Want a Free Book?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2013 by nikkorpon

womanchaser1Over the past year I’ve seen a lot of press about how important Amazon reviews are to authors. Essentially, more reviews triggers something in the Amazon algorithm and the books show up on more screens, recommended reads and all that stuff.  I don’t pretend to really understand; I only passed high school math because I’d taken it three times and my teacher felt bad for me.

Anyway, my books have sold decently but don’t really have any reviews, and I found a few remaining hard copies of By the Nails of the Warpriest and Stay God when cleaning up my office the other day (read: My toddler went F-5 on the place and I was clearing the debris so I could work.) I thought I’d take a page from Joe Clifford‘s playbook and do some creative marketing by throwing a little giveaway contest in the time-honored indie-lit tradition of trading free books for reviews (as coined by Gordon Highland.)

Here’s the rub:

1) You post a review of Bar Scars, By the Nails of the Warpriest or Old Ghosts on Amazon.
2) I write down your name.
3) At the end of the month, I randomly draw four names and send those people books.
4) Take car, go round Mum’s, kill Phil
4) I love you long time.

Easy, yeah? The review can be good, bad, lukewarm, bored, whatever. As long as it’s honest, I’m happy. The only thing I’d ask is that you have some interest in crime fiction, otherwise you’ll be sorely let down. Don’t worry, you can commiserate with my wife on that account.

At the moment I have one hardcover of Stay God and one paperback of Old Ghosts (the other copy will be for Goodreads giveaway in July.) I’ll also throw in a digital copy of Bar Scars and Warpriest, because I don’t have any physical copies of them.

As ever, any kind of retweeting, sharing, social-media whatever is massively appreciated.



Hoods, Hot Rods and Hellcats!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2013 by nikkorpon

HHH-Digital-coverAin’t she purty?

Hoods, Hot Rods, And Hellcats is an anthology of original crime fiction set in Postwar America, the era that gave birth to our consumer driven culture. For the emergent superpower, a good consumer was a patriot. Dollars bought “happiness” and undermined the diabolical Red menace. Even more than that, a good consumer was a homogenized suburbanite—making Draper’s job cake.

However, for the men and women changed by the war, accepting the lockstep didn’t come easy—if at all. If you throw in the “teen-ager” and a bunch of hillbillies singing rock’n’roll, you’ve got trouble…

“…the world of Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats is a dirty cocktail of fact, fable, fears, and fantasies. The 1950s are recreated one more time but here it’s with a savage, razor-honed edge you’ll never find in Grease, Happy Days, or American Graffitti.” From the Introduction by Mick Farren.

There’s murder and robbery, shootouts and knife fights, car chases and drag races, good girls and bad girls, and a lot of troubled men. Hoods opens with a brilliant introduction from counterculture icon Mick Farren, then busts you in the mush with eight lengthy tales from Eric Beetner, Chad Eagleton, Matthew Funk, Christopher Grant, Heath Lowrance, David James Keaton, Thomas Pluck. Oh, and I managed to sneak my way in somehow.

So what’s inside?

-A young woman constructs her murderous identity from her father’s stash of lurid paperbacks.

-A hot rod mechanic’s relationship with his troubled wife redlines when his brother returns home from the War.

-Passing through a small town, a former Marine finds his girl and a whole lot of trouble.

-A pair of brothers on a robbery spree cut a bloody swath through the Southwest until they encounter a little girl with a stuffed rabbit.

-A young boy discovers just how far he’ll go for rock ‘n’ roll.

-A lonely girl and an emotionally scarred vet face a beachside showdown with a violent motorcycle gang.

-A teenager follows the girl of his dreams into a high-octane nightmare.

-Two generations of men named Jake obsess over a girl named Cherry.


There’s an indiegogo campaign going to fund this anthology and a ton of great perks available (can you say switchblade comb?) If you’re short on cash, we appreciate a tweet or link just as much!


HHH mock up preview

Anatomy of Archetypes Workshop at LitReactor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by nikkorpon

omar-indeedI’m very excited (and lagging behind) to say that I’m teaching a class over at LitReactor called ANATOMY OF ARCHETYPES. The class runs from 13-27 June. We’ll be looking as classical archetypes in stories and ways to undermine and subvert those archetypes to create new and compelling characters. Things we discuss will include Omar Little, Darth Vader, The Odyssey, hardboiled novels, Rooster Cogburn and more. This class will deal mainly in genre, but go across genre-bnoundaries, so no worries if you have one particular one you’re fond of. The class synopsis is below. You should make like the Deadites and join us. It’ll be fun.

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing hardboiled crime or urban fantasy, space operas or western ballads: The most inventive plot will crack and disintegrate if there aren’t real and compelling characters supporting it. 

These characters, though, are not just arbitrary attributes housed inside a shell. From Luke Skywalker to Phineas Poe to Hamlet, the most memorable figures in literature can be aligned with a character archetype. By studying these archetypes—their characteristics and their place within a plot—we can create characters that readers are able to identify with.

