Mouth Human officially has its first review (I don’t expect many for a limited edition chapbook). Much thanks to the Miramichi Reader, a New Brunswick-based book-review blog.
Lee D. Thompson
What is your latest release and what genre is it?Mouth Human Must Die -literary fiction
Quick description: The book itself is a limited edition with Frog Hollow Press, who specialize in chapbooks, broadsheets – fine printing, if you will. Lovely design, great paper. The story – all 7500 words of it – is narrated by Lester, a man with a mental illness. It chronicles a few days of his life and his interactions with Dr. Shabazz, a psychologist, and Lara, a Slow Loris at the nearby zoo.
I’m from Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada) and have been publishing fiction for 18 years. I’m far too involved with literary things, from having run the provincial writers’ federation to organizing a reader series and editing a literary journal called Galleon. I’m also a freelance editor. And a songwriter/guitarist.
Here’s a review published in The Miramichi Reader
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The books have arrived and are lovingly designed by Caryl Wyse Peters with a haunting Dave Skyrie cover. The story is as slant as anything I’ve written: Lester, the narrator, isn’t to be trusted. And that’s the thing about these Shabazz stories – the central characters aren’t well. It’s also the challenge – how to depict a mind in chaos, unhinged, yet make it believable.
So far four of the these stories have been written, with the fifth just underway.
Anyway. There are two ways to get copies before they’re all gone (125 were printed) – through me, or through the publisher.
Publication date for “Mouth Human Must Die” is likely around mid January, which means in fewer than two months the story will have gone from accepted to published. It’s been proofed, approved, and only the printing remains. I can’t stress … Continue reading
Been a busy, exciting summer, but mostly for non literary reasons. I’ve travelled, edited, designed, written some book reviews, and fallen in love (excitement quotient not in that order).
But I do finally have some publication news, as my long story “Mouth Human Must Die” will be printed by wonderful Victoria BC publisher Frog Hollow Press in a limited edition of 125 copies. This is the second in their revived New Brunswick chapbook series (after Nancy Bauer) and is edited by Shane Neilson, who asked to see some of my fiction for the series. Shane is a tremendous champion of New Brunswick authors.
The cover art will be done by Dave Skyrie.
I wrote much of the story while at the Banff Writers Studio in 2014, and it’s the second of these long “Shabazz” stories (Canada Council & ARTSNB funded!) to see publication. It’s a challenge to find someone willing to publish 10,000 words of short fiction.
The first of these stories to appear? Here.
A blog post! That must mean something worth sharing has happened, or that I have some time on my hands (laugh, please). It’s a happening, and more momentous than any M. Night Shyamalan flop. Sixteen months ago I wrote a blog post – Apply Yourself, Young Man – chronicling a new project and my hopeful grant application. I had a good feeling. Well, that was all a bit rushed, my application was a mess and no surprise it was not successful. But. Yes, there’s a but.
And you know, I thought I would have finished the project by now, but in those 16 months I’ve written only three of the stories (nearly 30,000 words, mind you). A writer friend with a day job asked, “But does money really help you write?” Oh yes, it does. For one, you can relax. For two, you can relax the next day, and the day after. And by relax I mean not worry, because for me, at least, worry is what gnaws through the cord that lights any stick of creative dynamite.
So yes, this time the Canada Council came through. I resisted opening the envelope for five days. Please don’t ask for an explanation of my behaviour, though if you do want to psychoanalyze me I suggest you buy my book of dreams. But please don’t judge me. Anyway, a friend, a fine, fine writer friend with an amazing book of short fiction coming out this spring, a friend who was also grant-positive, said, when I explained the virgin envelope, the size, shape, colour and smell of it, “Open the goddamn envelope!”
Thank you, jury. I shall write, and write well.
There’s a nice review of my story “A Survivor’s Guide to Engine Failure at 35,000 Feet” on Jerrod Edson’s site right here. Jerrod is a fellow New Brunswick author temporarily banished to Ontario (but he’s NB through and through, don’t forget it). From his review:
“Warwick’s voice is manic, yet altogether alive and authentic (imagine a Hunter S. Thompson / Barney Panofsky offspring and you’re headed in the right direction). His memories of the crash are honest and raw, and utterly void of any writerly bullshit”
Edson has a new novel coming out this spring. Watch for “The Moon is Real” with Urban Farmhouse Press.
While I wasn’t overly productive last year, churning out perhaps 15,000 words of fiction, which hardly deserves the word ‘churning’ but perhaps ‘scraping’, I did produce a couple of things I quite like.
This story came out of a title, which itself seemed to come from thin air while crafting a grant proposal. There are times when everything comes together and writing a story is a joy, or a toy, and nothing makes me happier than the chance to play around a little. This was one of those times.
I knew watching endless episodes of air crash investigations would pay off. (Certainly made flying to Elba and Banff and Spain much more exciting.)
So here is “A Survivor’s Guide to Engine Failure at 35,000 Feet.” It is the second of my Shabazz stories, a story of a flight gone wrong, a bit of jungle survival and a man in need of much therapy.
Many thanks to Numéro Cinq head everything Douglas Glover.
As mentioned in the preface to the linked interview (see below), Jeff Bursey and I met through Joseph McElroy in 2010 when Jeff was looking to get word out about his first novel, Verbatim: A Novel. Jeff lived just two hours away but in terms of kindred interests, he was right next door. We have become good friends since. He’s the only person I’ve met (face to face) who has also read McElroy’s massive Women and Men.
The interview, focussing on Jeff’s second book, Mirrors on which dust has fallen, is up at The Winnipeg Review, another terrific resource (a la Numero Cinq) for all things literary.
Read it here.
I started the year thinking I would have my Shabazz collection (80,000 words) complete by December, or at least nearing completion. The idea was to write a long story each month/six weeks, and when I did sit and write it … Continue reading