The cover for my serial novel is COCKALICIOUS!

For those of you involved in my Patreon campaign (Patreon.com/SeanHoade) know that the next book coming to you is my serialized novel, Cal Longwood: Porn Star Detective. The first chapter is titled “Eleven Inches From Heaven,” and is essentially the “origin story” for my massively endowed noir sleuth.

Although I have had 5 books out now, I did the cover design for all of them myself. I had a wonderful artist draw the cover for my short-story collection Inappropriate Behavior according to my specifications, but other than that, it’s been all me and Photoshop.

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MINOR WRITER SEAN HOADE DIES AT 46, PROBABLY

“Death, where is thy stingOUCH!!!”
1 Chicagonthians 25:6-4

People, listen up: It would seem, according to the science of numerology, family curses, and my own magical thinking, that I will die sometime in the next 366 days. Yes, I am marked for death.

Hey, don’t cry. That doesn’t do anyone any good. Just quickly cycle through your denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance so you can move on with your life and read the rest of this blog.

You see, February 5 is my birthday. My FORTY-SIXTH birthday. This is an age fraught with danger in my experience. It could be a piano falling on my head, it could be a school bus driver distracted by a spitball running me over, it could be cleaning my plugged-in toaster with a fork. But mark my words: By February 4, 2016, it seems I will have shuffled off this mortal coil. I will be an ex-person.

The world will remember my beautiful plumage, though.

Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?

Writers who kicked the bucket at 46

First off, my theory is poetically sound. If I croak at the age of 46, I will be in the company of most of my literary heroes. It’s like age 27 for rock stars. To wit:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1890‒1937. One of the first Lovecraftians, H.P. created a body of work that follows an exponential curve where the X axis is time following his death—at 46—and the Y axis is popularity of his writing and his concepts. He died horribly of stomach cancer, but we all should be so lucky to have such an literary impact.

Albert Camus, 1913‒1960. The world-record holder for most cigarettes smoked in a disdainful manner, Camus was a hugely influential and controversial existentialist who wrote world-shaking essays, novels, short stories, and plays. His own existence came to an abrupt end—at 46—when he died, absurdly, in an automobile accident. Ah, c’est la mort!

Oscar Wilde, 1854‒1900. I am in love with the décadents of the late 19th century. Truth be told, I’m a bit obsessed with them. And had I been alive back in the day, I would have been (even more) obsessed with Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. [Note: That really was his real name.] While I am too rotund and bearded and bald to have been attractive to Wilde (as is the case with most humans, sigh), I think we could have had a great time sitting around and trading bons mots and drinking absinthe and shit. The brilliant wit died—at 46—after losing his health during a gaol term for falling in love.

(Note: Artist’s conception.)

David Foster Wallace, 1962‒2008. A brilliant story writer, a confounding novelist, a piercing laser beam of an essayist, and an accomplished amateur mathematician. DFW, despite sharing an acronym with one of the nation’s busiest airports, reached heights of literary fame that every writer dreams of when s/he decides to go for publication. Unfortunately, it was not enough for Wallace, who died—at 46—by his own hand.

Each of these men was a huge influence on not just my writing, but on my conception of what it means to live a literary life. My own natural timidity, not to mention the legal requirement that I work enough to pay child support, has kept me from living a fully literary life, but it isn’t for lack of strong and beautiful examples.

My family history

This is where it gets a bit spooky. I think there is evidence of this family curse in the Kabbalah of Melvin Schmeckelhof, a work currently little known due to its lack of existence. But in that book, I found that I would most likely buy the farm at 46. Check it:

  • My paternal grandfather died at 46. His middle child (my mom) was 21.
  • This year I will be 46. My middle child (my daughter) is 21.
  • Um … that’s it.

Convincing, non? It’s the circle of life, Simba, so give up now and become one with the grass or whatever the hell Mufasa was talking about. I was so stoned when I watched that movie, all I remember is hyenas disemboweling Jeremy Irons for some obscure reason.

Oh, right, that’s why.

Sean’s Magical Thinking™

This is, at least to me, the most damning evidence of all. I have sleep apnea so bad that I never, and I mean never, feel rested. I’m always drowsy, not to the point of being narcoleptic but definitely to the point of doing nothing except my job because after that I either go to sleep at home or sit on the couch and mumble to myself. It’s no way to live. Also, sleep apnea can kill you. Hence, I am doomed. (And I know there’s the CPAP machine, because I actually did use that for about six months in 2009‒2010. However, it gave me horrible headaches, made me feel intensely claustrophobic, and made me feel like I was in my brave final days hooked up to a goddamn intrusive life-support machine.)

