Saintly living

Our fearless leader has cast an intoxicating spell on me under which I am happy to be. However, one of the side effects disallows me to imbed YouTube videos herein.

Behold a YouTube that rocked my face off.

I watched it and sighed. Then I learned that Grant Bailie and John Sheppard were contributors to this “Bible” of contemporary fiction. Bailie was part of “Novel: A Living Installation at Flux Factory, Inc.” in New York in 2005. His first novel “Cloud 8” was a wonderful book wherein the reader steps into the afterlife to find it populated by people who look like Abe Lincoln. His flash fiction delights at every turn.

Erin likey Grant Bailie.

Ed talked to John Sheppard on Bat Segundo about his 2007 novel, “Small Town Punk.” Sheppard fascinated me from the first time I chatted with him and learned that his sister’s murder fueled his writing in part–much like my brother’s suicide had fueled mine.

Cool YouTube book trailer. Cool writers. Cool. Cool. Cool. Oh to walk among the gifted, copiously published, beautiful fiction writers, dreamed I. Oh, to be cool.

Black Arrow Press was still accepting submission for “Santi: Lives of Modern Saints,” so I sent mine along. When it got the thumbs up, I spontaneously combusted with joy. Here is the first paragraph from my story, “Skywriting with King Tut Down at the Little Egypt:”

The pyramid was my favorite thing. It was built out of concrete block, so it was steps all the way up and easy to climb. From the top, I’d look down at the Little Egypt all around and feel like I was floating above the earth. I could stay up there crouched on the rough steps forever, but someone always yelled at me to get down way too soon.

The anthology is scheduled to come out in December 2007. Dig the cover:

santi cover

Stay tuned, boppers.

More link love:

Other contributors include Roy Kesey, Jon Konrath, and Timothy Gager. A complete list is available at the Black Arrow Press page.

O’Brien on Sheppard.

Bailie in a box.

The preceding post was brought to you by Smart Erin.


  1. I am equally enthused about being included in this anthology. Hopefully it will get a lot of attention.

    On a totally different note: I recently did a reading/Q&A at the Book Cellar in Chicago for which I’d like to apologize to my wife, the owners of the Book Cellar, Mike Newirth and his new girlfriend, the guy with the radio voice in the fifth row who pissed me off (because he’s an idiot), the people of Illinois, the state of Illinois (and Gov. Rod Blagojevich), Mayor Richard M. Daley, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, the two oddball ladies who wrote the book about Rogers Park (and for referring to the two oddball ladies as “oddball” in this post), the denizens of Rogers Park, Lori Andrews (a mystery writer), and to myself. I expect better of myself. Bad John. Bad.

  2. I am also psyched to get a spot in the anthology because a) Luca is a great guy; b) the trailer is brilliant;c) take a look at that cover; d) there are some very awesome writers in it; e) it motivated me to somehow write a story that does not use the word ‘fuck’ one single time. I typically can’t write a shopping list without using the word ‘fuck’, so who knows how that happened.

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