For all you zombie book fans out there-and if you are looking at my page, chances you are, there is a free eBook giveaway going on with a very large swath of authors today on Facebook. Thanks to Gary Mumford and Catt Dahman, who are coordinating this effort. I will be giving away three eBook copies of my Dark trilogy and one paper version of the trilogy as well-they will be coordinating this. There will be tons of other giveaways, some being held by authors on their pages. But to get the full scoop at their Facebook page, here:
Mad Mannequins From Hell tells the story of Burton Vilmos, an former movie special effects makeup artist who makes his living these day murdering people for his website. They pay him to do it, and of course, it isn’t them actually getting killed, it is all just gory fun. But when he runs through one of the scripts he came up with for his son, and takes a book his close friend got from a mysterious shop owner to do a séance-like ritual for the scene, all hell breaks loose. In particular, Beelzebub rises up along with a slew of mannequin-possessing demons that terrorize Portland at Christmas time. Max, Burton’s son, disappears and Burton makes it his mission to find him and put a stop to the mess he’s created. Along the way he finds three unlikely allies in a trio of battle nuns, has to avoid a couple of odd-ball cops (one of which is a midget in a Mexican wrestling mask), and of course, a ton of mad mannequins, who are skewering and draining the essence of everyone they come into contact with.
This is a bizarro tale, with plenty of wild, otherworldly elements and it works quite well as a snarky, humorous horror story with some unlikely heroes and villains instead of the more traditional stereotypical character types. The pace is brisk and it was a breeze to get through, with a lot of twisted and devious forms of mayhem being perpetrated by the demon-possessed mannequins, which had me smiling. A great deal of the story reads like a laundry-list of scenes of mayhem not directly attached to the main character. For a time, after the mannequins rise, we get scene after scene of destruction. Some of them work, some don’t, but my real complaint is that it leaves less room for the battle nuns in the book, who were by far my favorite characters. Perhaps that comes from my Catholic upbringing and schooling. I knew plenty of nuns in my youth and while most of them scared me (and intrigued me), very few had the allure of these three demon-slayers. Their weapons and … assets were quite impressive. I would have liked to see more of them in action, and perhaps there is another story the author might share that reveals their saga in greater detail.
Despite these minor grumps, this was a fun, entertaining read. It brought both smiles and grimaces to my face in equal measure, which is always a good thing.
Mad Mannequins From Hell can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Mannequins-Uncanny-Valley-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0089RDMY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342363717&sr=1-1&keywords=mad+mannequins+from+hell
Tall Tales With Small Cocks is an anthology from Bizarro Press. It is a series of short stories (along with one poem) that range from bizarro to straight up horror tales. A brief overview of the tales in this compendium:
In The Flesh by John McNee is a mix of steampunk and bizarro, with a mechanical detective on the hunt for a flesh covered woman hiding out at a living, breathing flesh hotel.
Help! My Ass Has Rabies! By Adam Millard tells the story of a fast food employee and an attack of a virus with some teeth to it that rampages through the restaurant where he works.
Zeitgeist by Arthur Graham gives us a parody of the trials and tribulations that come along with trying to get a new TV show produced.
The Zombies of Killimanjaro by Jon Konrath is about a man waiting for the zombie infection to take hold of him after he’s scratch while he sits on Killimanjaro reflecting on his past.
I am a Whale by Robin Wyatt Dunn is a brash poem about the grandeur of a whale and how humans suck by comparison.
Yappy the Happy Squirrel by Dominic O’Reilly regales us with a battle between man and squirrel kind and the god-like melon that would save us all.
MouseTrap by Wol-vriey reads like a bizarro fairy tale with a wind up mouse, an obese house wife and the ungrateful men in her life.
Regressive by Nathan J.D.L. Rowark is a horror story about the elderly taking a miracle drug that ends up turning them into monsters.
The Night of the Walrus by Gabino Inglesias dives into a seedy underworld filled with desperate Walruses, midget gangsters and toasters possessed by the elder gods.
Someone who enjoys both horror and bizarro should find something to enjoy among these tales, though as is the case with every anthology, not all tales resonate equally. Special mention go to In The Flesh, Zeitgeist, and MouseTrap, all three of these stories had their own distinct bizarro flare that brought a twisted smile to my face as I read them. A couple of stories didn’t have any bizarro elements to them and were more pure horror, but that was okay for me as a fan of both genres. There weren’t any duds here, though a couple of the stories didn’t leave me with any lasting memory of them. A few others did leave an aftertaste…and that to me is what is best about short stories-if they have the power to stick with you long after you read them. You’ll get a few of those here.
