Check it out:
(Click on image to enlarge)
Cover art by Joslyn Cain
Cover design by Chris Kent
(Release date: June 15, 2013)
Posted in book launch, Books, coming soon, Dark fantasy/horror, e-book, fiction, independent publisher, independent writer, indie writer, Literature, new literary fiction, New release, new short fiction, short story collection, Surrealism, suspense, writing, tagged Black Dog Press, Books, cover art, Dark fantasy, fiction, independent writing, indie publishing, Literature, new book, New release, short story collection, surreal on May 22, 2013 | 6 Comments »
(Click on image to enlarge)
Cover art by Joslyn Cain
Cover design by Chris Kent
(Release date: June 15, 2013)
Posted in author blog, book launch, Books, Dark fantasy/horror, e-book, edge fiction, fiction, horror fiction, horror story, Literature, Reading, Science fiction, Short Stories, short story collection, stories for e-reader, suspense, Uncategorized, writer, writing, tagged "Invisible Boy", Books, Chris Kent, Exceptions and Deceptions, fiction, Francis Picabia, Iain Banks, Literature, New release, Russian translation, Short Stories, terminal illness, Yury Sabinin on April 8, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
This weekend, I completed final edits on my latest book, a collection of short stories titled Exceptions & Deceptions.
The title is derived from a quote by Francis Picabia: “The unknown is an exception, the known a deception”.
The collection features 19 stories, including a novella titled “Second Sight”, which is previously unpublished. It’s my first book of stories since The Reality Machine (1997) and, needless to say, I’m ecstatic to see these tales finally in print.
I’ve settled on a cover but I’ll keep it under my hat until our mate, Chris Kent, designs a mockup for us to post.
This is going to be a bee-you-tiful book.
Projected publication date of mid-June.
* * * * *
By now you’ve probably heard the rotten news regarding the health of one of the literary greats, Iain Banks.
Fifty-nine years old.
…and suddenly all the little foibles and annoyances in my own life seem pretty feeble.
If you haven’t already, make sure you seek out and read one of his fine books. The Wasp Factory, maybe the best debut novel I’ve read, and two truly magnificent science fiction offerings, Consider Phlebas and Excession.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: it’s an honor sharing a universe with the likes of Iain Banks.
His work is a tribute to the power of imagination, that very human capacity to envision and describe impossible worlds…and make the faraway and exotic come to life.
Thank you, Mr. Banks. For every word you’ve committed to paper, the dreams you’ve willingly shared.
* * * * *
A wonderful surprise in my virtual mailbox this past week. Yury Sabinin, an industrious chap now residing on Canada’s west coast, has taken it upon himself to translate some of my better known works into Russian. It initially started as an exercise for a non-English speaking friend overseas but now Yury has completed a couple of translations, “Apocalypse Beach” and “Invisible Boy”, which I offer for free reading/download.
My gratitude to Yury for granting his permission to reproduce those translations here.
Just click on the links below:
Posted in author blog, book launch, independent publisher, independent writer, indie writer, Literature, Live concert, new literary fiction, New release, Poetry, publishing, Reading, spoken word, writer, writing, tagged "Populist Manifesto", art magazine, arts and culture, Battlefords, Feed the Artist, fiction, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, local art scene, magazine launch, photos, Poetry, Saskatchewan culture on March 16, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
I was one of the invited guests at the launch of the second installment of the Battlefords’ only homegrown arts magazine, Feed the Artist. I contributed a brief essay to this latest issue and was impressed by the quality of the work (prose and visuals) I found throughout. It’s quite gorgeous; make sure you check it out.
Congratulations to everyone involved with Feed the Artist, the editors and artists who worked so hard to bring a dedicated arts and culture publication to the citizens of this region.
Here’s what I said to the sixty or so people who assembled at Crandleberry’s to give the magazine a grand send-off.
Thanks to everyone who attended. It was a magical evening.
* * * * *
I think it’s appropriate that we’re launching the new issue of “Feed the Artist” here, in a very public venue as opposed to a more formal setting. While there might be benefits to holding events in clean, well-lighted places, featuring all the latest bells and whistles, there’s also something cold and antiseptic and, let’s face it, increasingly corporate about these fancy-shmancy new galleries and performing arts centers.
Some of you either participated in or were witnesses to the “Tree” piece that was conceived and created around a locale in Battleford. The natural setting became an important element within the performance. I’m also thinking about the “Flash Mobs” that have broken out in this region of late, people congregating in public places and singing and dancing while startled spectators try to take everything in.
All of this is happening outside the rarefied air of institutions and brick and mortar facilities. Because art, after all, is portable, not confined to designated areas and “safe” zones. Why not utilize non-traditional locations to tell stories and highlight the rich history and culture of this region?
