"Vic Valentine, Private Eye": Back to Basics


After forty years of commercially fruitless but artistically rewarding literary labor, I just can't stop writing. It's not a choice. It's a compulsion. I continue to write for one reason: it makes me feel good. It's never hard for me to write. It's hard for me to not write. 


It doesn't matter how obscure my stuff remains, or how little of my financial investment in their pristine exterior and interior design is returned. It doesn't matter that I have a very small but loyal cult following of readers whose enthusiasm is as genuine as the apathy from the majority of the human beings who even realize I exist. None of this matters because my art is not my hobby or career. It's my Art. That may sound pretentious but I don't care about that any more than I care about the world's extremely limited reception to my life's work.

Now over halfway through my 50s (having turned 56 this past April 2), I'm more productive and prolific than ever. A lot of this relentless creative drive I attribute to my proactive move to Seattle five years ago, which has proven to be a reliably misty, moody ambient muse. But it's also simply the tick-tock of my internal clock, constantly reminding me that Life has its own secret deadlines, and if I want to beat that built-in self destruct device that began its inevitable countdown with my first breath, I need to make the most of whatever time I have left doing what I love and frankly feel I do best, which is writing existential pulp fiction in direct response to my life circumstances, inspired both by my immediate surroundings and the often outré pop culture that fuels my ever-active imagination, which continues to spin and weave images and ideas as I daily walk dogs through the emerald environs on my favorite city, where I'm fortunate enough to reside.

All of which brings us to my current work in progress:

VIC VALENTINE: 14 VIGNETTES is based on a concept I've been mentally kicking around for a while, but which really kicked into high hear once I finished the last installment in my "Mental Case Files" trilogy, Vic Valentine: Space Cadet, which found Vic in a desolate place of psychic and social isolation.

Rather than write another novel, especially following Vic's reaching a seemingly final impasse as a developing character, I decided to go back and fill in various gaps in his life story, spanning back to his childhood, riffing off various references embedded in the existing canon but also inventing entirely new narratives that can be completed in a single compact but comprehensive piece.

These are not conventional mysteries or crime or horror stories, though elements of those genres are sprinkled in for storytelling spice. These are simply slices of a singular life, more Bukowski than Chandler or Lynch. But ultimately, 100 percent me.

The back cover blurb sums up the general aim, attitude and arc of these thematically inter-related but otherwise standalone stories, pulled together by a surprise thread at the very end:

Lounge lizard. International man of misery. Space cadet. Dog walker. Lover. Loner. Fighter. Fool. Vic Valentine has been all of these things and more, and less—much less. These fourteen torrid tales of forbidden love, shameless lust, surrealistic horror, existential mystery, pointless mayhem, and just plain stupidity spanning Vic’s entire pathetic life collectively illuminate the darkest corners of the human condition, without revealing a single god damn truth, other than we’re all lonely globs of ephemeral flesh wandering aimlessly around a big ball of shit hanging by a thread in a vast, apathetic void. 

Welcome to the hypnotic, erotic, neurotic world of Vic Valentine, Private Eye.


Stay tuned to this space and my Fiction page for purchase links later in 2019.


EVOLUTION OF A COVER


Sinatra looking suitably moody and lonesome on this classic album cover
gave me the initial concept....

Famous Playmate Janet Pilgrim was my unwitting model too, to add some of my brand's trademark cheesecake sex appeal...

Reading from Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me in 2013
for facial reference to replace Frank



 Putting it all together....





 FINAL FRONT COVER BY MATT BROWN


BACK COVER DESIGN BY DYER WILK
Dyer actually offered an abandoned project to me a while ago, and with a little tweaking,
I thought it would be a perfect complement to the retro-dreamy front image, which represents
the idealized world in Vic's head. This is the actual reality engulfing him: harsher, contemporary, but still sexy...





PROMO MEMES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA: 













CRYPTICON SEATTLE, 5/4/19
 Barbara Steele
 Ray Wise and Sheryl Lee




CELEBRATING MY 56TH BIRTHDAY 

PRE-BDAY:
DEVILS' REEF, Tacoma WA
 
 
 

SALISH LODGE, Snoqualmie WA
 
 

TWEDE'S CAFE, North Bend WA



"TWIN PEAKS" 


BDAY, APRIL 2, 2019

PLUM VEGAN BISTRO, Seattle:







TAVERN LAW/NEEDLE AND THREAD, Seattle:












CHEERS!













You may also dig:

WILL THE THRILL'S 50 FAVORITE HORROR FILMS

WILL THE THRILL'S 50 FAVORITE SCI-FI MOVIES

THRILLVILLE TURNS 20







"Thrillville," my official theme song by The Moon-Rays
"Director's cut" of Jeff M. Giordanos' documentary THE THRILL IS GONE(2014)


Interview conducted by Drive-In Radio host Alec Cizak, October 24, 2017,
broadcast from Missoula, Montana.



Podcast interview by Steven Gomez for The Noir Factory, August 2017




Promoting the first edition of A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge on San Francisco's Creepy KOFY Movietime, 2010

Book trailer for Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room,
animated by Vincent Cortez (2011)


Reading from Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me (2014)

Live reading of my short story "Escape from Thrillville" (2014, included in The Thrillville Pulp Fiction Collection, Volume 3)


Book trailer for It Came from Hangar 18 (2012)


Interview with Scott Fulks and me for Tiki Oasis TV, August 2015

ONLINE SHORT FICTION 




A WRONG TURN AT ALBUQUERQUE (1982) and THE IN-BETWEENERS (1987)
















BOOKS:



LOVE STORIES ARE TOO VIOLENT FOR ME from Gutter Books!
BUY


HARD-BOILED HEART from Gutter Books




THE VIC VALENTINE CLASSIC CASE FILES:
Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, Diary of a Dick
BUY
THE "MENTAL CASE FILES":
VIC VALENTINE: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MISERY
BUY

 VIC VALENTINE: LOUNGE LIZARD FOR HIRE
BUY



VIC VALENTINE: SPACE CADET
BUY





THE THRILLVILLE PULP FICTION COLLECTION
from Thrillville Press

VOLUME ONE: A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge and
Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room
BUY
VOLUME TWO: Lavender Blonde and Down a Dark Alley
BUY

VOLUME THREE: Chumpy Walnut and Other Stories
BUY





My erotic horror noir novella THINGS I DO WHEN I'M AWAKE 
BUY

THE SPACE NEEDLER'S INTERGALACTIC BAR GUIDE 
IT CAME FROM HANGAR 18 


NOW AVAILABLE! 
DEADLINES: A TRIBUTE TO WILLIAM E. WALLACE, an anthology dedicated to the late, great writer and stellar human being William E. Wallace, featuring many contemporary crime fiction stars plus a brand new Vic Valentine story, "Beat This," by yours truly. Proceeds go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in Bill's name. More info and purchase links here.


My short story FISH OUT OF WATER 
(my idea for a fourth Creature from the Black Lagoon movie)
is included in this anthology
Order hardcover, paperback and eBook from Amazon


My story HOT NIGHT AT HINKY DINKS is included in this cocktail-themed flash fiction anthology 



New anthology of Christmas horror stories from Coffin Hop Press,
including my story THAT'S A WRAP, now on sale!



My story MEANTIME is included in this bitchin' anthology, 
for which I also wrote the foreword:


My short story 
BEHIND THE BAR is included in this anthology