Brandon Barrows Kidnaps His Protagonist

I recently wrote a novel called How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. Some people have used it as a guide, others have used it to balance wobbly dinner tables. It’s about a writer who one day impulsively kidnaps a book reviewer outside of a coffee shop, in front of dozens of witnesses. This is obviously not how one would successfully go about kidnapping a stranger. My novel is more of an anti-guide. Do the opposite of what my characters do, and you might actually have a successful abduction.

But now that I’ve gotten a few kidnappings under my belt, I’ve decided to hold some auditions for those who might be interested in being my partner. Today’s audition features Brandon Barrows. We will be discussing the possibility of kidnapping the protagonist from his new collection, The Castle-Town Tragedy and Other Stories.

The Castle-Town Tragedy

MB: All right, Brandon, before I agree to be your partner, you’re gonna have to answer a few questions. I don’t kidnap strangers with just anybody. Well, not usually. I have a long list of potential partners awaiting my consideration, so let’s make this fast. Who the hell are you, and why should I trust you?

BB: I’m a bad mamma-jamma. I’m the Ace of Bass. I’m the meanest man on the west side (of Colchester, Vermont) and you can trust me because I told you to and bad things happen to people who don’t do what I tell them.

MB: Provide examples of your criminal past. Any jail time served? Ever jaywalk or swallow your gum even though you knew it would stay in your stomach for years until eventually hatching into a horrifying monster? I need to know this kind of stuff ahead of time.

BB: One time, I got so drunk I tried to walk the wrong way up the middle of a one-way street and collapsed, vomiting all over myself (presumably repeatedly). At least, that’s what the police told me when I woke up. I gave them the old spiral eyes whammy, though, and got off with a bench appearance. Boo-ya, turkeys!

MB: Do you have any special talents? What can you bring to the table?

BB: I can rattle off the backstories of thousands of fictional characters without taking a breath. I can consistently get up to ninesies in jacks. My jeans don’t get dirty cuz dirt knows better than that. And I always bring the finest imported china to the table, because I like to make my dinner guests feel like an evening together is something special.

MB: All right, so if you’re wanting to work with me, you must already have a target in mind. Who are we kidnapping?

BB: Mister Thomas Carnacki of London.

MB: What’s so special about him?

BB: Well, he’s Edwardian England’s foremost occultist as well as a self-taught scientist of some renown who spends his days battling both supernatural and human evil across the British Isles. That and he has access to some damned fine liquor.

MB: What kind of ransom are we looking at? What’s in it for me?

BB: Oh, I don’t want money, I just want to see about maybe becoming his apprentice or something. Writing weird fiction is fine and all, but living the weird/supernatural life seems like it’d be a lot more fulfilling.

What’s in it for you? Did I mention Carnacki’s collection of fine liquors?

MB: Be honest. How dangerous is this person?

BB: Well, he can and has held his own against ghosts, demons and cosmic deities from beyond the Outer Circle, plus he carries a gun, so… sort of dangerous, I guess. I mean, I once saw him break the arm of a thug, a member of a gang pretending to haunt an abandoned mansion to keep local villagers out of their way, just by giving him a knowing look. So, watch out for that and maybe wear some mirrored sunglasses and maybe those houdou looks’ll get reflected back.

Also a big, cartoon-style net to capture him in. It’s so simple, so low-tech, so mundane, he’ll never see it coming. I hope.

BBarrows_BCC2012

MB: What location were you thinking? Is there somewhere we can get him alone?

BB: Well, he’s usually alone on his occult investigations and he does go to some awfully far-out places for those sometimes so there should be plenty of opportunity. As for getting to one of those, we’ll have to stake out his place, maybe go through his mail even, to figure out exactly when and where. He lives alone, too, actually but he’s got these friends who are always over drinking his liquor and smoking his tobacco in exchange for letting Carnacki brag about his exploits, so that’s no good. They aren’t there ALL the time, of course, but if he disappeared from his own home, I’ve got a feeling they’d know something was up pretty quickly.

