David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Tag: fiction

Author Charlie Jane Anders with a fake raven in her hand

Charlie Jane Anders on Writers Building Community, Smushing Genres, & Being an Outsider

It’s hard to be a writer in the Bay Area and not know Charlie Jane Anders. Besides being a prolific writer, she is an incredibly generous networker and runs an absolutely awesome reading series called Writers With Drinks. So we thought we’d check in with her and pick her brain about novels, writing, reading, and all that jazz.

Read on the Huffinton Post.

Author Charlie Jane Anders with a fake raven in her hand

Charlie Jane Anders

The Book Doctors: In some ways, your book defies categories. To us, it felt like magic realism, but it has elements of fantasy, cyber-steam punk, and coming-of-age. When you sat down to write this book, did you think about what category it would be in? Did this make it more difficult to sell the book and find an audience?

Charlie Jane Anders: When I started to write All the Birds in the Sky, I was attracted to the idea of smushing together fantasy and science fiction by having a witch and a mad scientist in the same story together. I thought of the book initially as sort of pastiche or spoof. I would have all these standard fantasy tropes and these science fiction tropes, and they would be colliding in a funny way. That turned out to be very, very boring. Instead, I had to think more about what these two genres meant to me and how I connected to each of them personally. I was terrified that this genre confusion would make the book a hard sell — but it turned out the bigger problem was the fact that it starts out with the characters as little kids and then we see them grow up about 100 pages in. It seemed like some people could not quite wrap their minds around the idea of a book that feels like a young-adult novel at first but then becomes an adult novel. I was so grateful that my agent and publisher were willing to roll with it and didn’t try to get me to restructure the book, with flashbacks or whatever.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders book cover; flock of birds all over the title

Book cover for All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

TBD: David has, because of many personal experiences, felt like an outsider most of his life. So he especially related to the main characters of this beautiful book, and we wondered if your experience as an outsider helped shape these characters, who are fighting against a world that sees them as different, unusual, bizarre, and ultimately, threatening.

CJA: The theme of feeling like an outsider kept coming up in this book, in part because of the decision to start out with the main characters as kids. I think a lot of people can relate, one way or another, to the sense of not fitting in or being misunderstood. I had a rough time in grade school and middle school for a bunch of reasons, and I felt like writing honestly about growing up meant that I had to capture some of that emotional and physical insecurity that so many of us have lived with. And yet, having the kids grow up and live as twentysomethings meant that we got to see them as powerful adults, with control over their own lives and agency and all that goes with that. They can’t escape from being shaped by their childhood experiences, but they can choose how they deal with it.

TBD: You have put a lot of time and effort into reaching out to a community of writers. We suggest this to our clients all the time. How did you do this, and has this helped you in your writing career?

CJA: I can still easily remember when I felt totally isolated as a newbie fiction writer, and how hard it was to find people to connect with. Whatever point you’re at in your career, writers really need to stick together, to help deal with the pressure and insanity of the creative process and the publishing biz. I’ve had a blast curating Writers With Drinks, the reading series that I organize and (usually) host in San Francisco. I have gotten to meet a whole bunch of amazing writers — including David! — and hear them read. And it’s been a thrill to expose people to a new audience, especially since Writers With Drinks usually has as many different genres and styles as I can fit into one event. So you might come to hear the science fiction author, but discover a new favorite poet. But just as valuable has been the social aspect — an event where we’re all creating something together and nobody’s competing has been great for helping me (and hopefully others) make friends. I think being around these awesome, talented people has helped me raise my game as a writer, because I get to hear/read some of the best examples of the craft every month.

TBD: David has read several times at the fantastic reading series called Writers with Drinks, at the deliciously named Make Out Room in San Francisco, and he always has a blast. What have you learned by watching the hundreds of writers that you have wrangled into this wildly successful series?

CJA: Ha, see above. To add to what I wrote up there, I think that part of the fun of Writers With Drinks has been the thing of combining different genres and getting to see how a stand-up comic, a slam poet, a science fiction author and a literary memoirist are using some of the same techniques and approaches — just with different end goals. Plus you get to see how each genre is powerful in its own particular way. I love when you get people laughing their ass off one minute and then being moved to tears the next.

