Hey folks all is good here at HardBoiled. I am working away slowly on the follow-up novel: Fallen Angels. I’ve been attending some writing workshops with the Quebec Writers Federation as I am now relocating full-time to Montreal.
I am in Hamilton this weekend , and will be participating in a cool event featuring local writers called: Authors In The Park. The show takes place Aug 1 from 1-4 pm and will feature a plethora of local talent hawking their wares, including your truly.
Swing on by this Sunday and say hi; and pick-up a signed copy of :When The Luck Runs Dry. The event takes place in Hamilton’s historic Gore Park, steps away from the Hunter Street Go-Transit station. Hope to see you there:)
Hey folks, I hope everyone is well. It has been a busy few weeks for your humble author. Between vaccine jabs, medical appointments, and transitioning to a new residence in Montreal it has been difficult to keep the blog updated.
I squeezed in an interview with Hammer D20 that is live streaming this weekend, and I will tell you more about that (and hopefully provide an archive link) on the next blog.
We have a couple of shops selling print copies of : When The Luck Runs Dry in Hamilton, ON. I hope to have some more outlets, including some in Montreal in the future. Alternately, you can read the book by clicking above in the menu; links for e-pub platforms, mail-order service, and for the film LUCKY 7 (2012) all all there for your perusal.
Our friends over at the Paisley Cafe in Westdale have been doing a swift trade selling copies and cappuccinos, many thanks to Sarah (and crew) for helping get the title out! https://paisleycoffeehouse.com
We also are in stock at the very cool James St. Booksellers in downtown Hamilton. Contact Monique for curb-side pick-up of a hard copy and take a peak at the very cool interior that is one of the main locations of the Apple TV Series: GHOSTWRITER: https://www.jamesstreetbooks.ca
So, here is a sneak peek of the cover art from the upcoming novel: When The Luck Runs Dry. It’s a modern twist on a 50’s pulp detective art work style from artist Jeremy Bruneel. We hope to have titling and typesetting finished this month, and a publishing date sometime in March which is TBA.
I’ve had enquiries about the original 2012 film Lucky 7 that the book is based on. It is available currently to view through our distributor Factory Films. You can’t read the book yet, but you can view the film here on I-Tunes NA: https://factoryfilmstudio.com/portfolio-item/lucky-7/ And click on the Contact link on the top of the page to get a hold of us and for our social media links. Until next time, think good thoughts. And here is another sample from When The Luck Runs Dry :
We bundle ourselves into Julia’s car and head out towards Main Street and St. Columns’. That’s an old church in the core of the city, the original Catholic cathedral for the Irish of Corktown and the surrounding diocese. I am well acquainted with this place from growing up and being forced to attend every week (sometimes more, depending on the dates of certain important religious events, plus funerals, baptisms and weddings, you name it, and it was all an excuse to be dragged off for some religious indoctrination).
I watch Julia prepping her music notes and looking up hymns. She is facing me, oddly enough, though I am at the back of the loft. She has a nifty little rear-view mirror so she can see what the priest is doing on the alter when the service starts.
And speaking of starting, Julia now hits the keys and pedals and the old pipes built into the church groan to life and blast out their sound. I’m right beside them and figure this isn’t the best seat now that the music has started. I go to move forward, and something falls from my jacket with a clatter. God dam it’s that cell phone, and I never thought to turn it on.
So, I pick it up and take another seat, turning it on and putting it back in my breast pocket. Moments later it starts buzzing, humming, and vibrating so I take it back out and navigate the screen slowly, ineptly. Looks like there are voicemails, but I have no idea how to retrieve them and I can’t bother Julia now. Inspecting the gadget further, I can see that I also have text messages. “Call me asshole,” it says when I scroll down. There are 4 of these, with a phone number. Must be the Reverend. Time to relocate outside, it seems.
I stand down the side of the church, near the old parochial house, where the priests live, and their maids keep everything in tip top shape. But they’ve been rocked by scandals of sex abuse the last decade, so the recruits for the priesthood have dwindled to a trickle. So, most priests living here now hail from Poland, Latin America or Africa these days, where the grip of Church authority still holds strong and where people may be more ready to join as a way to somehow escape a never-ending cycle of poverty and political instability.
I dial the number, but it’s not Reverend who answers, it’s the mug, Harry. And he is in a pissy, sarcastic mood from the sound of his voice.
Harry: “So, you got the message finally?”. Me: “No. I just thought I’d check with you and see how the jaw was.” I am met with silence on the other end for a few moments. Harry: “Be at Sam Lawrence Park at 10:30. You got that?” I answer in the affirmative. Harry: “Oh, one more thing there Lucky. Go fuck yourself.”
The line clicks dead, and I chuckle. Not much of a poet, that Harry, but then again that’s not really a job requirement in his line of work. And maybe I just needed to get to know him better and see if he had a more multi-layered personality. But I have my doubts.
I decide some exercise in in order, so I walk down East Ave. and across Stinson to Wentworth. Here there are five hundred or so steps up the side of the mountain. I huff and puff and wheeze my way up the stairs, swearing to quit smoking all along the ascent. But I make it up in silence to Mountain Brow Road, along which I wander a block further and end up at Concession Street. This is an older business district built in the 1930s along the edge of the escarpment. I walk west past the quiet storefronts and shops and end up coming straight into the top of Sam Lawrence Park. I look around the empty spots as I stand in the parking area, and there, off by the pathway, is the Reverend, with Harry in tow, in the distance and leaning on a railing. His back is facing me as he looks out over the lower city and the industrial stacks further out— past which are the Skyway and Lake Ontario, and on a clear day, the metropolis of Toronto.
