Dodging Bullets: Covers Done in the Nick of Time

2019 is only a month away—boy did this year blow by—and for 2018 there is only one more book on the books, Rival Sons by Aidan Thorn releasing December 14 (I mention this as it was to release on the 7th). It’s been a rewarding year as far as working with talented folks, though it has been at times it’s been a juggling act. Part of that is working with all these talented folks, and being allowed to put their stories out there for the public. It’s also because I work full-time elsewhere and I am a full-time student (at 50 next  January), and then there’s just having shitty health.

Rival Sons by Aidan Thorn – December 2018.

My favorite part of the publishing is the creativity I can give to the covers.  If you look in the front of 99% of the books I produce the credit belongs to Bad Fido—it is me and I am it. I created Bad Fido with the hopes of doing covers (and related publishing necessities like websites) for people outside of Shotgun Honey. But, time hasn’t really be on my side. My style is so varied it would be fair I don’t have a style, but the designs I do come from the stories and not some house style I perceive I should have. I think flexibility is good. So if you have a book coming out in 2019 that doesn’t have a cover yet … I’m just saying.

The Lucky Clover by Nick Heeb – January 2018

This week Bad Fido, um me, is please to share covers for January and February releases by Nick Heeb and Nick Kolakowski (respectively).

In The Lucky Clover by Nick Heeb, we follow the Narrator who returns to his old haunt, The Lucky Clover, looking to forget and recover from his past life’s miseries and humiliations by drinking with good friends. He soon discovers the people closest to him had no interest in his honest intentions, and that violence is the only language spoken in this sparse and hard country he calls home.

The Narrator is a man of vice and his actions are fueled by drink and drug and too much time spent in The Lucky Clover. While the story is stark, much of the environment is left to our own encounters with the seedier side of life. Instead of focusing on the atmosphere of the roadside bar, I felt vice was the way to go with this cover. What do you think?

In 2017 the second Shotgun Honey/Down and Out release was A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps which introduced us to Bill and Fiona, whose true romance takes them to near death. This was followed up a year later with Slaughterhouse Blues. Those crazy lovebirds  Nick Kolakowski is a true provocateur of gonzo violence and mayhem. And this February (2019) Bill and Fiona return in their last book in the Love & Bullets trilogy titled Main Bad Guy.

For this book, I took lead from the author and used a central image that is key to the plot and tone of the book. I won’t reveal it’s intent, but it’s going to be quite the ride to this unique courtship.

Main Bad Guy by Nick Kolakowski – February 2019

And of course, I took this opportunity to revisit the first to books of the series and provide some unison. What do you think? Better than the originals?

It’s sad to see the series end, but it’s not the end of Nick. He and I, and a talented bunch of other writers, have something really excited for the second half of 2019. More on that later…


This week I also caught up with posts that didn’t get posted. A couple weeks ago I went to the hospital to get an MRI and came out with Bronchitis. And having sworn I had pre-published all the stories for November, I didn’t check to see if the stories had published, preferring the comfort of bed. So big apologies to R.D. Sullivan and Joshua Wade Freeman. So their stories published late. So be sure to read “So Easy” by R.D. Sullivan and “Gas” by Joshua Wade Freeman.


Deadlines: Remember William E. Wallace

DEADLINES:
A Tribute to William E. Wallace.

When I first got a chance to read Face Value by William E. Wallace, I immediately connected with Eddie Pax, a man that works within the gray areas of society tracking down properties owned by bad men. Eddie was a classic pulp protagonist, and in a different generation William would have been a classic pulp writer comparable to Donald Westlake’s alter ego, Richard Stark. When I accepted Face Value I asked if there were more. Eddie had appeared in a few short stories, but in William’s mind the stories and the novels were endless. Potential always there. He was constantly writing, and I believe it was in the words that William found the strength to fight cancer. Even a few weeks prior to his death he talked about that next Eddie Pax novel. It’s a shame that novel never found completion, Eddie Pax was my kind of character. I’d rather have William here, instead.

I only knew William through his writing, though I feel I should call him Bill. That’s what his friends called him, and at least to me he made it really easy see him as a friend. Bill had many friends from his journo days, and he collected many as a crime writer and a champion of small press publishing. Bill published a few collections on his own, such is the marvel of publishing today, and then a couple books with All Due Respects, then rival and now sister publishing company, and his final book Face Value with us, Shotgun Honey. When he wasn’t writing, he was reading and he was supporting writers who are not often heard, marginalized by the marketing of the New York publishing houses. He wrote about books and authors he liked on his blog, Pulp Hack Confessions.

Bill Wallace with Will Viharo and Joe Clifford

Today, I am honored, with the editorial guidance of Chris Rhatigan of All Due Respect, along with the support of Eric Campbell and Lance Wright of Down and Out Books, and the blessing of Margot Wallace, Bill’s wife, and Garth Wallace, Bill’s son, to release DEADLINES: A Tribute to William E. Wallace. This is a collection of stories — inspired by the career and stories of William E. Wallace — culled from writers and colleagues that Bill took time to champion. I thank these writers for their time, their stories, and their patience. 

