“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

[Note: testing this with KDP Select; not available via other digital sources for 90 days]

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.

 
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