Ahem… Wha’s Hoppenin’?
Posted: 01 August 2012 08:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  240
Joined  2005-09-15


To all of our Japanese friends, and hello to everyone else. If you were an American during WWII and this aggravates you, get over it. You’re R-E-A-L-L-Y old. Get some prune juice. Calm down. Stress cannot be good for you at this age.

Anyhow, we gots some news. The interview with best selling author Andrew Vachss is finished. Some of it is below, if you want to read the rest, click on the link or go to the news section on the new litmocracy site.

For those of you out there. YOU CAN STILL POST IN THE WORKSHOP. IT’S STILL THERE. So read, write, post, earn money for your work. Also, on an us note, Down for the Count is now available. In fact, if you act in the next few hours, you can download the Kindle version here for free. After that it’ll cost you. About as much as a cheap six pack, but it will cost you.

And for those of you who really want to help, as we expand the publishing side, check out kickstarter.com. You can help us market this stuff and market our name.

Don’t be a sour puss!

Now for that interview….

Andrew Vachss is best known for his dark, gritty, best-selling detective series that centered around an underground icon, his eye-patch wearing anti-hero Burke. This series includes extremely compelling, albeit extremely violent classics such as Blue Belle, Blossom, Flood, Strega, Hard Candy, Safe House and others. The Burke Series culminated in 2008 with the fittingly titled Another Life. This series, along with most of Mr. Vachss’ gripping, exquisitely descriptive work, offers rather disturbing doses of reality from people who claim the streets and gutters as their home.

The main characters in the Burke Series feast on sick, depraved criminals. They are characters who use the power of evil to do some good in an otherwise hellish existence. Robin Hood and his not-so-merry-band, but with Uzi’s and attack Dobermans, and a propensity to exterminate their foes with extreme vengeance. This series has brought Mr. Vachss great acclaim for his skill. Publisher’s Weekly described the Burke books as a series of “urban nightmares”, an apt description, but they are a compelling, entertaining series of nightmares. They are also nightmares that serve to do the world some good, enlightening those who are thankfully unaware that these types of people do exist, and purging some of the pain from those of us who have been on the receiving end of torments such as predatory child abuse and sexual abuse.

Mr. Vachss (pronounced Vax) is an extremely driven man. When I mangled the pronunciation of his name, though I’ve read him for over 20 years, he informed me that it was neither Vachez or Vachess or anything else. It was Vax like tax, but he told me it wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. It was made up anyway, because his people in generations past had been forced to sneak in this country. They had to do what they had to do to make a better life. I told him I’d leave that out and he asked me why? Did I have a problem with it. Anything he said, he meant for anybody to hear. I told him I though immigration laws were silly at this point in our history, a farce, and that we were supposed to be the melting pot anyway. He asked me if I’d heard of the favalla in Brazil. I hadn’t. He had me look it up. It’s a massive junk pile wall, look for yourself, and he informed me that kids live there. They climb four and five stories of this dangerous man-made mountain, living with no heat or electricity atop it, just to carry water to their tin shack, a garbage can really. He asked me what I’d do if I lived there and I told him point blank I’d leave. Fuck the borders and fuck the laws, no kid should ever have to endure that, to start a life that way. How do you think a life that begins in a garbage can is likely to end? It made me sick, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. In the interview, which was supposed to be 15 minutes, as he is quite a busy man, he spent an extra 45 minutes explaining things like this to me. It told me that this was a genuine man, not a writer who escapes through his work or hides in it, but a man who really gives a damn and wants to make a difference. He has his priorities straight and sharp, like a silent dagger one of his characters might use to snuff out a predatory child abuser. I hope this interview and his work affects you the way that it has affected me.

Litmock: I’d like to start at the beginning, touching on The Burke Series. I found Hard Candy in a book store and it sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down, then I read everything I could find, Strega, Flood, Blue Belle, you name it. You have a unique ability to make inherently rough, bad characters people that you root for.

Andrew Vachss: Not everybody roots for him.

Litmock: True I suppose, but many of your characters possess realistic, tragic qualities and flaws, flaws they often use as strengths, such as Burke’s ability to understand the mind of pedophiles and pimps. How did you devise that world?

Andrew Vachss: I didn’t devise that world. It exists. It’s real. It’s out there, but most of the planet ignores it because it’s convenient. News stories come on every day about kids meeting horrible fates in Africa, in Somalia, in inner cities here, and people just turn the channel. I guess they think that’s what God made remotes for. That’s a large part of the problem. Like it or not, that world exists and has for centuries. Burke doesn’t seek out pedophiles, he seeks out predatory pedophiles and predatory child abusers. There’s a big difference. Predatory pedophiles, by definition, have sexual urges they act upon towards children, emotional urges some [argue], but ones they act upon in a physical way. By force. By trickery. By any and all kinds of means. Burke found them and he killed them. I wanted to expose readers to a dark part of the world that exists, and I didn’t want them to be introduced to it by an angelic figure.

Ciao, Don