Posts Tagged ‘ horror ’

The Hapless Tale of Eddie Flack

The lovely and talented MJ Hahn has done it again. The 50-minute podcast story, The Hapless Tale of Eddie Flack, uses witty dialogue, jazzy background tunes, and all the mystery and horror fans of The Bellefaire Podcast have come to expect.

This stand-alone backstory edition reveals the romantic and tragic history of Maradee Flack, née Maradee Malloy. You’ll remember that Mrs. Flack played a sort of surrogate mother to Yuki O’Malley in Hahn’s 15-episode podcasted novel, Yuki O’Malley and the Bellefaire. In the novel, Maradee’s a good guy, but she’s been working for the bad guys for several decades. Ever wonder how a nice girl like her got mixed up with such sinister villains? Well, Hahn figured as much, so he lays it all out for you here.

Hahn’s matured as a writer and a podcaster. You’ll hear it in the use of special effects and music, editing and scene transitions, and you’ll hear it in his choice of words. He even wanders from his signature colorful villains here, offering instead, a more esoteric antagonist: haplessness. Don’t worry–you’ll still meet a really bad bad guy in Smiling Mac, the human embodiment of the perils of bad luck.

Bad Luck might as well be Eddie Flack’s middle name. Maradee’s the only good thing that happens to the poor guy, whose hapless tale careens through 1956 San Francisco’s jazz scene, gambling culture, and even its gay culture–mature subjects for a story aimed at the Harry Potter set.

It’s a satisfying listen and just the thing to whet your appetite for today’s premiere of Hahn’s next episodic, podcasted novel, Crowley Golden and the The Isis Heart, the anticipated sequel to Yuki O’ Malley and the Bellefaire.


Don’t Be A Wuss, Mark Clements pushes comfort zones

Anybody who’s read his fiction knows that Mark Clements is no wuss, but he thinks most amateur writers are at risk of wussiness, especially when they write about sex and violence. “Amateur writers usually stop short. We almost never go too far. Raise your expectations. Your brain is lazy.”

He speaks of finding maximum impact in every scene. Don’t avoid details because you don’t like them. Storytellers are supposed to go further than observers could imagine without our help. “If you are afraid to have your characters go down a particular hallway, they probably should. It’s not your job to water stuff down or to write to the lowest common denominator,” he contends. And he encourages detail. “Once you let yourself write an explicit scene, make sure it is detailed. These scenes really are about the details.”

And for whom are you writing? Mark won me over when he told a roomful of aspiring writers to shift the focus from potential readers to themselves. “Your readership, at first, consists of one person: you. Satisfy yourself first.” And how do we satisfy ourselves? “The satisfaction you get from writing is based on how honest you are.”

Damn, I wish I has said that.

The Black House

MJ Hahn’s latest podcast concerns itself with, “something truly horrifying–the real estate market in San Francisco.” So begins his tale, and if you liked the 14-episode spectacle, Yuki O’Malley and the Bellefaire as much as I did, you can certainly count on this short piece to deliver the same bizarre hybrid of whimsical and macabre tones.

None of the characters from Yuki O’Malley appear in this short story, but modern-day San Francisco persists as a character in Hahn’s work.

Hahn has a way with villains, and he exploits this talent in The Black House, offering a main character who can hardly be described as a protagonist. We hate and care for Cindy, a snotty, social-ladder climbing, greedy, manipulative bitch. But, oh, she is such a wonderful bitch that I cannot help but love her while the story careens toward her seemingly inevitable and well-deserved demise.

And the story has a monster of sorts! Though you may have trouble deciding whether to root for Cindy or the mysterious thorn in her side, you will have no trouble recognizing the monster once his identity is revealed–a delightful only-in-San-Francisco surprise ending.

Download it now and inhale it because Hahn’s getting ready to post something new–a prequel to Yuki. And then he’s got a whole new series he’s promised, The Isis Heart, due sometime this summer.

Listen to the Bellefaire Podcast

I wanted to have a category for recommended reading, where I can feature the writing of my friends, colleagues, clients, and heroes. Funny then, that my first contribution to the reading category is a recommended podcast, The Bellefaire Podcast, specifically.

Because, just in time for some holiday lounging, MJ Hahn’s released episode 15, the final chapter in his positively addictive and intriguing tale, Yuki O’Malley and the Bellefaire.

Beneath every form of media you love lurks a writer: pop music, rock videos, sit-coms, and even reality TV. But so many writers focus on the publishing industry when we fantasize about the ultimate expression of our work.

Today’s media-saturated, all-access network expands possibilities beyond the hardbound great American novel to endless satisfying, creative, and rewarding routes to an audience. Blog software like WordPress lends itself to serializing your novel. You Tube lets you broadcast your own video productions. And iTunes pumps your podcast into the earbuds of the masses.

Like many great writers, Hahn surely hears voices, but he doesn’t just merely write down the stories in his head. He produces and records them.

The Bellefaire Podcast is a serial horror drama aimed at the Harry Potter crowd. Yuki, the biracial, semi-psychic, anime-esque, pre -teen heroine and her phantasmic, ass-kicking, ’80s punk rock teen sidekick, Tina, face villains who wreak of greed and vanity at a spooky salon for women of a certain age. Did I mention it all happens on the streets of San Francisco? It’s quite fantastic.

Hahn voices most of characters himself. Especially notable is his sultry, trashy Madame LaMal, but Lee Ann Parker’s voice is a delight as the perfect Yuki. In fact, each of the actresses Hahn’s assembled adds depth and character to his already character-driven writing.

So go download the 15 episodes before your long drive to holiday gatherings or before your post-holiday-meal coma. Get inspired to think about how you’ll unleash the voices in your own head next year.