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Chuck Under Microscope

In Which I Am Interviewed, And Captured On Film Like The Sasquatch

I am interviewed!

On video, no less. Which is always an awkward experiment that I hesitate to punish you with — but there it is, just the same. I assume you’ll forgive me. Just stare into the beard. It makes all things better.



Anyway. I talk about all kinds of stuff: traditional publishing versus self-publishing, metaphor, horror, outlining, porn. I round the bases. I cover all the essential elemental elements and essences.

Thanks to Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn for having me.

If you don’t want to watch the video, you can catch a text recap at her site, which also features an audio podcast version. Please to enjoy.

My Official Worldcon Schedule (And Other Newsworthy Snidbits)

You can find the official WorldCon schedule here.

But, if you’re a bonafide bonded-and-licensed Wendigo Hunter and you’re looking for me specifically, well, then, here’s your best bets for tracking me down this upcoming weekend in Chicago:

Thursday, 8/30:

I arrive in an ornithopter whose wings are formed from the skin of the Mighty Humbaba!

Friday, 8/31:

“The New Pulp” panel with me, Adam Christopher, and Stephen Blackmoore. Ideally, we’ll be drinking. Or talking about drinking. 10:30am to noon, McCormick.

Friday, 8/31:

Mockingbird launch and book signing with fellow Angry Robot book-launchers Gwenda Bond, Kim Curran, and Adam Christopher. Starting at 7pm, The Book Cellar. They sell beer at this bookstore. Repeat: they sell beer at this bookstore. Also, it’s located in a neighborhood appropriately called “Ravenswood.” KISMET, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Saturday, 9/1:

Not much going on. Find me! Maybe we’ll do an impromptu unofficial “kaffeeklatsch,” whatever that is. I think it involves espresso and artificially intelligent Rube Goldberg devices.

Sunday, 9/2:

Reading! In which I read something! 10am – 10:30am, DuSable.

Sunday, 9/2:

Signing! In which I devalue (Er, “autograph”) your books! Or your boobs (lady- and man-boobs)! I’ll sign anything! A puppy! A handgun! Whatever! 10:30am – noon, Autograph Tables.

Monday, 9/3:

I flee the city on a horse made of fire!

Your best bets for communicating with me is via Twitter (@ChuckWendig). I’ll also be rooming with Stephen Blackmoore, which is frightening as I’m told he’s bringing one of his many clown outfits. If you find me and I’m shivering and there’s a little smudge of greasepaint on my cheek or chin, just do me the service of quietly wiping it away with a moistened thumb. Say nothing. Just nod and hold me.

Sweet Crispy Ass-Crack, It’s A Book Trailer!

Book trailer for the Miriam Black series? With me reading strings upon strings of profanity extracted from the books? YOU ASK, YOU RECEIVE. Put on your helmets and tarps.


(A second trailer will be incoming in the next day or three read by the inestimable growl of Dan O’Shea.)

Holy Shitting Shitballs, It’s Mockingbird!

So. Mockingbird releases tomorrow (next week for the UK audience).


*freaks out, jumps up and down, throws chair through office window*

I’ll remind you that pre-ordering enters you into a contest by which you may win a buttload of my other books in hardcopy (deval… er, autographed). Email proof of pre-order to terribleminds at gmail dot com.

You’ve got till (now extended) 9pm tonight to get those pre-orders into me. I’ll pick tomorrow!

You can read the first 50+ pages right here, for free:


Holy Fuckity Fuck-Otters, It’s A Buncha New Mockingbird Reviews!

Kickass Litstack review:

“For those nervous about sequels, pop an Ativan and take a few cleansing breaths. Mockingbird, dare I say, is even better than its predecessor, a heady feat considering the pressure of novels written in series format. Chuck Wendig delivers on the promise he established in Blackbirds. The continuing saga of Miriam Black never lags with its hairpin plot turns and freakishly ornate imagery. It is a book that, once consumed, will leave you famished for the next installment.”

