Monday, November 28, 2011

In Which I Am The Cause Of Hyperthyroidism

So I've gotten a couple reviews for CITY OF THE LOST already and the book's not even out for another month.

Last week I was, as the cool kids say, Klausnered. I can't profess to fully understand what was written in that review or why it sounds like it was dictated to a drunken Swede, but here's the takeaway:

It's... positive. Ish. I think. Pretty sure. The words "brisk", "engaging", "cannibalizing" and "hooker" are used. And I don't know about you but stick those four words in the same sentence and you got my attention, lemme tell ya.

And yesterday I got a starred review from Kirkus.

So I hear this Kirkus star thing is good. I can't read the whole review 'cause I don't have a subscription and it doesn't come out to the proles like you and me for a few more weeks.

But, and this is the important thing, they called it, "a remarkable debut" and "eye-bulging".

EYE-BULGING, people. That's me. I am the Avatar of Eye-Bulging! I'm like the Heat Miser for Grave's Disease.

And you know what that means?

It means I get a THEME SONG! Well, that and a fucked up haircut, but that's nothing new.

Now I just gotta figure out something that rhymes with Marty Feldman.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Things We Learn From Patrick Swayze: Police, Protest, And Non-Lethal Force

I love me some Patrick Swayze. He's the guy who can make the most cheese-tastic lines sound like they're spray painted in sheer awesome. Point Break, Red Dawn. Skate Town USA. SKATE TOWN FUCKIN' USA, people. The Rock and Roller Disco Movie of 1979. You know I'm right. You might think that movie's unbridled success is because of Scott Baio and Flip Wilson, but it's my man Swayze who's rockin' it.

But my favorite is Road House. Patrick Swayze is Dalton, this zen, batshit crazy monk / bouncer who spouts off philosophy like he's ordering a cheeseburger. Gets surgical staples without anaesthetic because he's a badass trying to impress the hot ER doc who thinks he's an idiot.

And there are a lot of great lines in it. This here's my favorite as he's talking to his troops of roadhouse bouncers getting ready for the night's work.

"I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."

There's a lot in that sentiment. There is restraint. There is respect. There is the understanding that things can go bad quickly but that if it does it needs to be the other guy who takes it there.

This is a concept that some members of the nation's police forces should perhaps acquaint themselves with.

The last couple of weeks have shown us that police across the nation, and the upper echelons who give them their orders and sign their paychecks, like New York, Oakland, and UC Davis really need to get a handle on what is meant by the phrase "maintain the peace".

As a law enforcement tool pepper spray is great. It won't kill you, but it hurts like a motherfucker. It's great for taking down folks who won't go down unless you put bullets into them. Pulling a trigger is not an act one should do lightly. Once you kill a man there is no going back.

On the other hand pepper spray has been turned into a panic-driven, knee-jerk response by police who are unable to recognize that sitting down, linking arms and singing Kumba-fucking-yah is not a goddamn threat display.

Let's take UC Davis' Campus Police Lieutenant John Pike, who, from what I understand, is the gentleman who walked up and down a line of protesters at UC Davis the other day and nonchalantly hosed them down with the stuff.

Really? Sitting is a threat? Students and faculty sitting down as a form or protest over proposed hikes in tuition on a state funded campus warrant the use of a pain-based deterrent? What were they going to do to you? Calculate Pi? Recite Nietzsche?

"Get the flash-bangs ready, sergeant! They're about to give us a literary breakdown of Jean Paul Sartre's play NO EXIT and show its relevance to modern feminist thought!"

There are two things that Lieutenant Pike, and other police who have engaged in disproportionate responses like this, have had to be in order to take those actions.

A) Assholes

B) Too fucking lazy to do their jobs

Let's start with A. Anyone who will look at a line of people DOING NOTHING BUT SITTING and think, "I'm gonna set these fuckers eyes on fire," is a cold-hearted psychopath who should not be in ANY position of authority. Small-minded men with large sticks have been the single biggest contributor to oppression in the history of the human race.

Congratulations, Lieutenant Pike, you're in some auspicious company.

And what about lazy? You don't get to hose down people with pepper spray because they're doing something inconvenient. You don't get to do it because it's annoying.

