New Storyville Column on Writing Sex is Now Live at Lit Reactor

My latest Storyville column over at Lit Reactor is all about writing sex scenes! What’s the difference between pornography, erotica and simply a powerful sex scene? What words should you use (and avoid)? How do you create sexual tension? Sex is a part of life, and the power it introduces into every intimate relationship will ultimately define that relationship. Hope it helps. ENJOY!

WARNING: There is frank adult language in this article, so if you are underage or sensitive, you have been warned.

My review of Damascus by Joshua Mohr is live at The Nervous Breakdown

If you’re a fan of Charles Bukowski (and who isn’t) then you’ll probably like this seedy, depressing and ultimately touching and redeeming novel, Damascus (Two Dollar Radio), by Joshua Mohr. I had the pleasure of reading with Josh a few months ago in Chicago as part of The Nervous Breakdown reading series run by Gina Frangello. In addition to Josh and myself, we were lucky to have Kate Zambreno (Green Girl) as well. Josh is almost the exact opposite of his writing—kind, soft spoken, and generous, even when tatted up and reading dark passages from his novel. He has several other titles with TDR as well, so be sure to check out his other work too.

My review of Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl is now live at The Nervous Breakdown.

Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl (Emergency Press) is a wild ride though London. Her protagonist, Ruth, is detached and a bit of a sadist, and yet, at the same time, lost, vulnerable and endearing. Head over to The Nervous Breakdown for the full review. Loved it.

My review of Shannon Cain’s The Necessity of Certain Behaviors is live at The Nervous Breakdown

My review of Shannon Cain’s collection of dark, sexy, humorous stories is live up at The Nervous Breakdown. This book was the winner of the 2011 Drue Heinz prize, which yielded us the fantastic The Physics of Imaginary Objects by Tina May Hall last year. Shannon really put together a compelling book, one that should definitely be on your list of titles “to-read.”

Podcasts – An Update of My Recorded Work

If you’re not absolutely sick of hearing my voice, here’s some stuff to consider—podcasts! With so much going on these days, I thought I’d post up some of my podcasts that I’ve done over the last couple of years. Two places that you should for sure keep on your lists, and subscribe to if possible (iTunes, etc.) are the Velvet Podcast series and the Booked Podcasts,who are currently running a series on the Warmed and Bound authors. Lots of great information and entertainment at both of these sites, so be sure to bookmark, get your RSS Feed on, whatever.

1. Episode 16: Great Writers Edit. Bad Writers Discuss Editing on a Podcast.

I join authors Caleb J. Ross (Stranger Will), Gordon Highland (Major Inversions) and Gavin Pate (The Way to Get Here). Nobody enjoys editing, but we all go at it differently.
Don’t mind the tornadoes in the background. I was hiding in the basement for a bit, if you notice me dropping off the recording for awhile.

VELVET PODCAST 016

2. Richard Thomas Booked Podcast Inverview

I join Livius Nedin and Robb Ols0n over at Booked Podcast to talk about Warmed and Bound, and a lot of other stuff: my novel Transubstantiate,
The Cult, Speedloader and my reviewing at The Nervous Breakdown. Great time.

BOOKED PODCAST SESSION 023

3. Episode 008: Don’t Pull My Hair Unless You Mean It

I join writers Nik Korpon (Stay God), Pela Via (Warmed and Bound) and Nic Young to grind out the topic of sex and violence in fiction
and their complex relationship to sadistic bedfellows, love and shock.

VELVET PODCAST 008

4. AWP Live Reading at Leela’s (Denver, Colorado)

Live reading from my novel Transubstantiate.

DENVER READING

5. BOOKS AND BOOZE

Questions and answers. You know the drill.

My review of Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau is live at The Nervous Breakdown.

My review of Jessica Anya Blau’s hilarious, touching and heartbreaking novel, Drinking Closer to Home, is now live at The Nervous Breakdown. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book. It starts off with a ton of characters, and I kept thinking, oh man, this is going to be too soft, to sweet and nice, I hope it doesn’t turn into (dare I say it) CHICK LIT. Well, it’s far from that. This is a loving portrait of family, with all of its warts and dirty laundry. You know the old cliche, I laughed, I cried? True. The stories are so vivid, so real, that you feel like you are hearing a friend recount her childhood misadventures. And Jessica isn’t afraid to get dirty, cussing up a storm and giving us all of the cum-stained details. But in the end, it’s really the love that shines through, the way that we keep our family close, even when they screw up, and love them in spite of their mistakes. I really loved this book. Head over to TNB for all of the details.

My guest post about Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips is now live at the Emerging Writers Network for Short Story Month.

I was recently introduced to Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips by my professor, Dale Ray Phillips (no relation) at Murray State University. I’m getting my MFA down there and he thought the story “Home” might help me with one of my stories for my thesis. I wasn’t expecting this work to resonate with me the way it did. It blew me away. She reminds me a lot of Mary Gaitskill, as well as more contemporary voices like Lindsay Hunter, xTx, Ethel Rohan, Tina May Hall, and Jac Jemc. And that’s a good thing.

Head on over to the Emerging Writers Network to read my thoughts on this collection that was published in 1979 and has fallen off the radar a bit in recent years. Put it back on, people, this is some stunning work.