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And life goes on …

Hey there. Who are you? Who am I?

Things have been a little crazy at the Casa de Phillips. I tore up my house. Took a week off work and was intent on improving the homestead. By the end of my reprise from work, I managed to get every bit of my office strewn across my house. I somehow went from straightening up and organizing my office to “man I really need to get rid of this wallpaper and it shouldn’t take more than a day.” A day? I place a curse on wallpaperers across the world. A pox on your families and future generations. Not really. I’d hate to have that kind of mojo power … unless it was beneficial to the world, and mostly to me. Anyway, I digress.

So I’ve had my home in practical ruins for a month. Not much getting done. I did manage to get the house in order, it’s just my office that is in ruins now, though the walls are paperless and Avalanche Blue. Some touch up left and then I can get the room together again. Let’s pray that happens this weekend.

Because of this ruin, I’ve not been motivated to do much work on the computer in the evenings. I work a little on the mess and then veg. Such is life.

It’s getting better though. I think.

I have been reading. Quite a lot of crime/noir fiction. Several Charlie Huston and Duane Swierczynski (man, I always have to hunt for the ‘c’ when typing his last name). This has had some influence on me. I’m going to shift priorities on projects and push Dimes For Dying featuring former Detective Charlie Novak to the top. Maybe revisiting Terminal later this year.

I’m going to publish Dimes For Dying free on my website after a couple three drafts, serialized over the course of about 20 weeks. Total length should be 60-70k words in length, broken down into fast paced segments posted three times a week. I may podcast it a week delayed, but really I’ll have to see how things roll. I really want to be in the business of writing and podcasting in my limited scope of experience is laborsome. So I have to give props to those who do serial podcasting.

Outside of Dimes For Dying, I will be writing several short stories in the same vein in the coming months and with luck they’ll appear in online zines and print publications. If not, it will be good practice.

I do have about 7 book reviews to write for 52Books, as it’s my only proof I’m actually staying on task. Those will pop up once the dust has settled at the home office.

Right now I’m reading I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. A quirky story about a 15 year old sociopath who fears he might become a serial killer.

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52Books: Sleepless by Charlie Huston

Read this book. Get a copy of Charlie Huston’s Sleepless and just read it.

I don’t have a long history with Charlie Huston. Before six month ago, I didn’t even know he was a writer. Had I still been an avid $200 a month comic junkie, I’m sure I would have come across the name well before now. But those days are gone.

How I discovered him isn’t important. I just know what I like. I like Charlie Huston. The man’s name even has a swagger that elicits thoughts of his preferred genre, Crime. Almost as if he’s a man in the know.

Read this book.

Sleepless is set in the now, a world so much like our own, I fear Huston might have a thumb on our future. Alter the timelines and choices made ever so slightly, I can believe the present as depicted in Sleepless, as lived by rookie LAPD officer Parker Haas.

In Parker’s world, one in ten are dying from prion based disease called Sleepless (SLP). Similar to Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), SLP prevents the infected from restorative REM sleep and the disease is 100% fatal. No cure exists, but there is a limited and government regulated drug called Dreamer that alleviates the symptoms reducing the suffering as SLP progresses to it’s final conclusion.

Parker, aside from being a rookie cop, is also a young husband and father, who’s wife suffers with SLP and suspects his daughter might as well. It is Parker’s job to work undercover as a drug dealer and ferret out a potential Dreamer black market. Because Parker is dedicated to the ideals of his job, when he finds a tangible link to what appears to be a gang slaying and is told to back down, proceeds with diligence regardless of the consequences.

Read the book.

Sleepless is told from multiple POV using Parker’s perspective told in first (a journal) and third person, as well as that of an aging hitman, Jasper, who becomes intertwined with Parker’s story.

This stand out novel by Charlie Huston is an engaging police procedural within a terrifying plausible science-fiction wrapper.

If you haven’t already made plans, go get the book and read it.

I’ve fallen behind my book a week target, so sometime this month I’ll double up a week with my 52 Reviews.

Currently reading Horns by Joe Hill. After that will either be Jonathan Maberry’s Dragon Factory or another Charlie Huston, The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death.

Learn more about Charlie Huston at his website: http://www.pulpnoir.com

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52Books: Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston

How I stumbled onto the name or the works of Charlie Huston, I can’t really say. It was a bit of happenstance. Possibly browsing the web, scouring through domain names (for a while finding and buying URLs was a habit) or possibly just following links from one author to another.

At any rate over the holidays I picked up three Charlie Huston books: Caught Stealing, Already Dead and The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. I chose to read Caught Stealing first based on follow up recommendations.

I was warned and I pass this on to you, that Charlie Huston writes writes in a unique first person style. It might take some getting used to, but it also really works.

Caught Stealing is the first of three novels in the Hank Thompson series.