Appalachian Crime: The Big Pinch


My new crime story “The Big Pinch” is up at Story and Grit. It’s a small-scale sleazy affair of two hillbilly stoners trying to rip off their dealer. Inspired by the dumb low lifes of Coen Brothers and Elmore Leonard and the spare prose of minimalism.

The story’s skeleton is at least five years old. I first came up with it as an idea for a short film. Me and my very talented documentarian college professor Steve Middleton had been talking about doing something maybe and this was the idea I had.

At that time, the idea went nowhere. We were both busy and we both lost interest in it. But years later I was able to repurpose the idea into a short story.  I find that happens a lot to me – sometimes my ideas need to fail once and gestate more to live again.

Jack and the Pouch of Plenty



My newest short story “Jack and the Pouch of Plenty” is up at Liquid Imagination. It’s a stoner comedy urban fantasy about a slacker at a music festival who finds a bag of marijuana that magically refills itself every time it’s emptied.

This is basically my attempt at a modern day Jack Tale or an Appalachian Harry Potter but it’s also kinda minimalist and mumblecore. Could be the start of a short story series, if I can ever stop being so lazy.

Sam Gavel in “Fuel of Fools”


Illustration by L.A. Spooner (courtesy Crimson Streets)


My new short story “Fuel of Fools” is up at Crimson Streets. It’s the second part in my Sam Gavel series after “Smoke Is My Shadow“.

Sam Gavel is a private detective who chased a crook into a chemical warehouse that exploded. But he survived! The exposure of experimental chemicals gave him the power to transform from a man of flesh and blood into a plume of living smoke.

In “Fuel of Fools” Sam tries to find out just what was in that factory that caused his transformation and stumbles upon a tale of espionage and conspiracy.

I hope that Sam will return in a future story because it’s so fun writing in a homage to both film noir and early pulp superhero comics, a dash of Hammett and Chandler with a touch of The Spirit.