The Housekeeper Joins Mixer Countdown

For Day 8 of Mixer Publishing’s countdown to the launch of their web site, they released my short story “The Housekeeper” via Amazon.com in Kindle format. This is pretty cool. I love the art they are using (see right) which I believe is the cover for their forthcoming anthology of Love and Death: heartburn, headaches & hangovers.

Mixer calls the story a “dark Chekhovian gem.” Here’s what else they have to say:

In “The Housekeeper,” Scott Ritter is haunted by the embarrassing memory of his father Frank, an author of seedy pulp novels. Does he struggle with his father’s ambiguous sexual preferences, or his own? Like Chekhov, Theodore Wheeler paints a devastating psychological portrait of denial, and refuses to wrap the answers up with a pretty bow.

Thanks so much to Steve Owen, Rebekah Hall, and everyone involved with Mixer. It all seems to be coming together very nicely for them as they launch the venture. The aesthetic is sharp and some great writers are on board. I’m excited to be a part of it. As you may remember, “The Housekeeper” was originally slated to appear in Flatmancrooked 4, but that didn’t happen, of course, once FMC shuttered. Steve, formerly an editor there, stepped up and saved the anthology, reviving it for Mixer. I’m so happy he did, as it looks to be an excellent compilation.

You can find links to the other stories featured in Mixer’s launch countdown here, on their Facebook page, and on Amazon. There’s work by Myfanwy Collins, Kate Braverman, Daniel Grandbois, R. Neal Bonser, and more.  You will also be able to find them at mixerpublishing.com very soon.

Flatmancrooked Calls It Quits

So word officially came out this week that Sacramento-based independent publisher Flatmancrooked is no more. This is really too bad, as FMC did quite a few innovative projects in their three years of existence. They’re probably best known for the Zero Emission Book Project, what with the front page coverage provided by Poets & Writers. It was a nice bit of success that took on a life of its own, although the excitement seemed to fizzle a bit once the book actually came out, and to not so great reviews. The LAUNCH program was, and is, a good idea, and excelled at hooking talented young writers into FMC’s effective promotions network. Their off-site events at AWPs Denver and Washington DC were very well done and were highlights for me both years. The Literati Gong Show this February was particularly awesome.

You can read Elijah Jenkins’ farewell note here. Here’s the main thrust of it:

You’ve might’ve heard the rumors by now and, unfortunately, the rumors are true. Flatmancrooked is closing its doors. The reasons for this are varied but are largely due to my decision to leave publishing in order to focus on my family and health. Various editors, including our illustrious Senior Editor Deena Drewis and Associate Editor Steve Owen shall remain in the game, producing good work with new entities. Deena will be continuing with a novella press much in keeping with LAUNCH and the novellas we put out at FMC–stay tuned here: nouvellabooks.com; Steve is starting a journal and press called Mixer, which promises all the whimsy and brains of a mixed-genre, experimental endeavor; details TBA, so keep your eyes peeled.

I’m glad Deena is keeping LAUNCH going. It’s a worthwhile venture and something that will fill a need in the marketplace. In my experience at conferences, there always seem to be a really good fiction writer who writes very long stories, and subsequently has trouble getting them published in large part because of their length. Nouvella Books would seem to be perfect for folks like this. So be sure to mention it if the opportunity arises.

Two of my short stories were published by FMC. Impatiens (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2) was featured on their website and in Flatmancrooked’s Anthology of Great Writing Done During an Economic Depression. The anthology is for sale at a deep discount ($3) at their online store. If anyone’s interested, you can find it here. (The saucy cover art is featured above.) A second story, The Housekeeper, was on the website in January and was slated to appear in Flatmancrooked 4, but that isn’t going to happen now. Steve Owen (Mixer Publishing) is trying to keep the anthology together and publish it as Mixer’s first offering. I hope he can work it out, as it was something a lot of us were looking forward to.

I mentioned this on Facebook, but it bears repeating. I feel very blessed to have been able to work with Flatmancrooked these past few years, and am saddened that they won’t be able to continue on. Everyone knows that independent publishing is a particularly difficult endeavor and no excuse is required for hanging it up when the time comes. I wish nothing but the best for Elijah, Deena, and all the others.