If you throw flash-bangs, if you pepper-spray students, if you beat them with batons you had better have a reason that includes them doing something not only illegal, but threatening to your officers and the public, not because it's easier.

You don't get to say, "Damn, Merle, I'm getting kinda tired of this. Kick on the LRAD, would ya?"

They are not attacking you. They are not rushing you. They are not throwing bottles, firing guns or coming at you with swords like crazed extras in Braveheart.

They are protesting injustice. And whether you agree with them or not, the Constitution of this nation lets them do it.

The officers, brass, and city governments who have allowed this blatant mis-use of authority and force should be brought to task for an irrationally disproportionate response. They are assaulting their citizens.

Now, it might not seem this way sometimes, but I actually am for law enforcement.

I have friends who currently are and who have been police officers. They are people who get that the job is about protecting the innocent and upholding the law and not the other way around. They understand that justice and law aren't necessarily the same thing and strive for the former while they attempt to uphold the latter. And I thank fucking Christ that they have chosen that profession.

Doesn't mean I won't call cops on their shit. Especially if it involves flying cars and lessons in gun safety.

The LAPD has a long history of abuse and corruption. That said, and I can't believe I'm saying this either, some of these cities might want to look to the LAPD for some ideas. The arrests here have been largely peaceful. They're not pepper-spraying people (yet), they haven't chucked flash-bangs at them (yet). I'm hoping it stays that way.

Maybe they've been through the wringer enough times and become media savvy enough to know that some actions are a losing game no matter how you justify them. Regardless of the reason, they have so far managed to show a pretty measured response to this whole situation.

They have arrested a handful of people inside the Occupy movement parked outside City Hall for doing things like stabbing each other. The arrests the other day Downtown were pretty much expected by both sides. The protesters said, "We're hanging out in a bank," and the cops said, "That's private property. You know what's gonna happen." And the protesters pretty much said, "Yep. And when you come for us we'll smile for the cameras."

There is an understanding there. A tenuous one, perhaps, but an understanding. "Do something ILLEGAL that we have to respond to," the LAPD is saying, "and we will respond."

Mostly they have acted as bouncers, not stormtroopers. So far they seem to understand.

"I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."

Wisdom from my man, Swayze. Live it, love it, be it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today's Alcoholic Shooting A Pregnant Lady At A Church Story

Baldwin Park, CA

Take a look at this guy.

I'm gonna go with "small penis" and "daddy issues" on this one

Seen him? Recognize that glassy stare? That insecure posturing?

That "I don't take shit from anybody because I'm a pissy teenager who's too fucking stupid to know that I'm not a goddamn animal that should be gunned down like a rabid dog" attitude?

His name is Omar Martinez. He's 19 years old and he's wanted for attempted murder after he shot at a retreating car and hit the driver, a pregnant woman who has since miscarried, in the head. This was after he got into a pissing match with the woman's husband at a Baldwin Park church where he was attending a court mandated Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

His fellow 12-steppers saw him do it, reported him to the police. Oh, and he left his AA card behind when he bailed. So that kinda helped with the ID.

Yeah, he's ALL kinds of special.

The woman has been upgraded to stable from critical condition, but, you know. Bullet. Head. Stable's kind of a relative term.

Cops think he's hiding out in West Covina .  So if you know him or have seen him, know where he might be, know where he might be going, or know anybody who might be giving him a hand, the Baldwin Park cops would really appreciate a tip at 626-960-1955.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Signings! Blurbage! Random! Exclama!t!on Poin!s!1!

If I owe you money, have slept with your girlfriend or stolen large sums of bearer bonds from your high-tech safe housed in a Las Vegas casino in a comically convoluted heist involving midgets, you should stop reading and leave the room.

This also goes for people named Leather Charlie, Irish Mike or Bongo.

We good?

I've just confirmed my first two book signings EVER at Mysterious Galaxy in January. I'll be at the Redondo Beach store on Friday, January 6th at 7:30pm and at the San Diego store on Saturday, January 7th at 2:00pm.

Which means you'll have a chance to see ME! LIVE! IN PERSON! In all my DIVINE GLORY!

Well, maybe not ALL my divine glory. I might have to wear a Speedo to keep up with state and local ordinances.

