Last week I received the kind of email just about every writer wants to get. I was told my fiction will be printed in book form and sold in stores across the land. Specifically, Todd Robinson and Kensington Books will be including my story, “Big Load of Trouble,” in Thuglit’s second-annual “best-of” anthology, “Sex, Thugs and Rock-n-Roll.”

hardcorehardboiledcover.jpgThis is a first for me, and I’m tickled. It doesn’t really matter that I’ll be paid a very modest sum, nor does it matter that the book won’t hit the shelves until spring of 2009 (yes, 2009). I just like the idea of my story being printed, bound and ultimately coming to rest on some stranger’s nightstand. I also keep imagining my little tale of horny gerbils, snooty intellectuals, paroled Raiders fans and tainted kiddie pools sitting directly below a bookstore sound system trumpeting classical music (the irony!).

But what I’m really excited about is the list of writers Thuglit has lined up for its anthologies. The first edition, “Hardcore Hardboiled,” due out this spring, will include fiction from a virtual who’s who of crime novelists — Ken Bruen, Victor Gischler, Duane Swierczynski, Sean Chercover and Charlie Stella, among others. That’s one badass crew, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the first edition (I’ll be in the second edition).

The funny thing is, half of “Big Load” came from the “cut file” of my novel. Don’t get me wrong, cutting it out of my novel was the right thing to do (it got in the way of the story). And yet I keep laughing at the fact that a slice of this problematic storyline, despised by literary agents and declared “offensive” by Stegner Fellows (again, for valid reasons in the context of my novel), is somehow getting anthologized in book form. Back then, who woulda thunk?

Certainly not me.