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Last Chance Books: Paperbacks Leaving June 2019

We pride ourselves on bringing readers the most unusual, interesting, fun-to-read books that we can find. And this means that we push boundaries and take lots of risks in what we publish. It also means that from time to time we have to say goodbye to good books that for one reason or another are no longer connecting with readers. The following titles are going out of print due to underperforming sales. The paperback editions of the following works will be removed from distribution and rights returned to the authors as of June 30, 2019. It has been a pleasure sharing these books with our readers. This is your last chance for these editions, so please be sure to check them out!

The Mondo Vixen Massacre by Jamie Grefe
Elephant Vice by Chris Meekings
Rainbows Suck by Madeleine Swann
Her Fingers by Tamara Romero
Carnageland by David Barbee
Grambo by Dustin Reade
The Crud Masters by Justin Grimbol
Lepers and Mannequins by Eric Beeny
Avoiding Mortimer by J.W. Wargo
Placenta of Love by Spike Marlowe
Naked Metamorphosis by Eric Mays
The Egg Said Nothing by Caris O’Malley
A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space by S.D. Foster
Seven Seagulls for a Single Nipple by Troy Chambers
Human Furniture and the Quest for the Perfect Woman by Devora Gray
Lazy Fascist Double #1 Messes of Men/Lemon Heart by Michael J. Seidlinger and Matthew Revert
Sinister Miniatures by Kris Saknussemm
Fall Into Time by Douglas Lain
Wave of Mutilation by Douglas Lain
Metamorphosis Blues by Bruce Taylor
Devil in Kansas by David Ohle
Gil the Nihilist: A Sitcom by Sean Kilpatrick
A Plague of Wolves and Women by Riley Michael Parker
The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck
Eyeballs growing all over me… again by Tony Rauch
Some Things Are Better Left Unplugged by Vincent W. Sakowski
Misadventures in a Thumbnail Universe by Vincent W. Sakowski
Strangewood Tales edited by Jack Fischer

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Eraserhead’s #AWP19 Offsite Event Guide

#AWP19 has descended upon Portland bringing with it some of the greatest literary minds alive (including many authors we’ve published). The best bits of the conference are the fabulous offsite events. But there are so many that there is no possible way a person can attend them all! So, if you are trying to decide where to go and what to check out, here are my top picks for readings and events as well as a few other recommendations as a local Portlander.

Thursday 3/28/19

5pm: Witches in the Woods 
Sponsor: Ayuhuasca Publishing
Location: Secret Forest Books, 3561 SE Division
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
To celebrate conference weekend, Ayahuasca Publishing presents a very special offsite reading show: Witches in the Woods, hosted by Secret Forest Books! Featuring the talents of Hanna Tawater, Rios de la Luz, Katie Farris, and Lizz Huerta. There will also be tarot card readings available prior to and after the show. Join the coven and prepare for the ritual!

6pm: AWP Offsite Event: King Shot Press & Cameron Pierce Present
Sponsor: King Shot Press & Cameron Pierce 
Location: Rose City Book Pub, 1329 NE Fremont St.
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
Join us at Portland’s Rose City Book Pub (that’s right folks, a bookstore/pub!!) for a power hour of drinks and live performances:
Chris Campanioni, Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Cody Goodfellow, Alexandra Kostoulas, Aubrey Lenahan, Anatoly Molotkov, Sam Slaughter, Patrick Wensink

7pm: Offsite From the Edges
Sponsor: Corporeal Writing
Location: Corporeal Writing Center, Southwest 3rd Avenue 510
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
Join us for an offsite reading in downtown Portland. We’ll be hosting an unforgettable lineup of readers, including Garth Greenwell, Carmen Maria Machado, Terese Mailhort, Alexander Chee, and Lidia Yuknavitch.

