“The Scream” dropped by to give me a guitar lesson…

•May 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

BizarroCon 2014 Recap

•December 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Last month, I took an Amtrak train from Cleveland, Ohio to Portland, Oregon to attend BizarroCon 2014. In case you’re not in the know, BizarroCon is an annual gathering of bizarro writers, artists, editors, publishers, and fans. Held at the fanciful and haunted Edgefield hotel, it’s a four-day retreat that includes readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, parties, food, books, and beer.

I had a swell old time. Here are some highlights:

Highlight #1 – Finally meeting (in real life) the publisher and editor of my book, along with my other friends from Rooster Republic Press. It really is a fantastic thing when the digital friends inside your laptop become flesh and blood.

Art Graham, moi, and Etienne DeForest

Art Graham, moi, and Etienne DeForest

Danger Slater and me

Danger is not his middle name, it’s his first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Highlight #2 – Meeting all sorts of other cool Bizarro folks, ranging from luminaries like Rose O’Keefe (Eraserhead Press publisher and friendly host extraordinaire) and many leading authors in the genre, to up-and-coming writers and new fans alike. I could do a bunch of name dropping here, but just go to this link if you want to know who all was there.

Me and Carlton Mellick III

Pictured here is none other than the “Baron of Bizarro” himself. Oh, Carlton Mellick III is in this picture too. (That was a joke. Get it?)

Highlight #3 – Accidently (?) spilling my beer all over Kevin Donihe a whole ten seconds after I met the dude.

I did not get a picture of the incident, but it looked something like this.

I didn’t get a picture of the Donihe-Beer-Spill incident, but I think it sorta looked like this.

Highlight #4 – My first live reading EVAH! I read three stories from Clown Tear Junkies. Fortunately for me, I was drunk, a little slaphappy, and suffering from sleep deprivation, or else I might’ve been a little nervous.

Me reading in front of people for the first time.

Me reading in front of people for the first time.

Highlight #5 – Checking out other authors’ readings, among them Bradley Sands, MP Johnson, Kevin Donihe, Jeff Burk, and Cody Goodfellow. (But I missed A LOT of others. It’s impossible to get to all the readings. But If I make it out there again, I plan on attending way more than I did this first time.)

Bradley Sands reading

Bradley Sands reading from his latest novel, Dodgeball High

Highlight #6 – Attending a workshop on writing dialogue with Brian Allen Carr. Dude knows his shit. And I hadn’t done any writing workshops since college, so this was cool.

Didn't get a pic of the workshop, but here is Brian Allen Carr and Gary Arthur Brown (who attended the workshop too) later in the day, deep in their cups

Didn’t get a pic of the workshop, but here is Brian Allen Carr and Gary Arthur Brown (who attended the workshop with me) later that day and deep in their cups

Highlight #7 – Drinking Bizarro Beer! Eraserhead Press and friends—namely Rose O’Keefe, Jeff Burk, Garrett Cook, and Jason Rizos—homebrewed craft beers named after recent bizarro book releases. These microbrews were served on tap at Eraserhead Press’s 15-year anniversary party on Friday night of the con.

Bizarro Beer

Highlight #8) Attending the Wonderland Awards Banquet. On Saturday night of the Con, a tasty fajita buffet was served in the banquet hall of Edgefield Manor prior to the announcement of the winners of the Wonderland Book Awards for Best Bizarro Collection and Best Bizarro Novel of 2013. My nominated collection, Clown Tear Junkies, did not win. However, a very cool moment occurred when Cody Goodfellow (last year’s winner in the collection category) gave a brief speech about what makes a good fiction collection before he announced the five nominees. There’s something special about having a person who, in all truth, is probably like 12,672 times smarter than yourself announce your name and the title of your book in front of a crowded banquet hall of likeminded crazy people, causing said crowd to erupt in genuine hoots, hollers, and applause. It was all just sort of wonderful and surreal, regardless of who took home the prizes. Alright, my text for Highlight #8 has officially gotten too long. In conclusion, congrats again to the winners: Brian Allen Carr (Best Novel – Motherfucking Sharks) and Garret Cook (Best Collection – Time Pimp).

Garrett Cook with his Wonderland Award for Time Pimp, Best Collection - 2013

Garrett Cook with his Wonderland Award for Time Pimp, Best Collection – 2013

Highlight #9 – Participating in the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown! Immediately following the Wonderland Awards Banquet was the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, wherein contestants are given three minutes to perform a bizarro skit of their own design and an additional three minutes to perform if the “drunk and impatient” crowd deems their efforts worthy. This year, if your act went over the six minute marker, you were cattle-prodded (no joke) by host Michael Allen Rose. I DID NOT sign up to participate in this event; nay, I would have been perfectly content to be a passive member of the audience and entertained by those who did sign up. But somehow I let fuckin’ Gary Arthur Brown talk me into helping him out with his skit. Just when he managed to get me up onstage in front of millions of people (okay, more like a hundred), Laura Lee Bahr (who was one of the judges) ran out to tell us that I wasn’t allowed to be up there. For a few seconds there I really thought I was in trouble. Then suddenly I found myself surrounded by a chorus of people—Laura included—singing “Round and Round” by Ratt. Joke’s on me.

