Things might look a little different round these parts, today. A little odd. You may be expecting Gary Phillips in this slot.
Well, he's not here. I am. I'm Stephen Blackmoore. Author of CITY OF THE LOST, a paranormal noir novel with gangsters, zombies, vampires, demons and a whole lot of violence.
And I'll be here every Saturday that Gary Phillips isn't. That's right. I'm the new guy.
Now, I know you people have been coddled by the smooth, jazz-like tones of Mr. Phillips' writing. The velvety feel of his prose. Reading Phillips is like sipping a fine cognac and smoking a cigar rolled on the inside thigh of some Cuban beauty.
That's a hard act to follow. But here's the thing, I am not Gary Phillips. And I'm not even going to try.
I'm brash, crude. I know this. And I know I'm not as cool as Gary. No man can be.
Now you might be wondering, who in the hell is this guy? What's his deal?
So, by way of introduction allow me to tell you a few things about myself with the following list:
WAYS IN WHICH I AM NOT AS COOL AS GARY PHILLIPS
10. I have eyes.
Look over there to the right. Down a little. Little further. There. You see that picture of Gary? You see what's missing? That's right. Dude's got no eyes.
Know why? 'Cause he doesn't need 'em. He doesn't lower himself to such a base activity as sight. No, he perceives the world around him through senses beyond the ken of mortal men. His skin gives off waves of sheer awesome that go out and return to show him everything the way a bat does sonar.
9. I am short
Gary's, what, twelve feet tall? I'm 5'8" if I stand up straight. He once climbed Kilimanjaro just by lifting his left foot. Man walks into a room and by law the ceiling has to grow five feet just to accommodate him.
8. I do not have a voice that can crack asunder the bedrock of Heaven
Have you ever heard Gary talk? Man's got a depth to his voice that James Earl Jones would give his left nut to have. His voice deflects bullets, shatters femurs, makes brave men cry. In 1994 when the Northridge Quake hit Los Angeles it went on for 20 seconds. It would have gone on longer but Gary said, "Cut it the fuck out."
And it did.
7. I can't wear hats
Check out the cover of Gary's novel, THE UNDERBELLY. See that hat? He can pull off wearing hats. Me, I try that shit and I look like an extra in NEWSIES. This leads us to-
6. I have no style
I'm red/green colorblind. I wear jeans and black t-shirts for a reason. It hides the fact that I don't know how to dress myself. Gary's got style coming out his pores. So much so that every year he flies to Hong Kong where he's put into a specially designed chamber where they wick off his excess style, dry it, cut it into cocaine-like bricks and send it by bonded courier to Europe where it's parceled out to those designers who can survive a grueling, Octagon-style fight match that kills 90% of the participants.
5 - 1. I can't think of enough shit to fill out a top ten list
But you can bet your sweet ass Gary Phillips can.
So here's the deal, while Gary's off being the International Man of Mystery on his Saturdays off, I'll be here keeping his seat warm.
And if you want to see more of me, I'll be over at my own digs, L.A. NOIR, talking about true crime in Los Angeles. I cover the meth-head lowlifes, spastic murderers and idiot miscreants that grace my fair city. It's kind of my thing.
See you next time, folks, where I'll have more interesting things to talk about than just giving an introduction.