7pm: The Stoner Babes Reading and Coloring Party
Sponsor: Katie Guinn
Location: The Stacks Coffee House, 1831 N. Killingsworth St
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
Come join us for The Stoner Babes Reading and coloring party part deux.
We have a wonderful group of writers reading pieces about empowerment. Bring your book, or get one night of. Color pages of beautiful humans while absorbing these majestic voices. I am absolutely over the moon to have these powerful and inspiring humans reading for us. We will be at The Stacks coffee house on Killingsworth in Madrona Hill (now incorporated into Overlook). It’s a new wonderful space filled with books! The beauties are: Pamela Santos, Desiree’ Wright, Rios De La Luz, Edee Lemonier, Carol Fischbach

10 pm: Future Tense + Spork Press = <3
Sponsor: Future Tense Books and Spork Press
Location: Rose City Book Pub, 1329 NE Fremont
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
(w/ Monica Drake, David Welch, Dorothy Chan, Felicity Fenton, Tatiana Ryckman, and Daniel Altenburg. Hosted by Kevin Sampsell and Drew Burk)

Friday 3/29/19

5pm: Forest Avenue Press Small Press Showcase
Sponsor: Forest Avenue Press 
Location: Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
Join Forest Avenue Press for a celebration of small presses! 10 small press authors from around the country–the world, even!–will be reading their poetry and prose.
Alex DiFrancesco, Tom DeMarchi, Wendy Fox, Casandra Lopez, D. Keali‘i MacKenzie, Ron Maclean, Angela Mitchell, Rheea Mukherjee, Liz Prato, Michael Shou-Yung Shum

7pm: Clash Books Offsite AWP Reading
Sponsor: Clash Books
Location: Eastside Delicatessen, 1109 S.E. Madison St.
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
CLASH Books gathers it’s finest writers for an extravaganza of literature on Friday, March 29th during the annual AWP lit festival in Portland, OR. Enjoy performances of poetry, fiction & nonfiction from some of the most exciting new & powerful voices on the scene. There will be books, there will be beer & there will be 6” sandwiches for $7. What more could you want! LET’S GET LIT
READERS: Brandi Homan, Anna Suarez, Monique Quintana, Jennifer Robin, Kim Vodicka, Lindsay Lerman, Francesco Levato, Chris Campanioni, Katy Michelle Quinn, Megan Coe, Autumn Christian, Shy Watson, Kevin Maloney, Noah Cicero, Kenning JP García, Damian Dressick, Devora Gray, Julia Laxer, Garrett Cook, Brian Alan Ellis, Leza Cantoral, Nathan Carson

8pm: Tin House AWP Partyyyyy
Sponsor: Tin House
Location: Holocene,
Cost: $5
Event URL: website
Join Portland publisher Tin House as they celebrate their 20th anniversary and welcome the literary conference to Rip City with an evening of poetry and dancing. Tin House Books authors Hanif Abrurraqib, Erica Dawson, Morgan Parker, and Tommy Pico will be reading from their latest collections, with DJ Mami Miami providing the after-reading dance party (until 1:00 a.m).

Saturday 3/30/19

7pm: Literaoke at AWP
Sponsor: Kaya Press, Asian American Writers Workshop, Kundiman, The Asian American Literary Review, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
Location: Chopsticks Karaoke Bar, 3390 NE Sandy Blvd
Cost: Free
Event URL: website
It’s time for another epic evening of singing, reading, and joy! Kaya Press, Kundiman, AAWW, AALR, and the Smithsonian APA Center are bringing together an amazing, diverse line-up of performers who will sing one minute of their favorite karaoke banger and then read from their own work. Don’t miss it!! Come for the performers, and stay after and perform your own favorite song!
FEATURING: Helene Achanzar, Camari Carter, Andrés Cerpa, Jee Koh, Amy Lam, Shayla Lawson, Mimi Lok, Angel Nafis, Teraya Parametha, Anastacia Renee, Juan Carlos Reyes, Hiram Sims, Sokunthary Svay, Adeeba Talukder, Esmé Weijun Wang, Yanyi

8pm: Nasty Vol. 2 Launch Party
Sponsor: King Shot Press
Location: My Father’s Place, 523 SE Grand Ave
Cost: Free
A night of bold readings from fierce women. Also, drinks and merch!
Live readings from: Tara Dublin, Kim Vodicka, Rocket, Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Rios de la Luz, Jennifer Robin, Leza Cantoral, Autumn Christian, Devora Gray, Violet LeVoit