Bill Wallace with Travis Richardson

The Contributors

  • Preston Lang
  • Jen Conley
  • Joe Clifford
  • Will Viharo
  • Paul D. Brazill
  • Patricia Abbott
  • Rob Pierce
  • Sean Craven
  • Eric Beetner
  • Sarah M. Chen
  • Nick Kolakowski
  • S.W. Lauden
  • Scott Adlerberg
  • Gary Phillips
  • Renee Asher Pickup
  • Eryk Pruitt
  • Todd Morr
  • Travis Richardson
  • Anonymous-9
  • Sean Lynch
  • Alec Cizak
  • Ryan Sayles
  • Greg Barth
  • C. Mack Lewis.
Bill Wallace and Anonymous-9

Memories

Sarah M. Chen

I knew Bill more from his online presence than in person. He was such a generous and ardent supporter of the crime fiction community and his humorous posts were something I always enjoyed reading. Before knowing him online, however, I did get the chance to briefly meet him at LCC Portland. I immediately liked him. He was intelligent, kind, and witty. 

Eryk Pruitt

When pitching my first novel DIRTBAGS to agents, I forever felt the sting from one particular rejection that said only, “I thought you said this was supposed to be funny.” That one hurt. All my lonely thoughts crashed and crumbled at the shores when I read my first-ever Pulphack Confessions review which Bill titled: “A Laugh-A-Minute With The Funniest Serial Killer Novel I’ve Ever Read.” For the first time since I’d started writing, I felt like I’d connected with a reader. It’s still my favorite review ever. 

Jen Conley

William Wallace was a fantastic champion of my work. He was one of the first to review my story collection and I will always be grateful. I never got to meet him in person, but I wish I could’ve have. Rest in peace, William.

Travis Richardson

I “met” Bill virtually on July 3, 2014, after reading his story “Working Stiff” in Flash Fiction Offensive. I friended him on Facebook and we wrote each other about the noir/crime fiction community and how supportive the writers are unlike other competitive areas. We emailed a few times and talked through Facebook. He promoted fellow authors’ works and I always looked forward to reading his stories. I got to meet him in person at Renee Asher Pickup’s Book and Booze podcast reading in San Francisco. And later at Left Coast Crime in Portland. We both sat at Holly West and Josh Stallings’ table at the banquet dinner in 2015.

Our final meeting was for breakfast in Berkeley on June 2016. I was in the Bay Area to watch an Oakland A’s game for Father’s Day. Bill’s diagnosis was grim and I wanted to see him again if he was up for it. We arranged to meet that Saturday for brunch. After being surprised to see him at a Joe Clifford book launch at Pegasus Books the night before, we met Saturday morning. We had brunch the following morning. Bill talked about some characters he met while reporting, authors he loved, concerns about the state of the publishing industry and the diminishing short story market and his health. He didn’t eat much as he had no appetite. While he had grown thin and looked tired, his eyes were alive. After our meal, we sat outside and talked a little longer before he needed to head home. He signed my copy of “Hangman’s Dozen” and I gave him a hug. A few days later he sent me the following message that broke my heart…

“You’ll be interested to know that you are the last person other than my docs and family I have seen since we had lunch. My son had tix for us to go to the MST3K reunion at a theater in Emeryville last night, but I couldn’t manage it. Looks like I am going to be spending most of the rest of my life shuffling around home and writing or down at Kaiser for treatment or labs. Of practically all the people I know who are writers, I am happiest you were one of the last I got to see in person. . .”

I am so glad he was wrong and had another seven more months to live. In those months he put his life out on Facebook for his friends to see. Writing, playing his guitar, reading stories and giving reviews, and still sending out words of encouragement to the crime writing community. Brave and generous to the end. When Bill passed, it still came as a shock. I miss Bill. A fantastic writer, advocate, and friend.

Will Viharo

Will contributed most of the photos, and those moments are captured memories that we are thankful for.

Will Viharo, Garth Wallace, Rob Pierce, Joe Clifford, Bill Wallace
Bill and “The Thrill”

Thank You, Bill

“Bill” William E. Wallace – Journalist – Friend 

William E. Wallace was an exceptional talent and a passionate man. This wonderful collection cannot begin to express his contribution to our community or the void left behind in his passing. Bill called himself a hack, but his talents extended beyond his own writings, elevating those around him.

Thank you for contributing to Shotgun Honey with your short stories and allowing me to give Eddie Pax one good story of his own.

Thank you to all the authors who contributors, to co-editor Chris Rhatigan, and our publisher Down & Out Books. And to Margot and Garth Wallace our condolences and gratitude for allowing us to celebrate Bill the only way we know how.

