that had been
(11) created by something in his past. 

The Heroes Journey
This is a technique for further fleshing out your synopsis.  Using this method, you can expand your synopsis to eight pages. Using this type of synopsis, necessary secondary characters can also be included as well as subplots.  Obviously, knowledge of Christopher Vogler's work is required to be able to take full advantage of this technique, but it is well worth the read.

(1) Heroes are introduced in the Ordinary World, where
(2) They receive the Call to Adventure
(3) They are Reluctant at first or Refuse the Call, but
(4) Are encouraged by a Mentor to
(5) Cross the First Threshold and enter the Special world, where
(6) they encounter Tests, Allies, and Enemies.
(7) They Approach the Inmost Cave, crossing a second threshold
(8) Where they endure the Ordeal
(9) They take possession of their Reward and
(10) are pursuing on The Road Back to the Ordinary World
(11) They cross the Third Threshold, expereience a Ressurection, and are transformed by the expereience.
(12) They Return with the Elixir, a boon or treasure to benefit the Ordinary World.

Tips on Writing the Synopsis:
  • A synopsis is Not a writing sample.
  • Synopses should include tone as well as the author's voice.
  • Do Not include dialog.
  • Don't waste real estate - every word matters.  No repetition.
  • Absolutely NO CLICHES!
  • Limit adjective and adverb use.  Instead, use strong verbs.  
  • Follow a logical organization.
  • Use third person past tense.
  • Don't forget to include what is unique about your novel/approach.
  • Correct use of punctuation, grammar, and spelling.
  • Include the end.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PPWC13: The 4-Hour Short Story Writer

This workshop was led by DeAnna Knippling.  Although these are my notes, the workshop content is attributed to DeAnna and the participants who offered input and discussion. 

The inspiration for this technique of short story mapping was The Four-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss.  Ferriss' approach to cooking was to break down the process into all the pieces.  Likewise, DeAnna studied the process of crafting the short story, pulled out all the pieces, set clear definitions, and strung them together into a checklist of sorts.

To write a short story using this technique, here's what you will need to learn:

1. Standard Manuscript Format.  DeAnn recommends William Shunn's online guide.

2.  Genre.  Know the expectations and conventions of your chosen genre.

3.  Character.  For the purposes of a short story, a character is simply a job or role in life and an attitude. 

4.  Setting.  For the purposes of a short story, the setting is simply a place, time, and a suggestion of how this place deviates from reality (if this applies).

5.  Problem.  The protagonist must have a problem; something that they cannot handle using their normal mode of operation.

6. Opening.  Defined as a character in a setting with a problem.

7.  Try/Fail Cycle.  The protagonist tries to accomplish something and fails (this is because they are using their normal mode of operation and have not yet transformed; transformation is necessary for the protagonist to eventually succeed).  When they do succeed, something gets worse.

8.  Climax / Last Big Try.  Strip the protagonist down and take away everything.  Force them to change and go outside of their comfort zone.  There are two possible outcomes: (1) the protagonist definitively succeeds and solves the problem, or (2) the protagonist fails and is unable to solve the problem.

9.  Validation.  Make sure the reader knows that reading the story was worth their time and that the story is over.  This will vary by genre convention.  Use "grace notes" by repeating one of the themes of the story.

When put together, these nine pieces make up the 4-hour short story.  Spend the time necessary to map out your short story and then use DeAnna's recommendation for pacing as shown below:

250-300 words (or 30 min. writing) = Opening
~500 words (or 45 min. writing) = Scene
~500 words (or 45 min. writing) = Scene
~500 words (or 45 min. writing) = Scene
~500 words (or 45 min. writing) = Scene
250-300 words (or 30 min. writing) = Climax & Validation

For a more complex approach to story structure, DeAnna recommends Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pikes Peak Writers Conference PPWC13

Over the weekend I was privileged to attend the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Three full (and I don't use the term "full" lightly) days of writing workshops, networking opportunities, pitches, critiques, luncheons and banquets with authors, editors and agents, and keynotes.  The usual and so much more. 

If I overlook the 17 high school wrestling teams that filled my hotel and the frisky couple in the next room, I am still able to say that it was one of the best conference experiences I've had.  After all, who needs sleep when your brain is ringing with excitement?

This year's big names included Libba Bray, Barry Eisler, David Liss, and Amber Benson.  Editors present were Michael Braff (Del Rey), Christopher Hernandez (HarperCollins Childrens), Pat Van Wie (Bell Bridge Books), and Deb Werksman (Sourcebooks).  Agents included Hannah Bowman (Liza Dawson Associates), Sorche Fairbank (Fairbank Literary Representation), Barry Goldblatt (BG Literary), Shannon Hassan (The Warner Literary Group), Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency), Kate Testerman (kt literary), and Pam van Hylckama Vlieg (Larsen Pomada Literary Agents). 

