Author Interview: Douglas Hackle

Hey, yo, foolz. Writer/reader/bizarro fiction enthusiast Zé Burns interviewed me for his blog. We talk about my writing style/philosophy, “honesty” in writing, what I have coming down the pike, and that place in France where the naked ladies dance. Check it out maybe:…

Doug Hackle pic

Tales of What!?

I had the honor of providing the featured short story (“TERROR SARDINES in TERROR SAUCE”) for the inaugural episode of Tales of What!? Produced by modern Renaissance man Luke Kondor, Tales of What!? is a high production value podcast devoted to bizarro short stories. As far as I know, it’s the only podcast of its kind at the moment. As such, it’s something to be excited about if you’re a longtime reader or writer of bizarro fiction. And if you’re new to bizarro fiction or curious about it, the podcast should prove to be a great way to sample the varied styles of writers working in the genre.

iTunes –…
Spotify –…

“TERROR SARDINES in TERROR SAUCE” is included in my latest short story collection, Is Winona Ryder Still with the Dude from Soul Asylum? and Other LURID Tales of TERROR and DOOM!!!


‘Sup, y’all? Hey, have you picked up a copy of my new novel, TERROR MANNEQUIN, yet? No? Well, if you’re on the fence about getting it, maybe one of the reviews cited and linked below can persuade you to drop down to the side of the fence that’s a lot more fun than the other.


Click image to go the book’s Amazon page.


Livius Nedin, who has interviewed the likes of Mark Z. Danielewski and David Duchovny (yeah, as in Mulder!), and guest host Frank Edler got together and reviewed TERROR MANNEQUIN for the 467th episode of Booked. Podcast:

“Batshit craziness!…Genuinely funny in the most ridiculous way. I really enjoyed [TERROR MANNEQUIN], and I honestly think that if you’ve never read a bizarro book, this might be the one you should grab.” –Livius Nedin, host of Booked. Podcast.



BookTuber Kevin Whitten, aka “Well Read Beard,” gave TERROR MANNEQUIN 5 stars, calling it “laugh-out-loud hilarious” and a great pallet cleanser for any horror fans who might occasionally find themselves all “horror-ed” out. Check out his video review of the book and maybe subscribe to his YT channel: 


“To say that Terror Mannequin is a comedy would be to downplay the nihilistic tragedy of it all. To call it a satire of office culture—and Thomas Ligotti’s weird tales of same—is to minimize the often-gruesome horror at play…Yet, for all that bizarro fiction is often not my thing—and Terror Mannequin is often no exception—there are moments that are genuinely brilliant.” –From Orrin Grey’s review of TERROR MANNEQUIN at Signal Horizon:


 “Hackle isn’t afraid to get you clutching your seat with fear only to have you giggling in the next sentence, and vice versa. And because what you’re reading is so unapologetically peculiar, none of it feels out of place…In all, Terror Mannequin was an unexpected treat. Well worth a look (only don’t look at the jack-in-the-box…)” –From Ben Walker’s review of TERROR MANNEQUIN at Kendall Reviews:


“…Terror Mannequin is weird, bizarre, humorous and very often horrifying, and despite the plot going to some incredibly strange and uncomfortable places, I enjoyed it immensely…All of the key elements of the [bizarro] subgenre are to be found within Terror Mannequin, but Hackle deploys them in a deft and sure manner, building up the weird and horrific elements slowly but surely until it reaches a gore-stained and near-incomprehensible crescendo that you can’t escape – and don’t want to regardless – because of just how damn good it is.” Click on the link for the full review. –From Adam Selby-Martin’s review of TERROR MANNEQUIN at The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer:


And here’s TERROR MANNEQUIN’s Goodreads page, where more reviews can be found:



Greetings, my TINY LITTLE HALLOWEEN BATS! It appears Tabitha King broke into my house, fished this out of my trash can, and published it. Thanks for believing in me, Tabby!


An absurd horror-comedy, TERROR MANNEQUIN is my fourth book and second short novel. From the back cover:

Forty-year-old Glont Lamont is a longtime employee of Fun 4-Life Corporation, where he gets paid good money to play videos games, watch TV, get drunk, get high, devour pizza, ride the company roller coaster, take long-ass naps, and toss off like a madman in an insane asylum. There’s only one problem: Glont’s sick of his job! Nowadays, all he really wants to do is work long, grueling shifts 7-days-a-week doing any sort of awful, backbreaking, tedious, demoralizing, soul-crushing, severely undercompensated labor.

But with Halloween just a few days away, Glont has more important things to worry about than his workplace woes. Namely, he must take his two “freak” nephews out reverse trick-or-treating, which is a form of annual ritualistic tribute whereby the cruel townspeople force his nephews to walk door-to-door on Halloween night to hand out candy to people instead of receiving candy themselves.

And this year, the last stop on the trio’s reverse trick-or-treating itinerary is Fallingwater—built on a natural waterfall, Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-famous architectural masterpiece is now closed to the public and allegedly haunted by an evil supernatural entity known as TERROR MANNEQUIN

“Hackle may be the best absurdist story writer working today.” –Bradley Sands, author of Dodgeball High

“…the best bizarro absurdist in the business.” –Amy M. Vaughn, author of Skull Nuggets

Grab a copy here:



Is Winona Ryder Still with the Dude from Soul Asylum? and Other LURID Tales of TERROR and DOOM!!!

