Wednesday, 28 October 2015

An Origin Story

Anyone who has read my book White Mexicans (I’ve been reliably informed there are at least three people) will have read the short story Heroes of Hollywood Boulevard and have gotten an insight into my love of all things cape, mask, and underpants outside of trouser-related.

Since writing that short, almost two years ago, I’ve been working on an expanded narrative that builds on the mess that Stu Hogan and co have made of their lives.  It has launched with Kindle Scout and is now available to vote for [here].  What does voting for HoHB mean?  Well, for one a five year deal with Amazon’s publishing wing and a $1500 advance.  The other (and probably less interesting) is my undying appreciation.

Long before my first trip to Los Angeles where I witnessed a bout of fisty-cuffs between Batman and Spongebob Squarepants, before Superman was carted off by the five-0 the foundations of Heroes of Hollywood Boulevard were laid.  As a kid I had a Spider-Man bike, Superman figures and just about Batman everything.  When I played with them I told stories, but it wasn’t the stories you’d find between the pages of DC and Marvel.  They were altogether different tales that just so happened to feature the Gamma green giant Hulk, the Caped Crusader and Web-Head.

Years later I wouldn’t even recall them, but they were there… waiting.  Then on a trip to LA I found myself leaning towards the Boulevard and the stories these men and women dressed in the cloth of legends had to tell.  For the most part their stories were that of the origins of the American Dream – they were fighting over territory.  Smaller than States, certainly, but all the same they were willing to go toe-to-toe with one another over a patch of concrete that could make or break rent day.  It was in that instant that I knew I wanted to write “something” about these heroes of Hollywood Boulevard… but what?  My first thought was their story, but after reaching out to a couple of performers it became apparent that help would be un-forthcoming unless I was able to shake loose a few greenbacks.

Back at the drawing board their single biggest truth kept ringing in my mind.  All the on-street conflict boiled down to territory.  Public land as private property; the idea that to occupy is to own and that it was the ownership of a particular section of street that was the difference between feeding their kids and not.

It is that truth, even now after countless tweaks, changes and revisions that appears on every page of the final novel.  In addition to that, two DC-Marvel crossover covers were kept at the forefront of my mind while writing.  Both are from 1981 (the year I was born), with the Batman vs Incredible Hulk book released in September of that year, the very month I was born.

Previously, I have found myself writing about incredibly personal issues.  Things that, to this day, make it uncomfortable to know someone I know has picked up a copy of Lost Angeles or Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l] but in many ways Heroes of Hollywood Boulevard is the most personal read of them all, as it has been forming for as long as I’ve been able to hold an action figure or turn a comic page.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

This Lit is Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

To celebrate their first full year of short stories, Literally Stories are releasing Literally Stories – The Anthology on November, 16th 2015.  Proceeds from the sale of this collection of short stories will go to help Book Bus, a UK based children’s literacy project operating largely in EcuadorMalawi and Zambia.

Three of my own short stories from the recently published White Mexicans will be carried within the LS pages; The Greatest Cock That Ever Lived!Ultra-Belfast and Joey Schaff (aka Genes & Seafood).

To learn more about the amazing work that Book Bus do click [here].
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