Friday, May 24, 2013

E-Book A Go Go

If you’re curious about Jaye Manus’ design for the Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats e-books, then here’s a taste.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vanessa Lopa

If you haven't checked out the campaign site yet, maybe the lovely Vanessa Lopa can change your mind? She's shown here in a stunning photograph provided courtesty of JRMadrasto Photography.

For more va va va voom, choose the Faster, Hellcat! Donation level:

While you're at, give Vanessa and JR a like and a share!

© 2013 John Reuben Madrasto. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Campaign A Go Go

The Indiegogo campaign for Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats is live! Pay it a visit for no other reason than to assuage your curiousity about what my voice sounds like.

The Skinny
Hoods, Hot Rods, And Hellcats is an anthology of original crime fiction set in Postwar America, the era that gave birth to our consumer driven culture. For the emergent superpower, a good consumer was a patriot. Dollars bought "happiness" and undermined the diabolical Red menace. Even more than that, a good consumer was a homogenized suburbanite—making Draper's job cake.

However, for the men and women changed by the war, accepting the lockstep didn’t come easy—if at all. If you throw in the "teen-ager" and a bunch of hillbillies singing rock'n'roll, you've got trouble...

"...the world of Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats is a dirty cocktail of fact, fable, fears, and fantasies. The 1950s are recreated one more time but here it's with a savage, razor-honed edge you'll never find in Grease, Happy Days, or American Graffitti." —From the Introduction

There's murder and robbery, shootouts and knife fights, car chases and drag races, good girls and bad girls, and a lot of troubled men. Hoods opens with a brilliant introduction from counterculture icon Mick Farren, then busts you in the mush with eight lengthy tales from Eric BeetnerChad EagletonMatthew FunkChristopher GrantHeath LowranceDavid James KeatonNik Korpon, and Thomas Pluck.

  • A young woman constructs her murderous identity from her father's stash of lurid paperbacks.
  • A hot rod mechanic's relationship with his troubled wife redlines when his brother returns home from the War.
  • Passing through a small town, a former Marine finds his girl and a whole lot of trouble.
  • A pair of brothers on a robbery spree cut a bloody swath through the Southwest until they encounter a little girl with a stuffed rabbit.
  • A young boy discovers just how far he'll go for rock 'n' roll.
  • A lonely girl and an emotionally scarred vet face a beachside showdown with a violent motorcycle gang.
  • A teenager follows the girl of his dreams into a high-octane nightmare.
  • Two generations of men named Jake obsess over a girl named Cherry.

What's The Big Deal?
Hoods, Hot Rods, And Hellcats is written and edited. The e-book editions are gorgeously formatted thanks to Jaye Manus' skills. And Brian Roe of RSquared Studios is completing the final formatting on the print edition now. Each edition offers its own visual experience.

So then you’re wondering, "Where do I come in?"

I'll clue you. I know it's far out, but brace for it....okay, are you ready? Here it is—
I think people deserve to actually get paid for their work.

Sounds kookie, I know, but that's where you come in. Your money will cover the cost of the donation level gifts and ensure that the contributors earn something more than a promise and a writing credit.

Patched In
No bread but still want patched in with the cool kids? Give us a share, a like, a tweet, or maybe even a blog post.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Black Leather Jacket

If you haven’t read it, you should definitely check out Mick Farren’s history of the black leather jack.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Nik Korpon's story, "Only The Vultures Will See Me Hang," features two outlaw biker brothers on a cross-country crime spree. The image of the outlaw biker grew to mythic proportions from a single source.

This one.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scarred Angel

Since their 1958 crime spree, the real life crimes of Charles Starkweather and his accomplice Caril Fugate have inspired countless fiction portrayals of a young murderous couple on a cross-country rampage: The Sadist (1963), Badlands (1973), Stark Raving Mad (1983), Murder in the Heartland (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), and Starkweather (2004). Heath Lowrance understands the trope well and makes it his own in "Scarred Angel."

Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen in Badlands.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Somewhere In Texas

"1958: Somewhere In Texas," Christopher Grant's clever tale of identity and 1950s sexual repression, plays on the sad traditions of the lesbian pulp paperback original.

For more info on the lesbian pulp paperback, visit:

Say Mama

HeadCat (Lemmy, Slim Jim Phantom, and Danny B. Harvey) covering one of my favorite Gene Vincent songs.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hal Ellson

While lots of authors took a turn at the juvenile delinquent novel, there was only one king of the teenager in trouble story. Hal Ellson is mostly forgotten today except by paperback collectors, but in the 50s he was a prolific writer of “raw-nerved street sagas” (The Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction), producing dozens of novels and hundreds of short stories. His writing was supposedly informed by his work as a recreational therapist and a nurse’s aide in the adolescent psych ward at Bellevue.

If you can track down his work without spending a fortune or you want to drop $20 on the omnibus available from Amazon, they’re definitely worth a read. In spite of his influence, however, Ellson has never done a lot for me. For all the "social awareness" informing the violence and sex and drug use among troubled teenagers, I always found his work a little like the worst of those made-for-tv movies you used to see after you got home from school. As far as period teenage gang novels go, for my money, you'd be better off tracking down Warren Miller's Cool World, Shane Stevens' Go Down Dead, or Sol Yurick's The Warriors.

Though to be fair, I haven’t read one in years.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mick Farren Interview

There's a fascinating interview with Mick Farren over at The Quietus. Whether you're a fan of Mick or you’re new to his work you should check it. I'm sure it'll whet your appetite to see what he wrote for the Hoods intro.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Headlesss Hoggy Style

If the rest of the collection is fueled on rockabilly, David James Keaton's weird tale of two generations of Jakes and a girl named Cherry is supercharged on psychobilly craziness.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


In Eric Beetner's "Lola," a young boy wants to be just like Chuck Berry. Too bad he forgets the second half of Chuck's most famous song—be good...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blue Jeans And A Boy's Shirt

Glen Glenn provides the title inspiration for Chad Eagleton’s tale of a Korean War vet, a girl on a bridge, and a motorcycle gang.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Red Hot

Music plays an important role in Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats. Sun artist and under appreciated musician, Billy Lee Riley provides the title inspiration for Thomas Pluck’s story, “Red Hot.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cover Art

(c) Skott Kilander

Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats also features original cover art from Skott Kilander. For more of his work, visit his blog Sleepy Oni.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Line-Up

I've posted a little about Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats before on my personal blog. Now that we’re racing to the final lap, I wanted to reveal some of what you can expect from this forthcoming collection of original crime fiction. Hoods includes lengthy stories from Eric Beetner, me, Matthew Funk, Christopher Grant, David James Keaton, Nik Korpon, Heath Lowrance, and Thomas Pluck. The anthology opens with an introduction written by one of my idols, Mick Farren:

"...the world of Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats is a dirty cocktail of fact, fable, fears, and fantasies. The 1950s are recreated one more time but here it's with a savage, razor-honed edge you'll never find in GreaseHappy Days, or American Graffiti."

If that revs your engine like your pink slip is on the line, then I hope you’ll come back, like the Facebook page, and get ready for a rumble…