Pitch and Plug with Salty Ink

Belat­ed Pitch and Plug, with Corey Redekop” orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Salty Ink, 4 July 2013.

If you know Corey Redekop, you know he’s not big on talk­ing about his work, so I had to pull this out of him. Hence the delayed Pitch and Plug for this 2012 nov­el. It’s a gory, gor­geous­ly writ­ten spin on the zom­bie genre, and I ful­ly endorse it and admire it for tak­ing a bite out of what can con­sti­tute Can­Lit or lit­er­ary fic­tion these days. 

Pitch the book to a potential reader …

Husk is about a zom­bie.

Now, you’re think­ing, “I watch The Walk­ing Dead, I know zom­bies,” or “Zom­bies are so played, they’re last year’s twin­kling vam­pires and shirt­less were­wolves,” or even the hor­rif­ic notion, “I don’t like zom­bies.”

Yes, Husk is osten­si­bly a “zom­bie” nov­el. Just as J.J. Abram’s Lost osten­si­bly “makes sense,” Fox News is osten­si­bly “jour­nal­ism,” and Stephen Harp­er is osten­si­bly “not a rep­til­ian under­lord draped in human skin.”

Husk is so much more than the arche­typ­i­cal “flee­ing from a sham­bling corpse” sce­nario: with­in its pages you’ll dis­cov­er a satire on celebri­ty, a love sto­ry, a bil­dungsro­man, a con­spir­a­cy thriller, a com­e­dy, a mon­ster movie, a do-it-your­self sur­gi­cal hand­book, a reli­gious alle­go­ry, a per­son­al jour­ney of dis­cov­ery, and a med­ical dra­ma (Husk; the Brian’s Song of the undead).

And lest you think, “That’s all well and good, but talk is cheap, let’s see us some results,” Husk was des­ig­nat­ed:

  • one of the top books of 2012 by the edi­tors of Amazon.ca,
  • a top book of Fall 2012 by The Toron­to Star,
  • a dark­ly com­ic, but sur­pris­ingly light-heart­ed, mind-meld…Camus meets Palah­niuk,” by best­selling author Andrew Pyper (The Demo­nolo­gist),
  • a superb blood-splat­tered com­edy,” by best­selling author Andrew Kauf­man (Born Weird), and
  • a wild vicious romp through pop cul­ture…Husk rips the heart out of the rot­ting zom­bie genre and shoves it down your throat,” by best­selling author Peter Dar­byshire (The Warhol Gang).

Alright, enough stroking. If I haven’t sold you on Husk by now, I give up.

Share a random fact about the book …

Only one of the fol­low­ing state­ments is true:

Not once in Husk is the word zom­bie ever uttered.

Read­ing Husk out loud has been proven to low­er blood pres­sure, increase libido, improve breath, sup­press appetite, relieve cold sores, and soothe chil­dren to sleep.

Shel­don Funk’s name in the orig­i­nal man­u­script was Tellovsky Q. Funken­stein.

I designed the entire book as sly homage to Stephen Soderbergh’s film clas­sic The Limey.

Writ­ing the many scenes of blood-soaked, gore-glazed, innards-exhibit­ing car­nage were some of the most joy­ful times I’ve ever had writ­ing fic­tion.

Husk is Pope Fran­cis’ favourite lit­er­ary blas­phe­my.

The orig­i­nal title of Husk was Healthy Eat­ing. Healthy was the last name of Sheldon’s boyfriend.

And one oth­er ran­dom fact: I had nev­er heard Portishead’s song “Wan­der­ing Star” until well after Husk was pub­lished. Nev­er­the­less, the lyrics are weird­ly apro­pos:

Those who have seen the nee­dles eye, now tread,
Like a husk, from which all that was now has fled,
And the masks, that the mon­sters wear,
To feed, upon their prey.

Weird, that.

Plug another author’s work …

It’s not that I don’t want to plug another’s work per se: it’s just that there’s too much good out there to choose from.

So rather than pick one nov­el, I shall endorse an entire pub­lish­er. ChiZine is, with­out a doubt, the most excit­ing Cana­di­an pub­lish­ing house in ages. In book after book after book, the Toron­to-based co-pub­lish­ing duo of Brett Savory and San­dra Kat­suri deliv­er aston­ish­ing works of fic­tion that trans­verse gen­res and con­sis­tent­ly hit lit­er­ary highs. Their eye for tal­ent is unpar­al­leled, and their pas­sion for their art is inspir­ing.

Thanks to ChiZine, I have been intro­duced to: the won­drous­ly strange west­ern hor­rors of Gem­ma Files (A Book of Tongues); the mas­ter­ful imag­i­na­tions of David Nick­le (Rasputin’s Bas­tards) and Dou­glas Smith (Chimeras­cope); the stun­ning sur­re­al­ism of James Mar­shall (Zom­bie Ver­sus Fairy Fea­tur­ing Albi­nos), Craig David­son (Sarah Court), and Claude Lalu­mière (The Door to Lost Pages); the sin­is­ter weird­ness of Tony Burgess (Peo­ple Live Still in Cash­town Cor­ners); and the sub­tle majesty of Robert J. Wierse­ma (This World More Full of Weep­ing).

These nov­els have all, to a one, blown me com­plete­ly away. And these are only the Cana­di­an authors on the ros­ter; I could eas­i­ly add anoth­er two para­graphs on the ChiZine’s spec­tac­u­lar inter­na­tion­al offer­ings.

You pick up a Chizine offer­ing, and I guar­an­tee you’re going to read some­thing unlike any­thing you’ve read before.