TBD: Tell us about io9 magazine.

CJA: Getting to be involved with the creation of io9 was one of the greatest opportunities of my life. Annalee Newitz, who founded io9, wanted to blend science and science fiction in a kind of homage to Omni Magazine, and it was really inspirational to see how the two things informed each other. After eight and a half years, I came away with a really strong sense that we are 100 percent living in the future. And I basically got paid to geek out about storytelling, and sometimes my half-baked ideas about books, movies and TV shows led to some of the most fascinating conversations with our readers and other folks. It was like getting paid to go to grad school.

TBD: You’ve been published in tons of small magazines and journals, like Tin House, McSweeney’s, and Zyzzyva, to name a few. How does a writer get published in these places, and how has this helped you in your publishing career?

CJA: When it comes to Tin House and McSweeney’s, I was only published on their websites, but it was still a major honor to be featured there. And getting into ZYZZYVA was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me. This super well-respected literary magazine chose to publish me way, way back when I was just starting out and barely getting my stories into tiny zines and the occasional website. In general, I published tons and tons of fiction in small publications, many of which have gone under or never received any exposure to speak of. Early on, I would publish stories pretty much anyplace that was willing to consider them, including one of those adult newspapers that’s mostly a vehicle for stripper ads. I didn’t make a lot of money from doing that, to say the least, but it was good to get the experience of having my creative writing appear in a lot of places and dealing with editors and readers. The whole process of making up a story — and having it turn into something that other people read and take in and form their own relationship with — is so weird, it might be kinda good to get used to it before you start reaching a bigger readership.

TBD: You won an Emperor Norton Award. First of all, what is that exactly, and how did you end up becoming a winner of this prestigious award?

CJA: Oh ha ha ha… the Emperor Norton Award for Extraordinary Invention and Creativity Unhindered by the Constraints of Paltry Reason is something that Tachyon Publishing and Borderlands Bookstore were doing for a while there — I don’t know many of them they gave out, but I was so thrilled. I think something about the weird, silly intros I cook up for the authors at Writers With Drinks, plus my bizarre fiction, struck someone as unhinged, in a good way. I was very flattered — hinges are good for doors, but I think a lot of people could stand to be a little less hinged. I’m always kind of scared of how many people seem to think they have everything all figured out.

TBD: You are a self-described “female geek.” What does that mean to you? And tell us about the anthology you put together that embraces this particular demographic.

CJA: Way back in 2006, Annalee and I were both approached about editing anthology projects for Seal Press, and we decided to collaborate. Our book was called She’s Such a Geek, and it was a collection of essays by women in science, technology and other geeky fields. We put out a call for submissions, and we were just blown away by the hundreds of submissions we received. There were a lot of heartbreaking stories by women who had been at the top of their class as undergraduates but then got treated horribly in grad school. A lot of geeky women of color shared stories of hearing subtle (and not-so-subtle) messages about their ability to keep up and contribute. There were also a ton of uplifting, thrilling stories of geeky triumph and discovery, from women who discovered a love of science, math, tech, gaming or science fiction and found that it changed their lives. It was an eye-opening, intense experience. Since that book came out a decade ago, we’ve seen way more women celebrating their geek identity, and venues for female geeks to come together. There’s an annual event called GeekGirlCon and a ton of other stuff. It’s been so awesome to see that happen.

TBD: In All the Birds in the Sky, Patricia the witch forms a really strong bond with her cat, Berkley. What happens to the cat after she goes off to magic school?

CJA: A ton of people asked me what happened to Berkley, who’s very important in Patricia’s life when she’s in middle school. I learned the hard way that you can’t leave any loose ends where cats are concerned — unless they’re loose ends in a ball of yarn, in which case go ahead. So I wrote a story called “Clover,” which is available at Tor.com, to explain what happened to Berkley later on. This turned out to be one of those things where you start pulling on one thread — to continue the ball of yarn metaphor — and then all sorts of interesting things start coming out. I ended up getting a chance to explore a bit more about the use of magic in my fictional world, and approach it from a very different direction than I did in the book, thanks to a different protagonist. Plus this story absolutely stands on its own — so if someone hasn’t read the book yet, this is a good way to dip into that world.

