Friday, March 1, 2013

24 Bar Blues

I'm very happy to have a story in the newly released anthology 24 Bar Blues: Two Dozen Tales of Bars, Booze, and the Blues.

My story is actually an excerpt from my novel Believers. It's the second chapter, which introduces one of the main characters.

Here's how the story, called "Lonely Man Sitting at Bar," starts:

"It’s one of those bars where there are only two kinds of music on the jukebox: country and western. The best of Waylon, Willie, Merle, Johnny, George, Hank. Men—and it’s always men in bars like this, no Patsy or Loretta or Dolly allowed—identifiable without a surname, the true gods, who have been to the clich├ęd and well-traveled edge and found their way back. And don’t even think of making the suggestion of possibly maybe broadening some musical horizons with a token smattering of, say, classic rock or a tasteful soul compilation: That’s not what this place—technically The Wishing Well but known to its dedicated regulars solely by the truncated The Well—is about. Here, there’s nothing but reliable songs of lament and loss (and of course drinking) that fit right in with the clientele’s collective state of mind. And that suits him fine tonight. That’s why he chose The Well. Tonight he’s up for plenty of authentic lamenting and losing. And drinking. So why not have the appropriate soundtrack?" 

Published by Press 53, the anthology was edited by Andrew Scott (thanks Andrew!) and includes work by many fine writers, including Robert Boswell, Roxane Gay, Chad Simpson, Karen Brown, Kyle Minor, Holly Goddard Jones, and many others. 

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