From My Bookish Ways:

“Chuck Wendig’s mind is a terrifying, twisted, fascinating thing, and thank goodness he puts this stuff down on paper for the rest of us. Darker than dark, Mockingbird will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget, so fortify your stomach and settle in, because you’re going to want to read this one in one sitting. Can’t wait for the next one!”

From Crime Fiction Lover:

“Wendig carries on where he left off in Blackbirds. All the strengths which made it so fantastic return here – great pacing, taught plotting, laugh-out-loud language, and the empathy he has with his damaged protagonist. He continues to blend genres like someone who’s written 20 novels, not just two or three. This is part horror, part urban fantasy, part thriller and part mystery. All of it, however, is good.”

From Romanceaholic:

“Holy hell, that twist!”

From Kindle-a-holic:

“Miriam is near the top of my badass list and she does it without any superpower other than her ability to touch a person and know how they die. That and she knows how to fight dirty. The last third of this book is just nonstop action-packed don’t-interrupt-me-now-I-mean-it awesome.”

From Spacetalkers From Outer Shelf:

“It almost made me late for work. It almost made me miss my bus. It sucks you in (and no, it’s not a pun, there are no vampires in it, which is perhaps another point in its favor) and does not let go. It is fast-paced and engrossing. It is pretty much everything I look for in a good urban fantasy book.”

From Amberkatze’s Book Blog:

Mockingbird makes Blackbirds look tame. Which I didn’t think was possible. The sequel has all the dark and wonderful content of the first book but manages to be darker and even more wonderful.”

Oh, and Amanda Makepeace did this cool word-cloud from the book:

Faster, Mockingbird, Kill, Kill!

Finally, two more pieces of Blackbirds/Mockingbird fan art (and remember, there’s a fan art contest going on right now as I type this very sentencedetails here):

From Maggie Carroll:

From JD Savage:

And I guess that’s it. Hope you decide to hunker down and check out Mockingbird. And if not, I’d appreciate it if you at least spread the word. Thanks, lovely readers.

NSFW: The Collected Profanity Of Blackbirds And Mockingbird (Book Trailer)

Fuck. Fuck off. Fuck it. Fuck you. Some Podunk fuckwit country tune. We shall not be fucking. Fuck this. Shit that. My fair fuckin’ lady. God-fucked motel. You fuckin’ whore. A rust-fucked pickup. Eat a dick and die, fuckpie. Frat-fucks. Dumb fucker. I fucking love Google. Hoity-fucking-toity. Bugfuck nuts. Fuckin’ prick. The sun can go fuck itself. The Sunshine Café can go fuck itself equally. Dog-fucker of a mother. Fucking dickwipe. Ass-fuck, New Mexico. The motherfucking mongoose. The motherfucking apocalypse. “Mother cock sucker and fucker.” We’re fucked. Everybody’s fucked. Basehead tweaker fuckface. You fucking shitcock asshole. Hairless Fucker. Jumping Fucking Jesus. Froo-froo piece-of-shit donkey-fucker skinhead. Bullshit. Apeshit. Chickenshit. No shit. Shithead. Shit-canned. Baby shit yellow. Batshit highway witch. The Holy Shit I’m Dead Express. Shits blood and dies. Shitbird Lane. Shithouse spider. Cut the ‘little girl’ shit, paleface. I’mma squeeze the dogshit out of you. You’ll be shitting legal papers till the stars burn out. Slicker than gooseshit on a glass window. This emo shit gives me a rash. Neither shit nor shinola. Shit Creek. Shit River. I don’t want to ingest particles of cat shit. Shit-ton of lighthouses. Shitload of squirrels. Shithole party. Hammered shit. Favorite little shithead! Rock out with your cock out. His cock in his hand. Syphilis is rotting your cock off. Cocksucker. Cat piss. Piss and Doritos. Piss in your Wheaties. Piss-shivers. He might as well have a couple vaginas in his pocket. I did you with my vagina. Two noses and a vagina for a mouth. An unguent for your rashy vagina. Stapled my vagina shut. Sand-encrusted vagina. Tall, Dark and Asshole. Stuff the rabbit’s foot up your asshole. Somewhere in the approximate middle of New Jersey’s sandy asshole. A moist dirt pucker like a cancerous asshole. A nun’s asshole. C-U-Next-Tuesday. Dangling by a delicate cunt hair. Crafty little cunt. Bitchy cunt whore mother. Twat-cunt. Worm-choked cunt. Twat bitch axe-wound. Lippy bitch! Bitches be crazy. The slag-whore bitches in Dracula’s brothel. Sonofabitch. Boobies. Titties. Tits in a bear-trap. Whipped cream on my tits, broccoli up his ass.

