Music Monday: “Apocalyptic Modified Blues” By Corb Lund

Shortly after the launch of Thunder Road, my Brandon writing colleague, Patrick Johanneson suggested that I check out Corb Lund–in particular this song, but “it’s all good,” he said. And was he ever right.

Corb Lund has a few songs that reference vikings, or mythological things, but this was the first one that made it on to one of my playlists. The thing I love most about Corb Lund’s music is that in addition to being incredibly catchy, so many of his songs tell stories. It was only recently, after rewatching the movie Slither that I realized I had heard Lund’s music–but I doubt I would’ve sought him out to the extent that I have without Patrick’s urging, so thank you, sir!

Gather round me all you sinners, all you gamblers and card sharps
You drinkers and abusers, all you fighters at your hearts
You might pay heed…
Cuz ain’t nothin’ ever walked the earth like this before

Have you made your peace with Odin and with Baal and Aphrodite
Cuz there’s a triple headed serpent here with one hell of a bite
And he knows you…
He knows you and laughs and locks the door

Write on!

Too Far Gone Winnipeg Launch

What a great night!

It’s been a week, and I feel like I’m still coming down from the party.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who couldn’t make it, here’s some photos of the evening.

I like to start with some crowd shots, because these photos of all the awesome Winnipeg folks who came out to support me will definitely help keep me warm when I take Too Far Gone on the road.



Also, there was cake. Red velvet cake.


I was introduced once again by McNally Robinson’s John Toews. There is no hyperbole when I say nobody crafts an intro like this man. Many thanks for all your support, good sir!

Tstone pic 5

Nothing says fun, like action shots of someone reading from a book, but here are some of my favourites:

David A pic 1

I wish I knew what I was saying when Gerald Brandt snapped the photo below.

Gerald B pic 1

shen pic 2

Tstone pic 3

Goofing around before the signing portion of the evening started, and mugging for Shen Braun’s camera.

Shen pic 3

Me and Shen, who is one of my oldest friends, and also a very fine writer (for some reason the perspective on this photo makes me look like some sort of Gamma-irradiated Gargantua Chad). Shen was a first reader on Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, but I finally get to surprise him with the ending.

Shen pic 4

I brought an assortment of pens to make my doodles in each book in addition to a signature, and of course, my “Loki Approved” and “Fucking Magic” stamps.

Tstone pic15

A bit of the signing line.

Tstone pic 16

And finally, the last book signed, I was apple to join friends for a post-launch drink.

Friend, inkslinger, and cocktail crafter extraordinaire, Andrew Penn Romine created a Thunder Road cocktail to help me celebrate the conclusion of the trilogy. It’s called The Thunderbolt, and it is fantastic. A variation on the Black Manhattan, and as dangerous as its namesake.

The Post Launch Thunderbolt

Thanks for another launch memorable, Winnipeg.

Write on!

October Goals

September was busy round the goal department, and even busier outside of it.

  • Blogging, blogging, blogging! I’ve got guest blogs to write, and blogs for round here to promote Too Far Gone, and I probably don’t want to be doing that while I’m actually prepping for events! Great early career advice I received from Dave Gross (Thanks, Dave!)
  • Figure out what I’m going to read at the launch, and work out my intro.
  • Write a chapter of a collaborative novel I’m working on with Sandra Wickham
  • WiP Lock two more chapters, dammit.
  • Keep my short fiction out on submission.
  • Get that unsubmitted short story I’ve been plugging away at out the door.
  • Oh yeah, finish building my damned fence. (not really a writing goal, but it’ll steal writing time until its done)

Okay, that actually went better than expected. Only one box left unticked, and while I did manage another pass on that short story, I’m still not happy with it. I made some pretty significant cuts in a previous draft, and I don’t like the balance I’ve struck in the worldbuilding elements and where they’re revealed.

The Too Far Gone launch was amazing. I’ll post something about that soon. My entire weekend was pretty much recovery time from the awesome.

Wrote a couple of guest blogs that were planned, and knocked off a couple that showed up at the last minute, in addition to pre-writing a few for home base here. I’ve built up a bit of a buffer for myself. Not as much as I’d have liked, or as early as I’d have liked, but time and fences make fools of us all.



And it’s spectacular.

Finally fought through a couple of tricky chapters in the WiP and ended up satisfied enough with them to add them into the larger draft document. The next two chapters look like they’ll be easier going, now that I’ve sorted those other two. Here’s hoping.