MB: Okay, we have a target and a location. Now we need to discuss method. There’s many ways to kidnap a person. We could sneak up on him and throw a potato sack over his head. We could shoot him with a tranquilizer. We could order him a pizza and lace it with sleeping pills. The possibilities are endless. You know this person better than anybody. How do you recommend going about this?

BB: Since most of these investigations are spent in dark, out of the place, supposedly-haunted places, as I mentioned, I think we can just make sure he’s alone, stuff him in a sack and then be off on our way. People bring Carnacki in cuz they’re scared and at their wits’ end already, so it’d likely just enhance the place’s reputation and keep away any possible investigators – at least for a while. It’s kind of perfect, actually.

MB: Now that we have him, how long until someone notices he gone? Who’s going to be coming after him? Should I be worried?

BB: Hmm, he has a tendency to disappear on cases for anywhere from days to a couple months at a time, so I’d say we’d probably have at least a month or two before anyone really got suspicious. As for who’d come after him… well, who can say? His friends probably wouldn’t themselves, but they might contact some of Carnacki’s occult associates. As for who those would be, I frankly don’t have a clue at the moment. But, hey, why worry ‘til it happens?

MB: How could we convince them we mean business?

BB: This is an easy one. I read on the bathroom wall in a haunted public library that Carnacki is ticklish as all get out. Tie him up, grab a feather and go to town on those tootsies. Bam, results.

MB: How do you predict this hypothetical kidnapping ending? Will it all be smooth sailing, or is there a massive gunfight in our future? I don’t mind spilling a little blood here and there, I just need to be prepared.

BB: Well, I’m hoping he’ll see it for what it is: an attempt to obtain his approval and mentorship and instantly accept me as his apprentice. I mean, this is how you build long-lasting relationships as far as I know. Yeah, the more I think about this, the more right it feels. I think as soon as we have Carnacki in that over-sized net, everything’ll be just fine. I’ve got a good feeling about this.

MB: Me too. Let’s do this.

Gregory Bouthiette Kidnaps…Himself

I recently wrote a novel called How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. Some people have used it as a guide, others have used it to balance wobbly dinner tables. It’s about a writer who one day impulsively kidnaps a book reviewer outside of a coffee shop, in front of dozens of witnesses. This is obviously not how one would successfully go about kidnapping a stranger. My novel is more of an anti-guide. Do the opposite of what my characters do, and you might actually have a successful abduction.

But now that I’ve gotten a few kidnappings under my belt, I’ve decided to hold some auditions for those who might be interested in being my partner. Today’s audition features Gregory Bouthiette. We will be discussing the possibility of kidnapping the protagonist from his novel, The Book of Adventures.

book of adventures

MB: All right, Gregory, before I agree to be your partner, you’re gonna have to answer a few questions. I don’t kidnap strangers with just anybody. Well, not usually. I have a long list of potential partners awaiting my consideration, so let’s make this fast. Who the hell are you, and why should I trust you?

GB: I’m Gregory Bouthiette. And I have autism. You can always trust people with autism. It’s the law.

MB: Provide examples of your criminal past. Any jail time served? Ever jaywalk or swallow your gum even though you knew it would stay in your stomach for years until eventually hatching into a horrifying monster? I need to know this kind of stuff ahead of time.

GB: I am a master thief. I steal everything from diamonds to groceries. I even stole a guys peg leg once.

MB: Do you have any special talents? What can you bring to the table?

GB: I also make an excellent distraction for kidnap jobs. Witnesses will have no idea what’s going on when I’m talking their ears off.

MB: Whoa. That’s surprisingly clever. All right, so if you’re wanting to work with me, you must already have a target in mind. Who are we kidnapping?

GB: Actually, I’m the target.

bouthiette

MB: Uh…I think you need to elaborate a little here.

GB: Well, I’m the main character of a book. What’s more special than that?