Just look how well-rested I was.

Also, I have a job I enjoy, some small but wonderful publishing contracts, a lovely wife, my kids are all adults now, and I am a member of the community of Lovecraftians and Bizarro writers who accept me and love me as I am. It would be the most ironic time to die, hence the most likely time to die. (See Morissette, A.)

It’s not that I want to die, seriously

A death obsession is not the same as a death wish. I like life, even love it sometimes, despite my incredible fatigue and lethargy. I enjoy my literary relationships (which includes my wife, who reads so much she makes me look like I’m still learning the alphabets). I enjoy my family (from a safe distance). And I know there ain’t nuthin’ after death, so life is better than death in most cases (unless you find you’re a Kardashian or something).

Actually, let me amend that last statement. I don’t know there’s nothing after death—but I do feel very confident that if there is anything, it will be along the lines of the King In Yellow and utter, gibbering madness and excruciatingly painful torture.

Or maybe it won’t really have one goddamn thing
to do with the King In Yellow.

So what I’m saying is that I want to live. I WANT TO LIVE!!!

(Cue falling piano.)

About Sean Hoade!

Ehrmagerd, check this out, guys.

My diatribe about that Willy Wonka-esque factory of abused authors, Permuted Press, has brought my blog thousands of new views and dozens of new followers, all of whom woke up this morning taller and—although I know it scarcely seems possible—even more attractive than when they went to bed.

Brad-Pitt-smiling copy

Results totally typical.

Because of the burden I must take on now to keep my new followers entertained and also enlightened, I have been converting my award-winning (Note: not really) website, SeanHoade.com, over to the magic that is WordPress. I have completed by “About Me!” page, which honestly will change your life and win you lots of money if ever you are on Jeopardy! and your category is “Writers Who Flailed Futilely For Attention” or “Shit Heads,” in which the correct response will have words starting with S and H.

Please have a look and have your friends over to have a look and then sign everybody up like it’s a Tupperware party from Hell. At least the content will always stay fresh! (Note: not really.)

Check out About Sean Hoade!

And now for the thrilling conclusion: How I got pummeled by the pistoning prick of Permuted Press, Part 3

gwtwPart 2 of my series has received comments from critics around the globe!

    • “I’m going to buy some of Sean’s books and read them.” — Kevin Strange, amazeballs author of Strange Vs. Lovecraft, among other vastly entertaining works
    • “While Sean’s language may be provocative, his accounts have so far been the most in-depth and revealing over the Permuted issues.” — Jeff Burk, Bizarro fiction icon
    • “There are other fish in the seat.” — Author W.J. Lundy

fish

I assume this is what he was referring to.

There are a couple of more slights I would like to make against the soon-to-be-former publisher Permuted Press, and then I’ll share rainbows and sunshine and shit in telling you where I’m planning to go from here.

Final Gripe #1: Publicity

When I spoke to the owner of Permuted back in January, one of the things we discussed is why going with Permuted would be more advantageous to me as an author than self-publishing. I now know that this gentleman is the Permuted equivalent of the put-out-to-pasture Mister Bigweld in the movie Robots, but at the time, I didn’t realize his unfortunate irrelevance to the company. They apparently allowed him to say whatever he wanted to authors, possibly while wandering around the office doing the banana dance in his underwear, and it didn’t make any difference to the people running the business. They probably told visitors to the Press HQ that he was the janitor and that his unfortunate outbursts should be ignored.

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“Jim? Jim Henson? They told us you were DEAD!

As far as the day-to-day managers of Permuted were concerned, their Mister Bigweld could say I would be emperor of the moon. He could say I would marry his daughter and forge our business bond through blood. Hell, he could say that Permuted Press was committed to making a contract with them worthwhile due to the amount of publicity and promotion their authors’ books would receive.

Oh, wait, he did say that last one. And, as usual, it was not just wrong but bizarrely wrong, like answering the question of “What day is it?” with “That would be the ampersand.”

