Posts Tagged ‘Barbed Wire Kisses’

Here’s your chance to win a $10 Amazon digital card! Entering is pretty simple, just read my novella Barbed Wire Kisses (either Kindle or Nook), leave a review, leave a link to it here and we’ll pick a winner. Whether the review is good or bad, won’t make a difference as it will be completely random.

Contest will be open from 7/3/12 until 8/10/12, with a winner being determined by 8/15/12.

You can leave a review either on the Amazon website or the Barnes and Noble website only.


This will be a bit interactive-I hope-so what follows will make more sense. If you would, click on the link and then click on the look inside to the left of the web page and read the first couple of chapters of BWK.

I’m not going to ask you to buy it, hopefully that bit whetted your appetite to find out more of the story-I want to talk about those first two chapters. Originally, The book opened with Chapter two. The very first line I wrote was “Eddie’s god was dead.”  The entire second chapter was written, and then the  first chapter came right after. As I revised, I switched them for a couple of reasons. 1) Starting a story in the middle of action is always a great way to get a reader involved. 2) I was thinking of David Cronenberg’s movie Scanners, and how shortly into it, a man’s head explodes. I know I spent the rest of the movie wondering how he would top that, and the tension of not knowing what to expect enhanced the terror. I had hopes, my opening chapter would do the same.

It’s certainly the most violent, profane and disgusting bit I ever wrote. I’m not sure if I would have written it that way if I had to do it all over again, but nonetheless I’m glad I did. I wanted something so over the top, so gruesome and nauseating that you would have no doubt that that these two would deserve whatever may come their way. I let myself go unfiltered, and I think I did a decent job of creating a scene of such violence and grotesque behavior you’d want to know what makes them tick.  And as with my Scanners experience, I wanted that sense of dread to permeate the rest of the book, make the reader how I would top the opening.

Of course, along with that comes the language I use. I will admit I have a propensity for gutter language when appropriate, but also know when to keep it out of a conversation (like a job interview). 

But how much is too much? BWK is dark, profane, violent and hopefully disturbing. In the context of the story I had in mind, each curse had its place. And yet, even as I revised and edited, I did find some of it excessive and cut a bit. for some it may still be too much, for others it may not even register. I think some of the excessive swearing suited the story. These are uneducated people, they spoke the language of the rough and wild. But they were words, without the stigma attached to them that we have today. In that sense there’s almost a purity to them. If you’ve seen the HBO series Deadwood, or done some research, then you know what I’ve written was very much in the vernacular of the time. People used cocksucker as freely as we use the word, dude, or bro. 

Did I have to do that? Wouldn’t a “good” writer be able to get his ideas across without resorting to cursing? Perhaps, but it wouldn’t be nearly as flavorful, or true to the time period, and I really wanted to make BWK as authentic as possible (given some of the supernatural elements later on in the book).

There’s a fine line between authentic and gratuitous, few do it successfully (though David Milch makes it pure poetry in Deadwood) and I hope I did it well enough that people don’t see it as excessive or gratuitous, but as the seasoning for a very spicy chile. 


In my next post I’ll talk about the origins of some of the characters. 

As much of a tech geek as I am, there are many times I’m slow to adapt, or often meet something new with derision. I’ve been rather reluctant to embrace ereaders, smart phones, tablets and cloud computing. All of that is slowly changing. I have a smart phone (LG Optimus V with Android version 2.2-best phone I ever had), looking into an ereader, and coming to terms with cloud computing.

Well, cloud computing with a caveat-when it relates to music only right now. Sure it’s handy to backup data using drop box or some other service in case my laptop crashes. It keeps me from losing my work, but I don’t always have access to the internet. My broadband connection can be spotty at times, and the 3G on my phone doesn’t always stay connected (nor is there always a wifi spot nearby).

However, Amazon and Google are changing that. When Amazon came out with its cloud service for music a few months ago, I signed up but honestly never did anything with it. Then about two weeks ago Lady Gaga’s album went on sale for 99 cents. I snapped it up and started playing around with it. When I first purchased the album I was given the choice of downloading it to my hard drive or stream it with their cloud service. As a result of my purchase I was also given 20 gigs of space to upload my own music. It’s important to note that at this time Amazon isn’t charging me for that space, as it’s good for a year. (Pricing for it can be found here:  After downloading a small program it then scans my drive for music and then uploads it to their servers. I then have my choice of streaming my music to my laptop or to my phone (another download that takes a minute to install).  Any music you purchase from Amazon does not count towards the 20 gig storage; an incentive to buy music from them (aside from them being cheaper than iTunes).  My only problem is any music you purchased in the past from Amazon does count-because you have to upload it to them. I’d gladly get rid of the ability to download the music and keep it in the cloud if it included past purchases.

Google Music Beta works the same way.  The only difference is Google has no music store yet, and given some of the problems they have with negotiating with the record labels, may never have. I love the interface for Google music, much better than the somewhat clunky interface that Amazon has.  Both take the same amount of time to upload music files, which only goes as fast as your connection allows. If you have a lot of music it could take several hours. For the sake of testing I just used one album and it took about 20 minutes. Since Google’s service is in beta, there’s no charges, but I expect that to change in the future. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the amount you can upload to Google right now, and looking through the website doesn’t provide any info on this (

Once you have the music uploaded, and the apps installed the service works beautifully. I had no hiccups or pauses during the streaming and little lag between songs.

