Today’s the cover reveal for VELOCITIES, my second short fiction collection, upcoming from Meerkat Press in April 2020. You can get updates here for both VELOCITIES and the reissue of THE CIPHER, also in 2020. I’m excited about both, to say the least! Short fiction is its own hit-and-run universe . . . And here’s a teaser read from “The Marble Lily,” one of the stories original to VELOCITES: a cold urban river, a dead and beautiful girl, a man who sees more than his world will allow.
NEW BOOKS, NEW EVENTS, NEW WORK
Just back from a week in New York (the sun in Bryant Park was gorgeous and murderous at the same time, and I managed to dodge the epic blackout by escaping to leafy Queens) to enjoy an intense, droll, one-of-a-kind talk with Leza Cantoral, trash panda queen and moving force behind Clash Books, on GET LIT WITH LEZA. Nothing was formal or rehearsed, it was all flow, and we could have gone another hour easily, like all the best conversations. Plus we both think WUTHERING HEIGHTS is punk as fuck.
And to celebrate, I’ll be doing my own performative reading from SKIN at tonight’s ChiSeries event in Windsor. The girls are back in town . . . “Another photo, Bibi and Tess like the gods of disaster, posing before the rubble of the factory, Bibi as changeling, Tess austere behind . . . Chaos must be met with greater chaos.”
Words, music, booze, books: ChiSeries Windsor has pretty much everything going on on June 26th, and I’m crossing the border to take part. Haven’t yet decided what I’ll be reading - I’ll surprise you. And of course fun will be had, because the conditions will be on point.
DARK FACTORY is my newest novel.
And it’s a video project.
And it’s a dance party.
And it’s a whole new way for me to reach out and involve my readers, from the current stage of work-in-progress through every creative step along the way. DARK FACTORY is special, it’s big, and it’s something I’ve never tried before, and if you’re interested, have a look at my Patreon page, and come and dance with me . . .
The shadowy ballroom, books swathed in silk, mirrors and masks, and a group who came eager to explore the darkness: together with that audience, I created “The Art of Darkness,” at StokerCon 2019, and it was amazing.
The convention was held in Grand Rapids MI, a hybrid city by the river, where a badass line-up of guests , a slew of panels and readings (so many! and many I had to miss due to my own commitments), another nighttime performance by Josh Malerman and friends, a film competition, an academic conference, and engaged and well-read attendees made the four-day weekend flow by. Take pictures! I told myself, but didn’t, because I was too busy having fun.
Had an absolute blast reprising my role as Chairman Meow for Cat Cabaret, a benefit evening of comedy, hooping, burlesque, and music, headlined by The High Strung. And yes, we heard renditions of “What’s New, Pussycat?” and “Stray Cat Strut,” of course we did. [Photos of me and of the High Strung courtesy Rick Lieder.]
The world is what we see when we look: and what’s real may not be apparent at first glance. So we look more deeply, we look up, we look at what scares us, we look to the future, we look to what we love. That’s what I’m doing now, working on a new project that will be a novel, a Patreon launch, and an invitation for my readers to be part of both.Read More
In a room above a busy bar lives a young man in the deeps of a turbulent time, pursued by his government, in love and in trouble, and driven, always, by words: RIVER ST. is Christopher Marlowe’s life, in his words and in mine. Ben Willis’ acute and subtle interpretation used water as an instrument along with dulcimer, drum, and drowned bells. One patron said that she felt “The room had melted away and I was standing on the river’s edge.” Another called RIVER ST. “A sorely-needed message—I was so moved.” Another said “Thank you for the life raft.” And one said, simply, “It gave me dreams.”
Detroit was RIVER ST.’s maiden voyage, and I was thrilled at the audience response. Now I’m working to take this piece any and everywhere that Marlowe’s voice can reach—Chicago, NYC, Austin, San Francisco, Toronto, London (Shoreditch would be perfect). I’ll shortly be launching a support campaign to help make that happen in 2019 and beyond. Come to the river!
Two of my favorite creative dancers, thinkers, and artists, Rachael Ahn Harbert and Marianne Brass, perform together as Squeeze and Release. And tonight I’ll be collaborating with them (along with Julia Fowler and Jared Scott Morin) on Enlightened Discharge v2.0 which will involve soy dogs, pennies, the cry of plaintive loons, and an audience up for the playful challenge.