Thursday, August 31, 2017

Your Next Read: Yuri Herrera

By Steve Weddle

First, our thoughts, prayers, and incantations are with the folks of Texas and Louisiana. DSD's own Scott D. Parker seems to be OK, last I heard.

National People's Radio has a handy list of ways you can help, from the comfort of your iPad.

The Texas Tribune has a list of resources and other information.


Last week, the folks at Playboy posted this write-up Lincoln Michel did on Yuri Herrera.
Herrera’s style shows the influence of hardboiled detective writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler: his sentences are short and punchy, but infused with thematic meaning. In interviews, Herrera praises those authors for their “brutally honest gaze at a brutal reality.” 

Brutal. Honest. Short and punchy sentences? OK. This is like when someone is talking about bacon-infused, chocolate stout. I like all those words.

I'm reading The Transmigration of Bodies, because it's reportedly his funniest, as well as being noiry and dark and all that. Also, I've always wanted to read a book with the word "transmigration" in the title.

Many reviewers compare his writing to that of Hammett and Chandler, which is a fine comparison for as far as it goes. But I'm reading this and getting hints of Sartre, John Fante, Toni Morrison, and Cormac McCarthy. There's a touch of Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son in various characters, as well.

This book is spooky in the way it unsettles you, too. Everything is just a little off. Maybe we're talking Haruki Murakami, though no one ever cooks noodles while listening to the Beatles. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd trust eating anything if I'm in this book.

The story is about a fixer who is caught between two rival families in a Romeo and Juliet kind of set-up. But it opens in a Fante novel, moves into a Sartre neighborhood, looking out under a Toni Morrison sky.

I don't know what you like. Maybe you like lyrical noir, whatever the heck that is. I really don't know that much about you at all, if we're being honest here. But I think you might like this book.

Check out what Lincoln Michel says here.

And I know comparing to other authors isn't always super-helpful, but it's what I've got for you today. I'm not sorry about that, either.

Oh, and it's a Cynan Jones book in length, so there.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Guide to a Guide for the Undehemorrhoided

Ya like Charles Willeford?
One of the great writers. Characters so strange and so alive.
Whether you first read Hoke Moseley in Miami Blues or saw Warren Oates's silent performance as the eponymous Cockfighter in Monte Hellman's adaptation and hunted down the book, Willeford is like none other. He's written books on art dealing, Florida crime novels like none other, memoirs of wartime, and yes, a book about cockfighting. I never met Mr Willeford, but I love reading his stories, as delightfully twisted as they are, because they never wink at the reader or themselves. They're played as straight as they come, and therein lies their magic. If you want to read a fine article by someone who has met Mr Willeford, I point you to this piece in Mystery Scene Magazine by Lawrence Block. I have met LB, and he's a sly character himself. But Charles Willeford left him wondering. Wondering if the man had eaten a cat. You can read the rest in the above article, which sent me on a wild goose chase for another book it mentions, which is the source of this post's title.

A little-known self-published pamphlet by Charles Willeford entitled A Guide for the Undehemhorroided.

Now, I like writers who invent words. Shakespeare invented hundreds if not thousands. Undehemorrhoided evokes many images, most unwelcome. For one, it assumes you are hemorrhoided, a fate I would wish on my worst and best enemies, but not on anyone I gave a tinker's damn about. There's a reason that you call a relentless pest a hemorrhoid. Because the little SOB's don't quit. But enough about them, let's go back to the word undehemorrhoided. If you're hemorrhoided, you would love to be undehemhorroided. You remember the days when you were prehemorhoidded as a paradisaical time when life was lovely and sadness never lingered and unicorns might peek their velvety alabaster snouts from the nearest copse of woods before springing away, leaving you only a memory. Days when you did not dread that daily constitutional, when you did not eye the revolting bristles of the toilet brush and consider for just the most fleeting of moments, ramming said device where sunlight fears to tread, and giving those little distended blood vessels a thrashing, even if you would shriek in agony and require weeks of bed rest with your tuchis suspended in the air to recover. They are that bad.

Not that I would know anything about it. Research. This is all from research I have done, while looking for this rarest of Willeford tomes. Honest!

