Life is in constant flux. Right now I am writing the final part of my Rebel’s Edge series, Over the Edge. I started on it right after finishing the second one last summer and, with work and other commitments, it has taken longer than I had originally planned. The important thing is that it is almost done and will mark an end to a period of my writing that started ten years ago with Where the Road Roams.
My first wave of books on my own imprint, DS, was released in 2017. I am going to update the back matter and tweak a few things, even some cover stuff, and release them wider than Amazon later this year. When looking back over my writing, I always had trouble defining the genre. Some of my stuff is horror, like Escape from Dolphin Street and large parts of Anarchy; some is gay fiction, like Wild Boys and Trouble with Furries and other parts of Anarchy; and all my books cross genres. I would catch myself trying to explain what my books are about as strange tales of outsiders and would find myself not being able to adequately get my point across, in regards to genre, in a couple of words. What does all my work have in common? The outsider is always my protagonist. The worlds are always twisted. The action goes over the top. Strange, edgy characters come to life beyond the norms. All of this swirled in my head. I had to find the common threads of these works. Anarchy has tales of the streets and terror fueled by memories of 1980s horror films, or rather my desire to go further than what the censors allowed. Wild Boys is not a typical gay cowboy romance: it is more like a violent spaghetti western or like Hang ‘Em High with a gay lead in a west filled with bullets and blood. The Trouble with Furries is a descent into an underworld of obsession and cosplay. Dolphin Street is a juvenile delinquent story of runaways that turns to pure horror. How do you market something that it is not one thing or another? I looked at the research for Wild Boys and went through cover ideas, all of them being from old pulp westerns. All the chapters of Escape from Dolphin Street are named after juvenile delinquent films of the 1950s and 1960s. Pulp fiction was the term that came to mind, but Tarantino has left his mark on that. The answer was creating my own type of pulp.
The Pulps descended from penny dreadfuls and dime novels, attracting readers with lurid stories including hard boiled mystery, thriller, romance, noir crime, weird menace, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and occult. Pulp Fiction seems to include every genre with a dark edge, something sordid, strange, and different and it defintiely fits my writing style. What do my outsiders have in common? I looked up the meaning of the word punk. A punk is a young inexperienced person, particularly a young man or a petty gangster, hoodlum, or ruffian. Archaically, a punk was a homosexual partner, especially in prison. Not to mention the punk rock music movement with all of its anti-authoritarian beliefs buried in three minute songs. I found my term by putting the two words together and creating Punk Fiction, with attributes from pulp and punk. The term works perfectly, simple and concise. I now know what to call my work.
Punk Fiction works for my yet unreleased true crime fiction, Lane Bowden 1973 and for my Rebel’s Edge series of true life, coming of age, adventures.
Punk Fiction — a genre featuring crime, noir, horror, weird menace, dark fantasy, gay, prison, western, and juvenile delinquent tropes through a lens of anarchy.