So mark your calendars ladies and gents. That gives you a month and a half to plan your best heckles and a month and a half for me to panic.

Hey, Leather Charlie, if you're reading this I'm so gonna be someplace else. Really.

I'm lining up some more signings and hope to hit a couple other places in L.A. and a few points north. Believe me, I'll let you know REPEATEDLY as things come up.

In other news, PEOPLE LIKE MY BOOK.

You know how I know this? They have given me worth in the currency of my people. They have given me BLURBS.

We so need to come up with a better word for those things. I suggest Slapdoodle.

Okay, that sounded better in my head.

And so, I give you slapdoodles!

Yeah, still not workin'. I'll get back to you on that one.

"The gritty streets of City of the Lost are filled with snappy dialog, and fascinating characters, as well as a rollercoaster of a plot that doesn't slow down from beginning to end. This is the zombie crime novel we didn't know we were all waiting for."
          -Seanan McGuire, author of ONE SALT SEA, DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON

"City of the Lost is the best kind of paranormal noir: gritty, breakneck-paced, and impossible to put down. Joe Sunday is a new antihero to watch, and the next installment can't come soon enough."
          -Caitlin Kittredge, author of DEVIL'S BUSINESS, THE IRON THORN

"Bruja, demons, bloodsuckers, the living dead and bucketloads of bloody magic -- you'll find all of those in CITY OF THE LOST, but the real magic is how Blackmoore deftly breathes secret supernatural life into the City of Angels. This is an auspicious debut that's at turns violent, hilarious, and tragic. Can't wait to make a return trip to Blackmoore's voodoo version of L.A."
          -Chuck Wendig, author of DOUBLE DEAD, BLACKBIRDS

"For a debut author, Stephen Blackmoore knows perfectly well how to snatch up his readers and barrel away with them from page one. In Joe Sunday, he's created the perfect hard-boiled anti-hero - an inexorable protagonist who's short on tongue-wagging and long on visceral brutality, yet is totally sympathetic due to his singular narrative voice. Oh, yeah. He's also dead. CITY OF THE LOST is one hell of a fast and thoroughly enjoyable ride. The perfect book for fans of crime noir, urban fantasy, and horror. One of my favorite reads of the year."
          -John Hornor Jacobs, author of SOUTHERN GODS, THIS DARK EARTH

"When Raymond Chandler wrote, "...down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid," the mean streets to which his mind had no doubt wandered were those of his beloved Los Angeles. CITY OF THE LOST's Joe Sunday is mean, tarnished, and afraid, but for good reason. The funhouse reflection of LA Blackmoore conjures is at once vibrant, seedy, and mysterious -- streets so mean, they feel as though plucked straight from Chandler's DT nightmares. CITY OF THE LOST effortlessly blends the grit with the fantastical, and paints a world in which magic is to be feared -- but not nearly so much as the people behind it."
          -Chris F. Holm, author of DEAD HARVEST, THE WRONG GOODBYE

And more a-comin'!  Just as soon as I get these bribes out the door.

P.S., we will return to our regularly scheduled criminal mayhem soon. Promise.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Free Stuff And A Heaping Side Of Death Goddess

So, first off, want a copy of CITY OF THE LOST? Free?

Of course you do! Free's the best price ever. Unless it's heroin or strippers. Then, well, just don't wake up in a Tijuana bathroom with an empty gun and a dead midget is all I'm saying.

Thanks to the good folks at Penguin and DAW you can enter to win a copy of it over at Goodreads. Seriously. They're giving it away.

Wait. They're GIVING IT AWAY?! Are these people crazy?!

Yes, they are. Crazy like a... crazy thing. Kinda like a dog? Only with a bigger tail? Dingo? Crazy like a dingo?

Yeah, let's go with that.

But what's this about a death goddess? That's in the title right up there at the top. Says right there. See? DEATH GODDESS.

Not the ex-girlfriend who left you a sobbing wreck in the bathtub when she went out for cigarettes and never came back. So what if she left you with the motel bill. And that dead midget. You got back across the border, right? I'm sure she'll come back. Some day.

No, I'm talking about my guest post over at book blog The Qwillery where I talk about what you get when you mix noir and the paranormal in real life.

Our Lady Of The Shadows.