The book was written as a warning to all the hemhorroided to remain so. Because, as Oscar Wilde might have certainly said, the only thing worse than being hemorrhoided is to be undehemorrhoided. According to Willeford, the procedure, or at least the recovery, is so uncomfortable that like a bullet lodged next to an artery, it's better to live with this painful invader than to deport it from one's body. This is from a soldier. Not just any, but a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, who received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart! This man was saying, "wear those painful, itchy, sonofabitching purple welts in your holiest of holies like a badge of honor. Leave them BE."

If that's not more terrifying than a dozen Stephen King novels, I don't know what is. Now, I have not read A Guide for the Undehemorrhoided in its entirety, as the least expensive copy I can find runs for $250, and it's a mere 50 pages, and that's a lot of beer and cat food. The most I've read is the excerpt from the LB article, which I won't reproduce here. You're welcome to bop over to Mystery Scene and read it.

The day this is published, I will be in the hospital for a different procedure, nothing life-threatening, but thanks for your concern. I will not be undehemorrhoided, but hopefully the doc will show me boring images that could be mistaken for vacation photos on a caving exhibition where neither stalactites or stalagmites were encountered.

Wish me luck.

When I get home, I'm buying myself a copy of the book as a present...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Right Book for the Trip

Nothing like a trip to prompt you to read an author you’ve had on your to read list forever.

I’m in the Florida Keys on vacation at the moment, and the question before departing for the trip was what books to bring. I couldn’t resist taking at least one crime fiction novel, but Florida has so much great crime fiction, the choice wasn’t easy. I wondered whether I should take MacDonald, Willeford, Hendricks, or Elmore Leonard (to name a few).  In the end, I decided on the crime writer most attached to the Keys specifically - James W. Hall.  The book I brought is Under Cover of Daylight, the first in his series of novels about Thorn, a solitary type who lives in a Key Largo shack and makes bone ties for a living.  I’m about sixty percent through the book now, and what I like most about it is the pronounced sense of place. The landscape of the Florida Keys functions almost as a character in its own right, influencing the characters’ worldviews and motivating them to act in ways that put them in danger and drive them to dangerous extremes. The book was published in 1986, and it’s interesting to see how the development overtaking the Keys then, the damage being done to the environment so that condo complexes could go up and fancy houses could be built for affluent people from outside the Keys, was a big issue.  I have found the Keys to be lovely physically, but I can only imagine what the islands looked like thirty years ago and thirty-forty years before that. In any event, the book’s a good read so far and has satisfied my desire to have an evocative Keys novel to read while visiting the area.

Unrelated to Hall’s novel, I might add, I’ve been watching the third and final season of Bloodline on my Kindle during the nights here, and that’s been a lot of fun also. It’s not a flawless season plot and drama wise, but after watching the first two seasons, soon after they premiered, while at home in New York, it’s a kick to see the aerial shots of the skinny islands I’ve been driving over and to hear the characters refer to the mile markers on US 1 that everyone seems to use as directional guideposts here.

Well, as I mentioned, I am writing this post on the road, and it’s about the only writing I’ve done and plan to do on this twelve day trip. This is my first time in the Florida Keys, and the idea has been to just immerse myself in everything Keys for the duration. James Hall’s Under Cover of Daylight has contributed to this immersion nicely.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Handbook for Infamy

Over the past few weeks the publishing news has been dominated by one story; it isn't often that one hops over to and finds a front-page story related to publishing that isn't about a book that's being made into a movie or TV series.

The Handbook for Mortals became the exception.

The book - which nobody had heard of - sprung to the top of the NY Times Bestseller list from nowhere. An investigation inferred that the publisher and/or author had made bulk purchases of the book from stores that report to the Bestseller list in order to secure a spot on the list.

An account of the allegations and reason for the book being pulled can be read here.

That isn't what made the front page of, however. That was reserved for the author's response.

It does sound as though someone (not the author) with a business interested in the book ordered a lot of copies of the book. Whether this was intentional or not, what it brings into question is whether all book sales are considered equal. If the author had no knowledge of this action, is she an innocent victim who shouldn't be punished for the actions of others?

It almost doesn't matter now. The book isn't famous; it's infamous. Its name is known for all the wrong reasons, its existence evidence of cheating.

One could easily hop on Google and research the story further to form their own conclusions.

