Every issue, IN presents INside Authors, a look at authors from around the world who have significantly caught our attention and deserve a little space and recognition.
The following two authors are this month's choices. Our hope is to provide a glimpse, a snapshot, an overview of some of the finest writers of our time making waves both tidal and ripple.
Art Montague, freelance writer
Background INfo: Moved to Vancouver, Canada in my teens and began my writing career in the mid-60's, contributing as staff, freelance writer, and book reviewer to several Canadian newspapers: Western Producer, Globe & Mail, Northern Miner, and Daily Commercial News.
Studied at the University of Saskatchewan, worked for two decades in the field of community economic development in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Returned to full-time writing in 2000, published short stories in numerous Internet ezines, won a fiction contest or two, and published feature articles in several leading U.S. and international print periodicals including the Old Farmer's Almanac, The Growing Edge, and Law and Order.
I contributed 30 creative non-fiction pieces to nine of the best selling Uncle John's Bathroom Reader anthologies, two of which originated in Australia. Wrote and published mystery, crime and mainstream short fiction, one novel -- a crime comedy -- and essays, among them the Travels With K.C.collection. Rainy Day Rainbows from this collection appears in Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul (2002). Short story Gourmet Takeout may be found in Hardbroiled, an anthology of food-related crime stories (Betancourt & Co, Wildside Press, 2003) edited by Michael Bracken, and a personal favourite, "Busted," appears in the newly released Short Attention Span Mysteries (Kerlak Publishing).
For books I have now released: Meyer Lansky: The Shadowy Exploits Of New York's Master Manipulator, Crime Boss Killings: The Castellammarese War, and Disasters Across Canada. 2006 will see the publication of two more amazing stories -- those of early Chicago gangs for the American Gangster series, and Britain's "Great Train Robber" Ronnie Biggs.
INfluences: I cite an unlikely group -- Winston Churchill, Douglas Fischer, Peter C. Newman on the non-fiction side; Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, Carl Hiaasen on the fiction side. The German expressionist poets like Stefan George taught me about darkness and Stephen Crane taught me doom. So it goes... almost forgot Kurt Vonnegut Jr. He's definitely in there somewhere.
Advice: Learn to be a good interviewer. I know this because I'm not. In fact, I'm the only person I know who bones up on Susan RoAne's How to Work a Room before going out to buy groceries just on the off-chance someone will say, "Nice day, isn't it?" This condition extends a tad beyond that of C. Hope Clark's The Shy Writer. It's cost me writing opportunities and made research more difficult. On the other hand, I don't like to, nor have time to take courses to learn, so I generally mutter my sufferings to myself and get on with the work
Internet Presence: The number of sustained hits my web site gets from all over the world suggests it has some value in terms of branding, enough that I'm exploring the possibility of selling books from my site as part of an overall marketing plan. It beats book signing -- my copy of How to Work a Room is already dog-eared. http://www.artmontague.com
The Future: My share of the bills is mostly paid with money from feature articles and work-for-hire assignments (including contributions to nine books so far in the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series). Books for traditional publishers require lots of lead-time and therefore deep pockets, but mine are down to the lint -- which means lots of upcoming articles. Second, I'm cleaning up a novel that should be out by next summer. Third, if some worthy gives me a decent advance, I'd like to do a history of cross border smuggling between Canada and the United States. Also in this category is a history of the work of the Royal Engineers across Canada. To my knowledge, neither has ever been done.
True Amazing Stories - Altitude Publishing Canada
Canada's Rumrunners: Incredible Adventures And Exploits During Canada's Illicit Liquor Trade
Disasters Across Canada: Bravery in the Face of Danger and Destruction
Meyer Lansky: The Shadowy Exploits Of New York's Master Manipulator
Crime Boss Killings: The Castellammarese War
Early Chicago Gangsters: Corruption, Greed, and Larceny (Spring 2006)
Shooting Through: The Amazing Story Of Ronnie Biggs (Summer 2006)
Other Published Work
Busted - Short Attention Span Mysteries (Kerlack Publishing): Chilling Out In Canada - Mystery Readers Journal (Cool Canadian Crime)
Gourmet Takeout - Hardbroiled (Betancourt & Co., Wildside Press)
The Buzz on Hemp Beer - The Buzz On Beer (Lebhar-Freedman)
Rainy Day Rainbows - Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul (Health Communications Inc.)
