Sitting here in this coffee shop hopped up on high-octane caffeine pounding out a section about Kells Elvins for that Burroughs novel. As mentioned previously, I am flip-flopping between works, Valoo of Venus which is my escape and yearning to write something both fun and to clear all these childhood fantasies from my head. What is it about? Hmmm. Good question. I loathe comparing my writing to other works, but if I were pitching it in as a standard Hollywood spiel, I could safely say "If Alejandro Jodorowsky wrote his take on John Carter of Mars and it was directed by Bruce LaBruce"...I guess. When asked, I simply state, "It's about an astronaut stranded on Venus and has this swashbuckling Flash Gordon-like adventure. And it's gay themed."
I stayed up until 3am this morning finishing a chapter on Joan Vollmer. Poor Joan. The more I learn of her, the more tragic the tale becomes. I realize things were different back in the 1950's. The beats were real jerks to the women by 21st century standards. Even though I grew up idolizing Burroughs and his work and life influenced and paralleled my own, he was a bit of an asshole.
Well, as previously stated, my goal is to complete the first draft of this Kells Elvins section (google him) so enjoy the impromptu covers I designed for publication. I am certain they will be honed and/or changed by time the novels are finished, but they were fun to create, never the less.
*for Blew the Shot, here is the first draft back cover blurb...it, too, needs editing. Haven't written one for Valoo of Venus, yet.
RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES
It was the shot heard round the countercultural world – the Big Bang of the Beats, as it were.
At a party one night in Mexico City in 1951, writer William Burroughs drunkenly talked his wife Joan Vollmer into standing against the wall with a water glass on her head while he fired a gun at her. His ostensible purpose was to imitate the daring marksmanship of William Tell, who could easily put a bulls-eye through an apple perched on someone’s head. Alas, Burroughs, addled with heroin addiction and general drunkenness and lunacy, was no William Tell. Joan was shot in the head and died shortly thereafter.
This excellent novel centers on this appalling incident, drifting back and forth in time as a sort of mystery, examining the reasons and underpinnings behind Burroughs murder of Vollmer (which, truthfully, it was). The motivations and events, examined and tossed about like pigs in a blanket, craft a story that’s part biography, part horror tale, and part affecting psycho-drama.
The author Luis Blasini leaves lusciously ambiguous whether the shooting itself was murder, drug-fueled madness, or one of those great historical incidents that exceeds its reality to become a metaphor for art and destruction.
BLEW THE SHOT slides artfully along the razor’s edge suggesting his character might be either a genius or merely a debauched loon. There’s the sense of a man who’s tormented by the demons of his lusts and appetites, and is often helpless before them, particularly when it turns out he sort of likes his drugs and his sexuality.