What's sad is that there are a lot of great books out there that aren't getting press coverage because what matters more to mainstream media is a scandal. And as long as that's the case, there will be more desperate new authors looking for any way possible to raise their profile so that they can compete in the cutthroat world of book publishing.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The End Game

I am, slowly and somewhat steadily, coming to the end of my work-in-progress. Which you’d think would be great. And it will be – when I get there. But at the moment, it’s like I’ve spent the last six months knitting several scarves, and now suddenly I have to figure out how to turn them into a sweater.
One with no holes or unmatched spots or gnarly little bumps. Everything has to weave together perfectly. So this is the point where I figure out whether I chose the right colors and thicknesses at the beginning, or whether they’ll clash horribly when I put them together. It’s the knitting of the plot lines. Wish me luck. 
Me trying to finish my novel.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Leaping from Pulps to Paperbacks

Scott D. Parker

Over on my western author blog yesterday, I reviewed “The Haunted Legion,” a pulp story by Bradford Scott (AKA Leslie Scott). Don’t worry: the hero, Walt Slade, is a Texas Ranger and a detective so he fits right in here with Do Some Damage. Heck, the structure of the yarn is such that it comes across as a classic golden age detective story, albeit with guns and horses. That surprised me as I figured it would be a whole lot more action considering it was much shorter than the two paperback adventures of Slade I had already read and loved (FOUR MUST DIE and KILLER’S DOOM).

Which got me to thinking more in the mystery/crime field: Were there any detectives who made the jump from the pulps into the paperback book market? Few come to mind. Maybe Ellery Queen? Michael Shayne, I think, went the other way, but I could be wrong.

As aspect that fascinated me was the type of language author Bradford Scott put in Slade’s mouth. In the paperbacks, he spoke like the educated man he is. “You” is written “you” and “maybe” is “maybe.” Not so in the pulp. “You” becomes “yuh” and “maybe” comes across as “mebbe.” It was odd and off putting, to be honest. I got used to it, but still.

Part of me wonders if that was a publisher decision as Bradford Scott moved his character from the pulps to paperbacks. Maybe it was just a natural evolution of writing styles from pulps to paperbacks.

But back to the main question: detective character making the leap from pulps to paperbacks. How many? I can’t think of any Erle Stanley Gardner character who made the transition.

Idle thoughts that occurred to me as I watch local TV coverage of Hurricane Harvey. Speaking of the hurricane, we here in Houston stocked up for the storm no matter the course it takes. No immediate order to evacuate tonight (25 August) but my heart and prayers go out to the folks down in Rockport, Corpus Christi, and the central Texas coast. As I’m writing this, it’s around 10:35pm and Harvey has just made landfall as a Category 4 storm. That’s the worst for Texas since 1961. It’s difficult to fathom 140 MPH winds. It is also in times like these—and the eclipse earlier this week—when we humans are reminded of our place in the universe.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Crime Music: The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia

I love picking out crime stories in music, and this one is probably one of the most famous crime songs. It's double awesome because it's a crime story and it's featured in one of my favorite crime movies, Reservoir Dogs.

Let's enjoy Nice Guy Eddie's revelation:

hen I was comin' down here, "The Night
the Lights Went Out in Georgia" came on.

I ain't heard that song
since it was big.     

But when it was big, I must've heard it
a million-trillion fuckin' times.     

But this is the first time
I ever realized...
that the girl singin' the song
is the one who shot Andy.


You didn't know that Vickie Lawrence
was the one who shot Andy?


- I thought the cheatin' wife shot Andy.
- They say that at the end of the song.


I know, motherfucker. I just heard it.
That's what I'm talkin' about.
I must've zoned out
during that part before.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tony Knighton on Three Hours Past Midnight

Long time Philadelphia resident Tony Knighton has written his first novel, Three Hours Past Midnight.  Set in his home city, the book is fast-paced, no-nonsense crime fiction about a professional thief trying to right a number of wrongs after a heist doesn't go as planned. Has that been done before? Of course. So execution is paramount, and on that score, Tony delivers.  It's a novel that I sped through - a book that starts tense and never lets up.  Tony blends character and action really well and keeps everything plausible.  His main character is capable but not superhuman in any way, and though Tony romanticizes nobody, you can't but help rooting for this career criminal to pull through.  I'm glad I picked it up and after finishing it, I wanted to ask Tony a few things about it. 

So here we go:

SCOTT ADLERBERG: Three Hours Past Midnight all takes place over a short nocturnal time frame in Philadelphia, a city you know well. That's apparent from your clear and fully felt descriptions of neighborhoods and individual streets. As a reader, you know when a writer knows a place cold, and you obviously do. Did you, as it were, scout out locations for the book, or did you just draw upon your long acquired knowledge of the city when writing? The city is almost a character in the book, it feels like.