TBD: We hate to ask you this, but since you do have a column in which you give writing advice, what advice you have for writers?

CJA: The main advice I have for writers is to hang in there and keep writing. And also, to be kind to yourself. A writer — especially a beginning writer — has to keep two contradictory mindsets in order to keep going. You have to believe that you’re a flippin’ genius, your ideas are brilliant, and you’re a fantastic storyteller, or you won’t be able to summon the audacity and stamina to create the big, ambitious stories you want to tell. But you also have to be aware that your writing is going to have huge flaws, it’s easy to screw up, the craft takes a long time to learn (and you really never finish learning it), and when people criticize your work they’re probably on to something. That combination of hubris and humility can be hard to sustain and can easily drive you nuts. So be nice to yourself, and just keep writing even if you think you’re churning out garbage sometimes.

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky. She organizes the Writers With Drinks reading series, and was a founding editor of io9, a site about science fiction, science and futurism. Her fiction has appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, ZYZZYVA, Pindeldyboz, Tor.com, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and a ton of anthologies. Her story “Six Months, Three Days” won a Hugo Award and her novel Choir Boy won a Lambda Literary Award.

Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry are co-founders of The Book Doctors, a company that has helped countless authors get their books published. They are co-authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How To Write It, Sell It, and Market It… Successfully (Workman, 2015). They are also book editors, and between them they have authored 25 books, and appeared on National Public Radio, the London Times, and the front cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review.

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Patricia Perry Donovan, author, Deliver Her

Patricia Perry Donovan on Literary Journals, Being a Page, and How Her Novel Deliver Her Got Published

We first met Patricia Perry Donovan when she won our Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for books) down the shore in New Jersey, sponsored by one of our favorite bookstores, BookTowne (know and love thy local indie bookstore!). She dazzled us with her story, her presence, and her writing. Now that her book Deliver Her is out, we thought we’d pick her brain about how the heck she did it.

To read the full interview on the Huffington Post, click here.

The Book Doctors: When did you start being a writer, and how did you learn to be one?

Patricia Perry Donovan: I’ve always loved writing. My mother claims I was eight when I announced I would write a book. I began college with a major in languages, but when my French professor criticized my accent, I switched to journalism. It was the era of All the President’s Men, and we all wanted to be the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. I always made a living as a writer, but only began writing fiction in earnest five years ago.

P.S. I had the last laugh on that college professor: In my thirties, I moved to France for several years and became fluent in the language.

TBD: What are some of your favorite books, and why?

PD: My first job as a teen was as a page (yes, my actual title) in the children’s library, where I read voraciously. I have fond memories of the works of Judy Blume, Maud Hart Lovelace, Roald Dahl, and Isaac Asimov, to name a few. I would read a few pages of each book before reshelving it. In recent years, I’ve re-read and dissected Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. I would love to write a novel of connected stories like that one day. Of late I’ve shed tears over Kristin Hannah’s Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and swooned over Mary-Louise Parker’s extraordinary prose in Dear Mr. You.

TBD: Why did you decide to write this particular book?

PD: Having heard about families desperate enough to resort to this type of solution for their child, I was fascinated by both circumstances that might lead to this arrangement and the sort of people (both transporter and client) involved. Also, I have family in New Hampshire, and the White Mountains seemed the perfect setting for Carl and Alex’s journey.

TBD: How has being a journalist influenced your fiction writing?

PD: Working as a reporter trained me to write efficiently. It also made me a thorough researcher. For the last fifteen years, I’ve covered the healthcare industry, which is probably why Meg Carmody is a nurse in Deliver Her and is so knowledgeable about insurance. Healthcare is a fascinating field; there are a few topics I’d like to explore in future books.

TBD: How did you get your fiction published in literary journals?

PD: With a thick skin, and perseverance. Using a subscription database of writers’ markets, I targeted smaller publications and sites with higher acceptance rates. It took a while, and a fair amount of rejection, but eventually I had some success. It’s refreshing to take a break from writing a book and play around with an essay or flash fiction. Often a “darling” excised from a work in progress is the perfect starting point for a short story.

The important thing is not to give up. Just because a piece is not right for one publication doesn’t mean another won’t love it. Keep trying!

TBD: Tell us about your road to publication.