In the giddy days/weeks/months after signing the contract with PP, I didn’t even notice that I never saw an ad for Permuted Press books anywhere other than in their weekly email newsletter announcing the latest spate of books they were releasing that week. No follow-up, certainly no ad placement in print or in any other medium or even website that wasn’t PermutedPress.com. Now I see this. Now I get it. Right on time, just after the horse has gotten out, I realize that in Permuted’s shell game, there is no pea under any of the shells. Not only can the author not win in this game, but it’s literally impossible for the game to be won. Except by the (publishing) house, of course.

They do no publicity. They have stopped doing printed books. They do a cash grab whenever possible by fucking their authors with contracts chock-full of unethical business practices. They communicate bad news to their authors at 10 pm on the Friday night before a three-day holiday weekend. Permuted Press … I don’t even have the words anymore.

eat_shit_and_die_by_dante_gothic-d3g9ixv

Oh, wait, yes I do.

Final gripe #2 (the final final gripe): Pay not to play?

This one doesn’t affect me personally, but it was so close that dodging the bullet singed my hair and left my ear ringing. I have been told by trustworthy sources that if one’s Permuted book had already entered the POD phase (but was not yet released, so no books had actually been produced) could cancel their contracts if and only if they paid PP between $2,000 and $4,000 to compensate them for … what, exactly? Emailing a graphics file? Paying proofreaders and graphic artists and layout people? The whole thing is fishier than Abe Vigoda.

Abe

If you are old enough to get that joke, please check yourself into the nearest mortuary.

Basically, Permuted has held these writers’ books for ransom: You can keep your book with us, knowing we won’t support it, or you can pay us money not to publish it and we’ll allow you to go to another publisher. (Remember, Permuted has made it very clear that they are under no obligation whatsoever to actually publish any of their authors’ works; they merely have contracted for the option to do so, should it please their fancy.) This is not the work of an ethical publisher or even one that is likely to remain solvent.

Fare thee well, Permuted Press. You coulda had class. You coulda been a contender. You coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what you are, let’s face it: a bum.

on-the-waterfront-brando-charley-car3

“I also charged too much for my e-books.”

Where do we go now, sweet child o’ mine?

I ain’t gettin’ any younger, my eye doctor this week telling me that I have been “incurring nearsightedness” because of all the close-up work I do on computers and reading books and other things that make life worth living. My right eye is nearsighted, but my left eye makes the right one look like the Bionic Man’s. But, even though I will still be sloughing into decrepitude at a rapidly accelerating pace much like that senator in the first X-Men movie, I am a member of the amazing Lovecraftian community now, full of writers and readers and artists. I belong. So I shall continue writing, because this is who I am now.

After the ink was dry on the dissolution of my contract, I started sending out my books again, a bit sadder but a lot wiser. I have sent Deadtown Abbey to Mike Davis’ brand-new Lovecraft eZine Press imprint, and also have been invited to be a guest blogger on his site (which reaches 175,000 people, by the way). I don’t know if it will be accepted, but I am optimistic about its chances.
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“Dear Mr. Secretariat, thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your recent submission …”

I have sent Reviva Las Vegas! out to Severed Press, a great small horror press that the Powers That Be at Permuted never ceased to attack and insult. So, if for no other reason that Permuted hates them, I’m giving them a shot at publishing my book.

I got into the submitting mood and am now sending out my thriller novel, Ain’t That America, to a new and hot noir publisher; and my literary novel, Darwin’s Dreams, is headed to Prometheus Books. These all may pan out, or they may not. Either way, I’ll keep on truckin’. Permuted has not destroyed me. I shall keep on keeping on as long as I can.

Through this whole debacle, I have also been asked to contribute stories to a number of Lovecraftian and otherwise spooky book anthologies. Things are looking up. This has been an exhausting experience for both body and soul, but from the fertilizer of Permuted I will rise like a mighty dandelion. And then I shall shoot my spore things and take over the whole lawn. This, my old friends and new, is my destiny.

dandelion-and-birds

First the lawn AND THEN THE SKIES.

I’m really glad so many people have found my blog through this whole debacle, and I hope to entertain and enlighten all my new friends. I’m really glad to know you all. Please feel free to visit me at SeanHoade.com or on my Facebook page or drop me a line at hoadewriter@gmail.com!

Read Part 1: How I got anally violated by the thorny cock of Permuted Press, Part 1

Read Part 2: How I got rectally rogered by the barbed behemoth belonging to Permuted Press

It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, peeps: A tale of fail

Hubris! Ah, so pious and moral, even now! [Hoade] always thought he had all the answers. But he had none—nothing but clever ways to [write]! [Zombie books] … [stories about giant cysts] … and now, this. And his arrogance finally killed him!

