Shotgun Gravy: Now Available

“Sometimes she wakes up at night, smelling that gunpowder smell. Ears ringing. A whimpering there in the darkness. Doesn’t always hit her at night, either. Might be in the middle of the day. She should be smelling pizza, or garbage, or cat shit wafting from the house next door, but instead what she smells is that acrid tang of gunsmoke. All up in her nose. Clinging there like a tick…”

So begins the tale of Atlanta Burns, a young girl with a grim past lingering at the fringes of her droll and dreary high school existence. She’s content to remain there, too, or so she thinks: soon, however, she’s drawn in a battle against two separate groups of bullies – a trio of local troublemakers and a group of Neo-Nazi gay bashers – to save a pair of new and unexpected friends.

But actions have consequences, and by fighting back, Atlanta discovers she’s kicked over a log, thus revealing what hides squirming underneath.

It’s just her, her friends, and a .410 squirrel gun against a handful of bullies and a conspiracy whose worst aspects remain yet hidden.

Can she triumph?

Will her victory be paid in unseen sacrifices?

Or is fighting back just asking for a face full of bad news?

(This is novella #1, a complete tale in and of itself. But Atlanta’s story will continue in #2, BAIT DOG.)

Your procurement options are as follows:

Kindle (US): Buy Here

Kindle (UK): Buy Here

Nook: [Available Later Today, I Hope]

Or, buy the PDF ($2.99) by clicking the BUY NOW button:

What Awesome Humans Have To Say

SHOTGUN GRAVY is like VERONICA MARS on Adderall. Atlanta Burns is a troubled teenage girl who’s scared, angry, and not taking shit from anybody. Chuck Wendig knocks this one out of the park as he so often does.” – Stephen Blackmoore, author of CITY OF THE LOST and DEAD THINGS

“Give Nancy Drew a shotgun and a kick-ass attitude and you get Atlanta Burns. Packed with action and fascinating characters, SHOTGUN GRAVY is a story that will captivate both teens and adults and have them clamoring for the next installment.” – Joelle Charbonneau, author of SKATING OVER THE LINE

Author Notes

First things first, I suppose what I should say up front is that Atlanta Burns, “The Get-Shit-Done Girl,” will be back in BAIT DOG, the second novella in the series.

From there is goes to novella #3, BULLY PULPIT.

And after that, novella #4, HARUM SCARUM.

(Those names may change depending on how the wind blows.)

Which means this is probably a good time to explain what’s going on with these stories.

I’m approaching these novellas a bit like television storytelling in that it’s both episodic and serialized at the same time. Look at a show like Burn Notice, you’ll see what I mean – Burn Notice offers a new story every episode wherein the protagonist helps someone solve a problem. At the same time, each episode also advances a larger season-long plot and moves the characters forward a little bit (though never too much, as television thrives on characters that change little, if at all).

I thought it might be fun to try to emulate the shorter-form of television on the printed (er, “e-printed”) page while still building toward a larger story in a serialized way.

So, this is the first novella in the series of four (probably), and when they’re all said and done, they’ll add up to the equivalent of a really big novel in size. Then, provided this whole series doesn’t suck donkey taint and you fine, fine readers keep on reading and liking them, I’ll move onto a second series (which, I assume, will also contain four more novellas).

That’s the drill. I’ll release each one… well, I don’t know when. One every couple-few months, I figure. Unless of course these books just aren’t selling, at which point I’ll go cry in the bubble bath and then move onto something bigger and brighter. (If I can’t sell 500 of this one, for instance, the next one isn’t a lock.)

Now, to another question: is this book really YA, or Young Adult?

I don’t know.

I didn’t necessarily intend to write YA, but here I am, writing a book about a teen girl dealing with teen issues: rape and violence and bullying and sexual identity and all that stuff. Being a teen is just plain shitty. Everyone tells you that it’s the best time of your life but it’s not—

–it’s one of the weirdest, and admittedly offers some major highs… and some staggering lows. (For my money, the years after high school were the best.)

As such, I guess this counts as YA (or YA-flavored crime, or crime-flavored YA). It’s noir. Noir-esque. Quasi-noir. I don’t even know what noir is anymore, honestly. It has a passel of bad words and ugly thoughts, of course, though let’s not be naïve and pretend that teens don’t use naughty swear words or do bad things. I think I did all my worst stuff when I was a teen. That’s the nature of being young.

Anyway. Hope to see you all back for BAIT DOG (which is largely complete but needs a good polish), maybe in a couple-few months. Thanks for picking this one up, and if you feel so inclined to tell a friend about it or leave a review, you can be sure I’d appreciate that.

We writers can only survive through the support of caring readers, after all.


  • It is probably bad (for me) that I just see links from yuo to amazon and click “buy now” instead of reading what it is you’re selling. Oh well, I’ve been curious about this for a while now.

  • You’ve got timing like a mo, Wendig. I just finished a book and wanted to read something in the complete opposite direction. Do you have a tracking device installed on my Kindle or something? Are you watching me? You are, aren’t you? *paranoid shivers*

    Ahem. I’ll let you know (when I finish it, of course) if you’ve hit the YA mark. YA is, more than anything else, defined by its voice and intended audience – or books written for teens from a teen perspective. Yeah, there’s a lot of common themes (first love, coming of age, bullies suck, life sucks, everything sucks, identity, etc), but none of them are required to be there. They just happen to be what really matters to and, thus, appeals to the core audience.

  • Teenage girls and shotguns? COUNT ME IN.

    I will be very interested to see how the genre discussion (YA or not) goes, too. YA in my day was terribly tame and lame. Seems like things are changing, though. Will be looking forward to Kate’s insights.

  • You mentioned a bunch of things I liked (not the teenage girls-just move along). I am a big fan of Veronica Mars, and Burn Notice. And there is a fictional character that has a lot of that series-and-episode thing going on. I’m a big, big fan of F Paul Wilson and his character Repairman Jack. I’ve read some series other before, and this one hooked me because (Spoiler Alert!) the shit changes in every book. The whole thing is advancing towards something big. You don’t even get a sense of that until about half way through. Wilson even wrote some juvenile fiction featuring Jack as a teen, and they tie into his adult stories. In fact, it may have ruined other series for me.
    Except for Evanovitch. I can’t help it–Plum is a dirty, guilty pleasure. I know they’re going to ruin the movie. A blond? Seriously?
    To get back on track, what I mean is, it sounds like exactly what I like. I like a good series. Something for now, and something for which to look forward.

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