But, will this make the reader follow the characters into Hell? We need to make these characters real, living, bleeding people, and by exploiting the archetypes, by subverting and humanizing them with concise, evocative details, we can create the type of characters that a reader will follow into whatever shadowed alley, extraplanetary prison or damned castle in which their dark fate lies.

This class will focus on genre fiction, which has long been ghettoized by the literati for being formulaic and poorly written. There are several reasons for choosing genre, the least of which is showing why this notion is not accurate.

First, there are as many genres as there are ways to dispose of a body. This is important because each genre has their own tropes and expectations, ones that we will learn to subvert and combine with other genres to create surprising and original tales in a variety of settings.

Second, genre fiction tends to have the most obvious character archetypes, for better or worse, and this will allow us to analyze, deconstruct and rebuild them into more fully-realized people that will work as easily in a noir melodrama as a dystopian western.

Finally, many stories in these genres are fueled by the desire for power or love, an impulse that impacts almost every action in every aspect of society. 

City Lit Panel and Creative Writing Workshop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2013 by nikkorpon

FrinkLots of stuff going on behind the scenes but I thought I should mention these two things before it got too late.

On Thursday, 11 April, I’ll be leading a fiction workshop, “From Hero to Trickster: Using Archetypes in Your Fiction” as part of CCBC’s Creative Writing Forum. We’ll be talking about character archetypes in fiction, as well as plotting stories. The workshop will wrap up with the entire class building a story from the ground up. The workshop will be in Room E213 from 4-5.15PM on CCBC’s Catonsville campus.

A few days later, I’ll be moderating the “Mysterious Adaptation: Noir from Novels to the Movies” panel at the CityLit Festival in Mount Vernon (which George Saunders is headlining!) on Saturday 13 April from 12-1.30PM. Ariel Winter, Art Taylor, Brian Lindenmuth and I will be discussing adapting mystery novels from page to screen. The panel will be in Pratt Library in the School and Student Services room on the second floor from 12-1.30PM. There will also be a signing/arguing session afterwards. The panel blurb is below.

With the recent release of the Anthony Hopkins movie Hitchcock, interest in film noir has peaked again. But before these stories hit celluloid, many of them lurked in the dark pages and gutters of books. What is the mystery behind adapting a great novel to the silver screen? Join host Nik Korpon and panelists for a thrilling discussion.

There’s more exciting stuff that I should be able to talk about soon, the least of which is a redesign of this woefully outdated website. Don’t get me wrong: It’ll still be WordPress, but at least a different WordPress than it is now.


CORRECTION: Noir Class Starts 7 February

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 by nikkorpon

Yep. I’m that good. I can mess up the dates of my own class. The “N is for Noir Fiction” class I’m teaching will begin on Thursday 7 February and run until Thursday 14 March, 7-9 PM each night. Sorry for the confusion. But, hey, red herrings and deception is all part of crime writing, yeah? Consider it the first lesson.


“N is for Noir Fiction” Class Starting 14 February

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2013 by nikkorpon


The good people at the CityLit Project were crazy enough to let me teach a class at the Patterson Theater in Baltimore this winter. It will be on Thursday nights from 6-8, starting 14 February and running for six weeks. There’s going to be some history talk, some theory talk, some craft talk, and a whole lot of geeking out.  You should sign up and tell your friends to sign up. Huge, bloody thanks to Gregg Wilhelm and Christine Stewart for making it happen.


At Creative Alliance: N is for NOIR FICTION. Feb 7 – March 14. Fedoras, femme fatales, bootleg hooch and … text messages? Classic noir fiction has inflicted its indelible images on us, but is it still relevant? You’d be surprised. Through craft-based discussion and short-story critiques, we’ll explore ways to effectively use the tropes established by classic noir and crime fiction; new ways to approach and subvert those conventions; and techniques to create compelling characters you’d follow into the shadows. This class is geared towards newbies or Underwood veterans, novelists or short story writers. All you need is a love for the dark. Nik Korpon—author, editor, teacher, grifter and vagabond—leads the group through the history of noir fiction, from the early pulps to contemporary incarnations. 7-9 pm. Adv. reg $150, $140 mbrs. Walk-in $160, $150 mbrs. http://www.creativealliance.org/events/2013/n-noir-fiction


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 14, 2012 by nikkorpon


(That’s a Descendents reference for those who haven’t realized Milo Aukerman is god.)

I’ve been holding back while everything behind the scenes got itself sorted, so I’m pretty well bursting with excitement to say that I’ve signed on with the excellent Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management. I’m still new at this whole agent stuff, but he totally gets what I’m doing and had incredibly insightful suggestions, and we’re on the same wavelength with projects, so I couldn’t be happier.

Right now we’re working on FAIT AVE, a hardboiled/noir novel set in Baltimore. If you’ve read a couple of my more recent stories, you’ll recognize a number of characters–Elroy, Beigler, Harry, Pat, Fat Billy. Their trajectories, however, will inevitably nosedive into the gutter.

More as it comes. I’m off for a bourbon.