MB: What, um, what kind of ransom are we looking at? Why should I help you kidnap…you?

GB: $2.70 and a pristine collection of wrestler action figures. You can loot my room afterwards, but that is the best of the lot.

MB: That’s a pretty big score. But how dangerous are you?

GB: A hammer to the head will be all you really need. I’m really not that dangerous. Remember that whole trusting autistic people thing?

MB: Okay, good point. Where should I snatch you?

GB: You can kidnap me outside of my house, that will be a good location.

MB: Right, so we have a target and a location. Now we need to discuss method. There’s many ways to kidnap a person. We could sneak up on you and throw a potato sack over your head. We could shoot you with a tranquilizer. We could order you a pizza and lace it with sleeping pills. The possibilities are endless.

GB: Just like you have to trust everyone with autism, people with autism have to trust you. You can just ask me to go with you and I will go with you.

MB: Well, that sounds easy. How long until someone notices you’re gone?

GB: My mom will notice that I’m gone first, it will take one minute for her to notice that I’m gone. I’d definitely be worried about her coming for you.

MB: Shit. I don’t like the sound of this. How could we convince her we mean business?

GB: Force me to be a backup dancer for Justin Bieber. That will show her who she’s messing with.

MB: How do you predict this hypothetical kidnapping ending?

GB: Wait, why are you kidnapping me again? This seems like a lot of work.

MB: Good point. I’m sorry for wasting your time, sir.

So Far, I Haven’t Had to Kidnap Any Reviewers

Hello, Internet. My new novel has been out for a few weeks now. So far nobody has told me they hated it, which is strange. I suspect that the plot of the book–a crazy author kidnapping a blogger who writes negative reviews–might be influencing some of my book’s praise, and that is completely okay. In this post I’ve collected some reviews the book has received so far, as well as recent interviews and articles I’ve been involved in. So here we go.

Reviews

Interviews

  • S.W. Lauden interrogated me about obnoxious reviewers and what being a publisher has taught me about being a writer.
  • This is Horror interviewed Lori and myself about Perpetual Motion Machine.
  • Benoit from Dead End Follies and I discuss in great length online writing communities, social media promotion for writers, and many other things.
  • My wiener dog/literary agent questioned me about the mysterious smell coming from our pantry.

Articles

 

Okay, that’s it. Stay tuned for more things. Until then, here’s an adorable owlet:

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Patrick Freivald Kidnaps His Protagonist

I recently wrote a novel called How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. Some people have used it as a guide, others have used it to balance wobbly dinner tables. It’s about a writer who one day impulsively kidnaps a book reviewer outside of a coffee shop, in front of dozens of witnesses. This is obviously not how one would successfully go about kidnapping a stranger. My novel is more of an anti-guide. Do the opposite of what my characters do, and you might actually have a successful abduction.

But now that I’ve gotten a few kidnappings under my belt, I’ve decided to hold some auditions for those who might be interested in being my partner. Today’s audition features Patrick Freivald. We will be discussing the possibility of kidnapping the protagonist from his novel, Black Tide.

Front_Cover_Image_Black_Tide

MB: All right, Patrick, before I agree to be your partner, you’re gonna have to answer a few questions. I don’t kidnap strangers with just anybody. Well, not usually. I have a long list of potential partners awaiting my consideration, so let’s make this fast. Who the hell are you, and why should I trust you?

PF: I’m an author, physics and robotics teacher, and beekeeper. I like long walks on the beach and cannibalism jokes. You can trust me because even if I ratted you out, nobody would believe me. Hell, nobody’s going to believe we can even do this.

MB: Provide examples of your criminal past. Any jail time served? Ever jaywalk or swallow your gum even though you knew it would stay in your stomach for years until eventually hatching into a horrifying monster? I need to know this kind of stuff ahead of time.

PF: Back in the day I did a stint in detention for doing someone else’s math homework for them. I’ve been guilty of assault a few times, but never caught. Once I took two cookies off of a plate when the host said, “You can have one.”