Other events of interest:

Fri & Sat 5pm-10pm: Snack Fest
Sponsor: Not a literary event
Location: Portland Night Market, 100 SE Alder Street
Event URL: website
A food obsessed market with your favorite treats, drinks and things you never knew you needed. Free + all ages

Sunday 11am: Drag Queen Brunch 
Sponsor: Not a literary event
Location: Night Light Lounge, 2100 SE Clinton St, Portland
Event URL: website
The best brunch in Portland!
Every Sunday, join us at the Night Light Lounge for a morning of fresh mimosas, delicious food, and a rotating cast of Portland’s best Drag Queens.
Per OLCC regulations, all attendees must be over the age of 21.

Thur- Sun 11 am: Mad Hatter Tea Party
Sponsor: Not a literary event
Location: Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium, 12408 SW Broadway St, Beaverton
Cost: $40
The Tea Room will again be transformed into Wonderland with we are creating as wonderful menu to go with this theme. Tea will be served on the hour at community tables of 10, remember Alice sat with Strangers for Her tea Party, so we feel its all in the fun of the event for our guest to do so as well.
What to Expect: Community Tables, Hat/costume Contest, Table Games, Great food and A Amazing time!!

More local spots to visit:

Powell’s Books
The World’s Largest Independent Bookstore. If you are in town for AWP, this is a must!

Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
Another great shop specializing in used, rare, and vintage books.

Floating World Comics
One of the best comic book shops in town. Minutes away from AWP across the river. Check out The Willows by Nathan Carson and Sam Ford while you’re there!

Ground Kontrol
The West Coast’s premier classic arcade

Cosmic Monkey Comics
Another of our favorite comic book shops. Check for Eraserhead Press books in stock.

Glowing Greens Blacklight Miniature Golf
Super fun indoor blacklight mini golf!

Peculiarium
Novelty shop and outsider art gallery. One of the weirdest places in a town known for weirdness. Definitely worth a visit!

Food Carts!
They’re everywhere and they are awesome.

Enjoy the weekend! We hope to see you around. Feel free to hit me up if you want any other recommendations!

Love,
Rose O’Keefe, Publisher

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New Release: I’M NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TODAY by Brian Asman

Did someone say kaiju Kevin Smith? Yes, yes we did! Get ready for a fun adventure from the first in this year’s lineup of New Bizarro Author Series books, I’M NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TODAY by Brian Asman.

“Sometimes you stop by the convenience store for a slushy and the world just goes straight to hell, and takes you along with it. I haven’t had this much fun watching terrible stuff happen in a long time.” -Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels

A Bizarro fiction tribute to the Kevin Smith cult classic CLERKS.

After a killer surf session, Scot Kring stops into his local Fasmart for a delicious, icy Slushpuppy. But before he can leave, a homeless guy outside has a stroke and accidentally recites an ancient Latin phrase that summons a very hungry demon, who just so happens to look like filmmaker Kevin Smith.

Now Scot’s stuck in a time loop along with the other occupants of the convenience store who may or may not be demonically possessed and he’s fighting back with nothing but a fistful of greasy hot dogs and a souvenir Slushpuppy cup as the giant menacing kaiju Kevin Smith threatens to kill them all.

I’m Not Even Supposed to Be Here Today is a demon apocalypse comedy for the slacker generation.

Buy the paperback on Amazon now! Also available on kindle.

 

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What’s next for the Bizarro Writers Association?

As announced on January 28, 2019, I have stepped down as coordinator of the Bizarro Writers Association. I will no longer host BWA meetings at BizarroCon, in Portland, or online, and I will no longer be responsible for coordinating the activities of the BWA. What this means is that the BWA needs new leadership in order to continue. I urge that a new Bizarro Writers Association be formed and run by writers.

Up until now, the BWA was a loose affiliation of writers, artists, publishers and editors whose mission has been to increase awareness of the bizarro fiction genre. I started the group in 2007 on the Mondo Bizarro message board (for all of you old-timers who remember) as a place for us to discuss the business side of the industry away from the public conversations which included readers and fans. From there, we started meeting up in person at different conventions around the country to enhance our support of each other’s work and to coordinate ways of expanding the genre. Our first annual meeting happened at BizarroCon #1 in 2008. And here we are 12 years later.

