Why The NBAS Is The Place To Be
by Gabino Iglesias
When I was growing up, money was very tight. No one gave me anything. Ever. That kind of upbringing is great because it turns you into a hustler. If I wanted something, I went out and got it, built it or stole it. When I went to college, I paid my way tutoring English to first year students who had the IQ of a fence post. For my masters degree, being a research assistant, working construction and meddling in landscaping did the trick. When I moved to Austin, the story continued.
You’re probably asking yourself why I’m telling you all this. It’s simple. Tamara Romero, Joe W. Wargo, Shane Cartledge, Gary Arthur Brown, Andrew Wayne Adams and yours truly are part of the 2012 New Bizarro Author Series. This means we’re here and we’re ready, willing, and able to hustle in order to sell some books. Why? Again, the response is simple: the NBAS is the place to be.
Most folks are in denial about it, but the truth is breaking into the publishing industry is almost impossible nowadays. The NBAS gives new authors a chance to share their work with the world and prove themselves in the process. But that chance is all you get. You have to bust your ass to turn your book into an event. Some NBASers have failed. Some have slowly faded or simply moved away from the bizarro scene. Others, however, have hustled and fought and kicked and screamed like rabid motherfuckers with a chip on their shoulder. Those NBAS O.G.s are still around writing books and taking names. They have built an audience for the series and cracked some of the codes necessary to pimp your work in a saturated market. They are the ones that have turned the NBAS into the place to be, especially if you’re ready to be like Andre Williams: agile, mobile, and hostile.
Take Kevin Shamel. The guy started in the NBAS and now has two books under his belt (besides other things) and more on the way, works as an editor for Eraserhead Press, and is responsible for a large percentage of this year’s series. He’s not rolling around Portland in a pink polka dot Cadillac with spinning aquarium rims (yet!), but if you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s living the dream.
Another perfect example is the very sick Steve Lowe. He has not one but two new books out there right now, Mio Padre, il Tumore and Samurai vs. Robo-Dick. Also, King of the Perverts received a lot of love from both fans and critics. That’s three books in a year. We all hate you a bit, Steve, just keep that in mind.
Then there’s Kirsten Alene Pierce. Not only is Unicorn Battle Squad, her second book, out now and already creating a buzz, she has also established her voice in the bizarro genre with a unique, dinosaur and unicorn-infused style
You want more? One of my favorite bizarro titles of 2011 was A Town Called Suckhole. It’s author, sexy beast David W. Barbee, also got his start in the NBAS. He has another book coming in early 2013. And that surely won’t be his last.
Sure, I’ll keep going. Before he was Mr. Every-Fucking-Where, best-selling author Patrick Wensink was an NBASer. Not all NBAsers will get the pleasure of poking Fifty Shades of Grey in the ass with a cattle prod of bizarro awesomeness, but if it happened once, it can happen twice. Also, Patrick was a hell of a writer before he was a runaway success in sales. Besides being a talented author, he deserves every ounce of attention he gets simply because he did his thing and stuck to his bizarro guns.
Finally, there’s last year’s NBASers, the ridiculously talented folks that pushed the bar that much higher for us and some of whom shared their knowledge and hard-earned wisdom at BizarroCon. Spike Marlowe, Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Michael Allen Rose, Justin Grimbol and Vince Kramer all dropped some knowledge on us newbies. They all hustled their way into bright, weird-as-fuck literary futures. Now we follow in their footsteps and look for new lands to conquer with our books. And we will do it because opportunity doesn’t motherfucking knock! We’ve got books, we’re international, we’re hungry, and we’re goddamn ready to hustle. Be ready. Get drunk. Be afraid. Prepare to read. Get naked. Buy our books. The NBAS is the place to be and we know it. We’re here.