Archive for September, 2009

Pre-order “Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective” by Garrett Cook

Posted in Bizarro Books on September 10, 2009 by carltonmellick

(Garrett Cook)

In the first issue of the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, the bizarro reading community was introduced to the three-foot-tall teddy bear private dick named Jimmy Plush. It sounds cute, but it’s actually quite gritty, dark, and weird. Forthcoming from Eraserhead Press is an entire book about this character, called “Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective.”

Here’s a description:

“In a city ridden with prostitute furries, cannibal cops and warehouse-sized mob bosses, I’ve got my work cut out for me. My name is Jimmy Plush. I’m a private detective. I’m also a teddy bear. It all started when the original Jimmy Plush entered my life, offering to take my gambling debts away if I agreed to switch bodies with him. But I didn’t know that being a three-foot-high plush toy would be such a living hell, especially now that everyone in town wants a piece of me. All I’ve gotten out of this deal is a faithful Chinese chauffeur, a custom teddybear .45, and a girlfriend who won’t take off the fox suit she turns tricks in. Now I’ve got to keep this town clean and try to track down the real Jimmy Plush without losing my stuffing for good. Only one thing is for sure: Life is hard when you’re soft.

Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective is a high octane pulp satire. In the tradition of Sam Spade, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, Hellboy and Howard the Duck comes a new kind of hero, a hero that reminds us that the measure of a man is in his guts and his gun.”

It costs $10 (including shipping and handling). There is also a special limited edition. Those who purchase the limited edition, get the book, signed and numbered, and a special origin story. They will also be entered in a raffle to win a one-of-a-kind stuffed Jimmy Plush. This edition is limited to only 20 copies, so get it as soon as possible. It might sell out this week. The limited edition is $20 (including shipping and handling).

Pre-order a copy at Garrett’s site:

This is definitely a book worth getting.

Jeff Burk Interviewed at RevolutionSF

Posted in Bizarro Authors, Bizarro Books on September 9, 2009 by carltonmellick

Revolution SF posted a review for Jeff Burk’s Shatnerquake:

“Shatnerquake is a zombie-movie style gore-fest in print.”

They also did a cool interview with him where they ask him about his favorite Shatner, how far he immersed himself in Shatnerism, and how he spilled the beans on some upcoming titles.

Check it out.

If You Want to Write, You Have to Attend

Posted in Bizarro Events, Writing Related on September 8, 2009 by carltonmellick

With BizarroCon coming up in October, I’ve been thinking a lot about how crucial attending conventions is for writers, whether they’re new or established. If you decide you want to be a writer, you start by just writing for fun, then you improve your skills, then you try to get some work published, then you join an online writing community for support and comradery, then you start attending conventions. If you are at all serious about being a writer, you have to attend conventions. Perhaps you thought writers lived solitary lives? They don’t. Writers live very social lives. You’re not going to get anywhere if you just sit at home all day. You have to go out and interact with editors, publishers, and especially other writers. All the time. Conventions are where everything happens in the publishing industry. You want to be a part of that.

This is why you should be attending conventions (especially BizarroCon):

1) Publishing deals. Most publishing deals aren’t done through the submission process, they are done over beers. Almost every publisher who’s ever asked me to write them a book, happened at a bar at a convention. This is because: a) publishers recognize and make friends with authors who attend conventions regularly, b) publishers feel out writers at conventions and see if they’ve got the right drive and character for the job…like any business deal, you want to get to know the person you’re about to do business with, and c) publishers know that serious writers attend conventions. At BizarroCon, so many new projects and book deals came out of the convention that it was hard to count.

2) Meeting your heroes.
At conventions, you don’t just get the chance to buddy up with some of your favorite writers, but share crazy experiences with them. You might just find yourself in a hotel room late at night getting whipped by a dominatrix with Neil Gaiman and Jack Ketchum. (This actually happened to me, though only I was getting whipped by the dominatrix, they just watched and laughed.) At small conventions, like bizarrocon, you’ll pretty much be best friends with many of the writers by the time you leave.

3) Support your genre.
If you are part of a genre or writing community you want to make sure that it thrives. One way to do this is to attend conventions. Nothing reinvigorates a writing community better than having a well-attended convention, with as many major players in the genre as possible. If you are an established writer you especially owe it to your genre to attend these events. Nothing depresses a writing community more than a convention where most of the major players are absent. If you are a bizarro fiction writer or want to be a bizarro writer, attending BizarroCon at least every other year (if not every single year) is a must. If attendance is too low at BizarroCon then it sends out signals to the community that there is a loss of interest in bizarro fiction. If it is well-attended it inspires everyone involved to take action, write more books, publish more books, promote the genre more, create more bizarro events, etc. Perhaps you don’t write in a specific genre, but you probably fit in somewhere. Even literary fiction is a genre.

