Sunday, November 24, 2013

More Demonic Visions

Just a quick heads up for any horror fans out there. I’m delighted to say that DEMONIC VISIONS BOOK 2 is out now for the Kindle and will be available in print before the holidays. Editor, Chris Robertson has assembled a high quality group of both new and established horror writers and this has been reflected by the excellent sales of BOOK ONE, which incidentally is also available for your reading pleasure.

I’m stoked to be back for a second go around with a brand new story, “Loose Ends.” This time out I tried to work the psychological horror as much as the visual. Steve Wenta will once again be haunting your dreams with his awesome cover art. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the odd story in there that will haunt you a little too. I'm currently working on a longer horror piece for Zelmer Pulp. I'm not sure exactly when that one will be out, but I guess sometime early in the new year. In the meantime why not treat yourself to one or both of the Demonic Visions Books?  Go on, you deserve it.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Zelmer Pulp: The Weird and the Wild and the Doris Day

I'm over at the Zelmer Pulp Blog today, talking westerns and how I came to write my story for our recent Collection Five Broken Winchesters.
Check it.

Zelmer Pulp: The Weird and the Wild and the Doris Day: When we first sat around in the ZP virtual office telling dick jokes and spit-balling about what should follow our science fiction issue, HE...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Roadkill Review: Motel Life

The movie version of Willy Vlautin’s first novel, Motel Life has just opened on selected release in America. To celebrate that and to bemoan the fact that, so far there has been no UK release date announced, I thought I would post my review of Motel Life, which first appeared at Out Of The Gutter earlier this year.

Set in Reno, Nevada in the 1990’s Motel Life is the story of two Brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee Flanagan.  Orphaned at an early age the brothers live a marginalized life of dead end jobs, low rent motel rooms and TV diners washed down with bargain bin liquor.
When Jerry Lee accidentally kills a kid in a hit and run they make a bad situation worse and run away. The brothers take flight to Oregon and dream of living a better life with Frank’s damaged ex-girlfriend, Annie James; only to find that no matter how hard you try, you can’t out run yourself. 

There is an echo of Steinbeck’s Mice and Men here and perhaps also a nod towards the bleak existences portrayed by Denis Johnson in Jesus’ Son. The Motel Life is noir in its most literal sense. It provides a dark and heart breaking commentary on alcoholism and suicide as it charts the downward spiral of people forced by circumstance to play out a losing hand.
Willy Vlautin’s prose is sparse and at times almost child like in its directness. But he writes with such compelling honesty that any minor grumbles about his simplistic style or his stifled character development are swept away by the sheer power of his narrative.

Motel life is not going to be for everyone and it is fair to say there are more accomplished and articulate renderings of America’s third world citizens out there. But for me, there is something wonderful about the naivety of Vlautin’s work that I just can’t shake off. This book still haunts me years after I first read it and in spite of its flaws, I still wish I had written it.

Motel Life is and always will be one of my favorite books. want to love the movie too. Maybe I will if it ever gets aired on this side of the pond.