TONY KNIGHTON: I wrote about the locations in the story mostly from memory. Some of them are personally significant.

The route the protagonist drives, runs and rides sitting on the train’s back step, all while being pursued, roughly follows my commute to work during the time I was writing the book.

I fought a fire in the real apartment house on Pine Street a few years ago. It turned out that a girlfriend of my wife’s lived there; she got home after the fire.

Other locations I picked more for fun. Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of parties in huge old Victorian homes in Germantown, a neighborhood in the northwest part of town. A while ago, I read Black Friday by David Goodis. In it, his protagonist hides out in a house on Tulpehocken Street. I thought the party in my story should take place on that street as well.

I read in a piece you wrote recently that your main character in the novel, who is never named, appeared in an earlier short story of yours called “Mister Wonderful”. What prompted you to bring him specifically back for more action? And in bringing him back in a novel, how did you expand his character from the short story, if you did?

The short answer to why I brought him back is that I wasn’t finished with him.

That first story saw him injured and on foot, the subject of a manhunt, a hundred miles away from anyone or anything that could help him. It seemed natural to revisit him a few months later, healed and eager to work – eager enough to break a few of his rules.

Three Hours Past Midnight gave me an opportunity to round out his character, not so much by anything he overtly reveals about himself, but through his interactions with other characters in the story, especially those who already know him. I can imagine him and the others he encounters as any other group of people engaged in any other business. Most of these guys have dealt with him first-hand. Their reactions to him are complicated, but they all recognize him as a professional. One or two are even annoyed with him for the fix he finds himself in, but it feels more like a journeyman’s friendly annoyance with another’s mistake.

I also realized things about him that I didn’t reveal in the story. He has a straight job, and I know what it is. I’m keeping that under wraps for now.

So it sounds like you plan on bringing him back. Is that true?

Yes, he’s going back to the Central Pennsylvania location of “Mister Wonderful.” There was a lot of money that was never recovered. He wants it.

The novel is a classic style heist gone wrong story. Are there any books and films in particular that you love in this sub genre and that may have influenced your own take on it?

There are many great books and movies that deal with the “heist gone bad.” Easily my favorites are the Richard Stark books, and some of the film adaptations, Point Blank and Payback (the director’s cut). I also like a few of the films obviously inspired by the Stark books – City of Industry is a well-done rip of The Sour Lemon Score. While more a revenge flick, in The Limey, Terrence Stamp’s character Wilson is clearly modeled after Parker.

I like Reservoir Dogs a lot. I think Ronin is outstanding.

In your non-writing life, as you mentioned, you are a Philadelphia firefighter.   And you’ve been one for many years.  I find that interesting, not just because of the job itself, but also because how that seems like work so geared towards teamwork.  I’d imagine it’s a job where your very life can actually depend on the actions and competence of the people you’re working with. That’s as far from the solitary activity of writing, where you fail or succeed alone basically, as you can get.  Has your time and experience as a firefighter in any way influenced you in how you write or just how you see the world?

That’s a great question, Scott.  The job has clearly shaped the way I see the world, and that has influenced my writing.

Most of us who write fiction have some kind of straight job. I’ve been fortunate to spend most of my life working at something I enjoy.  People who know I write assume that I draw upon events I’ve experienced during my time on the fire department, and I have – I’ve had the opportunity to do and see things that most people in the world never will – but I’ve gotten the most material from knowing and listening to people. 

Many of the calls we answer are simply someone with a problem.  We try to make things better for them. There is nothing that someone can tell the operator when he calls 911 that the fire department will not respond to.  Sometimes the dispatch is so nebulous, it feels as though they’re telling us, “We have no idea.  Go take a look.”  Listening to people is key.  A person is never so self-revelatory than when they’re in a panic or in trouble.  Even when they’re lying to you, they’re telling you things about themselves.

The people you work with are the special part of the job.  Work friends quickly become close friends anywhere, but living in close quarters with other men and women who depend on each other is like nothing else.  We’re tight.  I love my brothers and sisters on the job.   

Many civilians are under the mistaken impression that the fire department is a macho institution.  It’s not.  It tends to be masculine in nature – function over style – but it’s the least macho bunch I’ve encountered.  Anti-macho.  Most firefighters are self-deprecatory to a fault; members who display cockiness or swagger are quickly cut down to size.  I think that this attitude may have most directly affected my writing style.  I tend towards minimalism.  I try to write in a way that doesn’t call attention to the writing, just the story itself.  