But for all this time, the BWA was never really an official thing, it was just a group of people with a little skin in the game, getting together (usually over drinks) sharing our experiences and making plans that would benefit the genre and the work we were producing. Anyone with an interest in the business side of things was welcome to call themselves a member and I personally reached out to individual writers, other editors, publishers, and artists who I thought would enjoy participating. Our DIY ethos has always been, “If you want to see something happen, you make it happen, and you find people along the way who want to help you.” So that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. All of us.

And you know what? We’ve been successful. Yes! Over the years we have increased awareness of the bizarro fiction genre. Our group has coordinated hundreds of events. We have inspired BWA gatherings in other parts of the world. We have reviewed, blurbed, and promoted each other’s work. We have provided education and mentorship to one another. We have also created lasting friendships, supported each other during personal times of difficulty, and laid the groundwork for a strong supportive community.

So why is it time for a new BWA? Because it is best for the genre. The needs of the creators have changed, the demands on the leader have evolved, and I am no longer able to fulfill that role. My involvement has always been one of facilitator, note taker, listener, and planner. As a publisher, I was accustomed to coordinating authors and managing projects. Since most of the people involved in the beginning were authors I was publishing, it was natural for me to coordinate us. But as we have grown, that has changed. It no longer makes sense for the publisher of Eraserhead Press to be leading the Bizarro Writers Association. It creates conflicts of interest and limitations. I’ve been challenged with making decisions between what is best for my company and what is best for other businesses. When a writer has a problem with Eraserhead Press (or any other publisher) there is no one else to hold the publishers accountable. People who have problems with me or my staff have felt shut out of the whole community. And the genre suffers. What the genre needs now is a Bizarro Writers Association that is run by writers (instead of a publisher), a legitimate professional organization with real authority, an association created not just to promote the authors and the genre but to protect them as well. Which is why it is time for me to step out of the way and allow room for it to grow.

There are a lot of exciting possibilities for the Bizarro Writers Association and its impact on the future of the bizarro genre. I believe we would all benefit from an official non-profit organization of writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting bizarro fiction and the interests of those who write it.

If you agree that it is time to take this community to the next level, the first step towards making it happen is to officially elect a President of the Bizarro Writers Association. The person will be responsible for its new form and for incorporating and ushering in its new Board of Directors.

Next steps:

  1. We need to create a group discussion on how the voting process for the new President should be handled. It could be done through a Facebook poll or via email (either anonymously or publically). It could be done internally or be handled through a neutral third party. Also, we need to decide who is eligible to vote, who is eligible to run, and what the term limits should be.
  2. At least two candidates need to step forward. Each candidate should be allowed to give a statement to the community arguing why they are the right person for the job.

If you think you have what it takes to become BWA president, keep in mind this will be a very important job that requires a high level of commitment. You will be responsible for the growth of the bizarro fiction genre and inspiring our movement to action. We need someone with a lot of drive, someone not afraid of hard work who is willing to sacrifice both time and energy for the betterment of the community. If you are only interested in this role for egotistical reasons (such as thinking it would be a good credit on your author bio), then you’re not the right person for the job. The right person is prepared to direct and motivate a team, possesses excellent communication and strategic decision-making skills and is efficient with conflict management and problem-solving. This is going to be a demanding and challenging role that requires someone who really cares about the genre and the authors in the community. What matters is that you have a passion to see creators of bizarro fiction succeed. Be prepared for hard work. Be prepared to inspire. Be prepared to give your all for your community.

I have faith in all of you to make the right decisions. I believe that the right person will emerge and be ready to take the reins. Given the events of the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of you expressing your fear that this was going to spell the death of the genre. But I have to say, I personally believe this isn’t the end, this is just the beginning, and you are on the ground floor. If the right person steps forward, I believe the next twenty years will be even better than the last.