PD: In 2012, I entered The Book Doctors’ Pitchapalooza event at BookTowne, my local bookstore. My pitch was chosen as the winning entry; the only problem was, I had written only about 25 pages of the book! The award motivated me, however; less than a year later, I delivered my manuscript to the agent assigned to read it. Although extremely generous with her feedback, she ultimately passed. I then set out to find an agent on my own, and after querying about a dozen agents, I received an offer of representation from Elisabeth Weed of The Book Group, a very hands-on agent who was determined to find a home for Deliver Her. In fall 2015, I signed a two-book deal with Lake Union Publishing.

TBD: How in Heaven’s name did you manage to get 285 reviews before your book was even officially released?

PD: Deliver Her was pre-released in digital format on April 1 as an Amazon Kindle First, a program in which Amazon editors select books from next month’s new releases that readers can preview early. That’s why Deliver Her has close to 300 reviews in advance of its official May 1 release.

TBD: What exactly is Lake Union Publishing?

PD: Lake Union is one of about a dozen imprints under Amazon’s full-service publishing arm (an arm completely separate from Kindle Direct Publishing). Lake Union specializes in contemporary and historical fiction, memoir, and popular non-fiction. My Lake Union team has championed and supported Deliver Her–and me–from day one. It’s been an extremely positive experience.

TBD: What do you love most about writing fiction?

PD: The surprising directions in which your story and characters will take you if you are open to them. Initially I imagined Deliver Her as a love story between the transporter and a woman who comes to his aid. The client was just a means to get Carl to Iris. But once I began writing, the mother-daughter relationship started to drive the story. I had to let go and enjoy the ride.

TBD: What are you working on for your next project?

PD: My next novel, At Wave’s End, is the story of a Manhattan chef whose estranged mother comes East after winning a Jersey Shore bed-and-breakfast in a lottery. All is not as it seems, however; in the aftermath of a hurricane, secrets about the B and B surface, threatening the inn’s future and fraying the already fragile mother-daughter bonds. The anticipated publication date is August 2017.

TBD: We hate to ask you this, but what advice do you have for writers?

PD: Having come late to the fiction game, I wish I had started doing this 25 years ago. So if you are a writer and feel that tug, that story begging to be told, don’t ignore it. Sit down and tell it.

That said, it’s never too late. Beginning this second act in my fifties, I have a well of experience and life lessons to draw from. I hope my characters are richer for it. Now I joke that while I’ll probably never suffer from writers’ block, I may run out of time to write all the stories I want to tell. That’s not such a terrible problem for a writer to have.

Patricia Perry Donovan is a journalist who writes about healthcare. Her fiction has appeared at The Bookends Review, Gravel Literary, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and in other literary journals. The mother of two grown daughters, she lives at the Jersey shore with her husband. Learn more at www.patriciaperrydonovan.com

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why books are rejected screen shot

Why Books are Rejected

Books are rejected for two main reasons:

  1. The editor (or agent) doesn’t connect with the voice.
  2. The editor doesn’t connect with the character.

In this video, we explain how writers can revise their pitches and query letters to appeal to literary agents and editors. We cover fiction, practical non-fiction, narrative non-fiction, and memoir.

Click here to watch the video.

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What It’s Like to Get Hit By a Car on a Motorcycle

Weaving and gunning, he whipped it down Fell, timing it just right, so he hit the synchronized lights just as they changed, right on the edge of out-of-control. Divisidaro, Fillmore, Steiner flashed by: boom, boom, boom, George cruising Lili through each light as it turned green, one after another, like magic.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw it coming, some big American junker-mobile running the light. That bastard’s gonna hit me, George thought, he’s gonna run that light, and he’s gonna hit me.

Imagine the smallest split of a second you can. Now split that an infinite number of times. That’s how long it took for George to think all that.

George’s eyes were wide as CD’s, utterly concentrated, totally focused. If he had not been, he would have died. If he’d had to, at this moment, he could have lifted a refrigerator off a loved one.