Things That Are Happening Now Or That Will Happen Soon: An Update!

Time to wiggle my toes in the waters of Wuzza, Wooza, Wendig?

Here’s what’s going on:

Sabrina Ogden is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever encountered in this life (and likely in any other). She’s also a darling book blogger and an all-around wonderful human being. At present, Sabrina needs surgery on her jaw that health insurance will not pay for, and so a bunch of authors have joined an anthology to help her get what she needs. I’m in there, along with folks like Tommy Pluck, Stephen Blackmoore, Dan O’Shea, Joelle Charbonneau, Steve Weddle, and others. The anthology is up at IndieGoGo — “Feeding Kate” — and money raised will go toward paying for the surgery. Money raised in excess will go toward a Lupus charity. Please consider giving even a fiver (which earns you an e-copy of this anthology). Great stories in your hand and a great person helped by your effort.

Have you met Mookie Pearl? Mookie the Mook! Mookie the Meat-Man! You can read a little bit about him here — he’s the protagonist of my short story, “Charcuterie,” which shows up in an upcoming anthology called “The New Hero, Volume I.” Ah, but there’s more. Mookie’s also front and center of my next Angry Robot release, The Blue Blazes, which drops sometime next year. (That’s Mookie at the top of the page; art by the mighty Gene Ha.)

Hey! Look! A new series from Abaddon — Gods & Monsters — with the first novel by yours truly. It’s called Unclean Spirits and you can read more about it riiiiiiight here.

Bait Dog is done and in reading/editing — so far, I think I’m on track to have the book into backers hands by the end of this month, unless everybody comes back to me and tells me it’s a big bag of awful. (If that happens, I’ll spend a few days sobbing into my Hello Kitty pillow then I’ll get back on the hell-beast I call my steed and we’ll ride forth toward a new plan.) Physical copies of the book will take a little more time, obviously, as summoning a digital object into meatspace is no swift task.

Mockingbird, the follow-up to Blackbirds, hits very soon — end of August, as a matter of fact. First review is in the door! The British Fantasy Society says: “There’s a particularly inventive killer and some especially vulnerable girls in danger, and Wendig grabs you by the face and drags you through those 384 pages with the pacing of a craftsman.” You can preorder here at Amazon — other pre-order links as I get ’em.

Next appearance: WorldCon in Chicago (Aug 30 – Sept 3rd), with I believe a book signing at The Book Cellar that Friday night alongside Gwenda Bond, Kim Curran and Adam Christopher!

Then I’m at Crossroads Writer’s Conference in Macon, GA from Oct. 5th to the 7th.

Then I’m at Storyworld in Los Angeles from Oct. 17th to the 19th

And I remain in LA for the Writer’s Digest Conference West from the 19th to the 21st.

Just in case you missed my promo fusillade: my new writing e-book is out! 500 Ways To Tell A Better Story. $2.99.

My Father Ate Really Weird Things

My father was a farmer, not a foodie.

He ate and drank normal things most of the time, of course — steak a favorite, maybe a Beck’s beer. Or at night, a blackberry brandy. Or a blended Scotch like Dewar’s.

But between the margins lived very curious choices of food.

