Monday, July 30, 2007
The reason I mention this is because people sometime assume "M.Christian" has a different kind of hidden meaning, that it's a 'loud and proud' sign of my belief or religion.
Even though I try to keep personal stuff personal, this is a good time to say something about that: I'm an atheist. No doubts, hesitations, or uncertainty: I don't believe in god, gods, ghosts, faeries, UFOs or the similar.
The reason this is a good time to come out of the philosophical closet is Richard Dawkins, a man I admire and respect, has started an OUT campaign for us unbelievers, one marked by a scarlet 'A'."
So come on all you other fellow rationalists, now's a good time to stand up and be counted!
Gay Noir delivers the goods
Don’t lock your doors – the thing that goes bump in the night is back—and he’s hot!
M. Christian, the best-selling author of Running Dry, has set out to curl your toes and your eyelashes. The Very Bloody Marys, available from Haworth Press, is a rollicking noir that sets the hero, a slick gay vampire cop named Valentino, against a wandering gang of vamp twinks, a killer Tinkerbell, and a world wide council of vampires that would make the Vatican seem laid-back and jovial.
Set in the rolling hills of a darkened San Francisco, the novel opens with Valentino searching desperately for his MIA boss, Pogue. With no clues to his whereabouts, the case seems lost, and then tragedy strikes. Returning home one evening, Valentino watches in horror and disbelief as his lover Julian crumbles to dust right before his eyes. Now sick with grief, anger and revenge, Valentino sets out into the night to find Julian’s killer and make him pay.
Quick paced and full of eye-popping visuals, The Very Bloody Marys whisks down the plot-line at breakneck speeds, daring the reader to keep up. Back-story is held up to make way for the full throttle action that begins almost immediately, and once you’ve started the book, it may prove difficult to put down.
Christian was written the quintessential noir mystery, using sex, the night and a barrage of interesting undead characters to tell a fun and captivating story. There are several references to Humphrey Bogart, and indeed, our gay Bogie is the perfect protagonist, even if he himself doesn’t buy it.
Using all the right details, Christian has created a world that’s one part L.A. Confidential and two parts Tales of The City. The result is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes terrifying experience that will leave you thirsty for more.
The Very Bloody Marys is available through Haworth Press or at Out Loud and other retailers in the area.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Check out the what people might be saying about this funny, scary, gay, vampire, detective story:
- Stephen King (if he'd actually read the book)
“Funny, scary – a wonderful thrill ride!”
- Kurt Vonnegut (if he were still alive)
“You HAVE to read this book!”
- Alberto Perez, Novel Prize Winner for Literature (if I hadn't made him up)
For rave reviews that didn't come from my own imagination, follow this link to them on my site at www.mchristian.com. If you also want to review The Very Bloody Marys - and receive a free “I sucked up to a vampire book author” T-shirt - just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, if you’re lucky enough to live in or just be visiting San Francisco, you’ll have a chance to enjoy a couple of fantastic Very Bloody Marys experiences:
Take Mina Harker’s famous San Francisco Vampire Tour and you’ll have a chance to win a free copy of The Very Bloody Marys. Mina’s almost as fantastic as my book – yes, she’s THAT good!
On August 11th at 3:00PM you’ll have the rare opportunity to meet and greet me, a reclusive author who shuns sunlight, at a special *daytime* event at Borderlands Books:
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94110
Toll-Free Phone Number: (888) 893.4008
Come for the reading, stay for basking in my literary glow (caution: only visible at night)!
“Fresh, quirky, and irreverent, The Very Blood Marys is a vampire novel for readers who've become bored with vampires.”
-- Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow
I'd like to take a non-partisan view toward sex but wow -- these guys really don't make it easy. What a week it was for unbridled hypocrisy!
1. On July 9, the "D.C. Madam" released her little black book of clients, and in a preemptive move designed to ward off the wave of public derision and marital strife, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) confessed to having availed himself of the madam's services. He's since disappeared, probably because his wife was once quoted as "being more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hilary Clinton" on such matters. I can only wonder whether Vitter escaped before she reached for her knife.
Vitter was a typical Southern Republican, espousing the sanctity of marriage while getting his kicks from the professionals. In 2005, Vitter attacked "the Hollywood left" for "redefining the most basic institution in human history." Uh huh.
2. Republican Strategist John ("Jack") M. Burkman's name was also in the revealing black book. (You may recall that Burkman picked up some teenage girls last year -- and was dumb enough to give them his business card -- and offered to pay them for sex. He likes really big tits, by the way.) Burkman is a real doll: following on the comments of Ann Coulter's vile hate rants on the widows of 9/11, he declared that “within hours of those [World Trade Center] towers going down,” the wives of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks “were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy!” Once a sleazeball asshole, always a sleazeball asshole, I guess.
3. Florida State Representative (and Co-chair of Senator John McCain's Florida campaign) Bob Allen got into a sticky little mess this week, too, but at least his name wasn't in the D.C. Madam's book. Instead, he was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a local park after offering to perform a sex act on an undercover officer in exchange for $20. The Orlando Sentinel story says Allen was arrested for "offering to perform a sex act," but TV reports out of Florida say Allen was to have the sex act performed on him. Either way, I think we all agree that Florida is clearly the place to get a blowjob, as they can be had for the bargain price of $20!
