Our favorite affiliate, St. Helen's Book Shop, is the best place to not only order Chuck Palahniuk books online, but to also have them personally signed and inscribed to you by the man himself! (yes, Chuck visits the store quite frequently to fulfill online inscription requests). Usually our promotions for St. Helen's Book Shop have to do with a new novel, but this time, Chuck is signing copies of an anthology of short stories edited by Neil Gaiman! The anthology features a short story Chuck read on tour in the past called The Loser.
Here are the details from St. Helen's themselves. (and hurry, they only have 100 of these!)
Limited Quantity! Chuck Palahniuk will only be signing 100 of these for us, and then they will be gone. If you placed your order before July 4th, your copy will ship the weekend of July 17th. All other orders will not ship till early September, after our next meeting with Mr. Palahniuk.
New anthology containing the brand-new Chuck Palahniuk story, "The Loser", featuring "a college kid on acid as a contestant on a game show."
If this path to God is an illusion, then the story is worthless.
Oh, Anne. May I call you Anne? Remember when you freaked out on Amazon.com over the negative reviews of Blood Canticle? Or how about the time you brought your special brand of lunacy right here to The Cult? (sadly lost in the great Drupal transfer of the aughts.) Because that's what I was expecting from your memoir, Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. To be honest, that's the only reason I read it. I was hoping for a heaping dose of bat-shit crazy, but to your credit, all I got was an even-handed elegy to your archaic religion. *Sigh.
One of the best non-fiction books I have read in a long time, is Dave Cullen's Columbine. Released last year, the book went on to become a New York Times bestseller. But what it also did was clear up a lot of the gray smoke still shrouding the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High. For years, the media had gotten the story drastically wrong and has depicted Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's motives incorrectly. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on the scene that day, but what set him apart was that he was not associated with any media 'pack' (CNN, Fox, etc). Instead, he was freelancing at the time for Salon.com. This important detail, and the fact that he spent close to ten years researching and then writing the book, make Columbine the most definitive exploration into the Columbine tragedy that exists.
For our interview, Kasey Carpenter, longtime Workshop member turned journalist, flew out to Denver, CO to visit with Dave at his writing studio. Dave, being a burgeoning enthusiast for video, set up his handy HD flip and over the course of four 10-14 min segments talked about everything from the media, to the killers, to even the publishers that released the book.
Below are the four segments of the entire interview. We had to set up a brand new Vimeo account to house all these, as YouTube won't let you go past 10 mins clips unless you're the Whitehouse. Enjoy!
From July 6 - July 13, all of our Fight Club Tshirts are on sale for only $15. These shirts were designed by top L.A. designer, Kevin Tong. The make is Next Level Apparel and they are available in all sizes in both Men's and Women's.
The Men's shirts come in Cornflower Blue and Cream. The Women's come in Cornflower Blue and Pink.
Check out the design in a high-rez close-up.
*Tshirts will ship within 1 week of your order.
Model For Us! Snap a pic of yourself wearing your Tshirt upon receipt and we'll post it on our site! Send your pic(s) to email@example.com and be sure to include your name, as you'd like it credited.
I have two major pet peeves when it comes to dialogue. First, it bugs me when all the characters sound alike. Sure, with regional diction, accents, socioeconomic class, blah blah blah, it may be tough to distinguish between the Valley Dude speak of two high school kids, but not between those kids and their teachers or parents. Secondly, when characters speak with the same eloquence, or at very least the same style, as the narrator, i.e., the author, it rings false for me. One of the most valuable classes I had as an undergrad was a single semester of writing for the stage, during which we wrote two one-act plays. I still intended to write prose fiction, but writing plays forced me to hang the story on characters and dialogue.
To this day, I write all of my dialogue separately. In The Contortionist’s Handbook, I extracted all of the dialogue from the first finished draft, pasted it into a separate document in script format, what I call a “dialogue map.” No dialogue tags, narration, etc. I read through it out loud, re-worked it until I was satisfied, then dropped it back into the subsequent draft of the novel. With Dermaphoria, I wrote the entire first draft with no dialogue at all. Just narrative, with placeholders for the dialogue. Those placeholders had notes as to the nature of the exchange and the particular outcome, as well as any specific key phrases or lines I wanted to use. With each chapter, I wrote a dialogue map from scratch, worked on the dialogue separately from the novel (multiple drafts, etc., as though each map were a short play), then wove it back into the prose and worked on dialogue tags and breaking up the prose to accommodate it. In my current project, I’m writing all of the dialogue first with each chapter, to make certain that the chapter is driven by the voices and actions of the characters.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but worth it in my opinion. I’m very self-conscious about my dialogue. Will Christopher Baer thinks I’m crazy. He’s probably right. But the feeling is mutual.
Good dialogue is all about the author being invisible and letting the characters take center stage. It’s the difference between watching people on a screen, versus spying on them through the window, versus being in the room with them. Ideally, you want your reader in the room with your characters; experiencing your story as opposed to witnessing it (or simply hearing about it). Crafting realistic dialogue is a matter of time and practice, of listening to people and having an ear (and a love) for accents. While I have a few pointers on those things, they’re really up to the individual writer to work at. However, I have learned some very practical ways for the author to disappear when it comes to writing dialogue, methods that remove the one-way mirror between the reader and the story.
I've always been intrigued by the catalog of Eraserhead Press. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I remember seeing Carlton Mellick III's Satan Burger and thinking, there could be something betwixt those pallid ass cheeks worth reading about. Then I saw Mellick's grimacing author photo and I hesitated. Gaping buttocks was one thing, but a silly author photo? It just felt like he was trying too hard to be weird. And that seems to be the stigma associated with Bizarro Fiction- that they are purveyors of weirdness for weirdness sake.
After six novels and one book of short stories, the career of Bret Easton Ellis, author, has come to an end. It is survived by a continued involvement in screenwriting and the film industry.
At least that was the rumor. I wasn't sure how trustworthy my source was, and I certainly hoped it wasn't true, but there were signs. The full circle nature of Imperial Bedrooms, for one, not to mention those pesky little dates at the end. It got me thinking- if this information was legit, I had quite the scoop on my hands. I had to know for sure, but didn't want to wait out the years in hopes of getting an answer. This desire was the motivating factor behind my interview.
Dear Unknown Cult Writer,
We understand that you're something more than a Palahniuk fan, that your literary tastes are wide and varied, and you habituate The Cult for the company of equally articulate souls. Sometime curmudgeon, sometime enthusiast, and sometimes both, you entertain with your forum posts and make friends well. Your generosity isn't obscured by the occasional dark turn of mood or minor topical quibbling. Maybe you’ve endeared yourself to the community here with casual posting, or maybe you’ve only lurked and read things and admired or disputed silently against this multiplicity of voices. But you've hesitated to take that additional step toward our Workshop and the many writing intensives and master classes we've offered in recent years, and this is something that gnaws at you a bit. If it doesn't, then go directly to General Discussion and read or post anything. But if I've piqued your curiosity at all, then I'm talking directly to you. This letter is dedicated explicitly to those who've felt the urge but not the readiness to join our Writing Community.