He’d eat whole cloves of garlic, raw. Munch, munch, munch. The resultant breath potent enough to punch a hole through a vampire’s breastbone and turn his heart to strongly-scented ash.

Horseradish could be grated onto anything. He’d also eat that raw, right out of the garden.

Hell, the raw garden was a good place to find him. Grazing like some kind of horse or antelope. Picking up green peppers, parsley, tomatoes, beans. Crunch crunch crunch.

If my mother made asparagus in boiling water, Dad would drink the asparagus water. A hot, tall, frothy glass of mm-mmm asparagus water. It looked like a big cup of pee. Which is, perhaps, appropriate.

You know Clamato juice? Clam Tomato juice? He’d drink that, too. Most people make dips from it, or use it in recipes. He’d drink a glass of it. Warm, cold, didn’t matter. Glug, glug, glug.

Hot peppers were always on the menu. Never seemed to bother him, either. He grew a wide variety in the garden and would occasionally go out and sample the wares by just popping them in his mouth like they were fucking Triscuits. Didn’t seem to faze him. He’d occasionally say something like, “Hot,” or, “This has good heat,” and then he’d see if I wanted a bite. And it was a trap. Always a trap. Because he’d goad you, tell you it wasn’t that bad, or maybe he’d say from the beginning that it “wasn’t hot at all,” then you’d eat it and from the first moment your tongue touched the thing it felt like someone had jabbed a sparking Stun Gun into your mouth. Alarm bells and synapses firing. And he’d laugh.

He grew these little tiny peppers — “Thai hots,” he called them. Bright red. Each no bigger than the tip of your pinky finger. He’d take two of those, break the skin with a knife (not even chopping them), then toss those two into a pot of elk chili that simmered for the rest of the day. That chili was the deadliest chili around. A turbid, blood-red brew. Delicious, admittedly — but it even got to him. Dad would sweat and snorfle and cough. And keep on eating. It was like a Szechuan hot pot had made sweet spicy love to a bowl of Tex-Mex chili. You could probably boil an elk alive in that pot.

He ate organ meat without batting an eye. Something I’ve only recently come to, myself. His favorite part of the chicken was the “gizzards,” which meant not just the gizzards but all the bird’s inner workings. Heart, liver, etc. All the little inner bits fried up in a pan with some onions and butter, maybe some old-school lard.

We’d go fishing sometimes and catch these gutter eels and one time he was like, “Hell with it,” and we put ’em in the cooler and took them home. He went at them with a cleaver and cut them up into something resembling hunks of garden hose, or maybe something out of an H.R. Giger artwork. Then cooked them and ate them. I guess they weren’t great but they did the trick. I wouldn’t go near ’em.

He ate a lot of fish that we caught. We had catfish at our pond that were big sonofabitches. Long as my arm, thick as my thigh. You’d throw bread into the water and there they’d come, slow like whales, mouths open wide, bread and water disappearing into that fleshy aperture. We didn’t kill or eat those fish, though. Hell, one time a great blue heron — beautiful birds, by the way — started paying visits to our pond and finding it a rather epic buffet. Spearing sunnies and bass and maybe trying for the catfish. So Dad shot it. Which was illegal at the time and, I suspect, still is. His reasoning was, “Bird was eating my fish,” and that was that.

We used to go and shoot birds sometimes — pheasants, geese, chukars — and then have to eat gingerly so you didn’t crack a tooth on the shot. That’s not weird so much, but it comes to mind so there it is.

Weird was pickled pig’s feet. He loved those. Mason jar of those looked like something out of a mad doctor’s laboratory. Fibrous hooves calling to mind a forensics scene where they discover a body in a swamp.

Food was a thing for us. We were a farming family — though by the time I was old enough to have a clue, we raised whitetail deer and that was it (and we generally didn’t eat those deer but one time we ate one and that, well, let’s just say that did not go over well). Later, elk. But farming life is hard and even though the sting of that hard life was gone from ours it still remained and so with it came that utilitarian “You eat everything,” and that meant whatever was on your plate and in your glass even if you didn’t like it. (Though that ended one day when I was forced to eat eggplant and I threw up at the table.)

