Blog Post

Journal July 2

Jennifer at the Bookden placed Southern Gods on her “Best Underrated Horror Books” list, which is lovely. Thing about the Internet is people are always making lists, and posting them, and they’re always coming up in my feed and I can’t tell you how many times I’ll see a list like “10 Great Southern Horror Novels You Should Be Reading” or “10 Amazing Horror Books You Haven’t Read (But Should)” and I click on them, ever hopeful, and then I get sad because, of course my book isn’t on that list. So, what a surprise when it was on this one.

A year and a half ago I sold a story to Playboy called “The Domestic Lives of Superheroes” and it lived up on their website available to all for a year. But now it’s been either taken down or it’s behind a paywall. So I contacted my agent, asked her about the rights and it turns out I can’t ever sell the story to another magazine, or anthology. Nothing. Bupkiss. But that’s okay because I got paid enough for that condition.  What I can do is republish it on my very own website. So, I guess that’s what I’ll do in the coming days. Maybe on the fourth, or next weekend in my copious downtime. There was also an interview between Chuck Wendig and myself that’s gone offline too. So, I’ll reprint that, or maybe I can ask Chuck to put it up on his website.

I got in the crosshairs of the Star Wars geekdom who want to tear down anyone who likes, enjoys, appreciates The Last Jedi. Because of this tweet. Then, the tweet got on some sort of forum that folks called 4chan where anonymous trolls lampooned my looks (I know, patently ridiculous) and called me a SJW which I’m still confused why that’s an insult because social justice warrior is like all good across the board in my books. They also called me a soy boy and a beta which is weird since I’m a six foot two inch guy, with a beard, who trains pretty regularly at martial arts, has two professional careers, owns a business, supports a robust family, but apparently adolescent trolls in their mother’s basement who don’t have the courage to use their own names are the arbiters of manliness in these troubled times.

I feel like I look pretty damned burly in my profile pic. On the other hand, I’ve had my picture in Playboy and they haven’t.

I’m heading to a convention in Nashville this coming weekend – Hypericon – which was the first convention I attended after I wrote Southern Gods back in 2008. I remember being frustrated by being just a person in the crowd, with an unpublished novel in his back pocket, listening to writers talk about the work, craft, and art of writing. Brian Keene, Maurice Broaddus, Bryan Smith, John Everson, Jason Sizemore and others (never trust an author who cuts all the sleeves off his tshirts, just sayin’) were there, and on the whole, they were polite and cordial to me, but as an unpublished person, I was very much on the outside looking in. After publishing ten books now, I realize, in social situations, I’m always on the outside, looking in. It wasn’t their issue, it was mine. Though writers can be fucking clique-ish and that’s frustrating as hell.

So, the first Hypericon I went to, I was a nobody. And now, this year’s Hypericon, the organizers totally dropped the ball on the website and social media and I’m not listed in either place. They tell me the person who was managing both quit, and so the website is in the exact state it was months ago, without a full list of guests.

We come full circle. This time I’ll be the unknown panelist.

Anyway, if you’re in Nashville, go to Hypericon, I’ll be there. I’ll have my books at the dealers’ tables. Be sure to talk to me, tell me who you are. I try and make a point of treating everyone, published and unpublished people alike, the way I’d like to be treated. With value and humanity.

More later this week. Working up to a post about how some garbage people can be good writers and why it’s almost impossible to view art in a vacuum, though we should still try to.

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