Now available in e-book and paperback

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

In this surreal road novel, Anthony searches for the father he’s never met: Andy Kaufman, the legendary song-and-dance man from the ’70s. There’s a few problems here, of course. A) Andy Kaufman died in 1984, and B) Thanks to a recent cancer diagnosis, Anthony doesn’t have much longer to live, either. However, new evidence has come to light that questions whether or not Kaufman is actually dead. Could he be in hiding, after all these years? Anthony is determined to discover the truth before his own clock runs out. During his travels, he will encounter shameless medicine men, grifters, Walmart shoppers, the ghosts of Elvis and Warhol, and the Devil himself.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Mount Airy Reading

FOX READING DOCTOR KEVORKIAN GOES TO HEAVEN!

7PM at the Mt. Airy Read & Eat bookstore and cafe on 7141 Germantown Ave in Philadelphia, PA. I will be reading from Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven along with a few selected short stories. It will be an intimate and nice event. http://mtairyreadandeat.com/
 

Monday, November 3, 2014

WRITING NOIR FOR THE 21st CENTURY - NOIRCON 2014


Writing Noir for the 21st Century
Noircon 2014


I confess:

I’m a fraud.

I sat at Noircon—the noir crime author’s convention in Philadelphia this Saturday at the Society Hill Playhouse—and I worried I’d be discovered for the imposter that I am then thrown under a SEPTA bus on South Street by the seasoned and experienced Noir authors. I have not read Elmore Leonard and only seen a casual amount of the movies, and this is why you as noir authors need to listen to me now.

Noir has always been a side for me, though much of my horror blurs the boundaries. And this is why noir authors must listen to me. My lack of experience gives me a fresh perspective. I’m outside the clique, the mainstream of noir and crime fiction, and I’m coming at the genre from a unique point-of-view. Somehow I stumbled into this field with my first book, The Street Martyr. The book has been successful and is being made into a major motion picture by Throughline Films. I didn’t expect this for my first book. I wrote the book to teach myself how to write long fiction, a process I continue. I didn’t set out to write a crime-noir book. I developed a plot—something not related to horror as I had written too much of the macabre—and wrote it in a character voice, drawing upon my love of true mafia books. I wrote about true horror—drugs, poverty, exploitation of those who can’t defend themselves. This is what haunts me.

Lou Boxer invited me to sit on the panel for Existential Noir. I had no idea what this was, and I’m told that’s the heart of existential. We were blessed with our moderator, William Lashner, and sitting on the panel with me was K.A. Laity, Paul Oliver and Carole Mallory. We closed out the evening with our discussion, touching on the nature of God existing in a dark alley.

One of the questions I was asked was about femme fatales and their place in existential noir. It was a legitimate question using old industry terminology; and that’s part of my point. I find the term to be sexist, outdated and part of a genre geared towards men. This is endemic of a genre trapped in the past, a dark style that is not joining a modern sensibility. Now, I do appreciate the old styles of the past in many ways and hope to preserve some of those qualities. The long hero, or anti-hero, hitting the streets, staying to the shadows and exploring what is darkest in the human heart will always have a place in the genre, but there are many elements that need to advance. The femme fatale is really a concept of love, the potential for transformation and redemption. It doesn’t have to be a female. The archetype goes back to the idea of Eve corrupting a pure Adam in the Garden, and really this could be anyone in love. The detective could be a woman and/or a homosexual. It’s about love verse selfish desire, about the hope to be lifted out of the darkness. It’s time to retire the term to bring noir into the next century.

What worries me is the esoteric nature of modern noir. Sometimes it feels as if we’re writing a tribute to the past like creating a museum exhibit. Something’s off. It’s confirmed by the lack of paying crime markets—and non-paying. When I do a search for horror on Duotrope, I have to sort through at least 100 dedicated journals and anthologies. I get maybe twenty crime markets, accept for those few literary and pulp journals that have added noir to their submission genres almost as an afterthought. Why isn’t this a popular market? There was a time when dime-store gumshoes were the popular hero.

