a nod to norman




When I was trying to find a publisher for Claire (my choice was to not to self-publish), a sat for a month and a half with a small press database and submitted to about 25 presses. As the list was in alphabetical order, Black Scat Books, a reputable publisher of erotica with over 100 books in print and an outstanding list of authors, came up relatively early in my search. Norman Conquest, Black Scat publisher, responded to my inquiry in a couple of days, if not sooner. He loved my story! Can this be true? Oh joy, oh fuck, this was amazing, exposure, disclosure, just what my suffering ego needed to carry on. But Norman Conquest? Really? I asked him in an email, “Who are you?” “I’m Derek Pell,” he replied. “Google me.” I googled the crap out of him. He was a wild child, a geek, an author, artist, a literary man, a nonconformist. I was starstruck. Norman took an excerpt from my story for the anthology which came out quickly—and I had a big-ass crush.

Black Scat took a second story from me for their second anthology; a story I don’t promote very often because I don’t think it was well written (although I do think the concept was good, my attempt at clever). I was sure that Norman took this piece in a moment of panic, that suitable submissions weren’t showing up fast enough and he needed the story for filler. But for the second time, Norman Conquest, aka Derek Pell, told me he loved my story, and in this go ’round, made reference to a sentence that he thought was a stroke of genius. Huh. Imagine that.

Black Scat Books is struggling to survive and there is a fund raiser in place to keep them afloat. I don’t realistically expect my readers to support this cause, I’m sure you all have causes of your own that are in need of your hard earned dollars, but it is definitely a cause that deserves consideration. Indie presses like Black Scat are invaluable to writers, often the only way into a highly competitive field. And Black Scat publishes erotica of literary worth, and in the flooded field of crappy porn, Scat soars above the the competition. Beneath the wikipedia blurb on Derek is the link for the Black Scat Indiegogo fundraiser. Even if you cannot help at this time, please read Norman’s story—he is quite the character—an ambitious and intelligent literary rebel, an over-sexed, hippie kook, a friend for life. Thank you, Norman.


“Derek Pell dropped out of the Art Institute of Chicago in the late 1960s and opened The Not Guilty Bookshop & Press on Martha’s Vineyard. His writing & art began appearing in publications of experimental literature under various pseudonyms, most notably Doktor Bey and Norman Conquest. His primary style was incorporating mixed-media and using collage-text and cut and paste techniques. After the success of his Doktor Bey series in the late 1970s, Derek Pell moved to Los Angeles in the eighties, during this period he was charged by the FBI for defacing US Currency while working on a mail-art performance. He began experimenting with cybertext, hyperlinks, and other computer-aided art in 1991.[3] Pell & Conquest currently reside in the Bay Area where they edit Black Scat Books, a small independent press devoted to “Sublime Art & Literature.”” —wikipedia


The Case for Norman Conquest and Black Scat Books


photo credit: wikipedia.com


on writing and san bernadino




Congratulations to me—my new, short story, In Flight, is now available in The New Urge Reader 2, published by New Urge Editions and the awesome Norman Conquest. My hat off to you, unknown editor. You have supported me in ways that you can perhaps imagine, but also in ways that are very personal. I, of course, have a super crush on you.

But an apology one more time to my readers. When I have writer’s block, and yes, even a blabber mouth like me gets writers block, I practice stream of consciousness writing on this blog. I give you bits and pieces of stories I’m thinking about or working on and try to rope in readership with chapters—and it’s not working, it’s messy and confusing. So, no more of that. Get the anthology and finish In Flight—it’s good–and I know, even without having read the book as of yet, that the selected authors are stellar. Regarding my car accident story and The St. Vincent Hotel—I will let you know when they get published.


On a difficult subject—my daughter-in-law is an ER resident at Arrowhead Hospital and just treated the first victim of the San Bernadino massacre. She is superwoman and angel. My son, a psychiatric resident at Loma Linda Hospital, was off today. The clinic he often works in is blocks from where the shooting took place. I do not pray, but if I did, I would pray for some kind of peace for the families of the victims. Enough with the fucking guns already. Really. It’s out of control.