DEADLINES: A Tribute to William E. Wallace is a charitable anthology whose proceeds will be donated in Bill’s name to The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.


Dodging Bullets – August 3, 2018 – The Hollow Vessel

This week Shotgun Honey is proud to release The Hollow Vessel by Albert Tucher. It is part of the Errol Coutinho/Big Island of Hawaii series which includes last years The Place of Refuge.

Synopsis

The Hawaii County Police are used to Rotten Roger sleeping rough, but now the veteran tramp has a new tent. The bloodstains in it don’t bother Roger, but they are the last thing Detective Errol Coutinho needs to see.

Coutinho is already looking for Rhonda Cunningham, a young woman from New Jersey who was last seen in Hilo buying a high tech tent like Roger’s. Rhonda planned to live off the grid in the rainforest of the Big Island, but her wealth stands in the way. Too many people want a piece of her to let her disappear. Some wish her well, some want her dead, most want her money, and one wants the thing she will never give.

So whose blood is it in the tent? Coutinho’s investigation will send him up against a hit man from New Jersey, a bunch of wannabe local gangsters, and his own nephew. An old girlfriend wants the best for her son, but she complicates the case even more, and a legendary marijuana trafficker proves both real and deadly. It’s getting crowded in the rainforest, and the shakeout will be murder.

Early Praise

“Full of twists and turns, The Hollow Vessel is an entertaining ride into the underbelly of the Hawaii’s Big Island. Detective Coutinho and his sidekick Kim find themselves pulled deep into the jungle of drugs, family skeletons, and a little bit of old school New Jersey. With Tucher’s sharp prose, The Hollow Vesselis a fast moving story with a great set of characters.”

Jen Conley, author of Cannibals

“In his second outing with Detective Errol Coutinho of the Hawaii County Police, Al Tucher, ups his game. His eye for detail, sense of pacing, and gift for characterization and setting makes spending time in the rain forest of Hawaii a delight.”

Patricia Abbott, Edgar, Macavity, and Anthony-nominated author of 
Shot in DetroitConcrete Angel, and I Bring Sorrow

About Albert Tucher

Albert Tucher is the creator of prostitute Diana Andrews, who has appeared in more than eighty hardboiled short stories in venues including The Best American Mystery Stories 2010. Her first longer case, the novella, The Same Mistake Twice, was published in 2013. Her world includes the characters in The Hollow Vessel and The Place of Refuge. Albert Tucher is a librarian in his day job, but retirement beckons.


Catch up on our latest posts


Dodging Bullets – July 27, 2018 – Passing of the Gauntlet

When Shotgun Honey first started in 2011 it was done so to capture something of the past, of zines that had come and gone. Some that flickered brightly and then vanished. I didn’t have any concept of how long the site would last or if it would exist past a few months. It wasn’t entirely my show, and I was just happy to be part of Kent Gowran’s reminiscence. Kent and Sabrina, who founded with me what I like to call The Gauntlet, that tribunal system of story selection, both decided to move on after our first anthology collection. Even I moved on to an extent, only managing site and relying on a very capable group of editors. Many have come and gone: Chad, Joe, Erik, Chris, and most recently Angel. Their tenures varying.

Jen Conley accepted the invitation to join the gauntlet in the fall of 2012, essentially filling the position left by Sabrina Ogden. Without hesitation, I can say that Shotgun Honey would not still be publishing anything had it not been for the dedication and selflessness of Jen. There had been times, more than once, where my health and personal life put the site in jeopardy. Because of the trust I had in Jen, I knew that I could take the breaks needed and get myself right. She would guide the ship, and for six years she had been a true Shotgun Honey. This was her last week carrying my weight. I am and will always be grateful to her tenure and her heart, wishing her and her family the best. Though this is a loss in our family, we take a bit of solace in the fact she can now again contribute as the wonderful storyteller she is.

Every editor of Shotgun Honey has one thing in common, they have all been contributors first. I see no reason to change that tradition. I would like to welcome Hector Acosta to The Gauntlet.

Hector has been contributing since 2011 with his first story “Big C”, and has contributed to the Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels anthology series. His novella Hard Way was the first book to be published under the Shotgun Honey/Down & Out Books imprint. Hector is a big wrestling fan, so if there are any Kayfabe crime writers this might be your in. He shares my love of Deadpool and always likes my tweets.

Hector rounds out The Gauntlet with fellow editors Nick Kolakowski and Renee Pickup.

We’re going to miss you Jen!


This last week we released covers for the upcoming books:


The delayed Deadlines: A Tribute to William E. Wallace will be release on August 24, 2018. Proceeds will go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in his honor. So please cut back on your favorite Starbuck’s coffees and save enough to properly remember Bill.