At Starbucks today where I go to write when my fiancĂ©e works, I was asked where and when my book, The Street Martyr, was set. He expected a 1940’s detective story when I said it was crime novel and was surprised when I said Philadelphia in 2012. It almost didn’t seem like Noir to him unless it was cast in a specific setting. Have I written a thriller? Or is my novel about two low-level drug dealers who must solve a murder and bring street justice to a monster really noir? It is the heart of noir. Our detectives need cell phones. Our criminals should steal credit cards and hack bank accounts. We need a modern context for our gumshoes, or we will be left behind. So I advise that we let go of the past, though we can use it for inspiration. The spirit of the work is the same, just update it to the world around you. 
 


When Vincent is enlisted to throw a scare into a deviant priest, he does it dutifully, leaving the man bleeding on the floor of a seedy apartment. But when the priest is found brutally murdered, life as Vincent knew it ends and he has to flee as killers on both sides of the law make him the target of a city-wide manhunt.

BUY THE STREET MARTYR on AMAZON.COM!!!





Noircon 2014

But it was a lovely convention, educational and inspirational. I got to spend time with Lou Boxer. Lou and I have been trying to hangout for the last year now. Lou deserves the gratitude of the noir community for organizing Noircon and bringing us together. I appreciate the chance to be on a panel and speak my thoughts about the genre. I appreciated both the panels on politics in Noir and Jewish Noir, and I learned much.

William Lashner, K.A. Laity, Paul Oliver, T. Fox Dunham and Malcolm the plush Fox

Thanx Lou!



You can read Mark C. O’Connor’s write-up on Noircon 2014 at the Out of the Gutter website: http://www.outofthegutteronline.com/2014/11/raining-in-philadelpia-noircon-2014.html


Carole Mallory's write up for the Huff Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carole-mallory/noir-conwhere-the-nitty-m_b_6100004.html
* * *




Fox upcoming appearances for November:

Friday, 7th November - 7PM to 9PM:
Book signing at The Cat’s Meow in Lansdale
105 Walnut Street , Lansdale Pennsylvania
http://www.catsmeowmysticalshop.com/

-

Friday, 14th November 2014 – 7PM: 
Experiences of a Successful Author
My writing seminar evening at the Lansdale YMCA talking about my experience as an author.
608 E. Main Street, Lansdale, PA 19446

* * *

So here’s book promotion for this blog entry: 
Zombie’s Galore! 



From Knightwatch Press and Editor T.M. McLean. This book has gone through a few different forms, and I was pleased to see it finally published. Tim’s a good friend, and it includes my zombie story, The Birthday Boy. Some odd and original stories in this collection. We need more zombie fiction!




BUY ME AT AMAZON!
http://www.amazon.com/Zombies-Galore-Theresa-Derwin-ebook/dp/B00N4MZHJU

Friday, September 26, 2014

STREET MARTYR AS A FEATURE FILM


CHALLENGE YOUR LIMITS AS AN AUTHOR

So Throughline Films, a Chicago operation of some status, is filming my first novel The Street Martyr into a feature film. I still can’t believe it’s real. We read the emails from the producer, John W. Bosher, about movie the development process, and it feels surreal. It is the beginning of life, everything I’ve fought for, finally pulling myself out of this illness and disability. It is the break of a lifetime. Authors wait their whole careers for an opportunity like this to build their careers. I never saw it coming. None of this was intended. I am more surprised than anyone, though people don’t seem to be too surprised that I’ve made it this far this soon. I can’t tell. I don’t know if my work is good or bad. I dread reading my own work. I’m a partial perfectionist and a workaholic. I produced the Street Martyr in two months. When I edit my own work, I don’t see it from the fresh perspective of a new reader. I only see what it could be, what I’m currently not capable of writing. I see my work as incomplete, inchoate and underdeveloped, and I think: This will be rejected fast! Somehow, it’s not. All my work sells and is praised. I guess I owe that to my craft, though my spirit has suffered.

