Leftovers = Freebies!

I recently enjoyed my first book signing, last Friday night at Idle Hours Bookshop in South Bend, Ind. Despite the crappy, cold weather, we had a good turnout and I want to thank everyone who made it downtown. Unfortunately, not everyone could get out to the signing, and some folks have expressed remorse at missing a chance to get a signed book. Therefore…

Me, signing.

I have an offer for you: left over from the signing are a few copies of Wolves Dressed as Men bearing my signature. If you would like a signed copy, I’ll send you one FOR FREE, if you head over to Amazon and purchase a paperback copy of Muscle Memory.

I need all the sales through Amazon that I can get for Muscle Memory because I’m part of the New Bizarro Author Series. If I sell at least 200 copies of my book through Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com in a year’s time, I could receive a contract from Eraserhead Press to write more books. And since that’s my ultimate goal, you would be doing me a huge solid by buying the paperback version from one of those two sites (though I personally prefer Amazon since it’s more user friendly).

Thus… go here: Amazon or here: Barnes & Noble and buy a pulpy-paper copy of Muscle Memory, then email me here: lowe435@gmail.com and let me know you did so, and I will send your signed (and totally free) copy of my other book, Wolves Dressed as Men, to you. Plus, I still have some bookmarks left, and maybe some cheese from the signing. I’ll definitely throw in a bookmark. The cheese will have to be a surprise.

Book review: Night of the Assholes, by Kevin L. Donihe

If this were to actually happen, a plague of assholes overrunning the world (a la Night of the Living Dead), I would be their king, or at least a Lt. Colonel. I’d have some kind of rank.

In Kevin Donihe’s Night of the Assholes, assholes are everywhere, as you might imagine. If you’re an asshole to an asshole, then you become an asshole as well. The only way to stop an asshole is to ram a pole up said asshole’s asshole. But aim carefully, for if you miss the asshole’s asshole, then you will become an asshole.

This book is a parody of George Romero’s zombie classic, but this is not the kind of parody that would feature Leslie Nielsen in the film adaption. Beyond the humorous premise and outstanding cover art, there is little humor to be found in this story, which wonders if, in the face of a worldwide epidemic of douchebaggery, is it possible to remain civil? If the entire world was overrun by assholes, would there be any chance for kindness to survive?

I won’t spoil Donihe’s vision here, but I know one thing – I wouldn’t last five minutes in that world. In fact, I fear I have already turned. So you better Like this post right now, or I’ll come to your tiny little shithole apartment and superglue your locks shut and dump sugar in the gas tanks of your ’94 Hyundai Excels. What are you waiting for, nimrod? CLICK THAT FUCKING LIKE BUTTON RIGHT NOW!!!!

(oh god… four exclamation points… I really am an asshole… please help me…)

2-Minute Drill: Caris O’Malley

What would you do if, one morning, you awoke naked with an egg between your legs? Let me rephrase that… What would you do if that happened, again? (We hate it when it happens.) Caris O’Malley wondered just that, and then he did what thousands of others have only attempted to do. He spent the better part of a November writing a novel about it. And when professional editors with actual talent read this manuscript and honed it down to the lean piece of fiction it is today, a star was born.

That star was, of course, Kevin Donihe. But in an act of selflessness rarely witnessed in today’s entertainment world, Donihe took no credit for repairing that damaged mess of a story about a man and his egg. Instead, he allowed the name O’Malley to appear across the front cover. The rest, they say, is history. We don’t know why they continue to say that, but they do. We hate they for it. And as we’re wont to do here on the 2-Minute Drill, today we shall try to expose the true Caris O’Malley, in all his flaws and failings. Hopefully, the Internet doesn’t run out of room.

The 2-Minute Drill is 5 quick questions and 5 quick answers from someone you probably haven’t heard of, but should hear from. This isn’t some rambling, long-winded author interview here. We dispense with the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks. We ask the tough questions and get the tough answers that you need to know. And if not, we’ll just make them up.

Click the Egg, buy the Egg.

The Drill returns with the third installment of our interviews with New Bizarro Author Series authors. Mr. O’Malley’s fantastic little book called The Egg Said Nothing (click here for our review of it) is the story of Manny, a shut-in who wakes up one morning to discover he has laid an egg. Then he falls in love, battles future versions of himself, and… well, we’ll leave the rest for you to discover when you read the book. For now, let’s just pester young Caris with our stupidity.

2-MD: Hypothetically speaking, if the Egg actually did say something (and I’m betting dollars to donuts it did), what would It say?

CO’M: When you’re the only egg in a roomful of assholes, the only thing you want to do is leave. I imagine the egg would scream and plead to be taken somewhere else. It’d be kind of like the dragon eggs in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where it would just be annoying and hurt everyone’s ears. Kind of like you, Steve. (2-MD: Starting with a shot across the bow, eh? Looks like we’ll have to step it up a notch…)

2-MD: Hypodermically speaking, what are the best (worst?) fluids that have ever entered your body intravenously?