Bizarro Showdown

Gary, you two-foot-seven, libertarian, skinny muthafracker!

Highlight #10 – At Eraserhead Press’s anniversary party, Rose O’Keefe announced the authors to be featured in the newest Bizarro Starter Kit (that would be the Red one, if you’re keeping track of the colors) due out in March 2015. I’m honored and humbled to report that I was one of the ten authors selected. I can probably think of at least two dozen other writers I might have picked to fill that slot instead of me, but the editorial panel that made the decision apparently likes my flavor of bizarro and considers my work relevant enough for inclusion. Needless to say, that just makes me want to fall out my chair and metamorphose into a wannabe-fetal, pre-Krull, post-Shia LaBeouf, ice road trucker-shaming, TERROR ANVIL from 1786!!!!!!!

Bizarro Starter Kit - Red

Clown Tear Junkies Made the Final Ballot for the Wonderland Award for Best Bizarro Collection of 2013

•August 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

In case your unfamiliar with them, the Wonderland Book Awards were created to honor the best bizarro fiction novel and collection of the year. Clown Tear Junkies made the final ballot for Best Bizarro Collection published in 2013. The other four nominees in the collection category are DangerRAMA by Danger Slater, Hammer Wives by Carlton Mellick III, Time Pimp by Garrett Cook, and Zombie Sharks with Metal Teeth by Stephen Graham Jones.

Many thanks to those who voted for my book and anyone who favorably reviewed and/or rated it during the year or else helped spread word about its existence in some other way. Congrats to the other nominees!

Here is the official announcement: Wonderland Book Award – Final Ballot 2014

Clown Tear Junkies Included on the Preliminary Ballot for the Wonderland Award (and Other Late Announcements)

•July 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Damn, I haven’t posted anything here since October 2013, which was a month after Clown Tear Junkies was published. As such, this post is one of those time-to-update-my-sadly-neglected-blog type posts. So, without giving too much concern to form or good manners, I’m just going to dump a bunch of links and news here, all writing-related stuff that’s transpired since that time. If you follow me on Facebook, most of this will be old hat, but who knows? Maybe there’s an item or two you missed. Anyhow, whatever. It is what it ain’t. Here goes:

 

Interviews & Related Stuff

 

· Nikki Howard interviewed me for her book review blog, now doing business as Horror After Dark: http://www.horrorafterdark.com/2013/12/author-interview-douglas-hackle/

· I was invited to be a featured author for the “Ask the Author” Q&A segment on the Bizarro Fiction Facebook group. Here is the interview in its entirety transposed to my blog on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5926441-ask-the-author—with-douglas-hackle

· Last but not least, author/blogger/crazyman Frank Edler invited me to breakdown the music video for Ratt’s 80’s rock anthem “Round and Round” on the his blog—Books, Beer and BLOGshit. WTF?!?  http://booksbeerblogshit.blogspot.com/2013/12/raising-hackles.html

 

Recently Published Short Stories

 

· My short story “The Riverbed: Rated Z” was published in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 4 (Rooster Republic Press – December 2013) http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Tales-Short-Cocks-Vol-ebook/dp/B00HCK3P30

· In February 2014, my short story “CLASSIC” was published online at Paragraph Line, “a journal of absurdist and outsider fiction, culture blogging, and cough syrup abuse instructional videos,”as described by founding editor/author/madman Jon Konrath. http://www.paragraphline.com/2014/02/21/classic-by-douglas-hackle/

· My short story “Trapdoor People or: The Birthsong of the Trapdoor Reborn” was published in Fireside Popsicles (April 2014 – Edited by Sheila Hall and M.C. O’Neill), the debut anthology from indie publishing newcomer Fireside Press. http://www.amazon.com/Fireside-Popsicles-Twisted-Tales-Told-ebook/dp/B00JM13SN4

 

Other News

 

· My short story “TERROR THING” will appear in the forthcoming Vertigo Schisms anthology from Surreal Grotesque, edited by Jeremy Maddux and due out in a month or two I believe. This yarn features the return of Courtney Cute, whom some of you may recall from my story “Give Courtney Cute Anything She Wants” in Clown Tear Junkies.

· I just recently finished writing my first novella—YAY me!! When will it be available for public consumption? What publisher, if any, will help bring it to the masses? I don’t have the answers to these questions at the moment, so stay tuned for updates.

