Blog

Posts from Pumpjack Press authors and contributors about culture, books, economic and social justice topics, history and more, with the occasional poem and short story.

Playlist: The soundtrack to horror is classic country

The soundtrack to true terror is classic country. Only classic country from the 1950s and 1960s has the raw, heartbroken emotion of bone-deep despair that makes the blood run cold. The people of LonePine, Wyoming, like in most small towns in the slowly dying American West, know about heartbreak and economic despair. And ever since the undead showed up, they know about terror too. That’s probably why every pickup truck radio, every jukebox in every saloon, and every portable radio is belting out classic country while the rest of the world has moved on.

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Lenny: a character (yea, a survivalist, conspiracy theorist, Vampire-killing) interview

Joining us today from the pages of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is Lenny, a survivalist and improvised weapons expert with some peculiar political views. He’s the long-time friend of Tucker and is now deeply involved in making weapons capable of dispatching the undead.

Hello Lenny, welcome. What did you bring with you today? This? It’s a reverse surveillance tracker I made out of an old cassette recorder, a GPS unit and an electric toothbrush. I want to be able to monitor whoever it is monitoring this conversation to find out where they are broadcasting from.

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Letter to a young writer from John Updike

Decades ago, John Updike generously responded to a letter I had written him. HIs letter, now yellowed with age, has the typeface of an old typewriter and includes strikeouts and handwritten marginalia. I dug this letter out recently, after re-reading Rabbit, Run. He provided good advice and encouragement at a moment when it was sorely needed.

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Halloween Prom by Lee Murray

We’re pleased to share a little Halloween drabble from award-winning New Zealand fantasy, science fiction and horror author Lee Murray. Lee’s latest book, Into the Ashes, the final book in her Taine McKenna military thriller series, will be released in early 2019. #celebratehorror

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Werecrows: A short story

“Being a werecrow is just as pointless as being a real crow. Or a real human. The world is still full of idiots, present company excepted, of course,” I added sarcastically. “I’m still bored. And nothing we do really matters at all.” I pecked at the fence post angrily, knocking splinters loose. “It’s not like we’re werewolves or anything. Now that would be cool. They get to rip stuff up. They get respect.” #horror

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Falling in love: The second most terrifying thing to happen on Halloween

Celebrate #Horror Month! Twenty years ago on Oct. 31, we — Clark and Kathleen — decided to get married and start writing horror together. It was a monstrous decision. We officially became engaged on a blustery Halloween night 20 years ago. Clark was dressed as the devil on vacation. Maps in hand, horns out, leisure shirt on. Kathleen was a zombie fairy. Glitter, tutu, bloodied face.

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An author interview with KBOO

Question: How would you describe writing with a partner?

Answer: It's like trying to wrestle down a tornado cloaked in barbed wire.

Clark and Kathleen recently sat for a 15-minute live interview with Ken Jones at KBOO, Portland's iconic community radio station recently. Have a listen. 

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