MB: Shit, that’s hardcore. Do you have any special talents? What can you bring to the table?

PF: Robots. Science. Engineering skills. Eating people. No, wait, that last one’s just a joke. Haha, amirite?

patrick

MB: Oh yeah, you’re totally right. Okay, so if you’re wanting to work with me, you must already have a target in mind. Who are we kidnapping?

PF: Isuji Sakura.

MB: What’s so special about her?

PF: She’s a one-woman killing machine with a history of violence on four continents. Currently working with Matt Rowley, rumor has it she’s regaining the powers she lost when ICAP went belly-up.

MB: What kind of ransom are we looking at? Are we walking away with a few hundred thousand, a million, what? Or something besides cash? What’s in it for me?

PF: At least six different nations want what she can do, and they’re willing to go through any means to get it. I mean, if the CIA, Russia, or China ain’t rich enough for you, I can always find someone else to do this.

MB: Be honest. How dangerous is this Sakura?

PF: Depends on what she’s got back. Regeneration we can deal with, but post-augmentation she was the fastest person in the world and could flip a car with her bare hands. So let’s get this straight: if we don’t catch her while she’s sleeping, we’re both going to die. I wouldn’t have come to you if this were easy.

MB: You’re a very thoughtful person, Patrick. Now what location were you thinking?

PF: For some ungodly reason they’re based out of Tennessee. She’s got an apartment in the boonies outside Nashville, lives alone, and I know a guy who knows the guy who designed the security system.

MB: Okay, we have a target and a location. Now we need to discuss method. There’s many ways to kidnap a person. We could sneak up on her and throw a potato sack over her head. We could shoot her with a tranquilizer. We could order her a pizza and lace it with sleeping pills. The possibilities are endless.

PF: You can’t drug an aug—it clears their system way too fast. Blunt force trauma to the head and then real-quick cinch her up with steel bands before she comes to. Handcuffs won’t cut it, so don’t get smart.

MB: Christ, you couldn’t have targeted someone a little less deadly? So say we actually do succeed, which seems unlikely—who’s going to be coming after her?

PF: If Rowley finds out about it he’ll come down on us like the wrath of God. Only he ain’t going to find out. If we torch the place and cover our tracks he’ll know she’s missing, but won’t know who took her. It’s all good.

MB: How could we convince them we mean business? They’re not getting Sakura back until the ransom has been delivered. Should we cut off some limbs or what? Shave a scalp, maybe? You know, once I filmed a hostage being forced to walk on a floor of legos, then sent the video to the guy’s wife. She paid up, like, immediately. What would work best for Sakura?

PF: No, you don’t mess with Augs. She gets free she’ll break us both in half, and trust me, she’s better at getting free than you are at making her react, even with Legos. We take her, keep her secured, and wait for the buyers.

MB: How do you predict this hypothetical kidnapping ending? Will it all be smooth sailing, or is there a massive gunfight in our future? I don’t mind spilling a little blood here and there, I just need to be prepared.

PF: Look, pal, if it comes to a fight you’re on your own. These people are deadly and aren’t in the habit of giving quarter. Just relax.

MB: I’m 90% sure this job will end with me dead. Let’s give it a shot.

Jay Wilburn Kidnaps His Protagonist (Whose Name Is Satchelmouth Murderman, Holy Shit, Are You Kidding Me)

I recently wrote a novel called How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. Some people have used it as a guide, others have used it to balance wobbly dinner tables. It’s about a writer who one day impulsively kidnaps a book reviewer outside of a coffee shop, in front of dozens of witnesses. This is obviously not how one would successfully go about kidnapping a stranger. My novel is more of an anti-guide. Do the opposite of what my characters do, and you might actually have a successful abduction.

