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Greg Bardsley

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novels

Add Dorst to the stack

I had a chance to see a Doug Dorst at Kepler’s Bookstore last week.

I got to know Dorst as one of his students in a fiction-writing course I took in 2003. Long story short, the former Stegner Fellow led a great class and later helped me with the novel I was completing. Along the way, I got to know a little more about Dorst. Apart from being a genuinely kindhearted and insightful guy, he’s also pretty damn multi-talented — he’s everything from a former lawyer to a three-time Jeopardy champion. So when I learned that his long-awaited novel, “Alive in Necropolis,” had been released by Three Rivers and was winning critical acclaim (The New York Times gave it a nice review, and Amazon named it one of their favorite books in July), I was thrilled for him. Seeing him read from “Alive” at Kepler’s was an added bonus.

Dorst takes some big chances with “Alive,” does some interesting things, and makes it work, according to the large number of writers championing the book. At Kepler’s, he read the opening section and hooked a few more writers, including me. I bought a copy and added it to my ever-growing stack of unread books authored by friends. If there’s ever a reason to be happy about losing the battle against your reading stack, this is it.

The Great Psychobilly Blog Road Trip of 2008: Day 2, Part 2

If my pronuncshun sounsh ah lil off today, maybe it’sh zshee shotgun barrl in my mouthsh. You see, my blog hash beensh highjacked by badash author Anthony Neil Smith, and I dont’sh dare doosh so mush ash twitchsh. Whish ish why I’m handin’ over the keysh to Chimishangash ash Shunshet right nowsh. ….

Guest Post from Anthony Neil Smith

Last stop: Swierczynski’s Secret Dead Blog

Wow. That was exhausting. And somewhere around Tulsa, we had to abandon the Big Red Truck for one of those tricked-out Hummer stretch-limo SUVs. Riding in style now. But when we get to Greg’s crib, thank god he’s waiting with Mexican beer and homemade guacamole. Whip together a pitcher of margarita’s, and damn, that’s a nice break before we get on the road again (stone cold sober, too. *Ahem.* thank god it’s all virtual).

Greg Bardsley sprung up seemingly full-formed from the dirt already with a boatload of stylized pulp stories just screaming to be published. And published they have been (you can find the list over to the right, including the two I accepted–“Upper Deck,” which is now one of my favorite short stories, like, ever, and “Funny Face,” which is just fucking hilarious). Hoping to see so much more from him, and I can only imagine what his novels will be like. He’s got this imagination like if Satan were stoned, and I’m glad he figured out how to tap into it.

And here’s the shameless self-promotion part: I bet Greg would like Yellow Medicine! and the more people who buy it (especially on Monday, May 12th, to be forever, or at least this week, known as Psychobilly Monday), then the more I can keep writing exactly the sort of books I want to, telling the stories I think you’d enjoy hearing. That’s the fun of it, too. I used to think if I had the chance, I would sell out in a second. But then I tried writing a sell-out script, then a sell-out novel, and then eventually I figured it out: I can’t make myself sell out. I just can’t. Maybe it’s my twisted little personality or something, but all I know is that when I sit down to write a sweet little scene full of subtlety and grace, I just get all shaky and sweaty and before you know it, someone’s lost a head, or an eye, or a testicle. Or they found out their wife’s been fucking the entire bench of a somewhat popular arena football league. Or that the doctor was lying about how long they had to live…it was a lot less…and the doctor’s the one who gave you the disease. See? I just can’t. I’m having too much fun writing about the stuff that scares me shitless. And as long as you’ll keep reading, I promise to keep trying my best.

And so Day Two comes to a close as we set our eyes an an even longer trip tomorrow–to pick up four “First Offenders” (makes em sound like virgins, but by now they’ve all offended plenty of times): Jeff Shelby, Lori Armstrong, Karen Olson, and Alison Gaylin.

Driving Time: This one might take a week.
Tune for the leg: “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc (Don’t ask. it just seemed to fit.)

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