Maybe I just don’t want the firefighters talking about me.

When do you usually write?  In the morning, evenings?  And do you tend to plot most stuff out beforehand or wing it? I think your minimalism, as you say you aim towards, comes through effectively, and the writing is very tight.  The sense of someone who cuts everything remotely extraneous comes through. Do you edit as you go or like to just get the first draft out and then go back and do successive drafts, editing that way?

I prefer mornings. I began writing seriously while going through a prolonged bout with insomnia. I needed something that was quiet and felt productive, and writing fit the bill. It had always been something I’d wanted to do, but was too chicken to try. I’m not sure why, now. Later on, I heard Elmore Leonard say that he had written his first book by getting up an hour early and writing two pages every day. It sounded like a good plan.

I don’t plot things out ahead of time, but I usually have a framework of sorts – I know certain things are going to happen, and usually in a certain order. 

That was what made the story “Mister Wonderful” so much fun to write. Rather than any sort of plot or framework, it began for me as a premise – an injured man, trapped in a car that has come to rest upside down in an icy, shallow streambed at dusk. I worked out some of who he was and why he was there, miles away from home or help, as I got him out of the car and through the woods, away from the police. I finished the story but realized that I wasn’t finished with him. I imagined that once he was on the mend, he’d be anxious for work. So then I wrote Three Hours Past Midnight.

I edit and revise compulsively. Sometimes I’ll change a sentence immediately after writing it. It takes me a long time to get a first draft together, but by then I’ve gone over it so many times that a lot of it isn’t too horrible. Good writers have told me that I shouldn’t do this. I’ve tried to stop. They say the first step is admitting that you have a problem.

I have the same problem.  So what's next for you then?  The novel that has him going back to Central Pennsylvania or something else before that?

I started a novel a while ago, about a fireman on light duty, activated as an investigator for the duration of a four day city-wide convention.

That piece was nearly finished, but sat idle while I worked on other things. I've gone back to work on it, as I also work on the story of the Three Hours guy's return to the Central Pa. scene of the crime (I'll have to come up with something to call this guy, at least while I'm talking about him. He's kind of a pain in the ass).

I suppose it all depends on what I finish first.

Whichever it is, I'll be looking forward to it.

You can get Three Hours Past Mightnight right here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

MONDAY INSPIRATION: Aymar and Alkimist

There are plenty of ways to tell a story and there are many storytellers who have talent beyond the written word. For instance, Eryk Pruitt, author of the soon to be released WHAT WE RECKON, is also an award-winning filmmaker. Poet Susie Henry is a talented urban and wildlife photographer. The list of musicians moonlighting as writers is long. S.W. Lauden. Eric Beetner. Joe Clifford. Tom Pitts. Anthony Cowin. Mike Monson.

Continuing to strive for creative storytelling is DJ Alkimist and E.A. Aymar. DJ makes music. E.A. Aymar writes stories. They combine the two mediums, then each finished track is accompanied by a piece of artwork, inspired by the music and story. Music, writing, and visual art equals an immersive storytelling experience!

Two tracks on their website,, are "Requiem," presenting original artwork by Shawn Huddleston,  and "Red Room," featuring photography by Lana Pierce.

"Poetic and lyrical,"
-Pam Stack, Executive Producer and Host, Authors on the Air Radio

⇰"Requiem" is a modern urban-opera that tells the tale of two loyal brothers living life on the streets. The track debuted in November of 2016 on the Authors on the Air radio network.

Original artwork by Shawn Huddleston.

⇰"Red Room" is the portrait of a woman with a powerful need for acceptance and success. "Red Room" was released in January of this year during Alex Dolenz's Thrill Seekers Radio, also found on the Authors on the Air radio network.

Original artwork by Lana Pierce with Meredith Sause as subject.

DJ Alkimist has written and produced music for US Soccer, W Hotels, DC’s 107.3, The Washington Nationals, The Smithsonian, The ONE Group, The Washington Ballet, Nike, sweetgreen, Discovery Channel, and Armani just to name a few. An equally talented musician, she has sat first chair viola in dozens of symphonies, orchestras, and chamber groups. She also spins on weekends at many of D.C.'s clubs. With that amount of energy and creative spirit it is no wonder she and creative partner Ed Aymar began working together.