I don’t think a good author should know whether their work is good or not. We should just write from our hearts and depend on faith in ourselves. It’s better that way. I wrote the Street Martyr with no intentions, no great life plans to build a career. I just wanted to drop myself into new waters, to get away from horror and short fiction. It was meant to be an education, to train myself to write long fiction. I expected it to maybe be an eBook, get a couple of readers, impress the members of the noir community and then move onto something else, something I’d write better. The response has overwhelmed me, and what it is bringing into my life—great love, a future, a family—has shaken me to my core self-concept. I defined my book, and now it is redefining me. The books we write should always do this. A novel should be a journey of exploration and change for the author as much as it is for the reader. You can chart my life by my work: what I have seen and suffered. I write horror as a catharsis, and now the nature of my work is changing. Once I was the wizard of sad endings. My work summoned weeping. Now I am writing about hope. My work changes as I change, always a step ahead of me, a destination that I wish to reach.

Always take on more than you can chew. Disturb your comfort zone. Overwhelm yourself a bit. Don’t just write what you’re capable of. Write more and worry you’re not going to make it. This effort will translate. Alyn Day, a dear friend and one of my sisters who started at the same time I did, fights to write her novella. She worries and suffers over it like a mother for her child. It is new for her, a bit beyond what she has been capable of, and this is why her book will be a success. She challenges herself to become more, and she will rise with me.

I’m working with John W. Bosher at Throughline Films as we prepare to adapt The Street Martyr into a feature film. They’re arranging funding with a company in Los Angeles. Throughline Films is a substantial production company. And reading his emails has been absolutely thrilling. A part of me still doesn’t believe this has happened, but I’ll handle it in a confident and professional manner. The uneven nature of my life has prepared me that anything is possible, and I will build on this, creating a good life. We have to use the opportunities that come to us. I know much of this is luck, being in the right place at the right time. I am being counted on. I have promises to keep, and I will turn this into something amazing. I don’t know if I’m ready or worthy of this, but I’m going run with it anyway.

I talk more about my writing life in an interview I did with Grey Matter Press with a secret code . . .


CLICK ME TO READ INTERVIEW @ GM PRESS



STATE OF HORROR: NEW JERSEY

Featured Anthology

So a number of anthologies have come out since my last blog post. I should post more, but I don’t want to fill up the internet with a lot of chatter and detritus. To follow my short fiction, all you need do is type in my name, and a number of links will appear.

State of Horror: New Jersey has been re-released through its new publisher, Charon Coin Press and Editor Jerry E. Benns. This was one of my early publications, and I was glad that it was being published a second time, given a new look and promotion. My story, Doctor Nightshade Comes to Ocean City, NJ has second placement on the table of contents. It’s about a cancer cluster in New Jersey, based on the Toms River tragedy. The misery and death summons a dark creature based on the Mothman legend which I also tied into the Jersey Devil. Many of these myths parallel and have roots in the same tradition.

Here are some quotes from other stories in the book:

"Whenever she did fall asleep Charlie was there calling to her, showing her happy memories lulling her into what she craved most then twisting it into something terrifying. Each dream tortured her a little more than the last."
--“Sweets for my Sweet” by Margie Colton.

 
The door opened suddenly and a giant of a man stood in the doorway holding a shotgun, his beard bushy and his eyes wild. "Holy shit," Jack said and stepped back, falling into the mud and weeds in front of the house. "Mister Meyer?" Kendall asked slowly, hoping to God the madman with the gun was his friend's father. If not, they were in trouble. 
--"Dying Days: Charon" by Armand Rosamilia

 
The warmth of Paul’s body was rudely robbed from her as the dark swallowed him. Josie heard the sounds of Paul’s bones breaking and screamed. Held in place by her panic, she stared into the darkness that fanned out around her at the end of her nose.
 --"Under the Boardwalk" by Julianne Snow