Rose O’Keefe
Publisher, Eraserhead Press

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OPEN LETTER TO THE BIZARRO FICTION COMMUNITY

Dear BizarroCon attendees and the entire bizarro fiction community,

This post is a follow-up to my facebook post of 1/24/19 addressing your recent feedback regarding BizarroCon 11 and elsewhere. I want to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and experiences both publicly and privately. I am dedicated to making BizarroCon, Eraserhead Press, and our online communities safe and comfortable for all. To that end, I’m announcing the following changes, in response to your concerns:

  • Effective immediately, I will step down as coordinator of the current Bizarro Writers Association, and encourage the formation of a new BWA to be run by writers.
  • Effective immediately, Jeff Burk has stepped down as Head Editor of Deadite Press and is no longer employed by Eraserhead Press.
  • Effective immediately, Chandler Morrison’s DEAD INSIDE has been removed from Deadite Press’s 2019 publication schedule, and the book contract has been canceled with all rights reverting to the author.
  • Effective February 28, 2019, G Arthur Brown’s KITTEN and GOD’S MEAN OLDER BROTHER will no longer be published by Eraserhead Press. The titles will be removed from distribution and all rights will revert to the author.

Going forward, I will also institute the following changes.

  • The creation of a BizarroCon Safety & Inclusion Committee.
  • Myself, the committee members, and the staff of Eraserhead Press will enroll in diversity, inclusion, equity, and crisis management training.
  • Revisions to the format of the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown.
  • The creation of new positions on the BizarroCon Planning Committee, and clarification for the roles and responsibilities of each position including the Book Nook Coordinator, Guest Liaison, Fundraising Director, Workshop Coordinator, Program Booklet Editor, Clean-up Crew, and other volunteer positions.
  • Creation of a Social Media Policy for Eraserhead Press which will outline best practices and standards for online conduct of our editors and authors.

On a personal note, I need to deeply apologize for things that have gone on in our community.

First, to the people who witnessed or heard about The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown performance at BizarroCon 11 and were hurt by it, and in particular to those of you who experienced PTSD responses, I’m so sorry. This should have never happened. The Showdown event is intended to be a fun, interactive, entertaining time and I deeply regret that didn’t happen this year.

To Lisa, Jennifer, Liv, Sauda, and Sam, thank you for your direct and insightful commentary about the performance. You helped me understand the seriousness of this offense. Autumn, thank you for your insights and useful feedback, as well. I’m so sorry to you all. I hope the changes we are making will make things better for all of us.

To Tiffany, I want to clarify I had no intention of maintaining a working relationship with the person who harassed you. I barred him from the convention and have had no contact with him. The reason I advised we not burn bridges with him was because I was trying to avoid creating a hostile competitor. I appreciate you calling me out over this. It revealed to me the conflict of interest in being a book publisher and also being in charge of determining appropriate action related to harassment. That responsibility will now reside with the Safety and Inclusion Committee. Also, I want to thank you for speaking out and being the person who urged us to create and implement the Anti-Harassment Policy at our events. Thank you for standing up against the misogyny and predatory behavior happening within our community. Your strength inspires me to be a better advocate for women. I have the utmost respect for you and I believe in what you are doing both as a writer and as an editor. You are one of my favorite people and I am sorry I hurt you.

To Constance, I wish I would have acted more swiftly and decisively when the time came to defend you. You and Rios helped me understand more things about how predatory behavior works online and what expectations there are for a person in my position. I am sorry for what you went through. Based on my conversations with the two of you, my tolerance for bad behavior from aggressors is diminished and my radar for creepers is more finely tuned.

To anyone (especially Raye, Nikki, and Jaime) who has complaints about the online conduct of any of the authors I publish, I sincerely apologize. I didn’t hold authors accountable for what they said on social media. I thought my only role was to hold authors accountable for the words I printed in their books. But I have reconsidered my position on this. As a publisher, I provide a platform to the voices I think deserve to be heard. I understand now social media is a part of that voice. It is ethically responsible to consider the behavior online and offline of the authors with whom I choose to share my platform.  And my expectations for respectful and responsible behavior online will be addressed through the Social Media Policy I am creating for Eraserhead Press.