CO’M: Well, shit. I got bit by a ferret once. Does that count? Yes, I’d say ferret spit. It was much better than all of that dirty heroin I did as a youngster.

2-MD: Hypochondriacally speaking, have you always been such a germophobe, or was it just when you were around us? (We didn’t appreciate your request to “double-bag it” by the way.)

CO’M: In my home environment, I wallow in filth and share drinks with the homeless. But, for the first time in my life, the bizarro crowd made me start to think of the dangers inherent in such behavior. Y’all seem like the kind of folks a body could catch somethin’ from.

2-MD: Hypoallergenically speaking, if we actually laid an Egg from betwixt out loinses, what sorts of infections might we be infectioned with? And part deux of this query, would the Sacred Thor help cleanse us, or simply exacerbate our conundrum?

CO’M: I think sepsis could be a serious issue. Since gentlemen aren’t really built with the equipment to lay eggs, we’ve got to use what the Good Lord gave us- our assholes. It seems to me that expelling something as significant as an egg would come with a certain amount of tearing and would, by the fault of the Lord, expose us to a tremendous amount of bacteria. It would, I think, be virtually impossible to keep the area properly cleaned without round-the-clock care and, honestly, who has time for that? There is hope, though. I feel confident that the Thor, in its infinite wisdom, would help in two significant ways.

1) Stretching out the area in question for more comfortable egg laying.
2) Acting as a cork of sorts to keep harmful bacteria at bay until we’re ready to deal with it.

Not the Sacred Thor.

2-MD: Enough with this hypononsense! How about a real question: How many times did your main character, Manny, kill himself in “The Egg Said Nothing”?

CO’M: Six, I think. Of course, there’s that whole time loop to contend with, so he’s probably killing himself right now. On a related note, there is a point where, as a writer, you grow to hate your characters, their stupid motivations, and their whiny inner dialogues. The only solution I have found to deal with that is to kill the character, resurrect him, then kill him again. In my original draft, there was actually a chapter where I, Caris “The Shit” O’Malley, made a guest appearance and killed Manny no less than fifteen times. (2-MD: Author, slay thy self. No really, we’ve had several requests from loyal readers that you do this.)

2-MD: Congratulations, Caris “Is Shit” O’Malley, with that answer, you have unlocked the SUPER FANTASTIC EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION!!! Here it is: On a scale of Red to Purple, what was the name of the clown that scarred you in this terrible way so, so long ago. (Please show your work, or you’ll only get half credit.)

CO’M: Like everyone else on the planet, it was Pennywise from Stephen King’s It. That clown scared the shit out of me when I was a child. Just the idea of losing my paper boat AND getting killed to death in the depths of a sewer was just too much for me. While writing Clownhunter, I had a picture of that bastard on my computer desktop to remind me of what I was dealing with.

So that’s magenta, I think. (2-MD: Wrong! The answer we were looking for was 19. They must not teach librarians how to divide.)

A change on the way

Cover art is a huge deal when it comes to selling books. The fact is, people really do abide by that old cliche and judge a book by its cover. Insufficient cover art can kill a book’s sales, despite the content found therein. And so with that in mind, a change is in order.

Since the publisher for MUSCLE MEMORY never was enamored with the art I originally acquired for the book, I was encouraged to keep looking for something different. Something better. A piece of art that will jump off the cover and draw the eye, that will demand a longer look and suck in the reader. I think I found just such a piece of art. This image entitled ‘Vapor’ by artist Heather Nunnelly was the only piece I found that matched the book I wrote. I am proud to unveil this new artwork and can’t wait until new editions of MUSCLE MEMORY come out with this art adorning the cover.

Of course, that means that the original version will soon disappear. It’s still in stock and ready to ship from Amazon.com, but not for much longer. When those last copies of the first version are gone, that’s it.  If you like the yellow cover art you see on the Amazon page, then you’ll want to hurry and grab one before they’re gone. You could be one of a very select group who got their hands on the original version before it went out of print. It could be worth some money one day when I become rich and famous, like those fancy rich assholes Matthew Revert and William Pauely III.

Can you afford to miss out on such a chance? Of course you can’t.

Book review: The Egg Said Nothing by Caris O’Malley

I got this book at BizarroCon last weekend. I randomly selected it out of the six books that I had purchased and began reading it in the Portland airport. I continued to chew through it during my Denver layover, but intended to stop so I could get some sleep on my flight to Chicago. I had a 90 minute drive still awaiting me after I got to Chicago, and I really needed the rest.