The driver of the American junker was drunk. His name was Ozwaldo Grzylwrsklnzwzykoski, aka Oz Grizzly. He had been drinking beer, then vodka, then beer, then vodka. He had somehow driven from Las Vegas, where he had been drinking with a relative who offered him a job breaking a man’s knees in Lodi, California. Oz was going to check into the Royal Viking Hotel, where he planned to dry out and have sex with several transgender sex workers. He actually should have been making a right turn, in which case this incident would have never happened. But he was so stoopid drunk, he ran the red, right at George, so blurred he couldn’t even focus on the steering wheel right in front of his eyes.

George lifted Lili’s front tire off the pavement. That, combined with the heavy screeching back-tire breaking, caused her to skid away from the Oz mobile.

Oz churned oblivious through the light, completely unaware he was perilously close to manslaughtering U vehicularly.

Lili seemed to be defying gravity itself as she flew sideways on Fell towards Market St.

And just as it looked inevitable that Lili was going to slam head first into the back panel of the passenger side of the Oz mobile, God seemed to intervene. Or maybe it was just George being all he could be.

Either way, George managed to get Lili to just clip the back of the Oz mobile’s passenger side bumper.

This stopped Lili’s forward momentum just enough so that with George flying forward at the same speed he had been, he flew over the handlebars down Fell St, head first.

Joseph Plantune, aka Joey, a homeless man who believed that aliens were coming for him imminently, looked up from the trash can he was mining, and saw a George flying through the air. He didn’t notice Lili or the Oz mobile. All he saw was the flying George. Head first. This caused Joey to sprint down Geary away from Fell, screaming, “You’ll never take me aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!”

Holy shit, George thought, I’m flying through the air. With the greatest of ease. Hey, I’m even making a joke as I fly through the air. He seemed to fly forever, flying, floating parallel to the ground, headfirst. If only I had a cape, I could be Superman.

Then George realized he was gong to come down and hit the pavement. He did something smart now. Instead of thinking, he let his body take over. George was lucky that way. His body just naturally took over when it had to. When all around him were losing their heads he was inhabiting his body.

And his body, like most all bodies, knew exactly what to do.

And his body did it.

As it came down, George’s body naturally tucked, his shoulder rolling down towards the road, his helmeted head shielded by his right arm coming up, and as gravity took over, plummeting him towards blacktop, he landed on the flat of his forearm, rolling forward in a moving ball of humanity like a tumbler in thick black leather.

George’s body was all loosey-goosey, easy-jointed as it made contact.

And somehow he managed keep his roll going, as if he had been coached from an early age by a brilliant but cruel Rumanian gymnastic coach.

And when the roll was over, he popped up on his feet and stood there facing away from Geary St.

Stood on his two feet in his two boots.

Unscratched.

Unscathed.

Untouched.

Wait a minute, he thought, how did that happen? Did that happen? Did I just fly through the air, and do some crazy stunt man shit? How the hell did I do that? It wasn’t you, stoopid. That was God. God just saved me. Sent you a message. Do your job. Look after the boy. Thank you God, and I will not ever forget that you saved my life here. From now on, I do the right thing. Sex is highly over-rated. George made a note to himself: have that tattooed on your penis, young man.

Then he had a thought that moved him to action.

Lili.

Oh no.

Please God, just one more thing, I swear this is the last thing I’ll ever ask for: let Lili be okay.

George turned and ran back towards Geary.

There she was.

Lili.

Lying on her side.

Battered and bruised.

That beautiful old lady, scraped and scuffed.

He reached her, got down on his knees.

Put his hand on her, feeling for a pulse.

Oh please, be okay.

She’s dead.

What a night.

This is the worse night of my life.

I did this.

This is my fault.

If I had just minded my business and not been chasing my tail, he wouldn’t have gone skag hunting and Lili would be sitting under her cover where she belongs, having sweet Indian dreams.

Damn me.

Too late.

Somebody beat me to it.

George stroked her violated tank, gouged deep in the belly.

George ran his hands over her twisted front fender.

George let his fingers linger on her twisted handlebars.

George couldn’t bring himself to touch her scratched to hell forks, shock absorbed in shock.

Sadly he got himself to his feet.

With forlorn care, he lifted her to her wheels.

He slipped down her kick-stand and gingerly leaned her that way.

Lili groaned as her bent gnarled mass her rested on her stand.

She’s upright anyway, George thought.

He straddled her, without resting any way on her seat.

