Storey, Pruitt, Beetner & Arneson on Word Crimes Podcast

On the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast, the month of October has been all about writers named Erik. Or Eric. Or Eryk.

Erik Storey, Eryk Pruitt, Eric Beetner and I took turns reading each other’s short stories. If you haven’t had a chance to listen, here are all the stories in one place.

(You can also find them on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.)

Eryk Pruitt reads “Farewell from a Desert Rat” by Erik Storey (download):

Eric Beetner reads “Levee Camp Moan” by Eryk Pruitt (download):

Erik Arneson reads “Bleeding Out” by Eric Beetner (download):

Erik Storey reads “Three Cases Only a Desperate, Below-Average Private Investigator Would Take” by Erik Arneson (download):

Full episode notes can be found at the Title 18: Word Crimes Podcast website. I hope you enjoy the stories!

Close to the Boneyard – New Anthology

Close to the BoneyardCLOSE TO THE BONEYARD, a new anthology featuring stories from the website Near to the Knuckle, is now available.

My short story “Swing and a Miss,” which was published by Near to the Knuckle in 2012, is part of the collection along with stories by the likes of Eric Beetner, Paul D. Brazill, Joe Clifford, Bill Baber, and many more. It’s a great lineup.

“Swing and a Miss” is also available in Spanish.

Four Questions With… Eric Beetner

A Bouquet of BulletsThe first story I read by Eric Beetner was “Countdown” in the Spring 2010 issue of Needle: A Magazine of Noir. It’s a look at the life-changing (or -ending) impacts that can take place in a very short period of time. I enjoyed the story quite a bit, enough to buy his novella Dig Two Graves and his short story collection A Bouquet of Bullets (which has some seriously cool cover art, designed by Beetner himself, and includes “Countdown”).

Beetner’s also the author of the Fight Card novels Split Decision and A Mouth Full of Blood (writing as Jack Tunney) and co-author (with JB Kohl) of One Too Many Blows to the Head and Borrowed Trouble. And he’s a self-professed film noir nerd and the father of two.

Tomorrow, his latest novel — The Devil Doesn’t Want Me — will be released by Guilt Edged Mysteries, the newly revived Dutton imprint, as an e-book original. I pre-ordered mine weeks ago.

Eric graciously agreed to be the first guest for a feature I’m planning to make a staple here on Title 18, Four Questions With…

The Devil Doesn’t Want Me tells the story of Lars, a hitman who’s been searching for his would-be victim for almost two decades but loses his desire to complete the job. What attracted you to the theme of how time changes people?

The Devil Doesn't Want MeI was nervous about writing a hit man story because it is in many ways very played out, so I wanted to look at it from a different angle. Lars is not a perfect killing machine. Not a young stud who beds the ladies. He’s middle aged, past his prime and he knows it. That was a more interesting character to me than a cold killer.

And we do change. As someone in my 40s, I am not the same person I was in my 20s. And I liked the idea of a man trying to run from being a killer, but also being forced to use his skills to keep himself and an innocent person alive.

Continue reading “Four Questions With… Eric Beetner”