Don’t forget to read this week’s Flash Fiction:

The Final Sleep by David Nemeth

Chris Pennington woke up in his recliner at 3:07 AM. The Phillies game from last night was being replayed and was in its third inning. Chris thought he made it to the seventh or eighth inning earlier. He felt good, felt better than he had in months, maybe years.

Read More


We are always open to submissions. So if you want to be like one of the folks mentioned above, hit us up at the Submissions Manager.

Until next time, all the best.


William E. Wallace and the completion of the OEP Re-Issues

It’s been a while, and kind of a crazy year. How have you been?

Last year, almost a year ago, I announced our new partnership with Down & Out Books. I can’t say enough great things about Eric and Lance, who have done a stand up job with their own line of books, and have become home to so many talented writers with the inclusion of new imprints like ABC Group Documentation, All Due Respect Books, and of course Shotgun Honey. Also, respect to those imprint publishers Jeremy Stabile and Chris Rhatigan.

Overall, the change has been positive, and I have some really exciting books coming out in 2018 and 2019 which I might not have had a chance to work with if not for Eric and Lance. However, change has its obstacles, and of course I’ve thrown a few wrenches, maybe some lawn furniture, in the mix. The end result were some really tight deadlines for scheduled books and delayed releases of the One Eye Press re-issues. I know Lance says a a prayer and a curse for me every night.

What? Get to the point? Okay, okay.

Shotgun Honey is pleased to announce the re-issue of Face Value by William E. Wallace. Originally released in the summer of 2016, Face Value, would end up being William’s last book before losing his battle to cancer on February 25th of this year. It would be the only Eddie Pax novella, though we had talked about future books. I loved the work William put forward not only for himself, but for others, and the moments of compassion. In 2016, I discovered I had a brain tumor, and when you hear that kind of news your thoughts go towards the worst end of the spectrum. I was scared, but William without pause was there to lift me up and say positive things. This was when he knew that he had an expiration date that was already past.

Face Value is the final One Eye Press re-issue, which means that if you missed them prior you can pick them up again.

Next year brings a new batch of books, but one returns Shotgun Honey back to it’s anthology days with a collection that I’m proud to issue in late February titled Deadline: A Tribute to William E. Wallace. A collection of short stories written in tribute to William by authors who worked or have been supported William’s reviews and promotional efforts on his blogs. It will be edited by Chris Rhatigan, who also published works by William, and artist/writer James R. Tuck Jr., who will provide the cover work for the anthology. The line up is still evolving, but will include the works of:
  • Patricia Abbott
  • Scott Adlerberg
  • Elaine Ash
  • Greg Barth
  • Eric Beetner
  • Paul Brazill
  • Sarah M. Chen
  • Alec Cizak
  • Joe Clifford
  • Jen Conley
  • Sean Craven
  • Nick Kolakowski
  • Preston Lang
  • S. W. Lauden
  • Sean Lynch
  • Cathleen McCarthy
  • Todd Morr
  • Brian Panowich
  • Gary Phillips
  • Renee Pickup
  • Rob Pierce
  • Tom Pitts
  • Eryk Pruitt
  • Travis Richardson
  • Ryan Sayles
  • Will Viharo

So pick up a book (or two) today. And I hope you’ll come back as we announce more about 2018 and the Deadlines anthology.


Dodging Bullets: May the Books be with You

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It’s hard to believe that it’s May already, and that in a week’s  time Shotgun Honey will have release six titles under it’s new imprint with Down & Out Books. Three of these are reissues from the previous One Eye Press releases, and if you hadn’t had a chance to pick them up before, well what are you waiting for? In case you missed our current offering, here you go.​

 The big goal for Shotgun Honey is to get unique stories from talented writers in your hands. Each books is one I’d personally read and buy, but I’m of course these writer’s #1 fan. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t publish it. So do you trust ol’ Ron Earl? I hope so, because here is the remainder of the years release schedule:

May 12

  • A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski

May 26

  • Hurt Hawks by Mike Miner
  • Goldfinches by Ryan Sayles

June 9

  • Texas, Hold Your Queens by Marie S. Crosswell
  • Face Value by William E. Wallace

June 23

  • Blacky Jaguar Against the Cool Clux Cult by Angel Luis Colón

August 4

  • Les Cannibales by DeLeon DeMicoli

September 15

  • Dead Clown Blues by R. Daniel Lester

October 6

  • Ridgerunner by Rusty Barnes

October 27

  • Knuckledragger by Rusty Barnes

December 8

  • Dillo by Max Sheridan

While I think all these books are notable, there are a couple notable additions in the last quarter this year. October 6th, brings the reissue of Ridgerunner by Rusty Barnes, previously published by 280 Steps. This comes to us as the first part of a trilogy, the second book titled The Last Danger will come in October 2018, with the third early 2019. The other book added to this year will be our first short novel, Dillo by Max Sheridan. Dillo was previously contracted but unfortunately orphaned because the press closed its doors.

