AMBER LOVE 20-JULY-2014 I’m thrilled to welcome for the first time a fabulous man and talented writer, JOSH STALLINGS. We recap BoucherCon and talk about some of the dark elements of crime noir fiction. This episode is one that is for mature audiences. We talk about sex work and violence which are the environments of the Stallings’ trilogy. This comes with a TRIGGER warning because of the discussion we have about his research in guerilla prostitution which means raping kidnapped girls/women until they comply.
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“For some reason, what I do has made impact in the crime writing world and I feel very blessed for that.” ~Stallings
Josh cautions self published writers from publishing too early. He shared a lot of other vital words of wisdom about writing including his feelings on “show, don’t tell” (hint: he hates that). He utilizes the typing-dump style of writing: getting everything out there and then revising heavily as opposed to bulletin boards or outlines.
Moses McGuire is the fearless and unkillable antihero of Josh’s trilogy which starts with BEAUTIFUL, NAKED AND DEAD. Moses is the kind of action star that you love and you’re not sure why. Other than loyalty, he doesn’t have any admirable qualities as a man. This discussion includes the importance of giving an unlikeable character something endearing that shows a different side, like giving them a dog.
Josh opens up in ways I never thought I’d get from a guest. He talks about how he lives with manic-depression and his past an unpleasant drunk. He answers a question I’ve always wanted to ask people who create brutally violent scenarios, how do you do it when you are such a nice person in real life?
“I don’t have any idea what it means. I’m clueless. I think it’s a bullshit statement.” ~Stallings on “show, don’t tell” writing advice.
Josh thoroughly researched the sex industry in a close first-person way. He didn’t stick with internet research or keeping a safe distance through email. He went to the clubs owned by the mafia and talked to the women. He was threatened to stop asking questions. After the first book, when he had something tangible to hand over as validation to prove his intentions as a writer, that research and inquiring became easier.
“What we’re not dealing with is the central issue that there’s something where people feel life is disposable right now.” Stallings
“I used to say as a Quaker, I’m not a good Quaker; I’m a much better Viking.” Stallings
“A short story needs to feel like there’s a lot gonna happen after the last word.” Stallings
- James Crumley is his idol. He also recommends Charlie Huston, Chris F. Holm (COLLECTOR series). Pearce Hansen (STREET RAISED), Ian Ayris (ABIDE WITH ME), Thomas Pluck (DANNY THE DENT collection), Jedidiah Ayres (FUCKLOAD OF SHORTS).
- He grew up around strippers.
- He’s dyslexic and manic-depressive.
- He has the best laugh.
- He’s one of the nicest people in my world.
- ALL THE WILD CHILDREN is his memoir with details his troubled and criminal past.
- He never believes he’s smart because he was called “dummy” as a kid.
TELL @JOSH_STALLINGS THAT I SHOULD BE HIS NEXT BOOK COVER. 😉