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  • Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.


    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder

    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton


    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar

« Surf City Acid Drop:Three | Main | Surf City Acid Drop: Two »

Why Luke? Why Now?

So who is this Luke Fischer guy?

I found myself in-between novels - and agentless. Sounds like the start of cheesy book.

Ok - I'll offer some full disclosure here, as a writer I have often felt: always the bridesmaid never the bride, or maybe Cinderella in the ashes might fit too. My work has been well-received by a lot of people - even strangers! Sure, I love when friends and family read my stuff but I always feel they are just being nice (note: just quit it. I prefer the straight goods. Always.) But people I've never even met seem to like my stuff - go figure.

So, I had an agent, he was amazing in getting my first novel in front of some of the top editors - this included Neil Gaiman's editor at William Morrow. I need to pause and let that sentence soak in for a bit. 

Of course, the story goes that while lots of editors loved the book, and said great things about the writing, well... you can guess what was said. In the meantime, I continued to write short fiction, published some, wrote another novel, gathered some rejections, and blah, blah, blah, do what writers do. (My daughter has this saying: you do you.)

Maybe in another post, I'll go into the agent saga - suffice to say that over the years I've been lucky to have a fair amount of agent interest. My first agent, sadly, died this past Feb. He was no longer repping me - we parted very congenially, when we both realized I wasn't writing the books he thought he could sell. As well, it looked like I was going to get representation from someone in my home and native land for my second novel.

In the perpetual wait mode, I kept asking the eternal writer question: why do I write? 

This question (which I am still trying to answer) led to: what do I want to write? Now, I had been writing literary fiction (a lot of my short stories, and my second novel), crime-fiction, with a dose of slipstream (which back in the day we called Magic Realism) (see: Correction Line.) One day, or maybe night, I can't recall, I thought, why not write a novel that felt like those great neo-noir movies from the 70's that I love so much.

I'd always danced a bit around the straight ahead detective novel - even though there were a few that I didn't just love, but they influenced my work in peripheral ways (see: The Last Good Kiss by Crumley, and The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale - or any of his Hap and Leonard books - soon to be a TV series). Still, why didn't I just write one of those? Straight up.

So I gave it a shot, sorta half-thinking, I'll probably run out of steam and go back to writing my man vs. the human condition stuff (is that a summary of lit fiction? Maybe.) But as I wrote, I really really dug what I was writing - and this guy, this detective who really didn't want to be a detective, he started really coming off the page. I hate that writer cliche, and I hate that I just wrote it - but damned if it isn't true sometimes.

Less than a year later, I had a novel. It was both the quickest I had ever written a novel, and maybe the most fun I'd ever had writing one. Ahh, so this is why I write.

Well, if you are a writer, you know what happened next. Lots of love and interest - but ultimately rejection. The main reason: no one reads noir anymore. Really? Why didn't someone tell me?

Flash forward another year or so (time blurs between books) - and I have another book out there. And I am in wait mode again (some significant interest... again). Waiting is hard. So fucking hard. And I think I hit a slump, not so much a writer's block, as a return to that eternal writer question. On my computer sat this full blown novel that I remembered as a helluva lot of fun. So much fun, that I'd love other people to read it and see if they liked it, and if they liked this guy who hung out in Mexico, drank beer, listened to Surf Rock and got hired to find people.

My blog, this blog, had been pretty dormant. I decided to kickstart my writer brain by releasing the novel in chapters - not truly serial fiction, as I wasn't writing it week by week (I've done that, and it is both fun and grueling. See: Bent Highway.) A friend on twitter said, you're not going to give the whole thing away... are you? For free?

In truth, yes I am. Why? Well, it probably lies in one of the answers to the question. I write to create, and I'd really like to share that creation. So yeah, writers write to be read. It's true.

I hope you have as much fun reading Surf City Acid Drop as I did writing it. Please drop me a comment, or a tweet, or a telegram, to let me know what you think. And trust me, I want the straight goods.

Lastly, releasing this novel did just what I wanted - it made me want to write another Luke Fischer novel - which I am doing right now.

Surf's up.


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