That’s 16 new and old titles for 2017. That’s pretty exciting stuff for a small press guy like me. I do hope you take a chance on our books, not just keep Shotgun Honey going but to let these talented writers have a chance to be read. And there’s more exciting things in 2018. I’d tell you, but one of the newly signed authors really wants the world to know, and I think I should let him simmer on that another week or two. What do you think?

2018 Signings

Okay, okay…

Shotgun Honey is thrilled to have contracted authors Lawrence Maddox and Chris DeWildt.

Lawrence Maddox brings us Fast Bang Booze, a beat-the- clock thrill-ride that races through 1993 Los Angeles to a rollicking, deadly climax.

And from Chris DeWildt? A student has committed suicide, and  another has gone missing, but Gus Harris, a small-town private-eye and all-around asshole, is sure the two are connected. Determined to solve the case, it’s a race to see which unravels first: the case or his relationship with his children. Just another day for a Suburban Dick.

Keep an eye out for more information about these titles and others coming in 2018.

In Case You Missed It

Let’s not forget that Shotgun Honey isn’t all about books. Each week we publish new stories by talented up-and-coming authors who are feed solely on the words you leave them in the comments, and these guys are starving. Read some awesome flash.

Deadweight” by Casey Schwarz

“Oh, boy! You’re a real floppy one.” Peyton struggled as he tried to lift the dead boy from his grave. He linked his arms under the boy’s shoulders and pulled back as hard as he could but the boy didn’t budge. Peyton felt his shoes sink deeper into the mud. He’d always thought that dead bodies would be stiff, like he’d seen in movies. But the dead boy just sunk in his arms every time he tried to move him. Peyton was breathing hard now, exhausted from digging and wrestling with the body. His arms burned.

Read More

Her Bathrobe, White and Soft by Joshua Murray

When he stumbled upon them, he thought they were just having sex and that he caught her cheating on him. He went over early because he wanted to apologize in person for calling her sister a bitch. He meant it when he said it, but when she hung up and the conversation floated in the air of his mind, it replayed with more emphasis and malice on the word until he lost sight of the truth.

Read More

Uninvited by N. D. Coley

I getcha. You just wandered into this party like it’s one of the other parties on this block-cauldrons of frat boys in rugbies and girls shaking their asses in high-waisted shorts, the mixed scent of cheap beer and weed.  You figured you’d put up that grey hoodie of yours, tuck your head, and tip-toe around the room, eyes peeled for fake tits, ears perked for the smell of perfume that says yes please, there’s a room upstairs and I’m all yours.

Read More

And a bonus because I never write and am very needy.

Shiner by Ron Earl Phillips

I heard Uncle Jasper’s tractor rattle to life behind the house; every shudder was amplified by the tin roofed shed he stored it. It wasn’t a monster like you’d see at large farming operations around the valley and in the flatlands. No, it was just an old John Deere that Paw-Paw used to putter around the field and haul supplies down to the family garden.

Read More


We are always open to submissions. So if you want to be like one of the folks mentioned above, hit us up at the Submissions Manager.

Until next time, all the best.


Dodging Bullets: James Lee Burke Reading

This week I promised myself I wasn’t going to spend much time on social media, specifically Facebook, because I have a couple term papers due. I know that’s a strange thing to hear from a college educated gent like myself, but truth is the first time around I did it for the folks and note myself. Otherwise, I’d probably be college professor like so many of the writers I get to publish. There is something pleasing in working with someone and facilitate a story to the published product. So maybe I’ll become a professor yet. I hear they get a lot of coeds.

Though I promised to stay off social media, I’m glad I didn’t. I managed to catch a Q&A with James Lee Burke following a short reading on a Facebook Live. Live is the new instant video post that Facebook allows you to do, that is if you didn’t already know. I first read James Lee Burke by way of my grandfather who was an avid most of his life and moreso in his elder years. Mr. Burke sprung into the world when my grandfather would have been a teen, but the two men had a lot in common. Hard work ethics and big tales. I always thought my grandfather could have made a good writer, but that’s where he and Mr. Burke differ. My grandfather believed in arts as quality leisure, but did not feel it made for a meaningful employment. Partly why I didn’t follow my guts and dedicate myself to writing when I first found I had a knack for it. He warmed up to the idea in the later years and I was a bit shameful that I never finished that first book to show him who and what I really was meant to be.

That aside, James Lee Burke is a national treasure and if you haven’t read his Dave Robicheaux series, then you ought to get on it. The man has a way of making words flow as natural as breath and sharp as steel. And I don’t normally recommend audio books, but they are useful on trips, and to hear the great Will Patton (honestly, I believe he is a fantastic character actor and second man) read the words of James Lee Burke—this man was made to read novels by James Lee Burke for us to enjoy—it is transcendent. A perfect pairing. But as you will hear from the excerpt of White Doves at Morning at the top of the video, Mr. Burke is no slacker. Enjoy.