My new short story collection, Is Winona Ryder Still with the Dude from Soul Asylum? and Other LURID Tales of TERROR and DOOM!!!, is now available. Consisting of twenty bizarro-whacko-absurdo stories, including a dozen never-before-published pieces, this is my third book and my second short story collection—a spiritual sequel of sorts to Clown Tear Junkies. Among the reprints included in ‘Winona’ are three critically acclaimed stories I wrote specifically for The Bizarro Starter Kit (Red).

(Alright, so maybe that “critical acclaim” came courtesy of a pissed-off Hungarian-Egyptian lobster-saxophonist who likes to carve Chicken McNuggets into tiny busts of Antonio Salieri. But, hey, a strugglin’-ass mofo will take what a strugglin’-ass mofo can get, no??)

From the back cover: Continue reading “Is Winona Ryder Still with the Dude from Soul Asylum? and Other LURID Tales of TERROR and DOOM!!!”


Whew! Like 87 years ago or something, my first book, Clown Tear Junkies, saw its publication. After sundry delays, and for better or worse, my second book, The Hottest Gay Man Ever Killed in a Shark Attack, is now a thing in the world.

Click on the cover image for the Amazon link.


The Four Gentlemen of the Apocalypse is Now Available

The Four Gentlemen of the Apocalypse, the first release from Strange Edge Publications, is now available for purchase on Amazon. This ebook collects four novelettes written by Dustin Reade, G Arthur Brown, S.T. Cartledge, and yours truly. My contribution is a story called “The Ballad of TERROR TINY TIM.” At just under 15,000 words, TERROR TINY TIM straddles the line between novelette and novella; it’s the longest piece of fiction I’ve had published to date, and sort of marks my long-form debut, if you will. [Will you?] Here’s the synopsis for TERROR TINY TIM included on the Amazon page:

In an absurd world where the letter “r” has yet to be discovered, something evil is said to lurk behind a locked door in a suburban sex dungeon where a kidnapped father and an incestuous bigamist named You-Don’t-Have-To-Be-Lonely-At-Farmers-Only-Dot-Com find themselves imprisoned for life.

If I had to further describe the novelette, I might say it’s sort of an absurdly comedic bizarro nightmare about the responsibilities of parenthood. Something like that. Also, as Danger Slater put it, “The Ballad of TERROR TINY TIM is like the Bad News Bears meets…Deliverance meets…A Christmas Carol? I don’t even know.” And other folks, namely Brian Allen Carr, Matthew Revert, and Jason Wayne Allen, had some nice things to say about the collection as a whole too.

Click on the pic for the Amazon link.

4-gents 2

The Bizarro Starter Kit [Red] is Now Out!

As the popularity of bizarro fiction continues to grow, so does the number of talented people working in the genre. For that reason, I am especially honored to have my work featured in the newest Bizarro Starter Kit, which is now available for purchase on Amazon.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again here: I can think of a whole slew of writers who might have deserved my spot in this collection more than I did. In fact, after I was informed late last year that I’d been selected for inclusion in the book, part of me didn’t believe it was true. Part of me thought it was a cruel joke, that one day I’d answer a knock at my front door to discover the entire bizarro fiction community—perhaps led by Carlton Mellick III, Rose O’Keefe, and Bradley Sands—standing out on my front lawn laughing, taunting, jeering, and pointing at me. “Hahaha! Did you really think you were actually going to be included in a Bizarro Starter Kit, Douglas??” someone would spit-shout. “Hahaha! What a fool you are, Douglas! Time to die, asshole!!” they’d chant. Then the bloodthirsty mob would beat me down to a pulpy pile of blood and guts and bone and skin and shit and chyme and chyle and tears.

But that didn’t happen! Yay, yo!

Anyway, here’s from the back cover:

“There’s a new genre rising from the underground. Its name: BIZARRO. For years, readers have been asking for a category of fiction dedicated to the weird, crazy, cult side of storytelling that has become a staple in the film industry (with directors such as David Lynch, Takashi Miike, Tim Burton, and Lloyd Kaufman) but has been largely ignored in the literary world, until now. The Bizarro Starter Kit features short novels and story collections by ten of the leading authors in the bizarro genre: Brian Allen Carr, Violet LeVoit, David W. Barbee, Shane McKenzie, J. David Osborne, Kirsten Alene, Robert Devereaux, Douglas Hackle, Eric Hendrixson, and Nick Antosca.”

My contribution to the Kit consists of two stories from my collection, Clown Tear Junkies, along with three new stories titled “The Many Bad Habits of My Main Man Klin-Klat, a.k.a. the Tap Dance Kid,” “TERROR SARDINES in TERROR SAUCE,” and “The Bored Ouija Board.” Check it out!

Bizarro Starter Kit - Red


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

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:

· 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:—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?!?


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)

· 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.

· 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.


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: