In honor of the debut of my collection, KNOCKOUTS, I thought I’d share some cosmic top secret material.
I’m a sucker for story notes and essays on how and why a story got written. Blame Harlan Ellison, Jeffrey Ford and Joe Lansdale, who often give great nuggets of insights about stories and storytelling to go along with their tales. So, in their honor, here’s a “behind the scenes” look at one of my faves from the collection, “The Savage Games of Peace,” written within months of me returning from the Odyssey Writing Workshop.
“Growing up, I hung out with older kids who thought I was funny. Lots of them did martial arts, and one group in particular did a tournament every year, a kind of free sparring melee, called “Noelsport,” since it was inspired by the movie Bloodsport and the guy who ran the tournament was named, you guessed it, Noel. He was the son of a Salvation Army minister who used to be a wrestler, and was a really nice guy. The dudes who fought in the tournament? Not so much. I successfully dodged Noelsport and getting my ass handed to me, but always heard wild stories about the various tough guys and psychos who tried to out punch and kick each other with gloves and no jock straps. While I never threw a punch near them, my mind was filled with what Noelsport might look like. “The Savage Games of Peace” is my riff on that memory, and an ode to crime stories featuring kids…who can be as savage and rotten as any adult, make no mistake. ”
Now go read the story in KNOCKOUTS! Just click the gal with the dangerous fist! I double-dog dare ya!