Roughing It

The first draft of Speed Queen 2 is finished. I'm taking a break from it, but when it's finished, it will be a significant step up from the first one. If you were hoping for a bit more action last time around, this is your book. Donna and Zeke are five years into their partnership, taking out what they think are the last of the old gangs. There's one more, though, Zeke's former associates, a cult he never told Donna about. They are led by Zeke's estranged wife. Unlike Donna's father, the villain of the first book, this woman thrives on attention and power. With a cult of madmen and Zeke by her side, she'll have no trouble getting both.

So that's written. It's a little over 50 thousand words right now, around the length of the first. These books are meant to be the written equivalent of drive-in movies, so don't expect Lord of the Rings... or even Lords of Flatbush. I have a ton of fun writing these, from the weird details (this one has a fight in a bouncy castle) to the character quirks (neck-snapper Zeke does yoga to calm down) to the cathartic discussions between the heroes (Donna stayed with Zeke because the work was good, but he has since begun to smother her).

The first time around, I was primarily inspired by the novels of Barry Gifford and early Lawrence Block, as well as one-night narrative films like Escape From New York and After Hours. This time there's not as much travelling. There's still a race or two (it wouldn't be a Donna Derringer novel without some squealing tires), but the action is more centralized this time, giving it a Thunderdome vibe. Lots of henchmen, big and small, tough and wormy, all of em cannon fodder.. Or bare hands fodder... Or front tire fodder... 

Meanwhile, there's a new God's Lonely Men on the way. It's been done for a while, and will also be part of a new movie from the folks at Manic Expression. I've posted a few things there, and their community is extremely supportive and kind. Trolls need not apply.

As for other videos, I'm not sure. The first Bald Villain video was decent, but a lot of work for a movie review.  I'm not a fan of jump cuts that hide the fact that the host can't memorize a script, but that's what it turned out to be. Dunno. Needs a rethink.

Videos in general don't do much for me, not as much as writing stories and novels. The last God's Lonely Men was a blast, and even the Nicolas Cage thing I did was fun, but I can't help but wonder how much of that time I could have spent writing. I see video as a necessary means to reach an audience, but every time I mess with it, I'm reminded of how much I'd rather be writing. Same with social media.

Still, it's a shame to own something called Southbound Cinema, only to have no actual cinema to speak of. I'm not into singing for money, so there will be no Kickstarter campaign for the next Danzig list video or a sequel to "Cheap Shit Christmas." However, if you buy a copy of Speed Queen and leave a review on Amazon, I just might be giddy enough about it to start a new video series, even if it's just me talking about wrestling and doing voices. Later.