Looking at her handlebars was like seeing an injury victim with a badly broken leg, where the shinbone is pointing one way, and the foot is pointing the other.

Carefully, lovingly, George put his hands on her handlebars, and with the touch of an expert chiropractor, he pulled them back towards their natural resting place, like twisted a neck to bring it into alignment.

To George’s surprise, the handlebars moves easily back into place. In fact, they slid too far, so they were out of kilter the other way. Very easy he slid them back so they were centered.

Okay, George smiled, maybe it’s not so dire. Maybe she’s okay. Maybe we can coax her back to life. Maybe she’s just got a sprained hip and some minor contusions. Maybe there’s just a lot of blood from some superficial wounds.

George now dismounted and went to the front of Lili. He could now see that her front fender was bent badly, but if he was very tender with her, he could twist it back enough to be able to drive her, then take her to the shop and get her all shiny and new, like a virgin Indian touched for the very first time.

George took her into his hands and softly manipulated Lili, bending the metal so that it moved away from the tire. It did. It worked. It was an ugly raw wound, but at least it looked more normal now, and would not interfere with her smooth rolling.

George went back around and straddled Lili once more.

Barely breathing, he touched the key still hanging in its hole. He turned it into the Off position. He stopped and heaved a deep sigh.

I mean it Lord, if you give me this one thing, make this one thing okay, and I will never let you down again. Let her come one. Let their be light.

George switched the key back into the On position.

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, she turned on, the front headlight shooting out a beam of white into the black night.

Okay, said George, that’s it, you win. From now on, no shit, it’s the straight and narrow for me, no bullshit.

George then calmly, moved the lever out for better access, and my his foot primed her a couple of times, while giving her a little taste of gas with the hand accelerator.

He snorted three quick blasts of breath, and kicked down on the lever.

Lili sputtered and spurted, like a heavy smoker trying to wake up in the morning.

But George nursed her into consciousness by opening the choke on the left of the engine, pulling out the knobby pin so the engine gasped air and gas and the pistons sprung to life, pumping like porn stars as Lili finally righted herself and purred.

Oh Lord, thank you, now I know everything’s gonna be alright, George thought.

And he really believed it.

Chlorine: A 101 Word Story About Murder & Beauty

Chlorine told me over breakfast that she was leaving me. She said she could never love someone with a face as average as mine. My worst fears confirmed, I wept and moaned inconsolably. Desperate, devastated, I wandered the streets until I found an astonishingly handsome man, and cut his face off with a very sharp knife. Quickly I sewed his face over my own.

When I got home Chlorine was overjoyed by how attractive I had become, and kissed me with unprecedented sweetness. “I can’t believe how astonishingly handsome your new face is,” she sighed.

The next day we were married.

Review of Mort Morte: Dexter, South Park, Aesop, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Meets Travis Bickle

“Like Dexter visiting South Park, like Aesop  mixed with the Simpsons, like Diary of a Wimpy Kill as told by Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, Mort Morte is a brilliant, sad, deep, LOL book”

mort morte coverx3000wHoly mother of murder, Mort Morte! I’m thinking that David Henry Sterry ate Aesop for breakfast one day and burped this book out later that afternoon; there has to be a lesson in here somewhere, but I’m still stunned speechless so I can’t quite articulate it. I think it has something to do with the medicinal qualities of tea …

Mort Morte is the story of a boy who loves his mother, and who knows evil when he sees it. Mort Morte is a boy who is ready to right wrongs, unfortunately in all the wrong ways. Mort Morte is a troubled child. Then he commits murder. Not once, not twice, read the book to find out how many times. Mort Morte’s mother is a troubled woman. She keeps marrying the wrong man. Not once, not twice, read the book to find out how many times.

Seriously, MORT MORTE is a brilliant satire, a sad commentary on the dark side of life, and a hysterically disturbing story. I can’t say it’s my kind of humor, but the book is original, fast paced, and captivating. Despite all the aforementioned murder, I had to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next. And that is the sign of a great story.

To buy the book click here.

