The Abysmal Brutes

When Should You Give Up On Your Story?

Sitting in your email inbox is the thirty-sixth rejection for “King Kang Lives!” You sent it to every short story magazine and anthology the submission database offered. Some have received the story twice after a couple of rewrites. What the Hell is wrong with them? What the Hell is wrong with your story?  Is it time to put it in the Trunk with the other rejects? The Abysmal Brutes mull these questions over in their latest episode.  All you need is one magazine, one editor, one reader to believe in your story.  

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “Top of the World”

How Not To Write Your Author Bio

You’re not that funny and no one cares how many fur babies you have. In this episode, the Abysmal Brutes take on their most controversial subject yet…the author's bio. That little author bio at the end of the story that identifies you to the reader can be illuminating or render you a laughing stock. And that is something completely in your control. Slow down and treat your bio with as much respect as you do your other writing craft. Self-deprecation can be good but in small doses. Less is more in the Abysmal Brutes' humble opinion.

Special Alert: If you correctly count how many times Rob yawns in this episode and email it to , we will send you a prestigious No-Prize*

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “This Town”

*the Abysmal Brutes have no authority to present the so mentioned No-Prize as Marvel Comic’s lawyers have so succinctly warned us in multiple letters.

What Is Your Writing Identity?

When someone asks you what you do at a party, what do you tell them? Do you tell them you are a writer or do you tell them you sell widgets for the Acme Corporation?  The Abysmal Brutes converse on establishing your self-identity as a writer.  We reveal how other writers established their identities. Rob jabbers on about “Creative Quest” by Questlove and “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. Bill compares his identity to a hollow chocolate Easter bunny. But he's no nihilist dammit! How do you want to be known as a writer? Only you have the answer but the Abysmal Brutes provide some guiding questions.

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “Life in Stereo”

Can Prose To Screen Adaptations Work?

“I don't know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it,” said Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend. With the giant thud that was the ending of Game of Thrones on HBO fresh in our minds, the Abysmal Brutes thought it would be interesting to explore what happened. Is the novel, novella, short story or comic book inherently incompatible with film or TV? Alan Moore, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and many others have had their work adapted to the cinematic medium. Where the creators as happy as the audience? Bill and Rob jibber jabber about all perspectives on their latest episode.

Music: Matt Mitchell Project "Top of the World"

Make The Time

The Abysmal Brutes are back with a vengeance!  Life issues caused us to take a longer than wanted hiatus.  As we always say life intrudes but you have to make the time to write. This episode we catch up on what we have been reading and writing since our break.  We rap about mystery series, value of research and literate tough guys.  Writers name-dropped are Ken Bruen, Robert Crais, Larry Correia, S.A. Cosby, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gabino Iglesias, Ed Brubaker, Laird Barron, Hampton Fancher and Joe R. Lansdale.  Rob and Bill share their recent writing success. Bill published “Shakedown in Deadtown” at Close 2 the Bone. Rob got his sci-fi yarn “Sundown” accepted for Switchblade Magazine’s upcoming Tech Noir issue. So go forth faithful listeners and make the time to claw, bleed and create.

Produced by Phyllis Jean Wertenberger

Music: Matt Mitchell Project “This Town”

Does Your Fight Scene Suck? Probably

Bang! Does your big fight scene explode off the page? Pow! Or is it boring and drawn out like a bad Saturday Night Live skit? Zing! This show’s topic comes from an article on the Do Some Damage group blog called “Your Fight Scene Sucks, Fight Me!” by David Nemeth. Rob and Bill examine the premise of this article and whether fight scenes suck or are just poorly written.  We hit on Don Pendelton’s “The Executioner” novels, sword and sorcery tales, Laird Barron, Frank Bill, Joe Abercrombie, Sam Hawken, Nicola Griffith and Charlie Huston.  No punches are pulled on this episode of the Abysmal Brutes!

Music: Matt Mitchell Project "Top Of The World"

Tough Guys Book Review

Lyrical violence is the currency of the two books reviewed on this episode of The Abysmal Brutes. Frank Bill’s prose in “The Savage” is of the dirt but of the heaven too. In “Blood Standard” by Laird Barron, a new kind of private detective Isaiah Coleridge attempts labours on par with any mythological hero.  Both authors stretched their muscles to write something further from their previous fiction. Bill and Rob found both efforts a success and believe you will too. So come listen to us mix metaphors as we review these gritty novels. And beware, spoilers ahead.  

Music: Matt Mitchell Project "This Town"

2018 The Year So Far In Pop Culture

It’s July. We are half way through 2018 and The Abysmal Brutes are looking back at what they’ve dug so far. On the TV front, shows like The Terror and Legion. Authors Sam Wiebe, William Boyle, Kristen Lepionka, Laird Barron, Jonathan Ames and Caitlin R. Kiernan released excellent fiction this year. The cinematic front brought You Were Never Really Here, Annihilation, Red Sparrow, Quiet Place and Black Sparrow.  Of course Bill throws an anachronistic curve ball by including older pop culture consumed this year. He wouldn't be Bill if he didn't. And there may or may not be an Abysmal Brutes Festival on the horizon.

Caitlin R Kiernan

Why Does Every Story Suck Now?

Pop Culture storytelling is in a deficit right now. Blockbuster movies are bust. Television shows make dark, unrelenting melodramas. And can there be a novel without the title “A Girl in the…”?  Have we heard, read and seen every story there is? Has the expressive voice of the creator been muted by studio or publisher bottom lines? Half of the Abysmal Brutes believes there is no ceiling on wondrous tales now and to come. The other half doubts the current path of cinema, television and other storytelling mediums.  Is it us? Is it you? Or does everything just suck?

Music: Matt Mitchell Project "This Town"

Writing Your Obsessions

George Savile, a British statesman and writer from the 1600’s wrote, “A man may dwell so long upon a thought that it may take him prisoner.” Our obsessions can hold us captive or set us free. Why not use writing as the key to your freedom? Allow your thrilling thoughts to ignite your fiction. Rob and Bill explore their own intrusive passions in creating characters and fictional landscapes. Hell, they even quibble on what is an obsession. Perhaps one of the Abysmal Brutes compulsions is to argue over the trivial.  Join us this episode to find out!

Music: Matt Mitchell Project "This Town"

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App