E.A. Aymar, who holds a Masters in Literature, is the author of I’LL SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD and YOU’RE AS GOOD AS DEAD. He also writes a monthly column for the Washington Independent Review of Books, and is the Managing Editor of The Thrill Begins (for the International Thriller Writers). His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of top crime fiction publications. Organizer and host of the Washington D.C. Noir at the Bar series, he helped develop similar events in Virginia and Maryland.  Ed tirelessly supports and assists new talent, a writer's best-friend. It's clear Ed has a deep love for good stories.

Together with talented visual-artists, E.A. and DJ create dark narratives, expressed through several mediums, adding depth to the already haunting dramas. Graciously, E.A. and DJ sat down to give us a glimpse inside their drive and process.


What was the first project you two worked on together?
EA: This all came about because I think readings are usually boring and wanted to add something different to mine. I’d worked with musicians before during readings – they’d sing or play instruments during intervals – but we’d always used jazz standards, and I had a longing to work with original music. Randomly, I'd hired Kim (DJ Alkimist) to do the music at a Noir at the Bar, and we got to talking, and she told me that she makes her own music. She sent me the track for "You Would Have a Queen" and I loved it. The story came easily.

What was the inspiration for that particular endeavor?
DJ:  The music came from the entrance to “The Queen of Sheba,” the subway, and Queens (NY), I suppose.
EA: And as for the story…Kim already had the title (she's a lot better at picking titles than I am) and it had a fairy tale sense to it. The story of girls escaping a giant in the wood came naturally, and its pretty close to what I tend to write about - violence, and the treatment of women by bad men. And there were certain effects in her music (like the soft wails during the "ghost line" at 1:35) that fit naturally. Weird how that happened.

Tell us about your most recent exhibit and the inspiration behind the multi-media presentation.
DJ&EA: The most recent track we've done is called "The March." It's a joint track about people marching through an apocalyptic, ruined Washington, D.C. The music was created around the last election, and we were both moved by the strength and passion in protests at that time. We approached other writers we like and asked them to contribute (Amber Sparks, Tara Campbell, Meg Opperman, and Holly Karapetkova).

We haven't released that track yet because it's going to be on a CD that accompanies Gargoyle Magazines next issue (which is a real honor). But once that CD's out, we'll put it on blast.

We work with different artists to come up with artwork for all the tracks we produce, and the accompanying artwork was done by an artist named Angela Del Vecchio. Among other things, she designs all the fantastic D.C. Noir at the Bar posters. You can check out a sampling of her work at:

What are some of your other artistic outlets? What mediums to you enjoy working?
DJ: Besides music? Well, I like to write poetry and I also enjoy drawing/painting/coloring, but I wouldn't say I'm any good at it.
EA: I can't do anything outside of writing.

How do you find time for all of your endeavors?
DJ:  Haha, good question. Lots of energy courtesy of a plant-based diet…
EA: Ugh.
DJ: …combined with insomnia. Also, I just make time! I've put a lot of energy into creating a life for myself where I can be creative in between the hustle. And magic, of course. 
EA: I do a lot outside of my own writing and, given that, I've met people who know I’m in the writing community, but have no idea that I write. That's the most important part of my identity, and I want to make sure people are aware of it. In the wait between novels coming out (my agent and I are on submission right now), this project helps me remind everyone that, yeah, don't forget I'm a writer first.

What is your current project?
EA: We're working on a joint track with Meg Opperman, who worked with us on "The March" and is a wonderful, award-winning short story writer. If we keep the same idea that we had, then this is going to be more of a collaboration than "The March," because she and I will be alternating verses, almost like trading eights. We have a really cool artist set to design the artwork, and the music is one of my favorite pieces Kim has put together. I'm hoping that it'll be out in late September. Ideally, "The March" in August, and this new track in September. And we're going to do a live performance of "The March" at Gargoyle Magazine's anniversary party on September 13.
DJ: And I'm actually in the process of releasing my first album! Most of it is done and I'm just in the finalization stages now. I'm hoping to release it on Spotify in a few months so keep on the lookout.
EA: I’ve heard some sneak peaks from the album and it’s really good. Your ears are going to thank you.

When should we expect to see the new newsletter?
EA: We worry about bugging people with a frequent newsletter, so we only send it out when we have news: a new track, performance, or something else noteworthy. I'm a big believer in not being annoying (shut up, everyone I know).