Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Botany Free Post (with Mr Stephen Blackmoore)

I first met Stephen Blackmoore - the genre writer, pictured, right with your beardy hero at the grave of Walter Mathau - in 2010. It was in the company of the always responsible Mme Christa Faust that our paths first crossed. And hell, I thought, this guy seems pretty cool. And he seems able to put up with my constant profanity.

There's no accounting for my judge of character.

Blackmoore the genre writer (there's a reason I keep calling him that, but I'll let him explain) was not only a deeply smart guy, but the pitch for his upcoming novel sounded ingenious - a crime novel that took in urban fant
asy and horror elements, that put its lead through a kind of literal hell. That played with all kinds of genre conventions.

And you know what - his novel does all that and more. I've had the honour of reading an advance copy of the manuscript, and I'll tell you this: its one of the wittiest, most brutal novels I've read in ages. Its a pitch black noir with a dark, supernatural twist. Its Chandler meets Lovecraft meets Gaiman. Its... hell, its just a damn fine novel.

So I'm honoured that in order to promote CITY OF THE LOST, Blackmoore the genre writer wound up asking to guest post here at this infrequently updated blog. What the hell, I thought, he can only add a bit of class round here. So, for your reading pleasure, I am proud to prevent - uh, present - the author of CITY OF THE LOST, Mr (not Professor) Stephen Blackmoore:

Have I ever told you about the botanist Professor Stephen Blackmore, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh?

Let me back up for a second.

I have a novel coming out in the U.S. and U.K. next week titled CITY OF THE LOST. It's a dark urban fantasy about a thug in Los Angeles who is murdered, raised from the dead and finds himself in the middle of this Maltese Falcon-esque hunt for the object that brought him back. It is, in the words of Kirkus Reviews, "A head-shakingly perfect blend of zombie schlock, deadpan wit, startling profanity, desperate improvisation and inventive brilliance."

Startling profanity.

Now, I've gone through the book. Several times. While I was writing it. While I was getting notes on it. While it was being edited. I've looked for this startling profanity. And you know what?

There's a lot of it.

I mean, seriously. Out of 217 pages there are 244 fucks. I counted.

As one does.

Now a common thing I run into is that some people spell my name the way I spell my name, with two O's, and some people spell it with one. When my book was first put out in the catalogs that went out to the stores and websites like Amazon, Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, etc. there was a slight glitch.

They spelled it with one O.

Some of those sites have corrected it, some haven't. I'm honestly surprised any of them bother to care. It doesn't bother me. I'm used to it. If you search for one spelling, Google asks if you want to do a search with the other. Either way, you're probably going to find me.

Or you're going to find Professor Stephen Blackmore, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

I'm sure he's a very nice man. He looks rather jolly. Very big teeth. And far better educated than I could ever hope to be. He's the fucking Queen's botanist, after all.

And that's why I kind of feel sorry for him. Because you see, he's also an author.

Atlas of Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants. Buttercups (Shire Natural History 06). Pollen and Spores: Patterns of Diversification.

And, according to Amazon, though they may have corrected it by now, but I doubt it, my book.

Now I know that no one's likely to confuse us. But I kind of worry that someone will. I don't mind having someone come up to me with a copy of Evolution, Systematics, and Fossil History of the Hamamelidae and asking me to sign it. The man's in Scotland for chrissakes. I'm happy to be his stand-in here in the States. I'll even lecture for him over here if he likes.

Hand me a speech, cut me in for a percentage of the speaker's fee and I am so fucking there.

But I'm not sure he'd feel the same way. I don't know if he would mind being associated with scenes of cannibalism, undead prostitutes and feral midgets.

And particularly the startling profanity.

Of course, he's also in Scotland and I have yet to meet a Scot who didn't understand that there is no English equivalent for "fuck off".

Maybe he'd be proud to be associated with it. I hope so. I hope more that he'd buy a copy and enjoy some of the "startling profanity" himself.

And more than that I hope (because this is, after all, a post on unrepentantly shilling my book) you'll buy a copy and enjoy some of the startling profanity yourself.

Many thanks to Mr. McLean for letting me usurp his blog for the day. Much appreciated, sir.

Stephen Blackmoore (not the botanist) can be found regularly blogging at LA Noir


Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Damn, I've sold four copies at work and failed to mention how many times the f-word was used... I'll let it be a surprise. Great post, Stephen!

Robert Seth Vorisek said...

As to the Scots alternative to "fuck off", there's always 'piss off', 'sod off', 'shag off', or the ever lovable 'wank off'. All lovely and variable so as not to be too repetitive. No?