But now that I’ve gotten a few kidnappings under my belt, I’ve decided to hold some auditions for those who might be interested in being my partner. Today’s audition features Jay Wilburn. We will be discussing the possibility of kidnapping the protagonist from his novel, The Dead Song Legend Dodecology (Book 1: January).

Dead Song Book 1 final cover

MB: All right, Jay, before I agree to be your partner, you’re gonna have to answer a few questions. I don’t kidnap strangers with just anybody. Well, not usually. I have a long list of potential partners awaiting my consideration, so let’s make this fast. Who the hell are you, and why should I trust you?

JW: There was a man named Jay Wilburn. He was a good man, active in his church. He was a teacher and idealistic. One day that man had to be destroyed so that his dreams might live. I hid his body in the swamps of South Carolina, assumed his identity, quit teaching, and started writing zombie stories.

MB: That’s really rather creepy. Good. Provide examples of your criminal past. Any jail time served? Ever jaywalk or swallow your gum even though you knew it would stay in your stomach for years until eventually hatching into a horrifying monster? I need to know this kind of stuff ahead of time.

JW: Jay walking is the only way I know how to do it. I’ve been behind on my rent before. I ghost write stories. I wrote a few term papers for rich kids.

MB: Do you have any special talents? What can you bring to the table?

JW: I have practiced a little with a bow and arrow. If you need me to miss somebody, I’m your man.

jay naked

MB: I recollect a story you once wrote about shooting a teenage girl in the ass with an arrow, so this checks out. All right, so if you’re wanting to work with me, you must already have a target in mind. Who are we kidnapping?

JW: Satchelmouth Murderman.

MB: That…that sure is a name. I was going to ask you what’s so special about him, but after hearing his name I’m not sure I want to know.

JW: He’s a former minor league baseball player that starts recording music after the zombie apocalypse. The post apocalyptic travel teams are willing to pay in can goods, if we can deliver him.

MB: Wait a minute. The zombie apocalypse has happened already? Holy shit. I need to get out more. So what kind of ransom are we looking at? Are we walking away with a few hundred thousand, a million, what? Or something besides cash? What’s in it for me?

JW: We can probably get some gasoline and toothpaste, if you are being greedy—pre-apocalyptic toothpaste, so…pretty awesome.

MB: Be honest. How dangerous is a person named Satchelmouth Murderman? Probably super murderous if I had to guess.

JW: He is pretty deadly with a knife and has a special bat designed for cracking skulls without splintering. It was mainly for zombies, but it will work on living people too. His friends are willing to chase after whoever has him, so it could get dicey.

MB: What location were you thinking? The best place to abduct this Murderman with as few witnesses as possible. Is there somewhere we can get him alone?

JW: He is burying his sister back in their hometown. He’ll be off his guard, I think.

MB: Okay, we have a target and a location. Now we need to discuss method. There’s many ways to kidnap a person. We could sneak up on him and throw a potato sack over his head. We could shoot him with a tranquilizer. We could order him a pizza and lace it with sleeping pills. The possibilities are endless.

JW: I recommend going in fast. People have tried before and most of them are dead. I think maybe I should stay with the car and be sure it stays running and the air stays cold while you grab him.

Funny-Car-Picture-2

MB: That sounds awfully convenient for you, but okay. So now that we have him, how long until someone notices he’s gone? Who’s going to be coming after him? Should I be worried?

JW: Tiny Jones will know right away. Kidd Banjo will follow after that. They have been particularly murdery in the past. When you kidnap a man named Murderman, you have to expect a little trouble, right?

MB: All of those names sound absolutely insane. How could we convince them we mean business? They’re not getting Murderman back until the ransom has been delivered. Should we cut off some limbs or what? Shave a scalp, maybe? You know, once I filmed a hostage being forced to walk on a floor of legos, then sent the video to the guy’s wife. She paid up, like, immediately. What would work best for Satchelmouth? Try to be creative.

JW: He is really creeped out by zombies that are in pieces. If we put a bunch of those around him, he’ll be pretty freaked out. Tiny Jones is not cool with zombie children.