Really though this isn’t about food. It’s about memory. What we take with us, what we forget. Who we become because of those things. Father’s Day will always be a reflection — like his birthday, like my son’s birthday, like Christmas, like all those days that ping the emotional radar — and it’s always interesting to see what memories float up out of that turbid blood-red brew. One memory leads to the next and the next and the next after that, feeling your way around the dark with open hands to see what you find. It’s good. Strange, but good. Someday, when I’m dead, my son will do the same thing, I hope. Piecing together those memories. Finding a thread and pulling on it until he gets to something he didn’t expect to remember. I guess that’s how we are, fathers and sons. And mothers and daughters and all of us with whatever memories we carry. Memories and stories and lost images found anew.

Happy Father’s Day, you motherfuckers.

New Interview And New News

So, it’s like this: recently, thanks to Gwenda Bond and Jeff Vandermeer, I was afforded the opportunity to interview one of my writing idols — horror and storytelling legend, Robert McCammon. There was, of course, no hesitation on my part; the guy tells amazing stories. I lay the blame of my decision to become a writer at his feet, in fact, thanks to books like Swan Song and Boy’s Life. He’s got a new book out — The Providence Rider — and we talked about that and his career and what he’s got coming up in the future.

You’ll find the interview over at Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog.

Also: checkout my review of The Providence Rider, while you’re at it.

Udder Noose

First up: I will be signing Blackbirds at the Doylestown Bookshop from 7-9pm.

If you are somewhere in the Northeast, YOU MUST COME. Or I will be suicidal with disappointment.

Also, I don’t think I linked to it at the blog yet, so…

Hey, did you see I got a kick-ass review of Blackbirds over at io9?

From that review: “In terms of style, Wendig reminds me most of Stephen King. There’s a way of using somewhat fevered, rugose prose to describe both the beauty and horror of the mundane, then switching to a plainer mode when describing the outer limits stuff, that brings to mind King’s 80s and 90s work.”

Also, a very lovely review of Blackbirds at The Guardian.

From that review: “Building a fast-paced story through clever interweaving of viewpoints and flashback, Blackbirds follows what Miriam does when she knows that fate can never be denied. It’s vivid and violent, with some pyrotechnic turns of phrase, if occasionally rough round the edges. If you’re looking for a sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant, Wendig has established himself as the go-to man.”

Also, the Guardian apparently thinks that I am part of the forefront of “New Pulp.”

From that article: “Then there’s Chuck Wendig. Some would be satisfied just to be the author of Dinocalypse Now – but not Wendig. The American author has built on his growing cult following with the crowd-funded and self-published Atlanta Burns novellas, and the outstanding urban fantasy novel Blackbirds from UK publisher Angry Robot. Wendig’s books, which blend noir and urban fantasy tropes with the gritty reality of contemporary America in a unique trailer-trash gothic style, are proof positive that pulp need not lack depth, emotion or originality. He’s also a prolific blogger; an essential criteria for today’s ambitious pulp fictioneer, when your readership are only ever a tweet away.”

Finally, literary bad-ass Seanan McGuire gives the book a very kind review.

From that review: “Miriam is like that. Her life is one long game of Penis. She swears, she’s inappropriately lewd (which is different from appropriately lewd, although she does that, too), she goes for the shock value, because she wants to keep people away. I think this book contained more instances of the word “fuck” than the unrated cut of Clerks. But here’s the kicker: Chuck Wendig isn’t playing Penis with you. He manages to write a protagonist who’s all about the shock, but the book never feels like the author is trying to shock you. He’s just telling you what happened. It’s a travelogue of tragedy, and it’s beautiful and terrible, and it couldn’t have happened any other way.”

And that’s all she wrote, folks.