4) Education. Conventions are a good way to learn tips on improving your writing skills, developing self-promotion skills, and how to make a living as a writer. You can learn these things by attending panels, joining workshops, or just striking up conversations with those who are experienced in these matters.

5) Making friends. The friendships you build by attending conventions regularly always pay off. They might recommend you to publishers or magazine editors. They might give you tips on how to succeed. They might become fans of your work and promote you to their readers. They might give you advice on anything from getting health insurance as a writer to which publishers you should avoid. These friendships can, at times, make your career. You can never have too many friends as a writer. Although you shouldn’t make friends just to help your career. If you did, then you wouldn’t exactly be friends.

Other things to keep in mind:

1) You can’t just go to conventions and expect them to do anything for you. You have to put yourself out there, socialize, make friends, have a good time, and get the most out of it you possibly can.

2) Attending conventions might be expensive, but they are important. Necessary. You just have to save money for them, even if you have very little money to save. I know several unemployed people who make it to cons across the country every year. I know of people who risk losing their jobs by going to cons when they don’t have any vacation time available, but they still go.

3) You’ll never regret attending a con, but you’ll always regret missing one. Don’t let excuses get in your way. Just go. You’d be surprised how everything seems to work out in the end, even if you don’t have vacation time left and it’s the busiest time of year at your day job and could really use the money to pay off debts and don’t know anyone at the con and will have to miss your wife’s birthday and have a deathly fear of flying and can’t really afford food once you get there and can hardly move because of a freshly broken leg. Just go. If you have enough money in your bank to afford a plane ticket and a convention pass (or have a way to earn that much money by selling plasma or your dvd collection) just buy them. Things will work themselves out later.

For more information on conventions, from a bizarro writer’s perspective, check out Jeff Burk’s blog entry: A New Writer’s Guide to Conventions

If you write or want to write bizarro fiction, you should attend BizarroCon in October. Go to:

My New Book is Now Available For Purchase! THE CANNIBALS OF CANDYLAND

Posted in Bizarro Books on September 7, 2009 by carltonmellick

It’s just been released:

Book description:

There exists a race of cannibals who are made out of candy. They live in an underground world filled with lollipop forests and gumdrop goblins. During the day, while you are away at work, they come above ground and prowl our streets for food. Their prey: your children. They lure young boys and girls to them with their sweet scent and bright colorful candy coating, then rip them apart with razor sharp teeth and claws.

When he was a child, Franklin Pierce witnessed the death of his siblings at the hands of a candy woman with pink cotton candy hair. Since that day, the candy people have become his obsession. He has spent his entire life trying to prove that they exist. And after discovering the entrance to the underground world of the candy people, Franklin finds himself venturing into their sugary domain. His mission: capture one of them and bring it back, dead or alive.

Cannibals of Candyland is an erotic horror story for the bizarro reader. Dark, disturbing, and absurd; this isn’t the board game version of candy land you used to play as a kid.

Get it here:

Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland will be following close behind, in just a couple of months.

Jesus Loves Flying Sharks

Posted in Bizarro Books on September 3, 2009 by carltonmellick

This is a trailer (kind of) for Cameron Pierce’s bizarro novel Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden. I like it.

Check it out:

Fangoria Review of “Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell”

Posted in Bizarro Books on September 2, 2009 by carltonmellick

My book “Ugly Heaven,” co-published with Jeffrey Thomas’ “Beautiful Hell” was just reviewed in Fangoria. Check it out:

I like this part:

“…an extremely odd tale that is a seriously screwed up mind trip through a dead Heaven which has become a destroyed land of terrible beauty and elegant ugliness.”

always good to get a Fangoria review.

Interview with Kevin Shamel

Posted in Bizarro Authors on September 1, 2009 by carltonmellick

Kevin Shamel has an interview at Every Day Fiction. Kevin is an up and comer in the bizarro scene, with a book coming out in the recently established New Bizarro Author Series. He discusses his views on bizarro fiction and his upcoming book, Rotten Little Animals.

Here’s an excerpt:

The publishing houses of Bizarro fiction and their authors are surfing the wave of progressiveness. Bizarro is independent media. It is mould-shattering. The people involved in this movement are expanding into a fresh, new frontier. Not only is the subject matter of what they’re publishing something completely different, but their idea of how the industry can and will work is completely different. It is exciting.

The Bizarro crowd is going about things in an unusual manner. The publishing companies are forming a community around them; a group of writers who support each other, as well as the genre. A family. Bizarro is an umbrella, a patron with its artists. It’s a new way of doing things and it’s just in time. There’s much more ahead. I’m happy to be on the edge with them.

Having hung out with Kevin a few times now, I can say that he’s a great addition to the bizarro family.

Check out the interview here.