 

Posted by James Lee Burke on Monday, April 17, 2017

I was considering announcing a book that I’ll be producing for next year with James Ray Tuck Jr that will be released in conjunction with Down & Out Books, and… Well that’s all I’m going to say at this time because I’m a bastard. It’s important and I hope it turns into something special. Next week will be pedal to the medal for me as I use my staycation to produce some books, and hopefully write some fiction of my own.

Oh, have you listened to the latest WriterTypes? The latest hits Crimespree Magazine‘s first Murder and Mayhem Chicago conference. This episode is hosted by Crimespree Magazine and has another Shotgun Honey story, this episode Carnivore by Carmen Jaramillo. Check it!

In Case You Missed It


The Kid by Mark Cowling

The kid was driving. Enrique. He was new but there was no one else I’d want behind the wheel. He did nothing erratic, nothing impulsive. Steady speed — neither too fast or too slow. Just a nondescript truck cutting through the backstreets of Oakland.”

Read More

Back to Tall Pines by Spencer Fleury

When she heard the job offer on her answering machine, her heart sank. Virgil reminded her – again – how much they needed the money. “But it’s the most depressing thing I can think of,” she said. He just snorted. “Naw. There’s worse.” Easy for you to say, asshole. You don’t have to do it.

Read More


We are always open to submissions. So if you want to be like one of the folks mentioned above, hit us up at the Submissions Manager.

Until next time, all the best.


Dodging Bullets: Fortitude and Publishing

Last year television was introduced to a new network called PIVOT, and well there wasn’t a lot good with the channel save for one series starring Stanley Tucci as an American investigator sent to Fortitude to conduct an investigation of the death of a noted scientist. Fortitude is an isolated community in Arctic Norway, which is an amalgamation of nations, yet is under the rule of no particular country. The eponymous series was collaborated and produced by PIVOT and Sky Atlantic. The series starred, along with Tucci, Michael Gambon (Harry Potter series), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who (9th), Cracker), Sofie Gråbøl (Night Watch, The Killing (original)), and Richard Dormer.

FORTITUDE, as I said, was pretty much the only good thing about PIVOT, in less than a year the network shut its doors and hopes for a second season. The series is part mystery, part science fiction, and season one was some of the best acting on television. But, has Stanley Tucci ever not deliver? Earlier this year, I was happy to learn that FORTITUDE would be back with Dennis Quaid in the lead and Sky Atlantic now partnering with Amazon to produce. Available today free to Amazon Prime member, you can start streaming FORTITUDE season two. And if you missed season one, it is also available, so make it a long weekend.

Before you dive into the television series, Shotgun Honey has started its own the road to second lives. Today, I am excited to reissue through the Shotgun Honey imprint the second printing of FEDERALES by Christopher Irvin. All the books hold places in my heart, but I still vividly remember reading FEDERALES for the first time with utmost dread and by the time I finished I was excited. The dread came from having worked with Chris via Shotgun Honey, who was a second generation editor taking over for Chad Rohrbacher, and I was fearful that the story would be publishable,  even for a press as inexperienced as One Eye Press. But I was excited because the book initially had remnants of one of my favorite movies, Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington. I often tell people that there are no new ideas, the uniqueness in stories comes from how the ideas are worked and presented. So yes, FEDERALES is a book about personal redemption and the responsibility to others, but Chris made FEDERALES all his own.

Expect to see other One Eye Press books see second printings under the Shotgun Honey imprint in the coming weeks.

Synopsis

Mexican Federal Agent Marcos Camarena dedicated his life to the job. But in a country where white knights die meaningless deaths, martyred in a hole with fifty other headless bodies in the desert, corruption is not an attribute but a scale; no longer a stigma but the status quo.

When Marcos’s life is threatened, he leaves law enforcement and his life in Mexico City behind for a coastal resort town–until an old friend asks him to look after an outspoken politician, a woman who knows cartel violence all too well. Despite his best efforts, Marcos can’t find it in his heart to refuse, and soon finds himself isolated on the political front lines of the war on drugs.

Inspired by true events, Federales is a story of survivors’ compulsive devotion to a cause in the face of ever-darkening circumstances.

Where to Buy

FEDERALES will soon be available in paperback from Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com, or ebook from Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Praise

“Christopher Irvin s FEDERALES is an absolute gut-punch of a novella. The story of one man s search for redemption and justice within a Mexican system that has long-forgotten the meaning of either will haunt you long after the last page is turned.”

Todd Robinson, author of The Hard Bounce

FEDERALES is a sweaty, feverish sojourn into a fetid limb of the Mexican drug war, where sentiment, principles and fellow feeling have no place. Christopher Irvin’s read will carry you swiftly through to the fitting end.”