It didn’t happen that way. I wasn’t able to sleep because of this damn EGG. Every time I lay my head against the side of the airplane and closed my eyes, they would pop open again moments later, and this damn book would be in my hands once more. Only when I got to the end, which really isn’t the end for the main character Manny, nor will ever be the end for him, was I able to sleep. Caris O’Malley cost me almost two hours of rest and put me in danger of nodding off on I-94 before I finally got home at 1 AM. He should consider himself lucky I survived.

And you should consider yourself warned: if you begin this book, you too will find it difficult, dare I say impossible, to put it down. THE EGG SAID NOTHING is addicitve, romantic, violent, and both paternal and maternal in equal measure. It is a time-traveling, head-spinning, gender role-challenging, and thought-provoking story that I simply had to finish once I started. In a way, it reminded me of the Michael Keaton movie MULTIPLICITY, except O’Malley’s EGG has an intelligent plot, believeable and interesting characters, and actual entertainment value. Unlike his EGG, Mr. O’Malley does have something to say. It would be worth your time to discover exactly what that is. Just cancel your afternoon plans first.

What Would Kirk Cameron Do?

MUSCLE MEMORY  is now officially on Amazon.com and ready for pre-order. I’m not sure when the books will begin to ship, but the link is live and we are open for business. CLICK THIS SNAZZY ALL-CAPS SENTENCE TO BE WHISKED AWAY TO AMAZON…

Here is the back cover description and what some fine folks had to say about my first book:

Billy Gillespie wakes up one morning to discover his junk is gone. In its place is his wife’s junk. Billy is now Tina, and Tina is dead. That’s because Billy’s dead. His lifeless body is still in bed and empty beer bottles and a container of antifreeze litter the kitchen counter. Over the next 24 hours, Billy and an odd assortment of neighbors, all experiencing their own bouts of body switcheroo, try to figure out what happened and why. Can they do it before the Feds find Billy’s body? Was it aliens that caused this, or God, or the government? And did Edgar Winter really sleep with his sheep? Pro football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw has those answers in a story that asks, What Would Kirk Cameron Do?

“A fast-paced story that is hilarious, poignant, and weird. Sort of like VICE VERSA meets THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Very well-written. Lowe doesn’t waste a single word.” – Jordan Krall, author of FISTFUL OF FEET

“A short, sharp book with exciting, compelling momentum with characters you can’t help but like. It has both emotional resonance and sly humour in abundance. I recommend it very highly and can only assume that Lowe has a very bright future ahead of him.” – Matthew Revert, author of A MILLION VERSIONS OF RIGHT

“MUSCLE MEMORY is funny, quirky and sensitive in a way I wouldn’t have expected from bizarro fiction.” – Lincoln Crisler, author of MAGICK & MISERY

“Hilariously disturbing! Lowe bends gender roles into a noose and unravels it on an emotional roller coaster where nuclear families explode.” – S.D. Hintz, author of BLOOD ORCHARD and CHARNEL HARBOR

Also, check out Colleen Wanglund’s review on Monster Librarian.

In rode The Magnificent Seven

Upon a desolate and rather weird landscape they stride. They come armed with guns and eggs and bodily fluids. And words. These five men and two women arrive slinging words about like ninja throwing stars. Some of them also sling ninja throwing stars, so just watch yourself.

They are The Magnificent Seven.

Seven new bizarro authors, given a shot at world domination, about to be unleashed on the literary landscape. In a few days, their wares will be unveiled, books of such an unusual and diverse nature that you, the reader, will barely be able to comprehend. You will be compelled to buy them. How could you not? Stories about forbidden love between a monk and a dinosaur, a humanoid composed of vitreous humor who trains furniture to copulate, a Monty Python-esque romp through the world of Furries, a vengeful egg, and body-switching rednecks, among the offerings.

This can only be the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press. Eraserhead is the leading outlet for Bizarro fiction, and editors Kevin L. Donihe and Carlton Mellick III have handpicked and lovingly prepared seven new titles for the second round of NBAS releases. I am proud to be one of those seven. The books will officially release at BizarroCon on Nov. 13(ish) during the annual convention of the weird in Portland(ish), OR.

The NBAS authors prepare for BizarroCon. (You'll just have to pretend that Robert Vaughn and Brad Dexter are women. Badass women who will jack you up, baby.)

Here is the full list of this year’s New Bizarro Author Series books and their creators (UPDATED with links to all books on Amazon):

Bucket of Face” by Eric Hendrixson

The Egg Said Nothing” by Caris O’Malley

Uncle Sam’s Carnival of Copulating Inanimals” by Kirk Jones

Felix and the Sacred Thor” by James Steele

Love in the Time of Dinosaurs” by Kirsten Alene

How to Eat Fried Furries” by Nicole Cushing

Muscle Memory” by Steve Lowe

All coming soon to an Amazon.com link near you…