To Gina, thank you for being there from the start. You were the first female author of bizarro fiction. Remember the early days when it was just us and one or two other women amongst all the men? You have always been an advocate for more diversity in the scene and have inspired so many of the writers who have emerged since the early 2000s. We still have work to do but I want to thank you for everything you have done to help us continue to improve.

To Laura, Mary, Querus, Lori, Erin, Sophia, Shailah, Jaclyn, Christine, Emma, Kelli, Liznel, Maria, Katy, Courtney, Reba, Liz, Molly, Amber, Tamara, Violet, Kirsten, Mona, Larissa, Heather, Leza, Christina, Cecily,  Helen, Hope, Melanie (all 3 of you), Erika, Zoe, Devora, Spike, Sonya, Melinda, Carrie, Andy, Kara, Amanda, Rebecca, Shanna,  Whitney, Sarah, Jessica, Jes, Deb, Teresa, Eliza, Alicia, Madeleine, Betty, Farah, Michelle, Melissa, Melinda, Misty, Amy, Monica, Anya, Lena, Tracy, Becca, Michele, Chrissy, Rachel, Gwen and all the other women who have come to BizarroCon or have been a part of the bizarro fiction community over the years. Thank you for showing up. The only way we will change this is for more women to get involved.

To any non-female identifying people who have felt harassed. I see you and I hear you. This issue is not limited to women. We are all in this together.

To allies, thank you. Thank you for your support and for calling out bad behavior. And I apologize to anyone who felt their voice was shut down. Thank you for loving bizarro fiction enough to speak out and help us become better.

I vow to do better. We have an exciting future ahead of us. I hope that in the middle of this we can all remember what we are fighting for. Our passion and creativity will sustain us but for our success to continue to grow, we have to keep growing as well.

I welcome the continued community feedback. If you have individual concerns, please share them with me via email at bizarrocon@gmail.com or publisher@eraserheadpress.com. This will ensure I see them promptly and respond in kind.

With love,
Rose O’Keefe
Publisher, Eraserhead Press
Director, BizarroCon

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New Release: SLEAZELAND by Cody Goodfellow

We are pleased to announce the release of one of our most anticipated titles of the year, SLEAZELAND by Cody Goodfellow!

“SLEAZELAND does something amazing: it gets L.A. right. Cody Goodfellow’s lacerating tour of the worst of Hollywood manages to be dark and bouncy, sharp and cuddly, all at the same time. Packed with movie references, TV series pitches and even a new religion, Goodfellow’s mysterious hero knows he’s a Background guy but somehow, in SLEAZELAND, ends up the romantic lead. Is that a Hollywood ending? No spoilers but as Goodfellow reminds us: “Stars aren’t born, they’re bent.” – Buzzy Jackson, author of The Inspirational Atheist and A Bad Woman Feeling Good

“Hardboiled and scrambled at the same time” – Podbean

Sleazeland front cover

From two-time Wonderland Book Award-winning author, Cody Goodfellow, described as “one of the best writers of our generation” by grandmaster of horror Brian Keene, and “the Ellroy of speculative fiction ” by acclaimed cult author Jeremy Robert Johnson, comes a novel of desperation and degradation in the city of mutilated dreams.

Loathe him or hate him, nothing can stop Charlie Parsons from living the Hollywood dream––not homelessness, not a shady agent who sends him on daily suicide missions, not even the combined might of the LAPD and the infamous Blood Eagle Security. With only a tattered tell-all bio of the most problematic child star in TV history for guidance, Parsons is going to get famous if he has to blow every studio mogul in town to make his dream come true.

But Charlie slides into a nightmare when he touches the bulging belly of a runaway pregnant woman with the unborn son of a cult-leader so powerful, thinking his name could give you cancer.

From the empty LA River to an eternal, interdimensional A-list party, Charlie is running for his life, crashing through twisted alternate Hollywoods where the religious right rules all and bloodthirsty studio execs hunt the homeless for sport. On a quest to save the proverbial damsel in distress, he’ll have to pitch a dozen shit-hot movie ideas, slay the dragons of his problematic past and somehow overcome the temptation of the most dangerous addiction in the dirty business of dreams––true, unselfish love.