Tall Tales with Small Cocks can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Tales-Short-Cocks-Anthology/dp/0615635474/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341170946&sr=1-1&keywords=tall+tales+and+short+cocks
Ladies and Gents,
Tomorrow, my good friend, Mr. Jonathan MoOn, is running a promotion on his book, Mr. MoOn’s Nightmares. I reviewed his book here, https://patrickdorazio.com/2010/07/31/review-of-jonathan-moons-mr-moons-nightmares/.
Check out the Facebook page for Mr. MoOn’s Nightmares Day, All Day: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=170572399623444 and make sure you are attending this event!
And check out his blog to see what goodies he is giving away! http://bit.ly/dUQ9QW
Most importantly, make sure you swing by Amazon and pick up a copy of his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Moons-Nightmares-Jonathan-Moon/dp/1451577249/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287516260&sr=1-1 and then write a review on it after you read it. I am sure he will be happy you did, and my guess is that you’ll be happy you checked out this terrific book as well!
Well boys and girls, my foray into bizarro has become real. Houdini Gut Punch, with my short story “Consumer’s Paradise,” is now on sale over at Createspace and shall soon be available over on Amazon and in other locales. I am pretty proud of my first foray into bizarro and have received a few compliments on my story, so I am pretty jazzed up about seeing it in print. So give it a look see!
I haven’t really posted something that was just my thoughts on writing since this whole process of the book actually being publish began a few weeks ago. At this stage in the game, it seems to be all about promoting my work more than anything else, so I really haven’t talked about what is going on with my writing efforts nowadays (except for short stories that are being released now, or very soon). So I thought I would take a few moments and actually contemplate where things are at the present moment.
I have given some thought to posting some of the extra “stuff” that I wrote for the three novels that start with Comes The Dark here on my blog. Stuff that helped me develop the story and give it some background-stories about the characters that didn’t make the final cut. Since there was so much of that, it might make sense to provide a few blog entries on the story of George and Jason, or Megan, as well as some of the other things that took place ‘behind the scenes’ as it were. In time, when the book has been out there for a while, I may start doing that, although not on any specific schedule. I will have to see what comes of things. What really makes me think that it may be worthwhile to do this is the fact that one of these ‘stories’ has been accepted as a stand alone short story for an anthology called Eye Witness Zombie, being published by May December Publishers, and are tales of the zombocalypse told from a first person perspective. I had to do some modifications to make it first person, but after that was done, the story worked well as a stand alone. It has ties with the second novel in my trilogy, which will be released early next year, but not enough that it actually reveals any (or much) of the plot of my novel. I remembered originally writing this story in one fevered pitch-I pumped out about 16,000 words in one night, most of which was unintelligible garbage at the time. It was a total tangent-loosely related to the novel, but off on its own, with a character who appears nowhere else as the central focus. He had a very vague connection to two characters in the books though and that led me to write it that night. The unintelligible garbage got reworked and inserted into the novel, then I realized it was a massive amount of words that took the reader on a journey that was off the primary path of the story, even if i felt it was a good story to tell. So finding it a home after I cut it from the final novel made me extremely happy. I really believe it is a story worth telling. Now if only the other ones I have in mind are as well. They will be more closely related to the novels with main characters at the heart of them, so it will be much more difficult to promote them as stand alone short stories, but giving them a home here on the blog may be the idea place for them.
In other news, as I have been doing since I started this blog, I have been writing a lot of short stories. I am probably not the most prolific writer, but I do try to hit as many submission calls that my publisher has, as well as some others out there from other houses that look interesting. I wish I had specific release dates on some of the ones that have been accepted, but whether they are coming out this year or next, I am pretty excited about all of them (as most writers would be about their babies). I am currently trying my hand at a bit of erotic horror, which is much like bizarro for me in that I have never written anything in this particular genre before, and doubt it will ever become my forte. Then again, my bizarro story made the cut in an anthology, so if my erotica tale does as well, who knows? I don’t know much, but what I have learned so far is not to pigeon hole myself as a writer. I am keeping all doors open, especially as I help my son write his YA zombie/vampire/werewolf story. The boy has no boundaries when it comes to ideas, so it is always a trip to hear him talk about it.
