"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of "The Collector" series, The Killing Kind, and Red Right Hand.

"A refreshingly new voice in noir." --Ed Kurtz, author of Nothing You Can Do and The Rib From Which I Remake the World.

"A glorious boilermaker of noir and East Coast gothic. The action is taut as a sprung snare and Bagley tightens the screws with every page." -- Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase and Blood Standard.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Great Psychobilly Road Trip of 2008: Day 5, Part 3

The sign at the end of my driveway reads Trespassers will be violated. Survivors will be shot. Still, there are some guys who just have to push their luck. I'm glad I didn't open fire this time, because it was Anthony Neil Smith and a whole bunch of crimedogs. We made them feel right at home. The only hitch came when my wife made them use the outhouse instead of the indoor toilet. She said, "They came a couple thousand miles drinking cheap beer and eating jalapeno pork rinds. They're not setting foot in my bathroom." I cleaned all the spiders out of the outhouse, so everything was cool after that.

Now here's Neil:

Last stop: The Jordans (Crimespree) at Central Crime Zone

Sneaking up to Patrick Shawn Bagley's cabin in the Hummer-sine is a lot like...well, it's a lot like the opening strains of this
John Fogerty song. But we finally make our way past the mud and swamp gas of rural Maine to find the man himself standing beside a rusted pick-up truck full of ice and hundreds of cans of Schlitz. Oh, man. Then he pulls out a .44, gives the wheel a spin, and says, "Let me go kill us some lunch."

He's the man who proudly
describes his own writing as "Hill. Billy. Noir." and who told Declan Burke he would pitch his novel-in-progress, Bitter Water Blues, to publishers this way: "Publish it or I'll split your head open with a rock, wrap you up in a tarp, weigh you down with skidder chains and sink you in the bog behind my house." But don't let the bluster trick you--the man has an MFA in Creative Writing, and he's a published poet. But a good kind of poet, one like Bukowski and Richard Brautigan. In fact, he's teamed up with some other crime writer-slash-poets for a project called The Lineup. Looks good to me. Add to that his short stories popping up across the web in places like Spinetingler and Thrilling Detective, and you've got a triple threat rising. I like the way this guy thinks.

And he recently quoted Yellow Medicine's Billy Lafitte on this blog, so you know he's got his head on all cockeyed if he's getting his wisdom from that loon. See what I mean for yourself by (say it with me now, altogether) picking up
Yellow Medicine on Psychobilly Monday (May 12) at one of those Barnes & Noble joints (or order it online if you're out in the boondocks like Patrick).

Mr. Bagley kindly tosses the remaining Schlitzes into a foam cooler so heavy it takes Gischler, Armstrong, Sweirczynski, and Abbott to lift it into the Hummer-sine. Then he tosses a bunch of fresh venison steaks on top of that and says, "We'll build a fire tonight for those. Unless any of you are.." (dramatic pause) "...veg-uh-terry-uns." Then he spits on the ground.

Not me. I'll be tucking into those steaks. And then I'll let Shelby take the wheel while I check the road atlas to see how long it will take to get to our next destination, back over Michigan-way. Seems we forgot to pick up
Bryon Quertermous, head honcho at Demolition, and he's fighting angry about it.

Driving Time: Longer than you might expect
Tune for the leg: "Camel Walk" by
Southern Culture on the Skids

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