Drill

Y’know, I’m way too mild-mannered a man to be writing fiction this mean and hard-boiled. I’m reminded of one producer who looked at my draft of a gangster miniseries we were worked on and commented something along the lines of, “You’d never know it to look at him, but sweet Jesus…”

I guess I have issues.

Go to https://www.patreon.com/shanesimmons now and read this and other noir-as-fuck stories for only a buck. Six more to come over the next two weeks, all for the one-dollar pledge.

Batman Day Cancelled by Costumed Madman

I was expecting it to be lame. I was not disappointed.

If you watch this promo video for the event, it looks like the other participating cities had a lot of fun with Batman Day a couple of weeks ago, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the character.

Montreal, true to form, fucked it up.

It’s all been forgotten and swept under the rug by now, but after trudging downtown and into the fray, I thought it was worth documenting our local embarrassment. So I covered the fiasco for Bleeding Cool. The article is up now, and you can read it here.

Meanwhile, this begins tomorrow.

Dimestore Crime Stories

Petty Crimes and Vindictive Criminals is the next book I’m releasing in Q4 of 2019.

Like Raw and Other Stories before it, this will be another twenty crime stories, brimming with good stuff like sex, violence, dark comedy, and content that sometimes skirts the edge of outright horror.

That’s something I have planned on the one hand…

On the other, there’s my neglected Patreon page. Ever since the early whales migrated to warmer waters, the number of backers has hit a new low that’s kind of embarrassing.

Here’s my solution…

Throughout the month of October, I’m going to be premiering ten of the stories slated to appear in Petty Crimes and Vindictive Criminals on my Patreon page. These will all be originals that have never appeared anywhere in any form before this. And I’m going to be offering access to all ten of those stories for backers at the $1 tier. That means you can read these stories for a grand total of ten cents per story—kinda like the crime-fiction magazines of old.

You can cancel at any time after that, but hopefully you’ll stick around for a buck a month, just so I don’t have to look at such sad subscriber numbers anymore.

Check out the other tiers to see if you might want to up your pledge. For the duration of this promotion, I’m offering new backers at the $25 level signed paperbacks of both Necropolis and Epitaph. And if you stick around at that level, you’ll also receive a paperback copy of the forthcoming Petty Crimes collection featuring all twenty stories. The $25 tier is like having a subscription to all my future books, so the longer you maintain that pledge, the more books you’ll receive.

Now that I’m set up in the new office, I’m hammering away at the keyboard, and there are plenty of strange and interesting adventures in the pipeline. Get your first taste this Friday on my Patreon page.

I Got a Brudda

Sid Haig died a few days ago.

He was one of the few actors I ever pursued getting a signed 8×10 glossy of. It was done by mail order, and I got it personalized with the obscure line of dialogue, “I got a brudda.”

It was so obscure, I wondered if Sid would even remember it from his long career.

But of course he had to. It was a line delivered to Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever. A statement so stupid, even the unflappable James Bond was taken aback. How do you forget that luminary moment from screen history? I know it certainly stuck with me from childhood.

His late-stage career revival came largely through the films of Rob Zombie. And even though I despise Rob Zombie’s movies, Sid is great in them. I was vastly more pleased to see him appear in the opening scene of S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk, and was hoping there would be more collaborations between the two of them, much as Udo Kier has become a staple of Zahler’s work. Alas, it was not to be.

I followed the story of Sid’s recent trip to intensive care following an accident, his near-death experience, and hopeful signs of recovery. But then word of his death hit.

We’ve lost another classic genre star. Sid was 80 years old.

Putting the Book to Bed

Was it worth several more weeks of Epitaph being out as an ebook with no corresponding paperback, just to make a couple more tiny adjustments?

Eh, probably not. But it puts my mind at ease knowing it’s that little bit closer to perfect. Or at least as good I can make it.

Amazon dropped off a box of copies at my door today, a full week ahead of their own estimate for arrival, but at least a week slower than author copies used to arrive from Createspace. I guess they’re still ironing out the kinks since shutting down Createspace and taking over the whole printing operation themselves. My tracking number remains at odds with reality, claiming my order only just left the warehouse and is nowhere near delivery.

Oh well. It’s kind of hard to ask a giant monopoly to do better. After crushing all the competition, they really don’t have to if they don’t want to.

As much as I want to enthusiastically encourage you to pick up paperback copes of Epitaph (and Necropolis), I’m suffering from promotion exhaustion at this point. Hopefully it’s suffice to say I worked really hard on it, I’m very happy with the results, and the initial reviews have been stellar.

For those who keep asking me stats, the final physical book is 490 pages long, and around 144,000 words. Book three of the series, The Boneyard, remains in production, and I will doubtless be publishing other novels and collections before that one is done. I’m about 25,000 words in, but need to finish other projects before I can really start hammering at the content hard. Rip Eulogy will, rest assured, return soon enough.

Meanwhile, to celebrate the Epitaph paperback launch, the Necropolis ebook is currently free for Kindle readers on Amazon. Grab it before this Friday, when it will return to its regular price.

The Shame in Every Typpo

The Epitaph paperback is so close, I can smell that new-book paper smell. Literally, since I have the proof copy in my hand.

After months of upheaval in my life, I pushed Epitaph out the door in June because it was already overdue and I knew I was likely to fiddle with it forever if I didn’t make an effort to part ways. Of course, that made for a number of imperfections, which triggers a lot of OCD anxiety in a perfectionist.

Having typos in any of my books keeps me up at night. I guess I’m the last of a dying breed because even the biggest publishing houses out there don’t seem to give that much of a shit. The bestselling, most mainstream novels in existence still go out with errors. Most editors don’t care, most readers don’t notice. And, admittedly, when I spot one in someone else’s book, I shrug, read the word as obviously intended, and move on.

But dammit, it irks me when I know there’s one in something I published. Several times now I’ve updated the ebook, to correct tiny things few people will ever see, when one of my late-stage proofers spots something. I’m haunted by the x-number of people who downloaded an earlier version and now own a copy that is anything less than precise.

Normally, I would have preferred to let all of my eagle-eyed proofreaders have a go at the text before going live, but schedules vary, and the more people I wait on, the more months get appended to any eventual release date.

Now I have the paperback in hand. Usually I go through several drafts of the design before Amazon prints me up a copy I’m happy with. But this time, I think I got it right on the first go.

Except another typo has been spotted by the last of my proofreaders and she’s only 2/3 of the way through the book.

It’s so minor, everyone else in my stable of beta readers missed it. If any paying readers spot it—big if—they won’t care. And yet I’m pathologically compelled to delay the paperback some more until I can correct it and get any last-minute notes from my final copy editor once she finishes.

In the meantime, I shot this video last night while I was on the toilet.

Pants up, of course. It was just a convenient place to sit.