The PPWC13 faculty included: Jodi Anderson, Terry Banker, Donnell Ann Bell, Kathy Brandt, Becky Clark, Deb Courtney, Jaxine Daniels, Kathryn Eastburn, J.T. Evans, Todd Fahnestock, Matthew Frederick, Laura Hayden, Lynda Hilburn, Lisa Renee Jones, Stephen Graham Jones, Darby Karchut, DeAnna Knippling, Max Maddox, Cinda Madsen, obert Liparulo, Chris Mandeville, Pam McCutcheon, Susan Goldstein, Mitchell, Chris Myers, MB Partlow, Twist Phelan, Laura Resau, Aaron Ritchey, Brian Schwartz, and Todd Wallinger. 

Because PPWC was such a quality conference, I'd like to promote it a bit by giving it some space here on my blog.  Instead of featuring an author this week, I thought I'd share notes from my five favorite conference workshops.  Beginning tomorrow, stop by the blog each morning for a "digital workshop" of sorts. 

Happy writing!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jonathan Maberry Interview

The Horror Librarian: Can you tell us about your creative process?  How do you go from idea to book?
Jonathan Maberry: I’m a structure guy. My training as a writer was in journalism, and I did magazine feature writing for twenty-five years before turning to (mostly) fiction. That discipline and process stuck, though it’s evolved a bit over the last few years.
I start with a concept and work it around in my head for a while to find a version of it that isn’t a retread of what’s already out there. Any trope, no matter how old or stale, can be given fresh life. 
I go from concept to rough outline. I use old-school bullet-pointed outlines. I don’t, however, set it in stone because it’s unreasonable to think that you have all of your best ideas on the day you write your outline.  
From there I usually write the first chapter of a book and then the last chapter (or epilogue). Writing the first chapter sets the tone and voice for me. Writing the last chapter gives me something to aim at. With short stories I write the first and last pages.  Same effect.
Along the way I read chapters aloud, or my wife does. That helps me find word echoes, stilted dialogue, logic flaws, and other errors. 
My writing schedule is pretty demanding. I write eight to ten hours each day. A little less on weekends. I don’t take days off from writing.

The Horror Librarian: What is your dream project?  And what won't you ever write?
Jonathan Maberry: I have a bunch of dream projects. I’d love to write an episode of DOCTOR WHO. I’m a Who fan going back to Jon Pertwee. I’d also love to write a story set in the world of Middle Earth, but I don’t think the Tolkien estate will ever greenlight that kind of project.
Naturally I’d love to adapt my own works to TV, film or comics. I could write a script for DEAD OF NIGHT in my sleep. And I would love to write a TV series based on my first three novels, the Pine Deep Trilogy (Ghost Road Blues, Dead Man’s Song and Bad Moon Rising).

The Horror Librarian: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?  
Jonathan Maberry: It’s important for aspiring writers to understand that while writing is an art, publishing is a business. Know both. Be good at both.
Also, when faced with multiple good ideas for your next writing project, pick the one that would be the most fun to write. Do that, follow the fun.
Then, once you pick your story, write it all the way to the end before revising.
And…don’t let yourself get caught up in the mythology of being ‘a writer’. Forget writers block, forget waiting for the muse to speak to you. Write something. Write anything. If it comes out clunky, don’t sweat it. All first drafts are that way. You can always –ALWAYS—fix it in the rewrite.

The Horror Librarian: What books would you recommend (either fiction or nonfiction)?
Jonathan Maberry: The one writing book I recommend to everyone is Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. That workbook has a series of exercises that help you get to the heart of your story. I go through it every time I start a new novel.

The Horror Librarian: List five things that are on your writing desk right now.
Jonathan Maberry: I have a lot of oddball things on my desk. Over the desk are shelves of books I’ve written and anthologies containing my stories. I have coffee mugs with my book covers on them. I have a hand-carved statue of Gandalf the Gray based on one of my sketches. I have a Shaun of the Dead statue. And there’s a remote control zombie that walks and moans.

The Horror Librarian: What are you reading this month?
Jonathan Maberry: I’m reading a bunch of stuff for possible cover quotes, and I have a slew of short stories to read for a class I’m teaching. Apart from that I’ve been trolling a lot of classic stuff –revisiting old friends, so to speak. I’m a few stories away from finishing the complete works of Robert Bloch, and the books on top of my to be read pile are Pariah by Graham Masterton, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, Floating Dragon by Peter Straub, and a bunch of small-press horror anthologies.

