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So long 2008! Happy New Year!

Hey friends,

2008 wraps up with an extra “leap second” tonight. Just long enough for us to give it a quick kiss goodbye. It’s always fun at this time of year to reflect back and review what we’ve accomplished.

Eraserhead Press had a great 2008. We are grateful for all of the support from our loyal readers and the Bizarro community. It’s been a fun and productive year. We published 15 books by 9 different authors in 2008. We discovered six stellar new writers:
Jordan Krall
Andersen Prunty
Mykle Hansen
Tony Rauch
Daniel Scott Buck
Cameron Pierce

And published some of the best new work yet by Bizarro authors Kevin L. Donihe, Andre Duza and Carlton Mellick III. Exciting things are happening in Bizarro Fiction and 2009 should be the best year yet!

For now here’s a quick glance back at some of the events of 2008:

Carlton and I road tripped down to Salt Lake City for the World Horror Convention in March where we met up with Bizarro authors Andersen Prunty, Jordan Krall, Bradley Sands, Kevin L. Donihe, Gina Ranalli and Mitch Maraude

From WHC 2008

I went up to Evergreen College in Olympia Washington and participated in a panel on publishing in May and met up with Cameron Pierce.

Carlton went to Seattle for the Clarion West Workshop for six weeks in the middle of summer.

From Clarion West 2008

We attended the Locus Awards and met William Gibson and Neal Stephenson both authors whose work I have been a huge fan of for a long time.

From Clarion West 2008

Jeff Burk joined the Eraserhead staff and also became The Editor-in-Chief of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction.

From OryCon 2008

We attended the H.P. Lovecraft Filmfestival for the fourth time. The event is always a lot of fun. We shared a table with our friends from the Northwest Horror Professionals and made new friends with Andy Johnson of Cosmic Monkey Comics.

The First Annual BizarroCon was held at Edgefield in Troutdale, OR in November. This event brought together Bizarro writers from all over the United States. It was a four-day party which has spawned many great new collaborations and sparked new project ideas. We can’t wait for BizarroCon 2 to be held in October 2009.

Friday night at BizarroCon we served homebrewed Bizarro Beer for the book release party of Apeshit by Carlton Mellick III, The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck, Shark Hunting In Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce, and The Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere by Mykle Hansen

From BizarroCon2008

We started a children’s book imprint called Spunk Goblin. Spunk Goblin will be publishing dark, twisted children’s books for adults (or kids with open minded parents). Our first release on this imprint was The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck. It’s a beautiful, creepy, anti-war tale in the style of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton with beautiful illustrations by Evan B. Harris.

Eraserhead Press attended OryCon in Portland, OR for the first time. We partied with Klingons and made some new friends.

From OryCon 2008

We co-sponsored a book release party for the U.S. release of Steve Aylett’s comic The Caterer at Floating World Comics and had Bizarro authors Mykle Hansen, Carlton Mellick III, Daniel Scott Buck, and Jeremy Robert Johnson present performance art readings.

From Caterer Bizarro Release

Keep reading Bizarro fiction. We have lots of great plans for 2009!

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Surprise makes brains happy

Today on my weekly visit to Powell’s I bought a copy of Spunk & Bite: a writer’s guide to bold contemporary style by Arthur Plotnik. It’s a charming companion to Strunk & White that examines modern style and how to break the rules effectively. I recommend this book to writers that are seeking advice on how to punch up their fiction without creating a mess.

In one of the first chapters I found an interesting tidbit about the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s pleasure center. Research shows that unpredictable stimuli excites the nucleus accumbens, whereas expected stimuli elicit no response. Which basically means that the human brain enjoys surprise. No big revelation there. But it is useful for writers to keep in mind.

I am a huge supporter of the unpredictable. Bizarro fiction takes risks and sparks imagination. This fiction is scientifically proven to make your brain happy!

That said, check out the latest releases over on BizarroCentral.com

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The Kissing Bug and Zerostrata

This week is busy. I am working on editing The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck. This will be the first release on the new Eraserhead Press bizarro children’s book imprint Spunk Goblin. The book will include beautiful artwork by Evan B Harris . Here’s a preview of the cover:
The Kissing Bug

I’m also working on editing the forthcoming novel Zerostrata by Andersen Prunty. Andersen Prunty is one of my favorite new authors. His work appears in the Bizarro Starter Kit (blue) and his collection of flash fiction, The Overwhelming Urge, is available now on Bizarro Central .

I am having a lot of fun with these two books. I’ll be excited to share more as time goes on.

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BizarroCentral.com Car

My car is looking hot! Prior to our roadtrip to the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, I went to Michael’s and purchased 3″ tall white vinyl letters and Bizarro-ized my car. Check it out:

So, if you see me driving about Portland, Seattle, Idaho, Utah, or California please honk and wave. You never know, I may just stop and give you a book out of my trunk.

If you’re a fan of Bizarro, feel free to customize your car too! This project cost $5.

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The Dream People Issue #29

My favorite online zine The Dream People has published issue #29. Among other tasty tidbits you’ll find:

A short story by Cameron Pierce, whose first novel Shark Hunting In The Paradise Garden we’ll be releasing in October.

An excerpt from House of Houses by Kevin L. Donihe. This book is available now and just debuted at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City over the weekend.

A review of Piecemeal June the latest novella by Jordan Krall one of my favorite new Bizarro authors.

A review of Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell by Carlton Mellick III and Jeffrey Thomas which was recently released by Delirium Books imprint Corrosion Press.

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World Horror Convention 2008 Photos

Though I only took my camera out on one day of the World Horror Convention, I got some great shots of authors reading, including Andersen Prunty, Jordan Krall, Cody Goodfellow and Carlton Mellick III.

Friday night was the mass autograph signing. We had an entire Bizarro table with the above mentioned authors in addition to Bradley Sands, Gina Ranalli, and Kevin L. Donihe.

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Portland Literary Offensive (PLO)

Tomorrow will be the first official meeting of the Portland Literary Offensive. We are really excited about the formation of this group.

The PLO is a Portland writing community for serious writers of fringe/underground fiction who have joined forces to help each other out in every possible way. Some are new writers, trying to get their first book polished and published. Some are small press authors, trying to figure out ways to get the word out for their new book. Some are professional authors, looking for new ways to build their readership. Some are small press publishers, looking for new talent. Its primary function is to get people networking so we can become more organized, motivated, and inspired as a community. Current members are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Kristopher and Christine Young (of Another Sky Press), Daniel Scott Buck, Carlton Mellick III, Rose O’Keefe (of Eraserhead Press), Mykle Hansen, and Steve Libbey.