Monthly Archives: January 2005

The Good Life

Y’know, some might say that life as an up-and-coming writer must be a hard, shitty life.

Well, when I’m sitting at my desk pounding out a script and taking the first sip off of my Mexican Martini, I can’t help but think they’re wrong.

One of these days…

Four brothers stuck in a blizzard learn their dead grandfather was a serial killer, and now he’s back.

Lucas White races across the West Texas Desert with a baseball bat at his side and a serious mad-on for the man who ordered him killed: his best friend.

Jay Dwyer is kidnapped by a criminal named Chloe, and he falls in love with her.

A supervillain who calls himself Boom has been paroled and must serve with a supergroup known as The Deep City Regulators.

Strange things happen in East Egypt, Indiana. Corn grows wild in the forest. A little girl with one eye is hunted by two boys who keep a dead woman in their clubhouse. Something awful lives beneath the mansion on the hill.

Two teenage boys just remembered who Adam Twain was, and now they know why roadsigns lead to his burial place.

A man named Sid has one last conversation with his girlfriend before he buries her.

Something horrible has shown up at the Darkwood Music Festival, and it will cause three days of death and chaos.

A man takes a job at a high school on the edge of another dimension.

The inmates at the Burnham Hill Maximum Security Prison are preyed upon by guards who are vampires.

These stories are stuck in my head. One of these days, I’ll get to tell them to you.

Plugs and More

DRIVE received a nice little plug from industry tumor-monger Rich Johnston in his weekly column. Looks like I’ll have to buy him a pint this year at San Diego.

I’m on the planning committee for STAPLE!, a small comics convention in Austin. Found out just a few days ago that we sold out of table space. Excellent news!

Last night, I watch Kill Bill Vol 1 for the first time since I saw it in theaters. Okay, actually I watched about forty minutes of it and fast forwarded through the rest. Is it just me, or is that movie one of the most boring creations in the history of cinema? Here, let me break the plot down for you.

Fight.

1.5 hours of talking.

Fight.

Ten minutes of talking.

End.

I remember really liking that movie when it was in the theater. What happened?

Right to Life

Sara Foster, three months pregnant, has just been kidnapped from in front of an abortion clinic by a couple that can only be described as completely insane.

There you have it, the premise of Right to Life, a brutal and moving novella by Jack Ketchum. Right to Life has long been one of Stephen King’s must reads, and I can see why. No ghost, vampire, or werewolf was ever this terrifying. It’s simply not possible. What Sara Foster goes through in the course of 139 pages is nothing short of inhuman.

One read through this story will likely make you wonder what the hell is wrong with Jack Ketchum. How could he make something like this up? There’s the rub. Right to Life, though fictional, is based on true events.

Read more about Jack Ketchum at his official website.

Buy Right to Life at Shocklines.

Trash and More

There’s a friend of mine at work who fancies himself an intellectual. He’s an okay enough guy, but he likes to point out certain things about my reading and viewing habits. He’s sees me reading Stephen King, and he says “I didn’t know you liked trash.” I lend him Brian Keene’s Fear of Gravity. He returns it with a “I don’t really like shallow writers.” I ask him to tape an episode of Carnivale (like I can afford HBO), and he returns the tape by saying “Tried to watch it. Wasn’t impressed.”

So one day he asks me what I write.

I tell him.

His response?

“Don’t you want to do something more?”

My answer?

“No.”

I’m not an intellectual. One look at my bookshelf, stocked floor to ceiling with an assortment of graphic novels and horror stories, will tell you that I’m not an intellectual. I’ve done my time in the trenches. I’ve read the classics, and I’ve appreciated them. I don’t want to write the Great American Novel, though. I want to write a novel that makes your skin crawl, that makes you have bad dreams. I finished Jack Ketchum’s novel Off Season last week, and I had nightmares every night I read it and a few nights after. That’s an affecting novel.

My hat’s off to those that want to write literary novels in this day and age. They’ve picked a difficult road. All writers have, and I’m content to let the literary walk proud in the sunshine. Me? I’ll be over here…

…Where it’s dark.

Working

Just received a batch of RUNDBERG roughs from Shawn. Exciting stuff in those pages. The whole “Hell in a handbasket” vibe is like a punch to the gut. A hard punch. With a knife.

Other writing projects moving along nicely. Got the first pitch ready for April. Probably going to go over it again in early March and polish the hell out of it. One more pitch to go. Three shorts ready for a second draft. Twenty-three or so pages to letter on RUNDBERG, with more coming in all the time. Getting together with the Frequency Press people to decide on a printer for DRIVE later today.

Kinda puts a smile on your face.

So THAT’S the Trick!

Getting ready to throw a spit and polish on something, but I’ve been noticing that the last time or two I’ve tried I get burned out about 3/4 of the way through. Still get the work done, but that last quarter suffers a little. Can’t really be blamed when dealing with a 77000 word story though, can I? Well, we’re fixing that this time. I’m starting 45000 words in and doing the last part of the book before starting at the beginning.

I love it when a plan comes together.