Here is the table of contents:



A Friend of the Family by Diane Arrelle
 Doctor Nightshade Comes to Ocean City, NJ by T. Fox Dunham
Monster by Christian Jensen
Evacuation by C. I. Kemp
American Gargoyle by Scott M. Goriscak
Rudetown Road by Blaze McRob
Memories of Her are Dead by Eli Constant
Road Wearier by Tim Baker
Sweets for My Sweets by Margaret L. Colton
Red Eyes by Nathanael Gass
Under the Boardwalk by Julianne Snow
Dying Days: Charon by Armand Rosamilia
Pork Roll, Egg, and Sleaze by Frank J. Edler



State of Horror: New Jersey is available from Charon Coin Press. It is part of their State of Horror series. I also have a story in their Pennsylvania collection.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DOCTOR KEVORKIAN GOES TO HEAVEN PUBLISHED


Cover by Susie Fear
“But what if things stopped changing? Stasis? Static life? There’s nothing to look forward to here. Just oblivion.”


“I’ll install that pool, then,” God said. Doctor Kevorkian sighed. “You’re . . . just . . . not seeing it.”

“I’ve got other problems on my mind,” God said.

“I’m sure you have the whole universe on your mind.”


“No one is dying?”

          
“And it’s your fault. You found the infinity song.”
           

 
--Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham
            Artwork by the artist Susie Fear

            NOW AVAILABLE!!!

           

Without death or sickness to strive against, humanity would cease to grow. Death is change, transformation. It is the motivation that has compelled me to write—and live deep into the fabric of the universe. This is my commentary on life, physician-assisted suicide in this life and the next, stasis, humanity, heaven and time—all on the back of Doctor Jack Kevorkian


Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing has had the wisdom—madness and self-destructive motivation—to release my novella, Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven. I wrote this story out of love and admiration for one of the great egotists and humanists of the current era; and already since his death, most of the humans he sought to help have forgotten about the man or his work. I have a proclivity of writing about forgotten eccentrics; ergo, my upcoming book from PMMP: Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman. I like the obscure.

Let me tell you about writing this novella. As with all my long-fiction, I wrote it on a fathomed and personal level; indeed, finishing the narrative cost my health and energy. It will take me several months to recover. I am of poor physique, as many of my fans and critics are aware, and writing a lengthy narrative costs me in a finite currency that will never be replenished. I’m an isotope throwing off neutrons, and I can only radiate my readers for so long. I have a limited number of books in me, and once they’re written, I will deflate and collapse. I convert my body and spirit into tomes as if I feed my limbs and organs to hungry animals. So far, it has been a success, and this is the only kind of writing I could ever have foreseen myself doing. I don’t see the purpose of writing with any less passion or conviction. We all suffer diminishing and winding-down time.

            Fill your pen with your arterial blood and write your soul to its dissipation.

Anything less is not worthy of the gift of life you have been given, the same gift that is taken from so many everyday. Can you write this deeply? Can you create something with such passion that it kills you a little each time? Commit to that. Strive for it.

And so I release Doctor Kevorkian, and like all parents, I have no perception of how these words will change the world.



About Doctor Kevorkian (Because most of you have forgotten or could give a damn)




Doctor Jack Kevorkian
Time on Earth: 
May 26, 1928 – June 3, 2011

His family fled from the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to Pontiac, Michigan where they remade themselves as Americans. This little man never married, never had children, and as his life declined, he sought immortality, some kind of continuance in human regard. The thought of obscurity, of being forgotten as though he’d never lived terrified him.


American pathologist, euthanasia activist, painter, author, composer and instrumentalist. Doctor Jack Kevorkian was a veteran of the Korean war and later in life became the most famous and successful proponent of physician assisted suicide and a patient’s right to die. He claimed that during the years1990 to 1998, he assisted in the removal of 130 patients from this world into the next world, much like a cosmic train conductor punching passes—though he didn’t punch his patients. He injected or gassed them with industrial chemicals to stop their hearts. He built his Mercitron—I feature the Mercitron II in my book—from an Erector set he bought at a church rummage sale.

