Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Only Hell My Momma Ever Raised

Hey folks. Okay, I know I don't post every week but I figure these posts have a way of running away from me so you get a lot of content anyway. To be honest I've been working my ass off, both in the Real Job (the writing) and the Fake Job (the one that pays for my mortgage, my drinking habit, and keeps my wife a Lady who Lunches). I know that's no excuse but I set a lot of obstacles in front of myself. I like to think it makes me stronger.

I also felt stupid about just posting random crap on here when all anyone will ask me is "When is the damn book coming out" and I had zero news. For the last few months it's been back and forth with my editor - see, I left out the archaic hyphenation there, I'm learning - over various corrections and other mishaps. I guess it could've been worse. I could've had a three-book deal with Leisure already.

Well, I finally have some HBVK news. We're done. Official release is coming very soon, by the end of the year.  ARCs are going out as we speak to various critics and members of the media. I have instructed my publisher to include as part of my advance press kit one adult diaper and a blister pack of generic diazepam, so that they can prepare for their bowels loosening and their heart exploding due to the extreme level of awesomeness of my manuscript. Monocles are sure to be dropping in those dark-paneled publishing houses of New York City and microwave burritos exploding and left to rot like empty cicada shells in the grimy breakrooms of the horror magazine offices because the pwnage will be overwhelming.

I apologize for the use of the term "pwnage" but I'm excited and I was never very good at online gaming so I never really got to use it when it was cool. More like it got used at me. HOW YA LIKE ME NOW, "corey1997"? Your rocket launcher to the face maneuver is going to look real cool as you work on your Pre-Calculus homework while my bestselling book makes all the girls you want to boobtouch swoon. Okay, actually, pre-teen girls will probably not like my book. Which will make you want it all the more.  I have been there and being that age is a weird time. The only thing you want more than to boobtouch that girl who sits in front of you in homeroom, the one with the sweaters, is to gross her out. Well, reading her HBVK may not get you that sweaty pawing at the eight o'clock showing of "Avatar" that you so crave (with your hand-eye coordination and extensive sex education you're sure to find the nipple faster than I ever did), but getting her to picture her sweet dreamboat sparkly vampire, the one with the bleach-blonde hair and the six-pack abs the color of bathroom tile, exploding in a torrent of blood, fire and ash will repulse her and help you feel cool. And since your momma is reading this (she saw a special on Oprah about kids being turned gay by the Internet), don't be like me. I'm not a role model. Drinking will stunt your growth, so be sure to wait until you're at least halfway through your first year in college so that you can build up some grades before you crack open that Boone's Farm and roll down that sweet raspberry-flavored booze highway to God knows where.

I kind of got off on a tangent there but I guess bottom line is, if we plot the world of fiction along the axis of middle-school politics, HBVK is the book for the kids who hang out in back of the Tasty-Freez smoking cigarettes and talking shit. It is a misfit book for misfit people as well as for those who always kind of wanted to get into that crowd but were afraid of mouth herpes and getting Cs in Language Arts.

A lot of stuff starts happening now. Sharp-eyed readers of Rue Morgue will have already spotted the warning signs of Hurricane Gavin approaching. Reviews should be showing up in a couple of months. You folks will finally get to see Zach McCain's awesome cover art. I will get my own page at Dark Regions and will be blogging there more often as Joe Morey has one hell of a whip hand - don't worry, I'll keep it going here for all the other stuff. A spellbinding book trailer is in the works. And I'm officially hitting WorldHorrorCon next year in Austin, this time promising to keep it a sex-punch free con. All your waiting will have paid off, is the bottom line.

It's weird to be here. To be honest, I'm kind of sick of the book. I must've read it something like eighty times. It was awesome for a while but it got to the point where I started wanting to change major stuff and I knew right then that was the danger zone. I figure those of you who like to re-read books, since you're not looking for excessive use of commas or weird dialect usage, will enjoy it a lot more than I did, so have no fear.

Looking back on it, though, I think HBVK is a book that will either make everyone's heads explode or will earn me a level of infamy unheard of in the publishing world. Either is good with me as it sells books or at least gets you hits on your page and posts in the forums. I'm a guy who respects the rules up until the minute he gets bored with them and does something different. And I don't say that like all those people at the writing workshop who don't like to use quotation marks. I mean it more like, HBVK is not your traditional horror book. It has a lot more action and explosions. It has a heart and a message beyond "you are doomed, puny mortal". It's a Southern book for people who actually like living (or visiting) there by someone who actually (mostly) knows what he is talking about.

I think I accomplished about everything I set out to way back when. I wrote a book with good guys and bad guys - and the monsters are the bad guys. I wrote about the South with respect and appreciation even while I tried to describe what I saw without flinching at showing all the sides of life down here. And I think I finally gave kung fu and Chinese culture in general the respect it deserves. All these things, maybe I could've done better at. It's hard to say, being so close to the process. I sure worked hard at it because these things really mattered to me. Bottom line is, I wrote the book that I always wanted to read. I took all those moments I shook my fist or threw my shoe at the TV, or threw a book into my "donate to Goodwill" bin, and used them to write a book that would be nothing like that. Every time I thought "wouldn't it be awesome if" I put it in the book instead of going the easy route. Well, not every time. That would've made a much longer book and probably would've gotten ridiculous when the giant monsters attacked. But you get the idea.

I've got a lot more ideas for this book. Let's just say I may not stop until you can purchase lovingly-crafted and premium-priced action figures of the characters in the story. I set out to do something like no one else was doing, and that's a big risk. But I think it'll pay off. There's a whole America out there that no one is writing about, a whole way of seeing the world that you don't see in your entertainment, and I aim to sit squat in that niche and make a whole lot of goddamn money off of it. Well, okay, maybe enough to finally by myself one of those new video-game systems and get something nice for the wife like one of those expensive crafting implements she's always wanting.

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