Bizarro Horror Fiction Author MP Johnson | Freak Tension Zine

Information about writer MP Johnson's horror fiction and bizarro fiction, Freak Tension zine and more.

My new book is out today from Lazy Fascist Press. It’s called Nails, and I have never been so scared to share my writing with you. Here is the cover by Matthew Revert:

Nails

I’m not going to lie. This book is rough. It is not positive. There is no happy ending. Not in these pages at least.

It took me a long time to accept who I am, to accept that I am a trans woman. Along the way, I tried to convince myself that I was a crossdresser, that all I needed to do was put on women’s clothes once in a while and I would be okay.

Eventually, staying at home and crossdressing started to feel confining, not to mention lonely. I needed more time, more space. I started taking weekend trips to give myself the time and space I needed to be me, away from family and friends who I thought this would hurt, who I thought would hate me if they knew.

I always planned these weekends carefully, hoping they would be fun and triumphant, while also hoping they might let me get this nagging feeling that I was a woman out of my system. The reality is that they ended up being sad, desperate and awkward affairs that involved me doing things that were just not me in the hopes of somehow finding the real me, and someone who could see me.

Nails is a lightly fictionalized take on one of these weekends. It’s not a rah-rah-rah go trans! book. This book is not about how it gets better. This book is about the messy parts that happen along the way, about the BS that me and many other trans ladies put ourselves through because we didn’t know what to do, because there was no roadmap, because we were convinced that we were wrong and that the world didn’t want us.

This one goes out to all my sisters in the closet, and all those who have fucking fought their way out.

Buy Nails on Amazon!

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My instinct tends to be to ask for the grossest, most outrageous cover possible. When Sick Pack was first released a couple years ago, however, the publisher, cover artist and I decided to go in a more subtle direction. The ever-reliable Matthew Revert delivered a beautiful cover. I loved it, and so did the team at Bizarro Pulp Press.

Unfortunately, it may have been too pretty. People didn’t seem to get what the book was about. It looked literary. Someone actual said, “Hey, it’s your first literary novel!” Except it’s about a male model whose abdominal muscles ditch him and he replaces them with pieces of junk he finds lying around Los Angeles, creating an all new Sick Pack! Get it? Like Six Pack? Huh? Huh? PS the alternate title was Abominable Abdominables, but the publisher vetoed that.

Anyway, I still love the book. Under the gooey surface, it’s about recognizing that one’s true worth goes so much deeper than surface level, even if that surface level is pretty hot. So the publisher and I decided to reissue the book with a new cover by the slime master Jim Agpalza, featuring the main character’s replacement abs in all their gross glory. Check it out:

Sick Pack

This is it. This is THE BIG WEIRD WEEK – a week of sales, giveaways, cover reveals and more! To kick things off, I’m revealing the new official MP Johnson logo, designed by the great Bill Hauser:

MP Johnson Logo

This will be used for stickers, maybe T-shirts and more!

What Is The Big Weird Week?

So what is the deal with THE BIG WEIRD WEEK? Before I answer that, let me say this: I’m not fishing for pity buys. I don’t want to make you feel guilty and buy my shit. I want you to buy it because you legitimately A) want it or B) want to support my writing.

That being said, sales have dipped and I could use an infusion of cash right now. This may sound vain, but I have very few clothes. I threw away all my dude clothes upon coming out. I’m building back up slowly. Furthermore, I’m trying to save money for some possible future medical procedures that won’t be covered by insurance and will be expensive. But at the end of the day, THE BIG WEIRD WEEK is about the writing.

I will always write. Always. But in order for me to continue publishing books and zines, they do need to sell, and I’ve been doing a shitty job selling. During THE BIG WEIRD WEEK, I’m going to use all my social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and more to offer sales, do book giveaways, reveal the covers of some new projects and more. Full disclosure: I’m trying to drum up business. But I think it’s going to be a lot of fun too.

What It Means To Buy Something From Me

I recognize that when you purchase a book or a zine, you are not just giving me your hard-earned money. You are also giving me your time, which is even more precious these days. Similarly, when you buy something from me, you are not just buying an item. You are buying a creative work that I poured my heart and my soul into. You are buying something that is buzzing with the creative energy that I’ve spent my entire life honing. When you buy a book or a zine from me, you are casting a vote that says “This is valuable. This should exist in the world. I want this creator to keep creating.”

So, with all that in mind, if you have been holding off on buying something from me, maybe consider doing it now? Think about whether any of my books or zines would make a good birthday gift, Xmas gift or just “Hey here’s a nice thing” gift for a friend or family member. But please, only buy if you think it is something worth buying, and that my art is something worth supporting.

And if you don’t want to buy anything now, or you can’t afford it, consider sticking around during THE BIG WEIRD WEEK because I’ll be giving away a bunch of books too on my various social medias and elsewhere.

Last thing! Sharing on social media is huge! Word of mouth is how stuff gets around these days, and you never know which of your friends or followers might be super psyched to learn about my work.

XOXO
Emma

Oh, and to kick things off:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Drag Queen Dino Fighters by M.P. Johnson

Drag Queen Dino Fighters

by M.P. Johnson

Giveaway ends July 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

If you’re a book nerd, you are probably familiar with LitReactor. It’s one of the biggest and best sites out there for readers and writers of all genres. So it goes without saying that I was super honored when they contacted me about doing an interview.

They asked some intense, thoughtful questions about coming out, putting together my new zine, Trans Mess, and more. I’m really happy with how the whole thing turned out, so I hope you’ll take a couple minutes to read it:

MP Johnson interviewed at LitReactor

Trans Mess

For those of you who don’t know, I recently came out as a trans lady. I changed my name to Emma, although I’m keeping MP Johnson as my pen name, and I moved to Chicago. Anyway, this has all been a long time coming, but in the process I’ve been writing a lot about what’s happening, what’s led up to this and how I’m feeling about all of it.

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I think it’s some powerful stuff, and I put a lot of heart into it. Since I’m a long-time zine nerd (Holy shit! It’s been almost 20 years since I released my first zine), I thought a lot of this writing would really fit that format, so I created a zine called Trans Mess, which is available now. Here’s the cover:

Trans Mess

This is a good companion piece to my book Nails, which is coming out in November from Lazy Fascist Press. That book is a snapshot of one weekend in my life from about 10 years ago. It’s kinda upsetting even when I read it now, just not knowing who I was or how to express my gender identity properly. This zine shows where I’m at now. It’s still messy, but I think I’m in a healthier, more positive place. Anyway, I hope you’ll consider reading it. It’s definitely some of my best writing.

My latest book is out now from Eraserhead Press! It’s called Drag Queen Dino Fighters and it’s about drag queens doing battle with space dinosaurs in the streets of Los Angeles! Don’t tell anyone, but it’s also about family, and getting older and prioritizing what’s important in your life. Mostly though, it’s about prehistoric creatures smashing stuff and drag queens being fabulous. Check out the cover art from Jim Agpalza:

Drag Queen Dino Riders

How about those guns?

If you’ve been following me, you may know that I’ve been working on this book for about three years now. For a while, it was going to be released under the title Dinosaurs & Drag Queens, but I wanted something a little zanier. Anyway, I’m proud of how I juxtaposed one of my childhood obsessions (dinosaurs) against one of my current obsessions (drag queens). I hope you dig it too!