The Velvet is home to three talented authors that have greatly shaped my work.
Will Christopher Baer is one of the best neo-noir authors around, and has been the great influence on my work. His trilogy (Kiss Me, Judas; Penny Dreadful; Hell’s Half Acre) is a perfect example of the voice, the mood, the tone of what neo-noir is and can be. Dark, strange, grounded in reality, but floating in the surreal, it’s hypnotic. I’d give a kidney to meet the man. Inside joke.
Craig Clevenger is another author that has dabbled in the neo-noir, but is moving on to other genres. The Contortionist’s Handbook is a classic, and Dermaphoria is equally as rich and layered, hallucinatory and yet vivid and visceral. He’s taught me in two classes at The Cult, and pushed me to submit my story “Stillness” until it got accepted in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance) alongside Stephen King and Peter Straub. He’s generous and brilliant.
Stephen Graham Jones is the only one of the trio I’ve met, at two AWPs, and he’s one of the most intelligent, giving, well-read authors I know. All the Beautiful Sinners haunts me to this day, and the rest of his work is equally stunning. Pick up any of his books. And he’s one of the most published and accomplished short story writers I know. 100+ I’d say. Whenever I’m researching places to submit, I say “If it’s good enough for Stephen, it’s good enough for me.
Go to IndieGoGo and support the cause, the website, the plethora or emerging authors that hang there, and the talented, giving people that make up the community. Even $5 helps. Lots of great things are being given/auctioned away, so go check it out. A portion of the donations goes to charity too.