MB: How do you predict this hypothetical kidnapping ending? Will it all be smooth sailing, or is there a massive gunfight in our future? I don’t mind spilling a little blood here and there, I just need to be prepared.

JW: Almost definitely a gunfight. It will be an epic ending for anyone not in charge of keeping the car running, so you should be careful.

MB: I may need some time to come to terms with the fact that the zombie apocalypse happened without anyone telling me, and I’ll definitely need time to build up enough courage to take on someone named Murderman, but yeah, sure, what the hell, count me in. Let’s kidnap!

David James Keaton Kidnaps His Protagonist

I recently wrote a novel called How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. Some people have used it as a guide, others have used it to balance wobbly dinner tables. It’s about a writer who one day impulsively kidnaps a book reviewer outside of a coffee shop, in front of dozens of witnesses. This is obviously not how one would successfully go about kidnapping a stranger. My novel is more of an anti-guide. Do the opposite of what my characters do, and you might actually have a successful abduction.

But now that I’ve gotten a few kidnappings under my belt, I’ve decided to hold some auditions for those who might be interested in being my partner. Today’s audition features David James Keaton. We will be discussing the possibility of kidnapping the protagonist from his novel, The Last Projector.

last projector hardcover crop

MB: All right, David, before I agree to be your partner, you’re gonna have to answer a few questions. I don’t kidnap strangers with just anybody. Well, not usually. I have a long list of potential partners awaiting my consideration, so let’s make this fast. Who the hell are you, and why should I trust you?

DJK: My name is David James Keaton, and you can definitely trust me as long as we have the same objective. I’ll probably have no interest in your success or well-being once we go our separate ways, however, so after this is over you should probably cut off all contact. Maybe change your name to Max Booth the Second. Or would that be just Junior? That won’t work. Haven’t you seen the Kiss of Death remake with Nicolas Cage? Because of that movie, I’ve never worked with a Junior, and I won’t start now.

MB: Provide examples of your criminal past. Any jail time served? Ever jaywalk or swallow your gum even though you knew it would stay in your stomach for years until eventually hatching into a horrifying monster? I need to know this kind of stuff ahead of time.

DJK: I was locked up for a couple hours for unpaid speeding tickets once, but my friends bailed me out pretty quick. Well, not too quick. That night, I’d just convinced them all to go see Star Trek V, and we’d been pulled over on the way home. Everyone was in such a bad mood from that movie that they insisted the police officer handcuff me, which he did, all while saying, “some friends ya got there!” And then they did some joy-riding in my car until they finally got 500 bucks out of the ATM to come bail me out.

I also had a vandalism streak back in the ‘90s and would read the police blotter in the local Bowling Green paper to see which smashed payphones were reported. Come to think of it, that police blotter column may have technically been my first publications.

But I don’t have too many urges to vandalize these days. However, if I’m left in our getaway car too long, I’ll probably compulsively start picking at the upholstery. And if I’m left there with ‘80s pop rock music playing, I might even tear up the entire dashboard Francis Dolarhyde-style.

MB: Do you have any special talents? What can you bring to the table?

DJK: I learned how to correctly punch people in the face by watching Magnum Force. In that movie, Clint Eastwood hit everyone with the side of his fist, rather than his knuckles. Try it! Instead of punching straight down all awkward with the front of your knuckles, bring your arm down like you’re hammering invisible nails. You can do this all day long with no pain at all. This is a game-changer. Other things Clint Eastwood taught me that could help us – while watching Heartbreak Ridge I learned how to give our gang new nicknames within seconds of meeting them. Your new name will be Max “Phone Home” Booth. The Third.

keaton kidnapped pic

MB: All right, so if you’re wanting to work with me, you must already have a target in mind. Who are we kidnapping?