· Lastly, Clown Tear Junkies made the preliminary ballot for the Wonderland Award for Best Bizarro Collection. To make the final ballot and become an official nominee for the award, the book must survive the first round of voting, which is taking place as I type these words (voting ends July 31st). Now, it’s against the rules for preliminary nominated authors and their publishers to solicit or campaign for votes. However, I can point you to the web page on Bizarro Central that lists all the prelim nominees and instructs you on how to vote for Best Bizarro Collection and Novel for 2013 if you are so inclined. At the very least, check out the list if only to see many of the cool bizarro titles that came out last year (so that you can go buy and read them ALL or die a thousand agonizing deaths!!) Here’s the link:

http://bizarrocentral.com/2014/05/19/wonderland-book-award-preliminary-voting-begins-now-3/

 

My First Interview

•October 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hey, I was interviewed yesterday on The Surreal Grotesque Podcast to discuss my new book, CLOWN TEAR JUNKIES.

My voice drops out a little here and there, but if you fiddle with your volume control a bit, you should be able to hear the majority of what I say. Thanks again to Danny Gonzales and Jeremy Maddux for having me on.

Surreal Grotesque Podcast — Episode 32: Douglas Hackle

Clown Tear Junkies is Now Available

•September 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

My short story collection and first published book, Clown Tear Junkies, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com. Consisting of mostly unpublished material, the collection contains over 25 of my absurdist/bizarro stories. It is published by Rooster Republic Press.

Clown Tear Junkies

Buy the Dead Tree Edition

Buy the Kindle Edition

From the back cover:

“Hackle may be the best absurdist story writer working today.”

—Bradley Sands, author of TV Snorted My Brain

Within the whacked-out worlds of these twisted tales, only one thing remains the same:

Everything is better when laced with the tears of a clown…

When a sexually adventurous couple decides to spice things up by bringing bees into the mix, they learn it’s never wise to dial 811 in case of an emergency. A deadbeat dad gains employment as a lady-in-waiting in a fairytale bromance where every character looks exactly like someone else from John Carpenter’s The Thing. The unknowing victim of a cruel prank, a simpleton spends his entire life waiting on a park bench for the hottest girl in school. Using only his twenty-sided die and good old-fashioned D&D magic, a man must continually resurrect the neighborhood kid regularly murdered on his own front lawn. An aging slaughterhouse worker and the iconic figure from Edvard Munch’s The Scream hit the clubs every weekend in a vain attempt to get laid.

These and many more absurdities await in Clown Tear Junkies, the debut collection from Douglas Hackle.

My First Authored Book, CLOWN TEAR JUNKIES, to be Published in August 2013

•July 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Yikes, I haven’t updated by blog in like seven trillion years!!!

So, yeah, while I did make the following BIG announcement via social media about a month or so ago, I neglected to drop it here at the home base. So here goes: my collection of bizarro short stories, Clown Tear Junkies, will be published by Rooster Republic Press in August 2013. Yup, that’s next month. This will be my first published book, so needless to say I’m a Big Red Barn of excitement! (The poorly conceived “Big Red Barn” metaphor I just wrote doesn’t quite work, doesn’t quite make sense, but pardon me—it’s been a rough day at work and my brain is mush.)

I’ve seen other authors post the table of contents for their upcoming books on their blogs or Facebook timelines before, so what the heck: Imma gonna do it too. Here is the ToC for Clown Tear Junkies, which features a healthy mix of flash fiction and longer stories:

  • I Flunked Kindergarten
  • How Much is That Hospice in the Window?
  • The Date
  • On Planet Zōhlzärt, It’s Okay to Get with Your Grandpa
  • Struggle of a Description
  • The Perfect Popcorn: A Recipe (or Confessions of a Lady-in-Waiting)
  • 811
  • Fishing With Higginsworth Fig VII: A Tale of Denial
  • Ice Cream in Amerikkkka
  • Waiting on a Girl
  • FUNERAL, CEMETERY, AUTOMOBILE, ALCOHOL
  • Actors and Actresses (and Others) Wanted
  • The Day My ID’s ID Got Carded
  • Long Necks
  • Green Ireland
  • Three Blank Pages (and if for Some Reason You Don’t Like ’Em, You Can Go Find Yourself a Big Blue Dick to Choke on)
  • What Ever Happened to Monty Morris?
  • A Salieri Marionette
  • Hitler ’Stache
  • That Ass and the Vein Poppets
  • The Scream, My Dog
  • A Kind, Gay, Chinese Black Man
  • Give Courtney Cute Anything She Wants
  • The Audacity of Hope
  • Please Don’t Be an Unkind Person to Me and My Grandpa, and Please Don’t Be Cross with Us
  • The Doghouse