Sick Pack, my fourth book (and second this year) was just released by Bizarro Pulp Press. Check out the cover art by Matthew Revert:
Are your socks knocked off? Good. Keep them off, because you’ll be more comfortable without them when you start reading the book after you buy it from Amazon.
I’m really proud of this book because of how perfectly bizarro it is. It’s got hypnotic abs. I’ve also managed to include a super awesome punk rock mosh pit finale. Along the way, there’s necromancing coatimundis, body part bounty hunters, mustache crime lords and so much more.
You know that question that writers always get about where their ideas come from? And sometimes writers give some crazy esoteric answer? The concept for this book actually grew out of a goofy conversation I had several years ago with my friend Dylan. “Those abs are hypnotic!” “Yeah, but what if they were actually hypnotic?” I get a lot of ideas from just goofing around with friends.
Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
Fabulo’s six pack is hypnotic.
His abs can hypnotize people, and that’s why they appear on the covers of romance novels worldwide. He’s in-demand and life is good for him. But what about for his abs? Did he bother to ask them if they wanted the spotlight? Of course not. The truth is they’re sick of it. All the dieting and crunches. They want more out of life, so they vamoose, forcing poor Fabulo to replace them with something altogether different and altogether disgusting, an all new…
Blood for You, the literary tribute to GG Allin I am co-editing with Sam Richard, is now available for preorder. In case you haven’t seen the glorious cover by Justin Coons yet, here it is:
If that’s not enough to sell you on the book, then how about this list of authors/GG Allin worshipers who will have stories in it:
- Nick Cato
- John Bruni
- Jorge Palacios
- Andrew Wayne Adams
- Airika Sneve
- Richard Arnold
- Shawn Milazzo
- Nicholaus Patnaude
- David C. Hayes
- Nicholas Day
- Kevin Strange
- Gabino Iglesias
- Joel Kaplan
- Jeff Burk
Go on, preorder it. You know you want to.
That’s a rhetorical question. Obviously you do, or you wouldn’t be reading my blog. The real question is: Are you ready to share your love with the world?
Good. You can do so with this rad new T-shirt with art by Bill Hauser:
It’s available in purple or black for a measly $10 plus shipping. Now you’re probably thinking this is some shitty, poorly fitting cheap shirt, right? Nope. This is a high quality soft style shirt printed up by Alchemist Printing Company. Nothing but the best for you guys, okay. I’m not in this to make money.
You can score one at the Freak Tension store.
This month marks the 10 year anniversary of my first published short story. “Retirement” appeared in Kopfhalter! #2, edited by Keith Gouveia and published by AP Fuchs. Of course, I had been publishing Freak Tension since 1998, and I had snuck quite a few short stories in amongst all that punk rock shit. Still, getting “Retirement” published was a big deal. It was proof that someone other than me thought my stuff was good enough to publish. And considering I had accumulated a few hundred rejection letters at that point, the validation was much needed. It kept me going.
Here’s some history: I started writing as soon as I figured out how to hold a pen. I’m not going to get into the whole “I had a rough childhood boo hoo” thing. Hospitals. Scars. Let’s just say I needed to spend a lot of time hiding from the world. So I hid in my room. Comet Avenue. Early eighties. Sprawled out on piss yellow shag carpet. Weird scrap paper with musical notation on the back. I scribbled out story after story. Monsters. Mutants. Dinosaurs. Slime. I hid in those stories. Those stories kept me safe.
Now I’ve had more than 50 short stories published all over the world. Last year I published what I believe is my best bit of flash fiction, “The Songwriter’s Fingers,” in Revolver, a pretty prestigious literary journal located here in my home base of Minneapolis. Just last month I got a shout out in Publisher’s Weekly for my latest short story, “The Strange Vice of ZLA-138,” which appears in Giallo Fantastique from Word Horde. I’ve got three books under my belt now too, with more coming up really quick.
I keep writing because I need to. I still need that place to hide. But this world is tough. It doesn’t always reward such behavior. Every day there are forces at work to crush creativity. I don’t know what I would have done without the little boosts from supportive publishers and from the people who read my special brand of nonsense. That still blows my mind. People reading my stuff? Writing is such a solitary thing. As a kid, I just sat there alone writing story after story, never even considering that they’d entertain anyone other than myself. Little me would have been sooo psyched.
So from me and little me, thanks for reading our shit. Thanks for keeping us safe.
I am super proud to be associated with Razorcake. Issue after issue, the zine is filled with thoughtful writing that goes way beyond merely talking about what punk bands are cool these days (although Razorcake has that covered too). The new issue is out now. This is the cover:
This issue is worth buying for the interviews alone. Super intelligent people who are doing cool things that you should know about. Get your copy via Razorcake.
And I wrote some reviews that you can also check out online:
Sure, reading is cool and everything, but what’s the point of reading when you can have a story read to you by a beautiful burlesque dancer?
Sauda Namir has recorded a reading of my short story “Groupie” for the season finale of her Bizarro Bedtime web series. Check it out:
Bizarro Bedtime: S1 E5: MP Johnson from Sauda Namir on Vimeo.
“Groupie” originally appeared in the book Strange Sex 2 from StrangeHouse Books (publisher of my new gore-fest, Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill!).
I performed this story once in Green Bay. About halfway through, a girl in the audience started to look a little sick. Soon, she ran out of the room. After the reading, she came up to me and said, “That was so horrible, I couldn’t stay and listen.” And then she added the words that every writer is dying to hear: “I will remember it for the rest of my life!”
Sam Richard and I are co-editing a book of ultra-wild horror and bizarro fiction short stories that pay tribute to legendary punk rock scumfuc GG Allin. We are currently in the process of going through all the submissions and picking the ones that are juuuuust right. This book is going to be so messed up. That’s the cover for the regular edition. It’s by Justin Coons. We’re also releasing the book with a limited edition, too-sick-for-Amazon cover by Dan Wieken. We’re only going to reveal the whole thing to backers, but here’s a taste: This cover, which is all boobs and poop and wieners, is only going to be available online to preorder through the Kickstarter. It will not be available online after the Kickstarter. We will base the number of copies that it is limited to on the number of Kickstarter backers who preorder it.
If you want one, backing the Kickstarter is likely the only way you’re going to get it. So please back it. We have not inflated the prices like some Kickstarters. And U.S. shipping is included in the price.You can also get other rad limited edition stuff. Preorders will be mailed out in August upon the release of the book.