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Notes From The Underground (March 2020)

In which your intrepid author seeks solace from the numb-mindedness of coronavirus isolation.

Surrrrrrrrrrre, I've been newslettering. You've obviously seen so many of them prior to the outbreak of this contagion. </sarcasm> Well, with ass firmly planted on couch, it's high time I put more time and energy into this newsletter.

Let's see, where to begin...

Band tracking and a special thank you

All six of you who have actually read The One Star Goodnight (and the two that actually bought it), will no doubt recognize my predilection for chapter titling. I love titles. Love the process of coming up with titles. I think the chapter titles in One Star changed several hundred times before I was satisfied with the final product.

Chapter 5 of One Star is entitled, "Clock In At 8:05 When The Boss Ain't Around." This is a direct lift from a song called "Media Man" written by bassist, music-man, and all-around great guy Mike Wheeler. Mike played bass in my father's band, Kabana, in Hattiesburg back when I was in college along with fellow Mississippi music masters Kenny Suire, Louie Munn, Chris Barker, Mark Vandermark (the inspiration for One Star's Frank Vandy), and a host of rotating drummers (to include former King Konga legend Jeff Mills who would go on to found a group called 25 to Midnight you may have heard of). But the heart and soul of Kabana was always Kenny, Mike, and Doug Dufour.

Anyway, Mike wrote this song back in the day called "Media Man," and it is the JAM. It's a great tune, funky, awesome guitar melody, and a set of lyrics that are so apropos to Jack Dooley. Kabana played this and a couple other original tunes in and around their usual set of Top 40 / Old Guy stuff, which is where I first heard it whilst playing roadie for my dad's insane amount of percussion gear. I love this song.

Unfortunately, "Media Man" is not available on streaming services (yet) nor can you buy it anywhere. Mike Wheeler is working up a new album in his Florida studio now, and hopefully, this and many of his other great tracks will be released with that album. As soon as it does, Dear Readers, you can guarantee I'll send you a link.

In the meantime, a big public THANK YOU to Mike for this delightful lyric that I cribbed for a chapter title. I am forever grateful for your music, mentorship, and friendship with my dad.

Read, dammit

Due to the onset of a global pandemic and some fun changes in werklyfe, I've been able to crush a whole lot more reading. Books that have been piling up on me for 20 years are finally making their way to my nightstand. You can always friend me on Goodreads to see what I'm reading and the reviews associated with it, but here's a quick rundown of some books I've read recently that I really enjoyed:

  • Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard

  • The High Window by Raymond Chandler

  • The God Game by Danny Tobey

  • American Tabloid by James Ellroy

  • The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

  • On Writing by Stephen King

  • The Big Book of Hap and Leonard by Joe R. Lansdale

  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension by Earl Mac Rauch

You laugh at that last one, but I'm here to tell ya: Rauch's adaptation of his own screenplay is BANANAS. Such a fun and original read. Give it a try when you're looking for something whimsical and different.

Up next (at some point) on my to-read shelf:

  • When the Women Came Out To Dance by Elmore Leonard

  • The LA Quartet by James Ellroy

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

  • Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

  • Heaven's Prisoners by James Lee Burke

  • Mindf*ck: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

  • Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Help me make some money

Sooooooo, I'm pretty much doing all this writing stuff myself. No publisher, no marketing budget, nothing. It ain't a great way to make a living. However, it's still fun and I'll continue to do it. As any author will tell you though, it never hurts to break even. So if you've already read The One Star Goodnight, first off: THANK YOU! I really do appreciate your slog through the morass of my tangled prose. And your money ain't too bad either.

Secondly, consider telling a friend about One Star. Share a link to the book's Amazon page via email or social media and perhaps influence others to take the dive with Jack Dooley. Remind folks that The One Star Goodnight is FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, too.

Finally, leave a review. E-commerce works because people can find what they're looking for amongst the hundreds of thousands of books out there. One way retailers enable this is by ranking works in search results according to how many reviews they receive. The more reviews, the more attractive the book is to the retailer's search algorithm, the higher the chances it will sell and make both of us money. So, even if you didn't like it, I'd love it if you could leave a review of the book on Amazon or Goodreads.

Plot vomit

To close out, if you haven't seen it already, below is the cover for the upcoming second novel in the Jack Dooley series, Bravo Too Much. Stay tuned for preorder info.

Thanks for reading.


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