There are things I like and dislike about both, and ideally would love to see the two services combined to make one kick ass program. I also want a million dollars too, but none of that will happen.

Here’s the problem with these services and it has nothing to do with them as much as it does with the phone carriers. Streaming does two things: it can eat your battery life (mine went from 100% charge to 80 with about 2 hours of listening) and it eats your bandwidth. With virtually all carriers having some kind of data cap, it makes streaming music-whether from these apps, slacker, pandora or even movies, a very expensive proposition. There are some unlimited data plans on various carriers though they do throttle you after you reach a certain point. That more than anything else is what keeps me from wholeheartedly embracing the idea.

With 4G and LTE being rolled out, all of which have true inlimited capacity-right now-the devices capable of using them, and the areas they’re available are pretty limited.

The success or failure of cloud music isn’t going to be the products themselves, but the inability to even use them as much as we want.

Edited to add: at this time both services are only available in the U.S.

I can’t quite believe I haven’t updated since Halloween! I suppose like many things, real life interferes and I always think, I’ll do it tonight, or in the morning or whatever excuse seems reasonable at the time. I had no idea I had 6 months worth of procrastination in me however.

I suppose this will be a rambling, try and catch up on everything type entry-so here we go.

In December I wasn’t feeling well, I was displaying some signs of Diabetes, and since my mother is diabetic, I mentioned them to her. She gave me a glucose testing kit, and after tracking my blood sugar for a couple of weeks, and getting readings over 250-325 I went to the doctor who diagnosed me as type 2 Diabetic.  I’m on medication and it seems to be regulating it very well.

The novella that this blog is named for, Barbed Wire Kisses, was picked up by Skullvines Press and will be out sometime this year! ON the heels of that, my silence from the web has had to do with my writing the follow up to it, entitled, “The Coffiners Son”. It’s a sprawling tale, well over 100,000 words and I’m letting it settle a bit before I go in and hack at it with edits.

Almost a year ago to the day, I sent out the signature sheets for my weird western collection “Dead West” and glad to say I received the completed sheets in the mail today! Expect DW to be out this summer.

In some other Bandersnatch related news, We have some great releases this year! Two more chapbooks from TM Wright; a werewolf western from Eric Red, Dead West, and and an end of the world tale from L.L. Soares and his lovely wife Laura! These will start coming out in June/July of this year.

There will also be a sneak peak of my novella in Dead West, complete with another awesome drawing Noah O’Toole.

The past six months haven’t gone as I planned-though whatever does, but I can only hope the next six months prove to be even more productive-including far more regular updates on the blog.

With a lot of hard work and some long hours over the past week, Andrew Wolter has put together a new site for Bandersnatch Books which I think kicks much ass. I can’t thank him enough for the time he put in to create what I think is a site superior to all that has come before it.

Now, as we start the work of putting together our first couple of books for a July release, you may notice we only have one book listed. There’s a reason for this: the artwork for K.H. Koehler’s book was done by herself, and didn’t need to be changed.  Once we have some cover art for T.M. Wright’s People on the Island we’ll get that up there, not to mention we’ll be putting up the book trailers as well.

That’s right! For the first time, we’ll be creating trailers for our releases and have no doubt you’ll not only enjoy them, but they’ll truly whet your appetite for more.

So come by, check out the new site and let us know what you think. You can comment here, leave a message on the site, or go directly to twitter or our facebook page and let us know there.

Bandersnatch Books: This ain’t your mama’s small press anymore.

With a speed that I’ve dared not hope for, the amount of people offering their help and assistance in relaunching Bandersnatch has been nothing short of amazing and humbling. With the new site ready to go live within the next day or so, and our first releases being set for mid-late July, things are on course and I’m very happy with how it’s all going. And I have to thank two more people for coming onboard.

Daniel I. Russell is going to be doing some technical editing for us towards the end of the year (all of our releases for this year have been edited already, or in the case of T.M. Wright’s work clean as whistle when submitted). Not only is Dan a great writer, he’s also a damn fine editor as anyone who reads Necrotic Tissue will confirm. Becuase Dan is such a busy guy, he won’t be the only editor, but for now, I’m very happy to have him on the team.

Last but certainly not least is our layout person, and that is the talented Kody Boye. With his work on the Library of the Living Dead titles, Kody brings an experience to Bandersnatch that belies his youth. He’s also another damn fine writer, and I’m very lucky to have him on the team.

There will be one or two more onboard in the coming months, and people may come and go depending on their own schedule, but right now this is the face of Bandersnatch!

With the new website going live within the next few days, I’d like to announce the first new member of the Bandersnatch family and that is Andrew Wolter. Aside from his impressive writing abilities, Andrew brings a lot to the table. He will be creating the website, giving it the polish and finesse that one would expect. In addition to this he will also be doing the marketing for Bandersnatch as well. Andrew has proven through his own sales volume, exactly what it takes to promote and get the small press books into the hands of hungry readers.

His interest in technology has allowed him to keep one step ahead in marketing and publicizing his work. The attention to all facets of social networking that he brings to his own work, will now include all of the Bandersnatch titles.

He is also a resident of Phoenix and being in the same city will ensure that we’re always on the same page and in constant communication.

So, welcome Andrew, to Bandersnatch!