— Marcus Fenix, Gears of War

Everybody fails sometimes.

Babe Ruth didn’t hit a home run every time he stepped up to the plate. NASA couldn’t get Apollo 13 onto the moon. J.K. Rowling wrote A Casual Vacancy. And Yours Truly wrote half of a bizarro novel.

Yes, Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls is now officially on the (s)crap pile. I was writing and writing, hitting good word count marks each day, trying to get the novella done by August 1st. The publisher even told me I could have until August 10th, which was quite nice of them.

They were so nice, in fact, that I found I could not continue the abomination that is the 17,000 words or so of Mexican Ninjas. It’s a classic case of following the advice of one’s publisher, agent, producer, or readers too exactly and ending up with a lifeless husk. (That’s redundant — few “husks” are alive, but just stay with me here.)

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I said husks. With an s.

My fail shall now be your joy as you see me completely undone by trying to shoehorn something that wasn’t organic into a container that was … um …fuck it, by me trying to do what wasn’t right for me. I think it has some good stuff in it, but it’s nothing I would feel overly comfortable asking people to pay money for.

So find it below, in all its half-done glory. I would REALLY love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments or by email or any way, really.

Onward to the books I’m being paid (eventually) to write!

     “What you want these for?” the fat butcher-san asked Claudio as he handed over the burlap sack, which already was starting to stain through from its juicy contents.
      “I like the taste.”
      “You like the taste?” the butcher sputtered. “These not from baby pigs, like what you people put in burrito or whatever. These from adult buta, they full of boar taint. Smell!”
      Claudio didn’t have to open the sack to detect the armpit-dirty-socks wave of stench emanating from the thirty pounds of pork testicles, but he did, just to show the man he knew what he was doing.
      “Not even inu eat boar taint. Not even starving dog!”

      Without arguing further, Claudio handed over the yen for his muy repugnante bag of cojones …

Click here to keep reading Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls

Which will arrive first: Jesus, the next Ice Age, or my Permuted Press books?

Oh, the sweet pain of irony. Ah, the sting of getting what you want but not in the way you had hoped to get it. Oy, the knowledge that your publisher undoubtedly knows much better than an author about release dates and such.

Yes, the release schedule for my Permuted Press novels has itself been released. And oh sweet baby Dagon, it is spread out over an excruciatingly long time. Have a look—it’s release date, title, and order in which the manuscript is due:

2/17/2015 Apocalypse Wow: Deadtown Abbey           1
10/27/2015 Reviva Las Vegas 1: Dead Man’s Hand           2
2/16/2016 Apocalypse Wow:
How To Train Your Dagon
          4
6/21/2016 World War Cthulhu 1: The Fear           3
7/19/2016 World War Cthulhu 2: The Faith           6
8/16/2016 World War Cthulhu 3: The Fight           9
12/20/2016 Reviva Las Vegas 2:
Pawn of the Dead
          5
2/7/2017 Apocalypse Wow: Dark Acres           7
12/19/2017 Reviva Las Vegas: Volume 3           8
7/2018 Exactly What Happened          10

skeleton-cobwebs-waiting

“Hey, Amazon has a site for buyers in Purgatory!”

You can see that 2016 is going to be packed with Hoadey fiction goodness, but LORD that seems like a long time away. I do really like that they’ve grouped the three World War Cthulhu books (which will not be using that title) over one summer so that interested parties can read them one after another. Very cool.

Not quite as cool (although making total sense in the publishing world, so I’m good) is the year between Reviva Las Vegas 1, 2, and 3. But that is a very common way to release books in a series, and makes even more sense for Reviva Las Vegas, since the books will be loosely tied together as a series but World War Cthulhu is all one story.

south-park-2-12

SPOILER ALERT.

The last of these books—Exactly What Happened, a standalone zombie story—won’t be out until July of 2018. Yes, four years from now. Of course, my schedule has me turning that one in at the end October 2016, so it’s not too insanely far away, but hell, I’m already frickin’ old as dirt, I want to LIVE to see all of these come out!

Alas and alack, that is how the business goes. I will be supplementing these novels with some bizarro work and maybe even other Lovecraftian books for other publishers. But all of that has to go on the back burner as I begin the first book of what we’re right now calling World War Cthulhu.

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Baby steps, people! Also baby crying!

My publisher would like me to add the following caveat: These publication dates are subject to change. Humph.