The Horror Librarian: As a horror author, your books often confront the dark side of human nature (and beyond) to scare the hell out of your readers.  What scares you?
Jonathan Maberry: I’m not afraid of the boogeyman or the monster under my bed, but I have a sensible dread of misused technologies. Bioweapons and drones make me twitch because of all the research I’ve done on them for my novels. Although I’m a bit of a science geek, I’m realistic and cynic enough to know that many of the people who possess or control such things aren’t necessarily mature enough, smart enough, moral enough or sane enough to manage them with maximum safety or in ways that genuinely serve the common good. And our clumsy mishandling of antibiotics has resulted in a new generation of drug-resistant diseases. That’s scarier than anything with fangs or talons.

The Horror Librarian: Thanks, Jonathan!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jonathan Maberry Bio

This week's special guest is Jonathan Maberry!

Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and freelancer for Marvel Comics. His novels include EXTINCTION MACHINE, FIRE & ASH, PATIENT ZERO and many others. His award-winning teen novel, ROT & RUIN, is now in development for film. He is the editor of V-WARS, an award-winning vampire anthology. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. He is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and co-founder of The Liars Club. Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sara Jo. 

Fun Facts:
  • Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, MWA and HWA. He is a frequent guest at genre cons and writers conferences.
  • Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes bestsellers Sara Shepard, Solomon Jones, L. A. Banks, Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, and Marie Lamba.
  • On the last Sunday of every month Jonathan hosts the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour networking session for writers of all genres and levels of skill. The event is held at Barnes and Noble, on Park Ave in Willow Grove PA, Pennsylvania.
  • In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field. 
Visit him online at his website or follow him on Goodreads and Twitter.

Also, don't forget to visit the Reading List to view full descriptions of his work and check back Wednesday for the interview!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Robert Devereaux Interview

Can you tell us about your creative process? How do you go from idea to finished story?
Some writers begin with a character or a few characters. I tend to find an exciting story idea or various plot twists it will be great fun to improvise with. These usually have a vibrant tonal center, an engaging emotional core, or some quirky fantastical bit of wonderment.  Whatever that thing is I then infuse into the characters in various ways.  As one with an acting background, I have ways of molding the characters' desires into what the plot demands they desire. The human psyche is so intricate a mechanism, it's a challenge but always doable to sculpt a complex of motivations that will organically flesh out any chosen plot. 
As a result, I am far more a planner than a seat-of-the-pantser in Larry Brooks' terminology (see I create a scaffolding with a design that fascinates me, then let my free urges erect my version of that building. Is the edifice complex? Perhaps, but oddly enough, I have never had the urge to kill my father and fuck my mother.
After draft one is done, I give the manuscript a good long cooling off period--of one day! Then I read it through, marking up problem areas.  And it's off to the revision races, honing intently and relentlessly until the manuscript thrills, sparkles, and shines.
What is your dream project? And what won't you ever write?
My dream project? There is no specificity around that phrase for me. In the ideal, whatever book I'm working on is my dream project in this sense:  I am completely alive, centered, focused, fired up with passion and delight, every phrase perfect and sizzling, the sweep of prose simultaneously captivating and totally integral to the telling of the story. When it's published, word-of-mouth spreads like the most terrifying wildfire ever set. Unlike every book that came before, this one resonates so deeply with so many people that the public consciousness perceptibly if only slightly changes for the betterment of humankind.  The buildup of enthusiasm is so swift and solid, that a movie option is quickly sold for vast sums of money and the movie--faithful to the book, masterfully screenplayed, masterfully directed, masterfully acted--gains great praise in its own right. A musical, an opera, a ballet are made from this material as well, so beautifully crafted that they spark a cultural renaissance. People are no longer lulled by TV dreck, but will settle for only the finest of storytelling efforts that honor and encourage hitherto unrealized potential for human play, for grand and sweeping drama, for subtle, audience-trusting material in all storytelling modes. Other writers, dancing to the beat of their own drummer, enter enthusiastically the dialogue sparked by my work. All of this spills over into all modes of human connection. No longer the bovine moo, the bleat of sheep, the dull, dead march of lemmings to cliff edge. Rather, a firm gentle awakening to group efforts that do not exclude or exile, that moves away from political poison toward elixirs that rejuvenate, balms that heal, salves that offer true salvation. This then is my dream project.
What won't I ever write? Stories which have no purpose but to shock, stories which arouse or encourage inhumane acts in readers, stories that revel in showing abuse, stories that bore every reader who has the misfortune to pick them up, stories that make me weep for having wasted so much time, so many breaths, so many precious seconds of life dishonoring the human spirit, stories that tell me in no uncertain terms that it's time to blow my brains out and end this fucker once and for all. I shall endeavor to avoid writing such stories, and I pray that others will likewise so endeavor.
What do you find most challenging about the writing life? The most rewarding?
To balance the wild hairpin turns of the imagination with a striving for perfect narrative form. That's the greatest challenge, followed closely by sensing when this-much-and-no-more is just enough. Like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, or Verdi, one must consistently be at the top of one's game. Intensely engage with the material while it is in the kiln of creation, then entirely release it when it finds its birth in the public eye. Also challenging: Remaining free of the temptation to write to audience expectation, based on one's previous works and having been pigeonholed by those who know them. 