Travels With K.C. Collection, a chapbook, Wynterblue Thunder Publications, (out of print)
Michael Laimo, horror writer
Background INfo: He thought it might be fun to write some short stories -- as a hobby. Little did he know how much of an obsession this hobby would become. He has written and published over 100 shorts stories, and five novels. His first novel Atmosphere was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in the category of First Novel, and his second novel, Deep In The Darkness was nominated in the Novel category. His third horror novel, The Demonologist, was published in 2005.
He's also had published a dark sci-fi suspense novel Sleepwalker, as well as two short story collections, Demons, Freaks And Other Abnormalities, and Dregs Of Society. More recently, his short fiction has found its way into the pages of A Walk On The Darkside, Lost On The Darkside, Hot Blood XII: Strange Bedfellows, Surreal Magazine, Inhuman Magazine, plus many more anthologies and magazines. Some of his work has been optioned for film, including the short story Last Resort, and his novel Deep In The Darkness, which will be filmed by Burning Grounds Motion Entertainment. His Next Novel, Dead Souls, will be released in 2007.
INfluences: Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, and Robert McCammon.
Advice: Write and read as much as you can, and don't give up. And write every day, if you can. I didn't know a lick about writing when I first started (you should see all the rejection slips I have), and I've reached a level of success I never imagined possible. Persevere, and you shall succeed!
Internet Presence: I operate my own site at http://www.laimo.com and a second site at http://www.myspace.com/michaellaimo and can be reached at Michael@Laimo.com I also hang around at the message board at http://www.shocklines.com
The Future: A few short stories to be released this year in a number of anthologies, including a zombie anthology entitled Aim For The Head. Next novel, Dead Souls, to be released early 2007 from Leisure Horror. The movie version of Deep In The Darkness is in pre-production, and will be filmed independently in early 2007. The Demonologist is being scripted and packaged by a LA screenwriter and will be shopped to studios. Atmosphere is also being scripted, with interest from another independent house.
Dead Souls 2007
The Demonologist 2005
Deep In The Darkness 2004
Selected Short Stories
Dance: The Devil's Orgasm - Strange Bedfellows: Hot Blood 12, edited by Jeff Gelb and Michael Garrett 2004
Sleepwalker (Excerpt) - Black October Magazine #6 2004
Till Death Do They Part - Inhuman Magazine #2
My Wife - The Edge Magazine #20, Final Issue
Within Darkness, Golden Eyes - Epitaphs, Final Issue
Something In The Air - A Walk On The Darkside, edited by John Pelan, 2004
End Of The Line - Shivers 3, edited by Richard Chizmar, Cemetery Dance Publications, 2004
The Rash - Vivisections, edited by William P. Simmons, Catalyst Press, 2003
Gila Way - Best Of Horrorfind 2, edited by Brian Keene, 2003
Five Minutes of Video - Underworlds #1, 2003
Soils Of The Witch Garden - Whispers And Shadows, edited by Jack Fisher, Cosmos Books, 2002
Enchantment For The Mummy - Extremes: Darkest Africa, edited by Brian A. Hopkins, Lone Wolf Publications, 2002
The Exploitations Of George Frederick Leighton - The Asylum, Volume 2, DarkTales, Summer 2002, and Prime Books, 2003
Brothers Of Passion - Redsine 8, 2002
Pool - The Edge: Tales Of Suspense #15, 2000
Diego X. Jesus is a Dominican-born American freelance journalist and associate editor of IN who makes Toronto his home approximately half the time. Otherwise, we don't know where he might be. Email Diego X
Mark London is a Toronto based freelance writer and associate editor of IN who has been with the FWO-Int'l from the early years volunteering much of his time in assisting young writers' careers. Email Mark London