Mort Morte: Reminds me of Lolita, Catcher in the Rye, Full Metal Jacket, Alice in Wonderland”

This review just in for my short novel: Mort Mortemort cover
“Suspenseful, curious, moving, strange, modern, touching, angry, bitter, funny, sarcastic, absurd, pensive, violent, resentful, releasing, brave, exciting, dreamy, dangerous, experimental, honest, iceberg shard coming of age story.  Reminds me of Lolita, the Ginger Man, Catcher in the Rye, Full Metal Jacket, even Jacob’s Ladder, Alice in Wonderland, and my own experiences with psychosis, anger, homicide, suicide, PTSD, survivor’s guilt.” – Steven Favius
To buy the book click here.

 

 

“Mort Morte: A beautiful coming-of-age story that’s frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious.”

Here’s a new review for David Henry Sterry’s Mort Morte. To buy the book, click here. mort cover

“Mort Morte is a beautiful coming-of-age story that’s frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious.”

Mort Morte: Post-Modern Fairy Tale about Young Serial Killer

“A lyrical roller coaster ride through the dark mind of a young serial killer. A post-modern fairy tale about what happens to a boy who is continually abused and bullied. The plot is surreal, but somehow all too real! I was quickly sucked in and enjoyed the book.” – Mateo

To buy the book click here.

mort cover

mort morte the-mother pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morte Morte Movie

I’m proud to announce that the first book I ever wrote, which I started 20 years ago, is finally coming out.  I’m very proud of this book, and the sublime illustrations by one of my favorite artists, Alain Pilon.  But perhaps more importantly, this is the book that led me to the love of my life.  To read the story behind that, click here it’s my first story on the wonderful website Salon.  To see the video trailer, click here.  To buy the book, click here.

mort morte coverx3000w

On my third birthday, my father, in an attempt to get me to stop sucking my thumb, gave me a gun. “Today son, you are a man,” he said, snatching the little blue binky from my little pink hand. So I shot him.

So begins MORT MORTE a macabre coming-of-age story full of butchered butchers, badly used Boy Scouts, blown-up Englishman, virginity-plucking cheerleaders, and many nice cups of tea.

Poignantly poetic, hypnotically hysterical, sweetly surreal, and chock full of the blackest comedy, MORT MORTE is like Lewis Carrol having brunch with the kid from The Tin Drum and Oedipus, just before he plucks his eyes out.

In the end though, MORT MORTE is a story about a boy who really loves his mother.

CONFESSIONS OF A SEX MANIAC A novella by David Henry Sterry

I’m delighted to announce the publication of my new novella, Confessions of a Sex Maniac.

To purchase as e-book.  To purchase as printed book.  AMAZING audio book, like a soundtrack to a movie.

Confessions book“11 o’clock Monday night I was standing in the nasty skank stink of a body-fluid-scented room of Felipe’s Massage Parlor. There was no Felipe. No one was there for a massage. The wall was stained with what looked like splattered brain, and if you listened hard enough, you could hear the ghosts of ho’s past screaming.

“I tried not to pant as I basked in the glow of the Snow Leopard. She was decked out in black jacket and sleek black boots, the long of her straight black hair leading directly to the short of her barely-there black skirt that hid little of the loveliest legs I’d ever had the pleasure to gander. Coal eyes with glowing embers in the center made my breath syncopate, and I could almost feel her long red claws at the end of her paws digging into the small of my back.”

Old-school noir meets the new millennium in this story of obsession, murder and the underbelly of San Francisco. A low-level, underling, bagman sex maniac will stop at nothing to get the thing he longs for most–a prize as beautiful as she is deadly–the Snow Leopard. His search takes him deep into the seedy groin of San Francisco’s notorious Polk Gulch where he must choose: sex or death?

A Henry Miller Award Finalist. Confessions of a Sex Maniac is a tribute to Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, James Elroy and all those hard-boiled, tender-hearted noir writers Sterry holds near and dear to his heart, brain and other essential organs.

“When David Henry Sterry writes about sexuality, it’s like a chef writing about food.”–nerve.com.

“Sterry writes with comic brio… eye-opening, astonishing, brutally honest and frequently funny… graphic, politically incorrect and mostly unquotable in this newspaper.”—The New York Times

“Sterry’s prose fizzes like a firework. Sex, violence, drugs, love, hate, and great writing all within a single wrapper. What more could you possibly ask for?” The Irish Times

 

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