DJK: Lawrence Bridge Kensington III. Friends call him Larry. He directs pornographic films, but more important than all that, he spit mouthwash in my face when I was idling my dirt bike next to him at a four-way stop. He never even apologized. Holy shit, I just realized he has the same last name as you! Is this going to be an issue ?

MB: What’s so special about him?

DJK: I’ve recently discovered that his real name is Jack Grinstead, and I want to find out what he’s hiding. I’m pretty sure you should never trust anyone with a two names.

MB: What kind of ransom are we looking at? Are we walking away with a few hundred thousand, a million, what? Or something besides cash? What’s in it for me?

DJK: Whether he’s calling himself Larry or Jack, I don’t think he’s ever had much money to his name. Our caper is more to protect the rest of the world from his inevitable apocalyptic meltdown. What’s in it for you? You live in this world, too, right?

MB: Be honest. How dangerous is this person? What kind of weapons should I arm myself with, and how likely are we to utilize them? Will he be packing? Will he be alone?

DJK: He’s a pussy. One of his neighbors regularly beats the shit out of him. Basically, his only real weapon is anachronistic meta-narrative confusion. Which means we might find ourselves kidnapping each other and then making a soundtrack of the hypothetical movie of our situation that already existed before we were born.

MB: What location were you thinking? The best place to abduct this Larry or Jack or whoever with as few witnesses as possible. Is there somewhere we can get him alone?

DJK: The drive-in. I know this seems like a terrible place to snatch someone, but, ironically, the more witnesses the better when it comes to this guy. He’s the kind of asshole who won’t believe he’s being kidnapped unless a hundred strangers are honking their horns. Or applauding. And is he doesn’t believe it, we won’t believe it. Filmmgoers call this a “suspension of disbelief .” Larry, however, calls this a suspension of his balls. I don’t know what that means either. I told you he was dangerous.

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MB: Okay, we have a target and a location. Now we need to discuss method. There’s many ways to kidnap a person. We could sneak up on him and throw a potato sack over his head. We could shoot him with a tranquilizer. We could order him a pizza and lace it with sleeping pills. The possibilities are endless. You know this person better than anybody.

DJK: Although Larry fancies himself a serious filmmaker, he makes most of his money shooting porn, and he indulges in every movie-making shortcut known to man. Including this fake phone book he keeps in his trunk for whenever he needs a character to pretend to make a phone call and spout off some obvious exposition to advance his paper-thin plots. So what we should do is swap that fake phone booth with a real phone booth, and then when that phone rings, we could… fuck it, let’s just hit him on the head.

MB: Now that we have Jack, or Larry, how long until someone notices he’s gone? Who’s going to be coming after him? Should I be worried?

DJK: The only person who might notice he’s gone is Damon Gold, the owner of the adult film company Larry works for. Damon, however, might throw a party if he thinks Larry is dead. Or at least keep his current party going an extra week.

MB: How could we convince them we mean business? They’re not getting Larry back until the ransom has been delivered. Should we cut off some limbs or what? Shave a scalp, maybe? You know, once I filmed a hostage being forced to walk on a floor of legos, then sent the video to the guy’s wife. She paid up, like, immediately. What would work best for Larry? Try to be creative.

DJK: Like I said, we’re not going to get any money out of this, just the satisfaction that we’ve kept the world safe from post-modern paradoxes. And if Larry doesn’t show up on a porn set, because of the nature of low-budget, clandestine shoots, everything will probably happen exactly the same, only the two strangers who would still be having sex on the plastic-covered furniture won’t be recorded on film. Who are we kidding, I mean recorded on videotape. So Larry is unessential to his own existence in a lot of ways. And the only person who gives a shit about Larry is Larry, and by that I mean only the previous incarnation of Larry before he became so jaded and worked a profession that actually made a difference in people’s lives, when he went by “Jack Grinstead,” the paramedic. And if Jack knows that his future self, Larry, has been abducted, I have no doubt that he’ll try to change the course of his life to stop this from ever happening. This may mean… yes, masturbating into more Venus Fly Traps. I know, I know, don’t ask. So what we’d need to do is to convince Larry’s future filmmaking staff that this is some crazy gonzo botanist porn we’re working on, but that it’s set in the ‘80s when Larry was still calling himself Jack, and then we’d somehow record Jack masturbating into Venus Fly Traps without his knowledge, then mail the VHS tape to his future self, who would be confused by the old technology and stack it unwatched next to his old two-tape version of Heat. Wait, I mean mail the Venus Fly Traps to Larry, who would probably be ashamed to see them in the daylight and staple their little green mouths shut.

