Personal and Publication Updates

Hi all. I usu­al­ly don't post much per­son­al stuff here except book announce­ments and the like. There's been so much going on late­ly, though, I feel as if I should post some­thing. I've tak­en time off from new stuff only to revise the next book in the Killer from the Hills series, The Last Dan­ger, which appears in Octo­ber from Shot­gun Honey/Down & Out Books.

I have five–count them, five–new sto­ries com­ing out in the next few months to a year, a flash piece com­ing out soon in Shot­gun Hon­ey, then also sto­ries in Toe Six, Mys­tery Tri­bune, Switch­blade and Goli­ad Review. Goli­ad Review will fea­ture the longest sto­ry I've writ­ten since grad school, around 9000 words.I haven't had a short-sto­ry run like this in quick suc­ces­sion since the ear­ly to mid 2000s, when I pub­lished the major­i­ty of my short sto­ries, before switch­ing over to nov­els. I'm also hap­py that four of those fea­ture Kraj, a Croa­t­ian hit­man who's appeared before in Manslaugh­ter Review, Full of Crow, Rev­o­lu­tion John, Plots with Guns, and Bull (that sto­ry was a Der­ringer Short Sto­ry Award final­ist for 2017) and hap­pi­er to report I have a complete–still unti­tled– nov­el draft fea­tur­ing Kraj. I'm still research­ing it in spurts and revis­ing heav­i­ly, and hope to have it in sub­mit­table form before sum­mer 2019, plus sev­er­al more Kraj short sto­ries which form a nar­ra­tive arc. 

I've worked on and researched for Kraj off and on since 2015, My first nov­el took a year and half to write. Kraj will end up tak­ing three, one year to draft, one to research, one to rewrite. I'm going to be proud and ner­vous both to get that out in the world, just because I've tak­en so much time with it.  I don't want to screw it up, hav­ing tak­en so long, and I'm try­ing to write it in such a way that the research doesn't show. Most of the action takes place in the present, but key scenes occur in Croa­t­ia in the 90s, a time of war and great tur­bu­lence, to say the least, and I want to make sure I get it as right as I can.

Tough is mov­ing along nice­ly, with the first print col­lec­tion due out in July, and every week a new sto­ry or review pub­lished. Matthew Lyons's sto­ry "The Broth­er Bru­jo" will appear in Best Amer­i­can Short Sto­ries 2018, edit­ed by Rox­ane Gay, and I have high hopes that sto­ries from 2018 will appear in the oth­er annu­al prize antholo­gies for 2018 and 2019. I'm cer­tain­ly going to be nom­i­nat­ing var­i­ous pieces indi­vid­u­al­ly, and hav­ing the print col­lec­tions to sub­mit this tear en masse, as it were, will help me get tak­en more seri­ous­ly (by which I mean mul­ti­ple anthol­o­gy appear­ances), keep the Tough name in people's ears and help build rep­u­ta­tions for writ­ers and Tough alike.

Oth­er­wise, I'm read­ing as much as I can with home repairs and sum­mer busy­ness going on. High­lights of the past six months include the new Lau­ra Lipp­man, Sun­burn, and Zagreb Exit South by Edo Popovic, and  Zagreb Cow­boy by Alen Mat­tich. I'm also mak­ing my way slow­ly through the Black Lizard books pub­lished and repub­lished in the 80s with Bar­ry Gif­ford at the helm. Detour, by Helen Nielsen, and Swamp Sis­ter, by Robert Alter, among them. And the Big Book of the Con­ti­nen­tal Op, by Dashiell Ham­mett. I'm also read­ing in man­u­script or ARC sev­er­al forth­com­ing books: one by Jay Gertz­man, writ­ing about David Good­is, due out soon from Down & Out Books, and books by Bri­an Tuck­er, Matt Phillips, Charles Dodd White and Bill Soldan.

That's about it. I'm going to hun­ker down, revise some, read a lot, and try to enjoy the rest of the sum­mer. I hope you do the same.


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2 Responses to Personal and Publication Updates

  1. Rusty says:

    I'm slow­ly mak­ing my way through Swamp Sis­ter and I real­ly appre­ci­ate the descrip­tions, as you say. It's imme­di­ate­ly cap­ti­vat­ing. I can't remem­ber why i put it down the first time.

    Your book real­ly makes me want to read Good­is again. I par­tic­u­lar­ly want to find Of Ten­der Sin, but copies run upwards of 30 bucks so I'm hold­ing out for some­thing cheap­er. I'll prob­a­bly break down soon like I did on the Sal­lis book Dif­fi­cult Lives.

  2. Jay Gertzman says:

    Thanks for the plug, Rusty. I think you will love Swamp Sis­ter. The man had a direct style that makes for fast read­ing (until you have to slow down to digest all the impli­ca­tions. His descrip­tive pow­ers are first rate. Carny Kill is also fine.

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