SLEAZELAND is one of Cody Goodfellow’s absolute best works of bizarro fiction. A parable for the harsh realities of surviving in one of the filthiest industries on Earth.

BUY NOW


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How I Choose What to Publish on Eraserhead Press

Our open submissions period (April-June) has ended and now comes the fun part of reading through all of the manuscripts and deciding which of them to publish! It is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of the year for me. Because all of the choices that I make now will directly impact how I spend my time, energy, and money for the next year or two (I am selecting manuscripts for publication in 2019 and beyond), it’s vitally important that I make decisions that I can stay excited about.

In this video that I posted during our open call, I spoke to authors about our submission window and explained what I was looking for. I also shared a little information about how I decide what I want to publish. For this blog post, I thought I would expand on the topic a little and share a worksheet that I developed in order to help myself judge each submission.

If you are an author, maybe you are curious about my thought process as an editor/publisher, or if you also work in publishing, maybe this will be useful to you. If so, please let me know! Basically, it all boils down to how excited I get about the book and about the author, but it is fun for me to have quantifiable criteria, so here it is!

cropped-ehp-publishing-logo-smaller.png

Eraserhead Press
Submission Evaluation Worksheet

Title:
Author:
Word Count:
Logline:
Back Cover Description:

First Impressions:

Story:

  • What is this book about? (person, place, problem)
  • On a scale of 1-10 how interested am I in the concept?
  • Does the opening grab me?
  • On a scale of 1-10 what is the readability/level of engagement I have for this book?
  • Is the plot interesting and does it deliver on its promise?

Writing style:

  • Does this writer have an interesting voice?
  • What do I like best about the style?
  • Is the book well-crafted?
  • Are there any things about the writing that turn me off?
  • Is the style similar to anyone else? If yes, how does it differ?
  • What is the mood of this book?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how would I rate the technique/quality of the craft?
  • How much editing does this book require to be ready to publish?
  • Would I be willing to publish this book even if no changes are made to this draft?

Characters:

  • Who is the protagonist?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how interested am I in reading about the protagonist?
  • Is the dialog and character development interesting?
  • Are there other interesting characters? Who?

Originality:

  • How is this story unique?
  • What makes this story stand out to a bizarro fiction reader?
  • What are the themes of this book?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how would I rate the creativity/originality?
  • Is this similar to anything else I have read or published? How?

Visual elements:

  • What visual elements stand out about this book?
  • What ideas for cover art does it give me?

Audience:

  • Who is this book for?
  • Is there a specific person in my network I think would love this?
  • Why do people need this book?
  • What is the emotional impact of this book?

Author:

  • Am I already familiar with this author?
  • What is their brand?
  • Do they seem like a good fit for Eraserhead Press? Why? Why not?

Overall Assessment:

  • How happy am I with this manuscript overall?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how confident am I that I could sell this book to people?
  • Do I wish to accept or reject it?

Other comments:

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New Release: NEVERDAY by Carlton Mellick III

I am thrilled to announce NEVERDAY by Carlton Mellick III (and Happy Birthday, Carlton!). The very first thing that grabbed my attention about this book was its concept, as soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to read it. It is a Groundhog Day apocalyptic scenario, but instead of the same day repeating for just one person, everyone in the entire world is repeating the same day over and over. With this simple twist on a classic trope, Mellick weaves an intense and emotional tale of an entirely new culture. New laws are enforced,  a memory-based currency is put into place, and government programs assist in transitioning the newly “awakened.” This brilliant little story is for fans of the weird and mysterious, and by the end, you might learn a little something about what living in a world without any tomorrows can teach us about living for today.

For almost 20 years, Carlton Mellick III has been writing some of the strangest and most compelling novels the bizarro fiction genre has to offer. Described as one of the top 40 science-fiction writers under the age of 40 by The Guardian and “one of the most original novelists working today” by extreme horror legend Edward Lee. In his 57th book, Neverday, Mellick has created a dystopian horror tribute to time loop stories in the tradition of Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow and Happy Death Day.