As I continue promoting my novel and work on getting the second one ready to go for my publisher (the first round of edits are already complete and I have turned in my revisions, so that process is going great), I also need to start working on my next book, which I have been saying to myself as well as anyone else who will listen, that I have already started on it. Given that it is outlined and I like the outline a great deal, the time is probably ripe for me to start pounding it out on the keyboard. Outlines for me are guides that can be adjusted and modified as needed for as many sudden changes that need to take place in a book or story. Many writers I know find outlines to be restricting and binding to the point that they hate them. I guess I am not that type of writer, because while I love to have as many sudden inspirations that change everything as much as the next person, I need a skeleton, even a weirdly shaped one, to start pinning stuff to, which is why I outline so much. So I build a blue print, which for others may be the equivalent of actually starting to write the story, since my outlines often take on a rather deep complexity, with minute details in them that sort of defies the idea of it being only an ‘outline’. But since I don’t consider it writing until I start putting it into the actual MS word document, the term outline will have to due for whatever it is I have already done for novel number 4.
I guess that is enough rambling for now. Tomorrow is another day for me to keep attacking this new erotic story and to beat myself up a bit more about the next novel, and to think about all the formatting stuff I need to do for the second novel…and some of the other submission calls and what their due dates are, because I don’t want to miss them.
I had never taken a swipe at Bizarro fiction previously, but decided to take up the challenge when a submission call was put out earlier this year for Bizarro Horror Short stories. I came up with a little piece of oddness called “Consumer’s Paradise”, which appears second in the Table of Contents of this book. It has not been released yet, but as you can see, the cover has been designed already. Hopefully, it will be out soon, because I can’t wait to check out the rest of these strange stories.
For those not in the know, Bizarro is defined as:
1. Bizarro, simply put, is the genre of the weird.
2. Bizarro is literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store.
3. Like cult movies, Bizarro is sometimes surreal, sometimes goofy, sometimes bloody, and sometimes borderline pornographic.
4. Bizarro often contains a certain cartoon logic that, when applied to the real world, creates an unstable universe where the bizarre becomes the norm and absurdities are made flesh.
5. Bizarro strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.
6. Bizarro was created by a group of small press publishers in response to the increasing demand for (good) weird fiction and the increasing number of authors who specialize in it.
7. Bizarro is Franz Kafka meets Joe Bob Briggs, Dr. Suess of the postapocalypse, Japanese animation directed by David Lynch.
Very excited about this and will definitely be posting something once it has been released.
You may not like bizarro. It may not be your cup of tea. I decided to read the two bizarro starter kits after having read a small dosage of it in a few other forms and wanted to be immersed in it, to really understand what it is all about. After reading both kits, I have decided that trying to extract a particular logic or style of writing from the various authors who participated in these books is a futile effort. Bizarro may not make sense on a traditional level of thinking, but I think the main thing is that it makes sense in whatever realm or universe the story that is created inhabits.
I have seen some bizarro that seems to be heavy with symbolism while other tales perhaps don’t have any more depth than a lark the author decided to take off on, but some of it is quite beautiful and obscene at the same time. I probably haven’t read enough of this style of writing to be an honest judge of it, and haven’t read enough of what influences its authors, which is conveniently posted in the bio of each of them in both of the starter kits, but I know that I can go from enraptured to repulsed within the same tale with more frequency in bizarro than anywhere else. And I think that is a key element of this type of work-it is something that doesn’t allow you to relax, or rest as you breeze through passages that are interconnected with regular, everyday logic. Instead, you are forced to remain vigilant, observant of every word, every phrase, because within may lie a totally different experience, a different exposure to something unique and strange.
The Orange Bizarro Starter Kit can be found at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933929006/ref=cm_cr_thx_view
I picked up the Bizarro Starter kit, both Blue and Orange, at the recommendation of a friend who has written bizarro and felt that these two books were excellent primers on this genre. I have not read the orange yet but am looking forward to it. I have read one full length bizarro novel by Andre Duza and another short story by Carlton Melick III, both related to zombies, but little else. I have read a wide array of unique and strange fiction throughout my life, but bizarro is certainly in a class by itself.
A definition, or rather, definitions of bizarro appear at the beginning of this book, so I won’t attempt to expand on them. What I can say is that based on the ten different authors, all with very unique stories, is that bizarro is not just the genre of the weird-it is a genre that allows us to step alternately into worlds of the surreal, humorous, and horrific, sometimes all at the same time. Every story in this book was stylistically different than the rest-there was no solidifying theme running through the book. They challenged me as a reader to keep up with what the author was creating at every step. It seems that in a bizarro story, things can turn dramatically on a single sentence, even when some elements are used repetitively to bring a point across. This is not a genre to hop into assuming that you will be able to relax and casually blur over certain passages and retain full comprehension of what is going on.
I won’t lie and say that I “got” it with every story written here, but I was entertained by most of these efforts, amused, repulsed, and intrigued, which means that these stories kept my interest, even if I wasn’t sure of the exact path that I was being led down by each author.