VODKA O’CLOCK 2020-09:


VOC logo AMBER LOVE 16-DEC-2020 My work is supported by the generous backers at who appreciate my reviews and my stories; and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast.

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Josh Stallings


Josh Stallings’ Moses McGuire trilogy found itself on over fourteen best of the year lists, and YOUNG AMERICANS, a standalone, was nominated for the Lefty and Anthony awards. His short fiction has appeared in Beat To A Pulp, Protectors Anthology 1 and 2, Blood and Tacos, Crime Factory, and Murder-A-Go-Go. Born in Los Angeles, and raised by counter-culture activists (and sometime Quakers) in Northern California, he grew up undiagnosed dyslexic and spent some time as a petty criminal and failed actor before becoming a movie trailer editor. He, his wife, and various four legged fiends now live in the San Jacinto mountains. His latest novel, TRICKY, was written in honor of his son, Dylan, who is intellectually disabled.

Our conversations are never “press junket shiny.” When Josh and I get the chance to talk, it is real world shit. In this episode, we discuss the makings of his characters in TRICKY which include: a white LA cop; a Latino former gang initiate with no memory of that time and living in a group home for intellectually disabled people; a curmudgeonly grandpa with dementia; and a savvy Irish-American social worker.

We talked about everything we could fit into a conversation shy of 90 minutes about: neurodiversity, disabilities (visible and invisible), labels, language, the mysteries of the universe, our own privileges, Hollywood casting choices of characters, and police violence. Living a sober life of 30 years, Josh shares hints into his past riding motorcycles, befriending gang members, oh… and when it comes to bandannas LA’s color choices are not reflective of San Francisco’s.

Josh’s experience as a film editor and years living in “Hollyweird” provide him with the inside look many fans don’t get to see when issues about racism or any other -ism in the studios fuels Twitter outrage (such as the case of Sia’s new movie).

And what the hell is the state of publishing when giant houses like Simon & Schuster devour another? Josh voices his wholehearted support for smaller press and sings the praises of Polis Books/Agora which is publishing TRICKY.

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