MB: Jesus Christ, you’re crazy. How do you predict this hypothetical kidnapping ending? Will it all be smooth sailing, or is there a massive gunfight in our future? I don’t mind spilling a little blood here and there, I just need to be prepared.

DJK: I think if we follow Larry’s lead, and we can keep these plants from talking to the cops, we’re gonna be okay. Did you know that a Venus Fly Trap will only close and re-open ten times before it no longer responds at all? That’s not a lot, but if you think of it like a cat, that still sounds better than nine lives. My point is, let’s not get carried away with the stapler. A tiny strip of duct tape over their mouths, and we’ll be fine. No one has to know we even considered doing any of this. Wait, what are we doing again?

MB: This all sounds very confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. But fuck it, count me in.

How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers is Now Available to Burn

The paperback of my third novel, How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers, is now available on Amazon from Journalstone’s weird fiction imprint, Bizarro Pulp Press. It’s a very short book about a small press dealing with the unwanted kidnapping of one of their worst reviewers. I am told the kindle version should be available in the next week or two, but fuck that noise, you need the paperback version of this book. For one thing, the interior formatting by Lori Michelle is goddamn beautiful, and another, the jacket design by Matthew Revert is sexy enough to make Jesus Christ himself ejaculate in his holy slacks.

You can buy the paperback here.

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Or if you want a signed copy, email me at maxboothiii@gmail.com.

Listen to your brain.

Your brain is telling you, hey buddy, let’s take a nap, and you’re responding with a I don’t have time for this shit right now, brain. You’re telling it you have too much work to get done. You can nap when you’re dead. Your brain says you’re gonna be dead soon enough if you don’t chill out for a moment. The world won’t end if you nod off for a few, but your body might if you don’t give it an hour or two to recharge. You continue ignoring your brain and attempt to continue revising your latest piece of shit novel, but you’re having trouble staying in your chair, so you drag your laptop over to the bed and lie down on your stomach. You prop up a pillow underneath your chin and return to your manuscript. Your brain tells you this isn’t going to end well and you tell your brain to go fuck itself. Then you blink, and forty minutes later you open your eyes to find your face smashed into your keyboard and two thousand random new words have appeared in your book. Just complete nonsense. Meanwhile, your brain is laughing and trying not to say it told you so. So you crack your neck and delete all the nonsense face-typed words and attempt to work again, only to pass right back out. An hour later, your brain is smoking a cigarette and sighing contently next to you, saying now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Cover Reveal: How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers

My next book will be a short novel called How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. It’s about a bizarro small press reacting badly to a blogger who constantly targets their books with negative reviews. It’s being released this April by Bizarro Pulp Press, the weird fiction imprint of Journalstone.

Mark it as “to-read” on Goodreads here.

Now take a look at Matthew Revert’s cover design:

strangers cover

1. Do not respond to bad reviews.

2. If you must respond to bad reviews, please do not kidnap the reviewer.

3. If you must kidnap the reviewer, do not kidnap him in a public area.

4. If there are witnesses, do not also kidnap them.

5. If you also kidnap the witnesses, consider quitting crystal meth.

6. If you find yourself surrounded by hostages, purchase extra duct tape.

7. Do not let the hostages take their own hostages.

8. Invest in better coffee.

9. Don’t forget: dildo crucifixes have more than one use.

10. And, most importantly: do not engage the severed heads in conversation.