Most rewarding? The utter freedom of the blank page, knowing all of the astonishing literature that has preceded your efforts, and into dialogue with which you are invited to join. The rare moments when you meet a grateful reader face-to-face and find that your minds and hearts have connected in ways that touch his or her passions. Attending writers' conventions and meeting fascinating people of all stripes.  The continual astonishment of the next project, how one grows from work to work.
List five things that are on your writing desk right now.
I have no writing desk. I use a lap desk and sit on a couch in what was my late wife's professional office and is now my little slice of heaven to dream and play in. So my "writing desk" is this place of wonder. Five things on that writing desk are sunshine; deep love for my cherished, lost, beloved wife Victoria; two of her watercolors; three painting/pastels we bought in Taos; and an artistically fashioned clock whose hands I have stopped because I much prefer silence over ticking.
What are you reading this month?
Books about food and animal slaughter: Eating Animals and The Omnivore's Dilemma. Joan Halifax's Living with Dying. Books about weight loss via unconventional means: Why We Get Fat and The Four-Hour Body. I'll soon order the audio edition of A Clockwork Orange. Tea leaves, runes, and the entrails of dead animals. Reading with my eyes the darling faces of new dates, and braille-reading other parts of their bodies as they ask me to. Reading day by day my internal weather. Reading rising levels of excitation emanating from hot seat participants at TurnON Boulder meetups.  As a stroker, reading my strokee's rising and falling waves of orgasm as we share the fifteen-minute connection known as orgasmic meditation.
What are you working on right now?
I've resumed work on my third and possibly final Santa Claus novel, slated to appear from Deadite Press next Christmas. Its working title is Santa Claus Saves the World but I'm flirting with Santa Claus Kicks God's Mangy Ass All Over Heaven or something else absolutely appropriately blasphemous and irreverent, the old guy so deeply deserves disrespect for having fucked up the human psyche. Also working on a novel entitled Throat Puppy, but it's far too new to say more about it at this point.

Thanks, Robert!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Robert Devereaux Bio

This week's special guest is Robert Devereaux!

Robert Devereaux made his professional debut in Pulphouse magazine in the late 1980's, attended the 1990 Clarion West Writers Workshop, and soon placed stories in such major venues as Crank!, Weird Tales, and Dennis Etchison's anthology MetaHorror.
Two of his stories made the final ballot for the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards. Robert has a well-deserved reputation as an author who pushes every envelope, though he would claim, with a stage actor's assurance, that as long as one's writing illuminates characters in all their kinks, quirks, kindnesses, and extremes, the imagination must be free to explore nasty places as well as nice, or what's the point?
His first novel Deadweight interweaves a King-like plot, penile implants, and splatterpunk extremes of sex and violence, managing all the while to be a sensitive, spot-on portrayal of an abused woman struggling to relinquish her role as victim.
Walking Wounded, his next novel, explores the dilemma of a good woman able to heal with her hands, but also to harm even unto death, whose discovery that her husband is cheating on her moves her, against her every humane impulse, to activate his Huntington's Disease and take him down.
Robert went on to shock the bluenoses with Santa Steps Out, in which Saint Nick's gradual recall of his former existence as Pan leads to an affair with the Tooth Fairy, while a voyeuristic Easter Bunny attempts to twitch and wiggle his way into Mrs. Claus's good graces. Santa Steps Out, which won much praise for its mythological underpinnings and the breathtaking sweep of its transgressions, also had the honor of being banned in that cultural backwater of intolerance and censoriousness known as Cincinnati.
Robert's other novels are Caliban, A Flight of Storks and Angels, and Santa Claus Conquers the Homophobes. His third Santa Claus novel is in the works. The best of his short fiction can be found in the Deadite Press collection Baby's First Book of Seriously Fucked-Up Shit.
Robert lives in sunny northern Colorado, making up stuff that tickles his fancy and, he hopes, the fancies of his readers.
Visit Robert at his website and follow him on Goodreads and Twitter
Be sure to check back Wednesday for Robert's interview!