But it might not be until 2018
But it might not be until 2018
Check it out guys, I’ve just finished a draft of Coyote’s follow up, Neon Canyon. Which—for the time being—puts me in a good mood.
Such a good mood, I’ve decided to discount Coyote from $3.99 to $0.99 for the next week.
So if you’ve been interested, but not $3.99 worth of interested, now's the time to pull the trigger on my misanthropic quickie of a novel.
It's great summer reading! (If you like your summer reading soaked in plenty of blood and tequila.) It’s the most fun you can have in a night without waking up in a jail cell the next morning, and it’ll cost you a hell of a lot less.
Click below to buy it, and tell your friends
Oh, hi. Are you still here? Are you actually interested in hearing news about Neon Canyon, the follow up to Coyote? Don’t get too excited. Notice I said before that I finished a draft. What this means basically is that now I've got to rewrite this thing. What comes next is pure hell. I’ll start to realize how none of it works and that I’ve left open all sorts of plot holes. And then I’ll have to spend a lot of time fixing it, and trying to keep myself from just lighting the whole thing on fire.
Those pristine white pages you see in the photo above? Those are going to bleed red like one of my more unfortunate characters.
So yeah, Neon Canyon isn’t coming out anytime soon. Maybe 2017.
Until then, buy Coyote, read it, review it, tell your friends about it.
It's been over six months since I released Coyote out into the wild world to fend for itself. It hasn't exactly set the internet on fire. It's just another book in a sea of books competing for your eyeballs.
But some people have actually read Coyote, and they've had some pretty damn nice things to say. Best of all, most people who reviewed the book seemed to get what I was going for. I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon, I've got to say that I'm glad I published.
To celebrate, I'm giving away some signed copies. Sign up to win below.
Also, if you have read Coyote but haven't reviewed it yet, please do. Even if you didn't like it, I'd love to know your honest opinion. And, you'll help me find the right readers.
As a writer of fiction, I'd like to think I learn something from each of the novels I read, even the bad ones. But I don't often find myself wishing I'd actually written them. Even my favorites, even the ones I love, I'm content to experience them without feeling like I should have had it in me to write them.
But I do kind of wish I'd written Fierce Bitches. Not just that I'd thought of the idea for the story, but also had the chops to pull it off in such a hard-hitting and haunting way.
The set up for Fierce Bitches is pure noir gold, and reminds me in a way of the ending for Jim Thompson's classic novel The Getaway (I won't get into it here, just read The Getaway, it's good). I'm also a sucker for stories set in Mexico, so when I read this description from Amazon I couldn't resist:
Across the border lies Politoburg: hell on earth, home to putas, punks and psychos.
Escape is not in the stars, redemption is not in the cards, but reckoning might just be on the menu.
Stand back. The pit is about to spit something back out.
If you liked Coyote, or hardboiled noir in general, definitely check out Jedidiah Ayers. Fierce Bitches is the first book by him I've read, but I'll definitely be checking out his other work soon. It's a quick read, and definitely worth your time.
Here it is, guys. The second half of the songs I listened to the most while writing Coyote (you can buy Coyote here).
There isn't much else to say here, except thanks to all the musicians who inspired me to write just a little bit better. I enjoy the hell out of all of these songs, and you like any of them I hope you'll find some way to support the bands who created them.
I write to music.
Pretty much always. I play it loud, preferably on headphones. Not only does it block the world around me out and let me focus on the story world, it also helps shape that story world.
In fact, soon as I get an idea for a new story, the first thing I do is start building a playlist, selecting songs that match the mood and atmosphere for the different scenes I'm planning to write. It's not so much about the lyrics,* it's about the feeling of a song.
For Coyote (available here), I ended up building a playlist of close to 100 songs total, but there were 22 in particular I listened to over and over. Here are songs 1-11:
So that's the first half of the list. Stay tuned for part 2.
*Side note: Don't you hate movies where the lyrics of the song they're playing match up exactly to what's happening on the screen? Except this movie. It's kind of hard to hate on this movie, even though the action matches up EXACTLY to the words in the songs.
This post is not really about the cover of Coyote, but about the man behind it.
A lot of times, I'll try to design my own stuff. I do this because I'm cheap and, like many people, I think I'm better at photoshop than I really am. The stuff I do myself is fine, I guess, in that it get's the point across and it saves me money.
I actually tried to do the cover for Coyote myself, and the cover I created was OK. I'd like to think it wouldn't have ended up on Lousy Book Covers, but that's probably just wishful thinking. And even if it was OK, I didn't want a cover that was OK. I wanted a cover that was fantastic.