Thanks, you horny Republicans, for making such asses of yourselves. But fear not, your supporters will not be thwarted. They're all praying for you and saying crap like, "If God has found it in His heart to forgive you, so can I."
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Vampire Tour of San Francisco was chosen by The Bay Guardian as one of the "Best of the Bay" for 2003! Mina Harker (Kitty Burns) was also awarded the 2005 Individual Donor Diamond Award by ARTshare in San Mateo, CA for charitable contributions made by The Vampire Tour of SF.If you act quickly you might be lucky and receive a FREE (yes, I said FREE) copy of The Very Bloody Marys that Mina will be giving away on each tour.
Become a member of the Drac Pack! Explore the Gothic side of Nob Hill with your Host, Mina Harker, Vampress who was made by Count Dracula in London in 1897 and banished by him to the United States. Mina has resided on and under the streets of San Francisco for over 100 years. Hear her story, and learn how Vampires have played an important part in the shaping of San Francisco as we know it today. Don't worry. We do not go underground or to any stops that are seriously gothic or dark. This is a fun, light hearted tour for the Undead or prospective Undead with a sense of humor!
Monday, July 09, 2007
I don't review books very often. In fact, it might be better to say that I don't review books at all, and the reason is that I'm very picky. I spent a few years reading them for money—yes, you can do that if you're in the right place at the right time—and as a result, nothing surprises me. I don't care what plot or character you throw at me, I've read it before somewhere else.
Murder mysteries are the worst because I used to read them obsessively, and good ones, too, like Rex Stout, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. Unless the characters or setting really grab me, it usually takes three chapters to figure out who the killer is. A quick check to the end, and I'm done. I also don't much care for vampire stories, mostly because I don't find cold immortality particularly sexy. I prefer my heroes warm-blooded and human.
So what the heck was I doing reading a book called The Very Bloody Marys (Harrington Park Press; May 1, 2007), a gay vampire murder mystery? Even weirder, why couldn't I put it down?
Okay, I did put it down from time to time. I had to eat, shower, sleep, take care of my kid, that kind of thing, but for the most part, I read because in spite of covering two of my least favorite genres, it was a damned good book ....
Friday, July 06, 2007
I've been indulging in a M. Christian reading binge lately. I finished his vampire tale, Running Dry (very good), and then slipped right into The Very Bloody Marys, his newest vampire story.
Valentino is a 200-year old rookie vampire cop who is fated to spend eternity as the screw-up assistant to undead drill sergeant cop and all around bastard, Pogue. That is, until Pogue mysteriously disappears. The powers (of the night) want Valentino to find Pogue and stop a rogue band of vampires who call themselves the Very Bloody Marys. The only problem is that Valentino has no clue what he's doing. He stumbles around San Francisco, making an unholy mess of the case, while sinister otherwordly beings manipulate him into doing their bidding. Valentino isn't as hopeless as he thinks he is though, and manages to find out what happened to his mentor, figure out who the real bad guy is, and take down the Very Bloody Marys.
The Very Bloody Marys isn't a story about being a vampire (although that's part of it). It's a good-ole gumshoe novel, a mystery with enough twists to keep me guessing and page-turning action. The characters were so original that it never felt like a rehash of vampire legend (thank god!). And the best part - this book supplied enough of a taste of otherworld San Francisco to pique my interest, but left me wanting more. Hopefully, M. Christian will do me a favor write another one. Soon.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I am a somewhat disillusioned fan of vampire fiction. I have a few hundred vampire books and have read a few hundred more than that. The days when I would buy a book just because it was vampire fiction are long gone given the sheer quantity of them out there and the average quality, which seems to sink every year. In the last week I just happen to have read three vampire books over the last week or so and this one, 'Running Dry' by M. Christian, made me think: Oh, right. This is what I loved about vampire fiction all along.
And I should probably make clear is that we are not talking about bats, tuxedos and mock-European-accent type vampire cliches here. The very essence of the vampire mythos is having to take something from someone else to live, take so much that they die. That is the monster inside the man, that is the dilemma. Modern vampires who have immortality, angst and superpowers but no real down side to their state pale in comparison to this.
The basic story is about Doud, a conflicted man trying to reconcile what he needs to do to live his long life with his respect for human life. Shelly is his friend, a middle-age gallery owner who has to confront a few of her own personal demons when she finds out what Doud really is. And finally the story starts with the return of Doud's old lover Sergio who had every reason to want Doud dead. The kind of creature Doud really is would take a little long to explain. He needs to feed off others but his nature springs from the author's unique vision and has none of the surface features of the stock blood-sucking monster.
There really is very little to complain about in this book. I do think some of the events in the last third of the book could have been described at more length to help us setting into the twists and turns and to add pathos to the ending which could (should?) have had more emotional impact. But this is a quibble. The characters are likeable without being particularly heroic or virtuous (like real people). The story pulls you along with something new unfolding in every chapter. More than anything the writing is effortless to read, so it is more like watching the story through a window than wading through a swamp of words (this being the greatest difference between this book and the others I read this week). Based on my experience of M. Christian's writing so far (this book and his anthology 'Filthy') my main advice is this, if a book has his name on it you should buy it.
If you like fiction with gay themes their presence here is a bonus, but the reason to buy this book is because this book is good.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
This week, for instance, I've posted a little piece about the fartist: Le Petomane.