Sam Hawken, author of The Dead Women of Juárez

“In his debut novella, Christopher Irvin deftly captures the frustration and futility of the Mexican Drug War. Part character study, part thriller, FEDERALES reads as a brutally human parable that tells a story that is sadly all too real.”

Johnny Shaw, Anthony Award winning author of Big Maria and Dove Season

In Case You Missed It

The Scientist by M. G. Juelle

The Miami skyline dangled over lavender clouds like stalactites made of pink light and shadows.

“I could die right now,” she said.

“It would take at least eight—”

“It’s an expression, silly.” She laughed. “Means I’m happy.”

Read More


We are always open to submissions. So if you want to be like one of the folks mentioned above, hit us up at the Submissions Manager.

Until next time, all the best.


Dodging Bullets: We’ve Got You Covered Blacky!

Welcome to the relaunch of Dodging Bullets where I will talk shop about all things Shotgun Honey related, plus a few odd and ends that I find interesting.

What do I find interesting this week? Shotgun Honey turns 6 years old this month and we still churns out some of the best crime flash fiction on the web. That wouldn’t be possible without the editors who read stories good and bad seven days a week as they flow through our submissions manager.

Kent Gowran, Sabrina Ogden and I started the gauntlet back in 2011, and it was a solid format for selecting the best stories and to guide those that were good to be better. Those early selections lead to our replacement editors in Chad Rohrbacher, Christopher Irvin, Erik Arneson, Joe Myers, Angel Colón, Nick Kolakowski and Jen Conley. Jen really deserves a medal. Not only is she a great writer, but an outstanding teacher, and she has been part of the gauntlet longer than any other editor. I really can’t thank any of them enough for being part of Shotgun Honey.

If you are looking for an incredible collection of stories, I highly recommend Cannibals by Jen Conley from our publishing partner Down & Out Books.

Speaking of books, I have a lot of books to talk about. First off, just look at the cover for Blacky Jaguar Against the Cool Clux Cult by Angle Luis Colón. Click the cover. Purdy isn’t it? It is the long awaited follow up to The Fury of Blacky Jaguar, and the second book in the Song of Piss & Vinegar series, originally published in 2015 and to be re-issued later this month. Keep an eye out for One Eye Press re-releases over the next few weeks. If you missed them the first time, you’ll get a chance to pick them up again.

Like Federales by Christopher Irvin which will be available next Friday with a brand new cover. Click it. I know you want to.

2017 will be a year of new books, 7 in total, and re-issues, 6 or 7 as well, and a possibly a couple bonus books. And 2018, wow, I can’t wait to share what we’re hoping to do then. I’m excited, but let’s look at the new books in a nutshell.

  • Hardway by Hector Acosta (2/17/2017)
  • The Place of Refuge by Albert Tucher (3/31/2017)
  • A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski (5/12/2017)
  • Blacky Jaguar Against the Cool Clux Cult by Angel Luis Colón (6/23/2017)
  • Les Cannibales by DeLeon DeMicoli (8/4/2017)
  • Dead Clown Blues by R. Daniel Lester (9/16/2017)
  • Knuckledragger by Rusty Barnes (10/27/2017)

I call them my sexy seven because you know you want them. You did pick up The Place of Refuge last week? It’s not like you’re going to make it to Hawaii on your own, so why not read about it as Detective Coutinho tracks down a serial killer on the Big Island? Need more convincing? Read some more about Albert Tucher and the The Place of Refuge:

Show your support for Shotgun Honey authors by buying a book today. And if you can’t swing a book, be sure to read our weekly flash fiction offerings and leave the authors a comment. A little praise is invaluable.

In Case You Missed It

A Jump In the Dark by James Pate

That summer, Paul and Suzie would drink during the day, watching old movies on TCM and talking about their favorite actors and directors. And they would drink at night, having a few Jim Beam-and-cokes before stumbling out to The Lampshade, the bar a few blocks from their gray-brick duplex. Paul had lost his job as a cashier months before, when the manager of the Kroger’s near downtown Memphis caught him sipping tequila from his thermos. Suzie had been out of work even longer.

Read More

Fame by Michael Snyder

For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted was to be famous. It was not a whim or passing fancy. There was no special talent I was pursuing. It’s not like I wanted to be great at something. I just wanted people to whisper and point when I walked into a room. I wanted them all to want a piece of me, to want to be near me, to want to be me.

Read More

And the story that started it all on April 6, 2011…

Two-Phones by Daniel B. O’Shea

Smart-ass in front of Slim in the security queue at Midway couldn’t keep his mouth shut, guy dumping his shit in the plastic box, two fucking cell phones and a PDA coming off his belt like he was Batman or something, a fat money clip with a Franklin on the outside.

Read More

We are always open to submissions. So if you want to be like one of the folks mentioned above, hit us up at the Submissions Manager.

Until next time, all the best.