Allow me to explain my work in progress, Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls

Hello, stalwart readers. I have published a couple of books on my own–the thriller Ain’t That America, the literary-historical fantasy Darwin’s Dreams, and the outré whatever-the-opposite-of-a-success-is story collection, Inappropriate Behavior. Those of you without lives of your own may recall the book that was picked up by Permuted Press (motto: “Enjoy the Apocalypse”) and led to my 10-book contract with them, Deadtown Abbey.

But now we’ve gone beyond the mire of self-publishing and into the real thing, publication for money and all the attendant fame that comes with selling more than 45 copies of your work during your lifetime.

Empty conference room

At a reading, sometimes you want to allow an extra five minutes for any stragglers.

The first and second books for Permuted, Deadtown Abbey and the initial entry in the Reviva Las Vegas! trilogy, Dead Man’s Hand, have been delivered and should come out in early- to mid-2015. The next book due for my beloved publisher is the first volume of what I had initially called World War Cthulhu but now must call something else because there are already two books with that title out in the world. It must be delivered by the end of October 2014. No sweat!

sweat_395.1

Okay, maybe a little.

In any case, I have decided that, since Stephen King says, “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season,” I will spend three of the four months between the delivery dates of each book for the Permuted contract writing said book. (My first drafts don’t take three months, so I include my own editing and rewriting in that time.) That leaves me with a month to do what I want! As long as it doesn’t require any money! And what I want to do which doesn’t require any money is write a bizarro novel. Actually, since the maximum words the greatest bizarro publisher, Eraserhead Press, wants for its books is 30,000 words — these books are meant to be devoured like salted peanuts and are just as delicious — it’s more of a novella. There’s plenty of time to write, edit, and rewrite one of those in 31 days!

Mark-Twain-001

“Dafuq did you say?”

Actually, because bizarro books, while they can be just as erudite and well-constructed as any other fiction, are often times meant just to be a blast of entertaining prose, writing them can be the most fun an author can have. The main, even only, rule is: Be entertaining.

Not as easy as it sounds. In fact, I have learned that every part of writing a (good) bizarro novel isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because I worked with an editor at Eraserhead to help decide what story idea of the many that I had would be best suited for them, I was able to see his mind at work. Together we shaped a kind of nebulous idea I had about what happens when a macho gang member gets his testicles cut off into something that someone might actually, y’know, want to read.

My original title for this? Orchids Are Weeds. (See, because “orchids” are how cojones are scientifically referred to, and orchids are plants and “weeds” are plants people want to get rid of, right, so the “orchids” being removed comes to be seen as a good thing. BOOM: Orchids Are Weeds.) So literary, so deep! So not a title that would make even one person pick up this book!

isaac-newton

“I see, orchids for testes. How very droll. Yeah, think I’m gonna pass.”

So in trying to come up with ideas for a title, I mentioned that in the plot we had worked out (or that I had worked out by continually bombarding the poor man until he said yes just to make me stop) had a corps of “ninjas” who became obsessed with castrating people. Since literally any string of random letters would be a more marketable title than Orchids Are Weeds, we tossed some ideas back and forth like Castrating Ninjas Must Die and my editor’s favorite, Ninjas Ate My Balls. I liked the title because it was crazy fun, and then my editor reminded me–very sensibly, I might add–that if we went with this title there would have to be a scene in the book in which ninjas actually eat someone’s balls.

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The texture is like Spam, but with less hair.

So I started writing this book, this now-entertainingly titled Ninjas Ate My Balls, and found myself writing about a Latino man living in an unnamed but pretty obviously Japanese city that rhymes with “Oakio.” Then, as I wrote, this disconnect between cultures became more and more of the basis of the story. So ultimately I had to–had to–change the title to Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls. I love this title. It’s stupid and it’s funny and I think it makes you want to pick up the book and see what the hell is going on. Remember, Eraserhead Press is the home of Carlton Mellick III, the man who put bizarro on the map with books such as Satan BurgerThe Haunted Vagina, and Cuddly Holocaust. He has put out 44 books, all with psychotic premises that actually investigate the human condition as incisively as anything written by a New York Times bestselling author.

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He’s also less weird-looking than Joyce Carol Oates.

So, by the end of July (or maybe like August 2) the book will be ready to send off to my bizarro publisher for its debut at BizarroCon 2014 in November. Then I begin the Cthulhu novel. Let us pray.