In 2001, Stephen King chose my short story Jumper as the winner of the On Writingcontest. The story – described by King as “raw, punky, and genuinely surprising” – was published in the UK paperback and eBook editions of King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. As part of the prize, in 2002 I was lucky enough to travel to NYC for an audience with The King, where, over lunch, we debated the merits of slow versus fast zombies.
After winning the On Writing contest, despite King advising me to “write a f****ing novel,” I turned my hand to screenwriting. Though I enjoyed some success – several of my feature film scripts were optioned – nothing I wrote ever made it to the screen, and I returned to writing prose fiction.
After selling short stories to Nightmare Magazine, One Buck Horror, Horror Library 5, and Mythic Delirium – to name just a few – Comet Press has published my debut book, Black Cat Mojo. A collection of three novellas, plus one bonus short story, Black Cat Mojo is a madcap mix of creature horror, gross-out humour, dark crime and blacker comedy. I like to think of it as the bastard offspring of Stephen King, Joe Lansdale, and Elmore Leonard.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect:
“OF BADGERS & PORN DWARFS”
To pay back a gambling debt and avoid being castrated, washed-up dwarf porn star Rummy Rumsfeld (star of Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Up Your Ass We Go) must overcome a geriatric pederast, redneck pornographers, a morbidly obese nymphomaniac with serious personal hygiene issues, the ghost of his religious zealot mother, a dwarf-eating badger, and George Lucas.
“JESUS IN A DOG’S ASS”
Dumbass desperadoes Hootie and Poke incur the wrath of a trailer trash church group, not to mention God, when they dog-nap a Jack Russell terrier with the image of Jesus Christ in its butt.
“FRANK, THE SNAKE, & THE SNAKE”
After testifying against notorious mob boss ‘Snake’ Cobretti, embittered ex-wiseguy Frank ‘The Tin Man’ Piscopo emerges from Witness Protection to embark on a disastrous drug deal that leaves him fighting for his life against a giant Burmese python with a taste for Italian-American.
“THE MAD BUTCHER OF PLAINFIELD’S CHARIOT OF DEATH” (Bonus short)
Seedy carny barker Bunny Gibbons buys serial killer Ed Gein’s car with plans to exhibit the infamous ‘Ghoul Mobile’ for profit…but ends up buying more than he bargained for.
Advance reviews for the book have been great.
Walt Hicks for Hellnotes writes: “It’s almost as if someone smashed Dashiell Hammett’s seamless noir patter, Elmore Leonard’s pitch-perfect ear for hapless characters, Quentin Tarantino’s sardonic sense of irony and Clive Barker’s unflinching portrayal of sexual pain/pleasure into a blender, mixing in a heaping helping of Stephen King’s pop culture mise-en-scene framing. Howe bobs and weaves, pulling it all together in a denouement that is as satisfying as it is completely unexpected.”
Author David James Keaton writes: “Like tuning in to Irvine Welsh’s Animal Planet, Adam Howe has conjured up something pulpy and hysterical here… A book best consumed on the subway in a paper bag.”
And S.R. Mastrantone says: “Bizarro pulp of the highest quality, Adam Howe writes like Chandler on mescaline – a mind-altering read.”
I hope readers will give the book a shot, and enjoy reading these stories as much as I did writing them. If you do, drop me a line at my Twitter and let me know. And look out for my follow-up book, a Southern Gothic nightmare called Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, due for publication in October ‘15. That one is Jack Ketchum/Richard Laymon DARK. Faint hearts need not apply…
Article by Adam Howe
Adam Howe is a British writer of fiction and screenplays. He lives in Greater London with his partner and their hellhound, Gino. His short fiction has been published in various magazines. Black Cat Mojo is available NOW in eBook and paperback, published by Comet Press. Tweet him @Adam_G_Howe.
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