So let me tell you about this guy I work with. He keeps the schedule of a senior citizen and can be found home in bed most nights before 9pm. He ranks restaurants based on the quality of their nachos, delights in watching bad movies, tweets only about the weather, and is the nicest guy I've met. He also happens to be my favorite graphic designer. I'm talking about Mr. Ben Rebant.
I'm lucky enough to work with Ben and I know he's a really busy guy who likes to be in bed by 9:00 at the latest, 8:30 if possible, even 8:00 if he can manage it. Which is why I was feeling like an asshole when I asked him to help me with my book cover. But Ben told me (lied?) he was excited to do it, and long story short, I ended up with a cover that's so fantastic I'm not sure the story it advertises does it justice. I don't know if it's the most commercial cover (it doesn't follow a genre formula) but it's exactly what I wanted: A cover for a book that I would pick up if I were at a bookstore.
Ben really screwed himself over with this one, because now I'm going to beg him to do my next cover, and the one after that, etc, not to mention many other things, like the kickass bookmark he made for me to give out to people.
By the way, if you'd like to print out that kickass bookmark on card stock and use it mark your pages, you're completely welcome to do so. Just click here for the full-sized pdf.
So anyway, this post is just a long-winded way for me to say THANK YOU to Ben for making a cover I love.
*I'm lying, of course. There was actually zero drama behind the Coyote cover. All that happened was I asked my busy designer friend Ben to do the cover, and he came with several really cool options that were hard for me to choose between. But I did choose an option, and then Ben made some changes that made it even better.
This shotgun blast of a noir novel hits hard and is over fast, and I enjoyed every second of it. It's my favorite type of story--the kind with no good guys, just characters who are varying levels of bad.
Fatale was written by Jean-Patrick Manchette in 1977. Manchette's a French crime novelist who's credited with reinventing the genre. There he is below, smoking a cigarette beneath an impressive mane of 1970's hair.
Manchette basically takes the classic femme fatale character from noir fiction (the one who always double crosses the protagonist and leads him to his downfall) and makes her the protagonist. Aimèe is an attractive and deadly woman who goes from town to town, manipulating rich men and murdering for money. Most of the action takes place in Blèville, where she sets up her biggest score yet and then--SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT--has a change of heart, which leads to here eventual downfall.
The novel works as a hard-hitting crime story, but with lots of existentialism and satire, and while it's not overtly political, politics are definitely in the subtext. If yo dug my novel Coyote, you might dig this one as well.
Bran is a writer of fiction. His debut novel Coyote is available now on iTunes, Amazon, Kobo and more. Want a free story? Sign up for Bran's newsletter The Lowdown and he'll send you an ebook download.
See, what happened is I started a newsletter called The Lowdown, so I can tell you when I put out a new book or have a sale, and I thought I'd kick the whole thing off with a free ebook for people who sign up. Here's what you can expect:
1. Exclusive and free stuff. Like the previously mentioned ebook.
2. News and updates.
3. The occasional detour down an unmarked side road.
4. Cuss words. Because, in the words of storytelling guru Robert McKee, “it pleases me.”
So please. Sign up for the newsletter, and I'll hook you up with an ebook.
*Actually, this story isn't exactly new. I wrote it a few years back. I went to this island in the Caribbean to hang out with my grandparents and I met all these expatriates on sailboats, and I came back with some crazy stories. This is one of them. Sort of. Names and dates and places and many other things have been changed.
*This is a lie. The Thing Podcast is actually "a weekly wade through the popular creative current to find those moments that help us feel connected to the bigger creative consciousness, aka The Thing." Hosts Matt and Eric are actually friends of mine and have super perceptive things to say about movies, TV, music, books and more. To me, they have a fresh take on judging content. Rather than ranking, giving a thumbs up or down, or starts, they decide whether something is "the thing" or not. In other words, the focus is on whether they connected with something in a personal way. They have good taste, and most of the time I agree with them.** If you like to dig deeper into the entertainment you consume, The Thing Podcast is definitely worth a listen.
**But not always! For example, both Matt and Eric have given up on Louis CK's brilliant new web show "Horace and Pete." Horace and Pete is THE THING guys, Horace and Pete is THE THING! It's a play, basically, it's basically Cheers with no jokes. The acting is superb, the writing is superb. In a lot of ways it reminds me of the short stories of Raymond Carver. It's a bit hard to get into at first because it's very dry. There's very little music, and it's hard on our short modern attention spans, but it's totally worth sticking with. In fact, the format of the show is part of the point. It plays into the themes of the show and how technology has changed the way we interact with each other, and how different generations interact with each other. I could go on and on, but let me just say that Horace and Pete is definitely worth checking out here. You can do this, guys from The Thing Podcast! You're veterans of The Wire, for Pete's sake!