Time for artists to escape museums and galleries and theaters and bookstores and re-enter public spaces, remind the citizens of our communities that we have something to say about life, the universe…and the human condition. Something essential, something they need to know if they’re to stay sane in an increasingly frantic and chaotic world.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Populist Manifesto” addressed some of these points nearly forty years ago, so I’ll conclude by reading an excerpt from that work (what’s an arts gathering without a manifesto?).
Poets, come out of your closets, Open your windows, open your doors, You have been holed-up too long in your closed worlds. Come down, come down from your Russian Hills and Telegraph Hills, your Beacon Hills and your Chapel Hills, your Mount Analogues and Montparnasses, down from your foothills and mountains, out of your teepees and domes. The trees are still falling and we’ll to the woods no more. No time now for sitting in them As man burns down his own house to roast his pig No more chanting Hare Krishna while Rome burns. San Francisco’s burning, Mayakovsky’s Moscow’s burning the fossil-fuels of life. Night & the Horse approaches eating light, heat & power, and the clouds have trousers. No time now for the artist to hide above, beyond, behind the scenes, indifferent, paring his fingernails, refining himself out of existence. No time now for our little literary games, no time now for our paranoias & hypochondrias, no time now for fear & loathing, time now only for light & love.
-Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Copyright, 1974)
Posted in author blog, book launch, Books, fiction, independent publisher, independent writer, indie writer, literary, Literature, writer, writing, writing life, tagged book promotion, Books, Canadian author, indie writing, Literature, new book, promotion poster, writer on November 4, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
* Click on image to enlarge
Posted in author blog, Black Dog Press, book launch, Books, coming soon, Horror, independent publisher, independent writer, indie writer, Literature, Live concert, movie, new literary fiction, New release, Poetry, publishing, Reading, Surrealism, traditional publishing, writer, writing, writing life, tagged author reading, book launch, Canadian literature, film of live reading, live reading, New release, Poetry, prose on October 5, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
A memorable evening last night: we launched my two new collections, New & Selected Poems and Stromata to an enthusiastic audience and, I add (much to my relief), there were no glitches or screwups on my part. I read for just over 35 minutes and then took questions from those in attendance. Great questions too, folks seeking clarification on my status as an independent author and also asking me about the changes in my writing over the past 25 years, among other things.
I’ll post some pictures ASAP but we also had two cameras running so in the next couple of weeks we’ll be uploading the entire reading on to YouTube where people can tune in and see me in action.
Without a trace of humbleness, I can tell you that there aren’t too many authors in this country who perform their work as well as I do. I take my responsibilities as an entertainer very seriously; I have been to too many readings where the authors have forgotten that they must also be performers. When I hit that podium, it’s my intention to blow people away, destroy their preconceptions, make it a night they won’t soon forget. And usually I succeed.
Thanks to everyone who came out on a chilly autumn night and an especially big THANK YOU to my production crew—Sherron, Sam, Sean, Micah—for their hard work.
Watch for the finished film, I really believe it captured one of the best readings I’ve ever done.
Man, was I hot…
Posted in author blog, Black Dog Press, book launch, Books, independent publisher, independent writing, indie writer, literary, Literature, New release, Poetry, Prose poems, writer, writing, writing life, tagged book launch, Canadian literature, Canadian poetry, fiction, monologues, new books, New release, Poetry, prose, Prose poems, short short stories, Short Stories on September 19, 2012 | 1 Comment »
The official launch of my two latest efforts, New & Selected Poems and Stromata: Prose Works, is October 4th, 2012. Sherron created a wonderful event poster. Hope to see you there:
(Click on the poster in order to view it full size)
Posted in author blog, Black Dog Press, book launch, Books, coming soon, Dark fantasy/horror, edge fiction, fiction, Horror, independent publisher, independent writer, indie writing, Kindle, Literature, new literary fiction, New release, new short fiction, Poetry, Prose poems, publishing, satire, Short Stories, short story collection, Surrealism, writer, writing, tagged Books, Chris Kent, cover art, flash fiction, Literature, New & Selected Poems, new book, new poetry collection, New release, Poetry, Prose poems, satire, Stromata, surreal on August 24, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Stromata: Prose Works (1992-2011) includes the creme de la creme of my short prose pieces (some folks call them prose poems). These are brief (usually under 500 words) narrative works, often quite surreal, twisted, satirical and, frankly, vicious. These bits are perfect for performing at readings and frequently provoke gasps and, seconds later, gales of laughter. Some of my favorites are in Stromata: “Cranes”, “A.I.”…material that hasn’t been in print and available to readers for many, many moons. And some new pieces that, I think, show a progression in terms of themes and my approach to the subject matter.
I’ve said it before but here it is again: I love these two thin volumes. While books like The Last Hunt and Of the Night reflect my skills as a storyteller, the collected poems and prose poems prove that I can “dangle” artistically with the best of them.
Dangle? Sorry, that’s a term that might only be familiar to hockey fans. If a player can really fly on the ice, skate fast and stickhandle you right out of your jock, we say, “man, look at that guy dangle”. It’s like a whistle of appreciation.
I hemmed and hawed about it but there will be an e-book and Kindle version of Stromata (unlike the poems). Frankly, the books are so beautiful, who would want to settle for electronic copies? Why not get the real thing and have two lovely tomes that you can treasure forever?
Chris Kent did both covers and, I’m telling you, his book designs just keep getting better and better. He seems to understand intuitively what I’m looking for, the “less is more” mentality I apply to every aspect of my life. Chris is a delight to work with—no huge ego, just a desire to execute covers that are artful and eye-grabbing and irresistible.
Both the Selected Poems and Stromata retail at $12.00 (U.S.A. & Canada) and they each clock in at around 116 pages. Slim…but there’s a lot of power packed into those little gems.
New & Selected Poems is available now, today, this very instant…the release date for Stromata is September 20th.
More info to come…
(Click on covers to see larger versions)
Posted in author blog, Black Dog Press, book launch, Books, independent publisher, independent writing, indie writer, Literature, New release, Poetry, writer, writing, writing life, tagged apocalyptic poetry, Books, intense, new and selected poems, new book, personal, Poetry on August 18, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
…and, of course, you can place an order through your favorite bookstore. God bless the indies!
Finally, you can drop a money order my way and get a personally inscribed copy.
I want to remind everyone that this volume is only available as a “dead tree” edition—no Kindle or e-book versions envisioned at this time.
And if you could see and pick up and handle the book, you’d understand why. It’s beautiful and should be experienced as a tactile, physical object, a relic from another time.
I love this book…and hope you will too.
Posted in author blog, book launch, Books, Literature, New release, Poetry, Reading, writing, writing life, tagged Black Dog Press, Books, Canadian writer, Chip Kidd, Chris Kent, contemporary poetry, cover art, E.L. James, Literature, new and selected poems, Poetry, Samuel Johnson, Scribd, Stephenie Meyer on June 21, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Why, it’s the cover art for the next release from Black Dog Press, my New & Selected Poems. Our pal Chris Kent concocted it in a fit of creativity that would’ve made Chip Kidd swoon. I was quite vague in my directions to Chris this time around. I wanted a minimalist cover, two blocks of color, no blurbs, no jacket copy beyond the title and author’s name. The colors couldn’t be garish but nothing neutral either (that must have been a head-scratcher). I supplied him with a photo taken in one of my jaunts and asked if it could somehow be incorporated.
Chris managed to decipher my thoroughly unhelpful suggestions and produce a cover that is dignified, restrained and gorgeous.
Another winner from the big man. Did he do a killer job or what?
I’ll have the interior (text) files off to my pal Daniel at Scribe Freelance in the next twenty-four hours…so I think it’s safe to say that New & Selected Poems will make its appearance somewhere around mid-July.
I have decided that, at least for the time being, my poetry collection will be offered in print form only. You heard right: no Kindle or e-book. To me, my book is an artifact, a throwback to another time when, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, “the chief glory of every people arose from its authors”, an epoch when the printed word wasn’t used as a sanitary napkin by the likes of E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer.
If authors are no longer held in high esteem, then poets have fallen even farther. A great art form reduced to doggerel, greeting card sentiments and self-indulgent incontinence. Poetry used to be the conscience of civilization; now it is nothing more than tuneless Muzak.
My poetry comes from a special place and demands a lot from me, taking a personal toll while pushing me to my limits as a writer, insisting on exactly the right word, a certain, precise cadence. There’s no room for error in verse, each and every beat must be accounted for and a tin ear is quickly exposed. Courage is mandatory, a willingness to work without a net. It has a special status in my heart and soul and deserves special treatment.
There are something like 100 poems in this volume—that’s drawn from over 25 years of work. My selection process has been ruthless and, as a result, I think New & Selected Poems features my very best work, a roster of poems that are personal, shrapnel sharp and utterly merciless.
Make sure you browse the sample on my Scribd page…and if you like what you see, you’ll be able to order your personal copy next month. Watch for updates.
It will be available through this site (if you’re looking for signed copies), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s…all the usual suspects.
Coming soon…and I’m as excited as an expectant father can be. Pacing ruts in the carpet, eying the clock, constantly patting my breast pocket, making sure the cigars are still there…
Posted in author blog, book launch, Books, fiction, independent publisher, independent writing, indie writing, Literature, Reading, Uncategorized, writer, writing, writing life, tagged author reading, book launch, Books, cowboy, gunfighter, historical fiction, Livingston, New release, Old West, The Last Hunt, western novel, Yellowstone on April 21, 2012 | 4 Comments »
A few photos from the official launch of my western novel, The Last Hunt.
Special thanks to the North Battleford Library for sponsoring the event and, especially, to my musical guest Laird Brittin, who gave a sparkling performance to warm up our audience.
A good reading, great music, lots of fun with friends and family…and tons of books sold.
That’s what I call a successful book launch!