Karl Lybeck has been repeating the same day over and over again, in a constant loop, for what feels like a thousand years. He’s been stuck in this endless cycle for so long that he doesn’t remember what his life was like before time stopped moving forward. He doesn’t remember his parents’ faces or what he used to do for a living. He doesn’t remember which president is currently in office or what city he lives in. The only reason he remembers his own name is because it’s printed on his Oregon State driver’s license.

He thought he was the only person trapped in this eternal hell until a woman named January appears in his backyard one morning, fleeing armed pursuers who claim to be with the police. She doesn’t know why today is exactly the same as yesterday. She doesn’t realize she’s trapped in the same loop that Karl’s been stuck within for so many centuries.

But it turns out that Karl and January aren’t alone. In fact, the majority of the population has been repeating the same day just as they have been. While Karl was hiding isolated in his suburban home, he didn’t realize that a new world was being built just outside of his door. Society has adapted to repeating the same day over and over again. New laws have been implemented. A new memory-based currency has been put into place.

Karl and January find themselves in a therapy group with other people who are having a difficult time dealing with their situation—from hospital patients with illnesses that will never be cured to parents who will never see their children grow up. But there’s something not quite right about those in charge of the new repeating government. They don’t understand why going into the neverday—that time period that only exists if you stay awake all night to avoid repetition—is considered the worst possible crime that anyone can commit.

With the help of others who share their suspicions that something is not quite right with their situation, Karl and January explore the neverday in search of answers. But what they discover could destroy the very fabric of their new society forever.

Available Now!

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New Release: FORTUNE BOX by Madeleine Swann

Happy June, everyone! We are pleased to announce the release of FORTUNE BOX by Madeleine Swann. I am personally in love with this collection of interconnected stories. It hits all the right notes for me when it comes to weird things happening to seemingly ordinary people. If you like Jan Svankmajer films or Edward Gorey books, this is for you! – Rose O’Keefe, Publisher
June Swann

No one knows where or what Tower Ltd Surprise Packages is or why it’s sending gifts to complete strangers across The City. All they know is that each package is the best thing that’s ever happened to them…or the worst.

In one box is a packet of seeds that allows you to grow your perfect date. In another there’s a cupcake that causes anyone who eats it to grow eyeballs all over their skin. There’s also a parcel with a mousetrap that turns all your enemies tiny. Or you could receive your autobiography, which when signed, makes your every thought famous. Or maybe even a key to a secret door that leads to another dimension where all your unfinished and abandoned projects exist. But with each package received comes both fortune and misfortune that will surely result in unexpected consequences.

Like a season of episodes from The Twilight Zone or Friday the 13th The Series, comes a collection of dark and humorous stories from the premier British female author of bizarro fiction.

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And connect with Madeleine Swann on YouTube to learn about the special giveaway she is offering:


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New Release: KINGDOM OF TEETH by The Sisters of Slaughter

From twin writing duo Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, better known as The Sisters of Slaughter, comes a bizarro fairytale for adults.  It is a gory, fast-paced, magical tale set in a fascinating world of decay.  We love this story for its weird world and unlikely hero. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Kingdom of Teeth Cover

Molarous is a secret kingdom in a land of myth and magic. Its citizens, the Hyperdontians, are a grotesque race of people whose teeth grow outside of their mouths and all over their bodies like beautiful skin-splitting tumors. But lately, the kingdom has been under attack by a vicious plague that devours the toothy subjects of Molarous whole, causing their once pearly-white armor to rot away to nothing. Their queen, Bicuspa, better known as the Tooth Fairy in our world, is desperate for a savior. By a twisted turn of fate, her wish is granted in the form of a dental school drop out by the name of Randy. He seems the unlikeliest of heroes, but can he defeat the tooth demon before it kills everyone in Molarous and steals the soul of every child on earth?

Mix the childhood myth of the Tooth Fairy with the gore and humor of Army of Darkness and you have a grotesque adventure tale that will leave your face aching and your heart spilling open.

Available in paperback and kindle May 1, 2018
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