Wild Turkey Goes Audio Book

Today signed contract for the audio book version of my 2001 crime noir from Forge, Wild Turkey, with iambik audio, that has put out an audio of  Hard Cold Whsper. They did a great job and hope to do more audio versions of my novels, new or old.

The film version, I am told, with Blue Coach Productions in Los Angeles, is still undereway, has funding, seeks more. I signed the option on that last June, a pivotal month for me — ex-girlfriend goes bonkers and has to hit rehab and the bughouse; my daughter conceived in Ensenada at the beach mansion of Dino DeLaurentiis; CBS goes forward with pilot and spends a lot of money and never gets a chance for one airing, despite the good reviews from focus groups. Seems like last June was only weeks ago…the quickening, as Art Bell used to call it.

Wild Turkey was not an easy sell at Tor/Forge…most my books were from small presses and the novel was short. But my editir, after nine months, sold the publisher on it. Advance was modest. Then my editor left for greener pastuees and I was orphaned. The book sold decent numbers in hardcover but bombed in trade paperback — I always thought a mass market ppbk would have been better. I did a recond book under a pen name but have never dopne another with Tor/Forge, although I certainly plan to in the future.

I wrote Wild Turkey in three weeks (well, the first draft) in May, or June, 1999, sitting in the law library downtown to escape the heat. I liked the isolation. The original title was Affair. The first chapter was meant for a different, more erotic novel but morphed into a crime story or suburbia. The femme fatale was based on someone I did not know but saw all the time around downtown. I lived inside this novel all those 21 days, woke up and went to sleep with it. I have not done it that way with a novel ever since. The story was a god escape for me because the summer, and even the fall/winter, of 1999 was not the best time in my life.

Like my first novel did, I thought Wild Turkey would lead to some big changes in my life. Maybe it still will, when and if the movie version is made and gets out there. Oddly, like with The Naughty Yard in 1994, it came out while I was hanging with the Larry McCaffery grad student and local writers crowd; in both instances, certain amorous encounters happened, more loose and sleazy in 1994, but in 2001 leading to living with a woman for three years. It did serve a turning point as my first book with a commercial publisher (not inclduing the two anthologies I did with Carroll & Graf). Sone people in the small indie press scene said I had sold out; there were the usual petty jealousies and snide remarks from strangers even, but I simply shrugged.  Reviews were mixed — readers either love or hate this book, no in-between.

Wild Turkey will always have a certain soft part in my heart and memory,


Explore posts in the same categories: American fiction, Michael Hemmingson

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