The state of Michigan labored several times to convict him of murder, and Jack sought out the services of the illustrious attorney Geoffrey Fieger to defend him, who became his Sancho through his homicidal medical career. Geoffrey also appears as a character in this book, though I must remind that this is fiction; and I write with appreciation and admiration for their work.

Then the state inflicted upon Doctor Kevorkian the most punitive punishment: they stopped persecuting him. For a man with a messiah complex, this is a sword through the chest. Where would Jesus be without the Romans? Modern Christianity owes its symbolism, the crucifix and faith, more to Pontius Pilate than it does to their prophet. In previous cases, Kevorkian setup the apparatus and gave the patient the means to end their own suffering. He understood what all effective civil resistors know: you have to provoke a response. Thus, on September 17, 1998, Kevorkian himself administered a lethal substance to Thomas Youk, 52, who was in the final stages of Lou Gehrig's Disease, which he recorded and then showed on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, daring the state to stop him. He refused proper representation at trial, and after a two day trial, the Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree homicide. The judge threw his skinny bum into prison. After spending eight years in prison, he was granted parole for good behavior and bad health. He then ran for Governor, continued his art and music and died of thrombosis.


               And so it came to be that before his death—tired of going to court for his noble work for responsible euthanasia and failing a run for governor—Doctor Kevorkian began work on inventing an immortality machine. He decided it would be of great value to society to obviate the question of mortality, so civilization would no longer be pestered by such antagonizing questions such as when is death death? And what is quality of life? And thus, with such questions no longer relevant, the world could go on happily buying consumer products and watching the latest episode of American Idol. These questions forced humans to exercise their frontal lobes. Humans went to places such as bars or pubs or churches to actively block stimulation of their frontal lobes, and for that reason so many brilliant men and women in history were locked away, often burned alive or poked with sticks or bullets.

--Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham


For you to really understand the nature of this novella, you must know my story. This morning, I awoke in near-agony. My leg muscles twisted off my bone. My spine screeched the high notes on a knotted harp. It won’t let me sleep at night. Morphine makes it bearable, but it won’t indefinitely. Five months of radiation daily burned my neck and spine in an attack on lymphoma, and the damage left me crippled and continues to wreck my nervous system. The pain and damage may reach a unending and churning storm that never alleviates, removing any quality of life.



            You are not choosing to die. It doesn’t feel like that. No one chooses to die. It’s not in your head to make that choice. It’s always something else. For me, it was choosing to stop the constant agony. I felt so tired. I didn’t care to be laid in wormy earth. I longed to turn the page, to see what came next. Curiosity desired my stay in the world. Still, I couldn’t endure the pain any longer. I refused any more treatment. I refused respirators and feeding tubes. I was done. No one could stop me.
       You don’t ask to die.  
       You need the pain to stop.
   
--Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham



This book—a fusion of my love for both Mark Twain & Kurt Vonnegut—is a commentary on my experience and my explanation. This is my suicide note, though not yet, and I hope it doesn’t become necessary. I have the right to end my life with dignity and the right to free myself of pain. Society will not be injured. Wars happen all the time and people are murdered yet Burger King keeps slinging meat and Target sells cheap Asian-slave-labor woven jeans. As an individual right and in the hands of responsible doctors, this can be handled with rights protected and without disabled people becoming expendable. I believe life is to be cherished, valued and guarded, which is all the more reason why we must preserve it and not mutilate it. It will be tricky, and great wisdom will have to be discerned in the procedures and guidelines, but I believe humans are capable of it. This is about compassion.

When the capacity to live is gone, when the body is destroyed beyond anyway to function in the world, what is life?



Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven is now available through E-book format. Susie Fear has done a stunning cover and artwork for the book in the spirit of Vonnegut yet ensnaring the dark sensibilities of the book.