Like crime fiction. Hate Dick Cheney. Welcome to our world. PULP PUSHER talks to the evil genius behind DICKED a new anthology of noir: KIERAN SHEA.
PUSHER: HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME ABOUT?
KIERAN SHEA: A few years, I’d received an email from Greg Bardsley. I’ve known Greg from the usual crime fiction channels and been championing his brand of gonzo crime fiction for some time. Greg told me he’d seen a blog post of mine that referenced former Vice President Dick Cheney stomping around his scrubbed-from-Google Earth compound here in Maryland. Greg said he and Jed Ayres had been knocking around an idea of doing an anthology of Cheney noir. I was on board with the very next breath.
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO PULL TOGETHER?
It wasn’t a front burner priority for any of us, so we took it slow. None of us had experience with anthology production, and we learned quickly from insiders and agents that anthologies, by and large, are a dirty word in the publishing game. We didn’t care. Dick Cheney noir was too good of an idea to pass up. Paramount for us was to approach best-selling writers first to give the project weight and then line up a roster of commitments from other writers we really admired. We needed a Bruen, a Phillips, etc. to show folks we were serious. We had a lot of nibbles and turned down some blind alleys. The whole mischievous mess almost ended up withering away.
WHAT WERE WRITER’S REACTIONS TO THE PREMISE OF FEATURING DICK CHENEY IN A CRIME STORY?
Most said they were in before we finished our pitch. Others passed because they thought the satirical concept was imprudent, juvenile, and somewhat dangerous. What can I say? Some folks take themselves a tad too seriously. Honestly, the whole frigging anthology is on par with blowing up someone’s mailbox and if you can’t get past that, well, get the fuck over yourself.
YOU’RE A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE COLLECTION, AS IS BARDSLEY AND AYRES. TELL US ABOUT YOUR PIECE.
Actually when we pitched other writers to join us I kind of just blurted out my story idea to illustrate a high concept take. I’d been watching reruns of the iconic movie SPEED on cable television at the time, so I said, “Dick Cheney on the bus in SPEED.” Of course then I had to figure out how I was going to write such a story and went with a debriefing of Sandra Bullock’s character Annie. I knew a lot of writers were going to make Cheney the villain, but I was so tempted to make him a pop hero like the Lone Ranger for some reason.
YOU’RE GIVING READERS A LOT OF OPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO HOW THEY CAN READ THE BOOK. WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY BEHIND THAT?
Well, all along we wanted to launch the book to coincide with the publication of Dick Cheney’s memoir, the idea being to get swept up in the wake of that and perhaps leverage the publicity in our favor. We were hoping for a bit more time but then the memoir was released early so we got cracking. Print on demand from Lulu was option one, but we’ve found more success with pushing the lower cost e-formats for Kindle and Nook.
All options can be found at: http://dicked.wordpress.com/