I actually worked ahead and got two chapters done on the collaborative novel I’m working on with Sandra Wickham. Following the outline (Look, Sandra, I can do it!) showed that my next chapter didn’t hinge on what my co-author wrote, so unless she serves me a huge curveball, I’ve got that done. Depending on when the next chapter lands on my desk, I may try to write another one in October.

And for October:

  • Two more chapters locked on the WiP
  • Keep my short fiction out on submission.
  • More blogs to write!
  • Get that unsubmitted short story I’ve been plugging away at out the door.
  • My annual reread of Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October, one chapter a night, for the thirty-one nights of October. I started this personal tradition last year, and it’s a great excuse to revisit an old favourite.

Write on!

Music Monday: “Comin’ Home” By Murder By Death

This song was always going to be Chapter One of Too Far Gone. Years ago, Murder By Death did the seemingly impossible: They dethroned The Reverend Horton Heat as my favourite opening act discovery. They kicked off their set by saying, “First we’re gonna do a song about drinkin’, then we’re gonna do a song about revenge, then we’re gonna do a song about drinkin’ and revenge.”

As long as I’ve been thinking about the final book in my trilogy, this song captured how I wanted to kick it off.

I’m ridin’ out the wind, I’m comin’ home
It don’t matter where I’ve been, I’m comin’ home
Crawlin’ on all fours, I’m comin’ home
Turnin’ brick walls into doors, I’m comin’ home

Write on!

Guest Blogging At Inkpunks And Having Conversations Between Authors!

Hey folks, I’ve got a guest blog up over on The Inkpunks website about writing in a city where you don’t live, and Minerva Zimmerman is hosting me on the “Conversations Between Authors” feature on her website, so please send them your clicks!

Over the years that I’ve been traveling to conventions, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of the Inkpunks crew, and am happy to call a bunch of them friends. There’s always a great articles to be read there, and I’m stoked to have one of mine among them. Not only are the blogs interesting, but the Inkpunks are a talented group of writers, artists, and editors, so after you check out their website, check out their work. Thanks, Sandra Wickham for asking me if I wanted to send them something.

Minerva and I “met” for the first time on Twitter, around the time that I sold my story “A Taste of the Other Side” to Jennifer Brozek’s anthology Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls. Minerva had sold a story to Beast Within 3: Oceans Unleashed (also edited by Jennifer Brozek). I can’t remember who followed who first, but I do remember having some fun conversations. It was also great to finally meet Minerva at World Horror Con 2014 in Portland. Here’s hoping we cross paths at another convention soon.

In the meantime, Minerva has got a book birthday of her own coming up soon, so check out her debut novel, Take on Me!

Thanks for the great conversation, Minerva!

Write on!

Music Monday: “Back In The Saddle” By Aerosmith

It’s felt like forever since I’ve launched a book, but really it’s only been two years since Tombstone Blues released (okay, that is forever in today’s book market) but now it’s only three days until Too Far Gone launches. In any case, this week will be spent shining up the shoes, hoping the jacket still fits, and wondering what in the hell I’m going to say before I start the reading (at current writing, I’m still wondering what in the hell I’m going to read)…so situation normal, I guess.

I’m back
I’m back in the saddle again
I’m back
I’m back in the saddle again

Ridin’ into town alone
By the light of the moon

Write on!

“A Taste Of The Other Side” Longlisted In Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror Of The Year 7 And A Few Other Things

Lots of cool stuff happened in the last couple days.

After I was finished with fence construction on Sunday, I decided to be a giant dork and run over to my local bookstore to see Too Far Gone for the first time.

dorky chad

The book looks great. It’s as beefy as I hoped and I think the trilogy looks amazing all together on the shelf.


Yesterday I was a guest blogger at GMB Chomichuk’s Comic Alchemy blog, talking about why comics are the reason I became a reader. 

And you can’t be a writer without being a reader.

Speaking of comics: My contributor copy of Canadian Corps #1 showed up yesterday!

Canadian Corps

The comic turned out great. The team at September 17 did a wonderful job putting it together, and I can’t wait to read more. (They’ve hit me right in the Alpha Flight zone, so good job, S17). I know my name is only in the back of the book because I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign, but my name is still in a comic, which is exciting. Next step: to get billing on a comic book cover!

Final bit of news, my story “A Taste of the Other Side” from Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls made Ellen Datlow’s full recommendation list for Year’s Best Horror! There’s lots of great stories on there, and I’m stoked to be sharing a list with so many great writers, and so many friends. The second half of the list is here. Thanks to Gears & Growls editor Jennifer Brozek for buying the story and to Ellen Datlow for reading, this is the second time I’ve made Ellen’s long list (first time was for “First They Came for the Pigs”, my story from Fungi) and it feels great.

Write on!