I walk up beside him and lean over the railing as well. Reverend looks at me and reaches into his jacket and pulls out a flask. He unscrews it and takes a slug, then looks at his watch.
Reverend: “Didn’t think you were coming Lucky. You got a busy schedule today? Think you can still slot us in?” You could cut the sarcasm in his voice with a knife. Me: “Had to go to church, Reverend”. Reverend almost snorts whiskey out his nose and chortles. Reverend: “Church? Looking for guidance from above were ya? So, what did I miss?” I look at him and shake my head. Me: “Oh, the usual shtick. You know, life and death and how to get your sorry ass to Heaven.” Reverend looks pensive now and turns to stare off to the horizon. Reverend: “Getting dead is easy to arrange and there’s plenty of ways to pull it off. But Heaven, there’s only one way to get there.” My curiosity is piqued now, so I and ask him what that is. He turns and looks me in the eyes. Reverend: “Through the Pope, you fucking dummy!”
Reverend breaks out into a hearty laugh at my expense, then takes another drink from the mickey. He looks at me and passes the flask and I take a cursory drink from the rotgut inside. A moment passes and the Reverend motions to the vista spread out before us.
Reverend: “Just look at that city down there, all laid out for ya. Anything you want, right there. Ya just gotta reach out and grab it with both hands and hold the fuck on tight. Coming up here sometimes I feel like a king in his castle looking down on his domain.” Me: “Got big plans for yourself, do you?”
Reverend breaks out of his reverie and is now looking annoyed. He takes the flask back and deposits it in his jacket. Looks like our little session is winding down now. He turns, looking at me face to face, his expression turning solemn.
Reverend: “Say, you’re on the level about this meeting with the old man, aren’t ya? Me: “I could ask you the same thing now, couldn’t I?”
The Reverend turns back to look at the town laid out below, deep in thought. As for me, my own thoughts are of a ship stranded on a reef, slowly taking in water, but not yet aware that it’s sinking.
Well folks I hope everyone is well. We are making progress on art work and typesetting for the up coming Neo-Noir novel: When The Luck Runs Dry. The project is nearing a completion date in mid February, with a launch date tentatively set for March 17, 2021. Due to the pandemic the launch may have to be a virtual event, depending on the Co-Vid situation here in Canada. I am working on the social media sites related to the book, which you can find in the About and Contact menus above. Otherwise I am slowly writing away at the sequel novel: Fallen Angels, and I had a nice workshop with the #QuebecWritersFederation on the weekend that helped move that along. So here is a small excerpt from the upcoming book and if you are chomping at the bit to read it, you can watch the 2012 film version on I Tunes in North America here: https://factoryfilmstudio.com/portfolio-item/lucky-7/
I step out of the cab into the now brisk air, and the cab driver helps me gather my things from the trunk. He lays them on the sidewalk while I light another cigarette. He reaches into his breast pocket and pulls out a business card and hands it to me. – Taxi Driver: “Anytime you need a lift, here’s my number. Big tippers like you don’t come around very often!” He chuckles and slides back into his taxi, pulling away into the darkened night, leaving me alone with my thoughts. The sign from Farleys’ is lit from the side swinging slightly in the wind. But another light is glowing now from the downstairs storefront, a neon red and violet glow from an illuminated cross in the window. Strange to see. This was and old hardware store last, I remember-—Millers’? Now as I look up, I see a new sign: The Church of The Universal Prophet. Jesus. You can thank the tax-free status of churches for all these store-front operations. Usually run by some crackpot or another—or some Mafia clan doing some old school money laundering. I try and peer through the drawn shades, but the view is obscured. Yet my ears can make out the sounds of an electric church organ filtering out onto the street. Sounds like an old school Protestant hymn from way back. Well, to my untrained ear at least. But duty calls, and I turn toward the doorway to the right of the building and open the door. Farley’s is a strange old building, and the main oddity of it is that the pub is located on the upper floor. Many an inebriated patron has taken a tumble down this flight of stairs over the years, but no casualties so far—that I know of, that is. Other than a few livers, but those are a self-inflicted wound. As I open the door, I hear the organ music from the church being overpowered by some Irish folk rock emanating from upstairs. The Irish—the Blacks of Europe. “No Dogs or Irishmen need apply, etc.” No longer: once shunned like the Italians in throughout North America, now everyone runs out to drink green beer and knows all the words to every song by U2. Kind of funny really. And the music only gets louder as I ascend the stairs. I round the corner at the top of the stairs and enter a time capsule. The music and lights and pool tables and bar stools: they are all just as I remember them. The two guys tending bar are familiar as well, except a few years older. They’re my brothers, Allan and Brian, and the barfly at the end of the bar—he is still here as well: Alex Quigley. It was Quigley who first notices me standing silhouetted in the doorway, as I drop by duffel bag to the floor. Quigley: “Well. If it isn’t Lucky 7; like Lazarus back from the dead!” Lucky 7. That was nickname bestowed on me at a young age, being the 7th kid in a brood of 8. The only one younger than me was Frankie. I was deemed to be the one to bring good fortune upon the family, being the 7th born, but the only luck I seem to have brought was bad. Or so it may seem up to now anyways. And, just now, my luck seems to not be taking too much of a positive spin either, as my brothers catch sight of me and advance from behind the bar with a mix of shock and anger in their eyes. Allan stands back while Brian advances forward blocking my path. Brian: “Jesus Fucking Christ.” Not the best wording for a conversation starter I think, but before I can reply, a flash of fist rises from below and a powerful pain shocks my jaw. And then the lights go out. For me anyways. Some homecoming.