From 700 Words to Novels

dbbackdrop

Hello, I’m Ron Earl Phillips.

Hi Ron. It’s okay, I know you want to say it.

You may know me from such venues as… well this, Shotgun Honey, and as that guy who got taken away by ambulance at Bouchercon 2015. Fun times. I’m okay now. Mostly.

Five years ago I raised my hand and volunteered to join Kent Gowran, along with Sabrina Ogden, to start a flashzine called Shotgun Honey. That kind of makes the site middle-aged in internet years, and well since then, I’ve definitely hit my middle-age. We’ve published some of the best darn flash fiction of the crime variety we could find, at a pretty steady clip.

Since then Shotgun Honey has changed, grown, shrunk, and grown again.

Kent and Sabrina now have emeritus status, along with Chad Rohrbacher, Christopher Irvin, Joe Myers, Erik Arneson. The flashzine portion of Shotgun Honey is stalwartly guarded by current editors Jen Conley, Angel Luis Colón, and Nick Kolakowski. And for a while we even had Craig McNeely pinch hitting. These folks have helped give voice to 100s of author telling short stories in under 700 words.

To me, Shotgun Honey was created to give writers a voice and a venue in an overwhelming community of writers of crime, noir, and hard-boiled fiction. Short fiction builds the foundation of longer fiction. Teaches the fundamentals of story telling. If you can tell a story with a beginning, middle and end in under 700 words, there’s no reason you aren’t able to tackle longer short stories, novellas and even novels. Venues like Shotgun Honey build craft.

The benefit of being the managing editor, now publisher, of Shotgun Honey for the last 5 years is that I get to see writers build their craft, grow as writers, and make those big leaps.

December-Boys-high-res-copyThis week on my nightstand I have a copy of DECEMBER BOYS by Joe Clifford. My experience with Joe started with his first story on Shotgun Honey, “One Good Reason”. Since then he’s been a powerhouse, releasing a short story collection titled CHOICE CUTS, writing his memoir JUNKIE LOVE, followed by the over-the-top WAKE THE UNDERTAKER, to the first Jay Porter novel LAMENTATION. He was also editor for our insidious rival Out of the Gutter’s The Flash Fiction Offensive, not to mention one of the editors of TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLANDCrime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen.

DECEMBER BOYS is the follow up to LAMENTATION, and only being halfway through, it is already one of the best follow ups I’ve read. Still recovering from the events of LAMENTATION, Jay Porter is determined to derail his attempts at being a good father and husband, and even salvageable employee, as he is lured into yet another conspiracy. I don’t know how it turns out yet, but at least Jay has that bald co-worker named Ron to cheer him on.

I highly recommend you get both books in the series. LAMENTATION is only 99 cents for digital. I have it under good authority that there’s a book three in the works.

shotindetroit-patriciaabbottNot in my collection yet, but released this week from Polis Books is SHOT IN DETROIT by Patti Abbott. This is a sophomore novel release from one of my most admired Shotgun Honey alums. Patti has been a marvelous supporter and contributor, having contributed both flash fiction for the site and short stories for each of our anthologies. Last year saw her debut novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, which was fantastic. Patti had two previous collections with Snubnose Press, MONKEY JUSTICE and HOME INVASION.

Texas-Hold-Your-Queens-Front-Cover-largeWhile you’re putting all these books on your reading list, please consider our newest release TEXAS, HOLD YOUR QUEENS by Marie S. Crosswell.

I was first introduced to Marie S. Crosswell with her submission to SHOTGUN HONEY PRESENTS: LOCKED AND LOADED (Both Barrels Vol3) with “Predators,” a story of female private detective helping the police infiltrate a sex-trafficking outfit in LA. Shortly after that, TEXAS, HOLD YOUR QUEENS was submitted for our novella line. A very similar themed story featuring a pair of female detectives in south Texas, Mason Page and Farrah Tyler, working find the killer of a supposed illegal working girl found near the Mexican border. As leads are found and choices are made, the real story unfurls. Choices are made and consequences are had.

And while you’re waiting to pick up these great books, don’t forget to read this weeks flash fiction: “Hongdai: 4:23 am” by Aaron Fox-Lerner and “A Better Job” by Charles R. Rutledge.

Until next week, I’ll be dodging bullets and reading adventures.

 


2015 Merry Bookmas

With only days to the big gift giving event known to many as Christmas, you’ll see or have seen a lot of best of and recommended 2015 book lists. This is in general a nice nod to those who have given you a little literary enjoyment in the chaos of life. Book people love to read, and there isn’t a better gift (other than a winning lotto ticket) that they appreciate more. I know I’m thrilled my stockings will be filled with books this year.

I had wanted to pool the recommendations of my editors and close contributors to compile a 2015 Merry Bookmas list, but things have been crazy in the Earl of Rontown‘s life, and so I offer my meager opines on the books I’ve enjoyed in 2015.