Further Reading: Sucks, Alabama

alabama map

SUCKS, ALABAMA: The Unexpurgated Adventures of Louis Baudrey in Small Town Alabama

Louis Baudrey is a teenage metalhead who moves from Los Angeles to Saks, a small town in Northeast Alabama.

The year is 1987.

Things do not go well…

At Saks High, he tries to fit in, but the rednecks and the Bible-thumpers don’t take too kindly to his outlandish wardrobe and burgeoning punk rock attitude. At home, it’s even worse, as Rick, his father’s “friend,” tries to coerce him into conforming to something even more insidious than the social mores of high school.

This is an expanded version of the first part of the novel A Masque of Infamy and includes what was published in the book with additional chapters and sections that were cut due to space limitations and the flow of the novel’s narrative.

This is the complete and authoritative story of Louis Baudrey and his time in Saks, Alabama.

Only available as an eBook for 99 cents.

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– – – – – – AN EXCERPT – – – – – –

Before I left California, all I knew about the South was what I’d seen on TV: The Dukes of Hazard, Roots,Deliverance… So that’s what I expected: racist, good ole boys, playing banjos and speeding around the countryside in souped-up muscle cars, murdering and sodomizing strangers. Despite the old man’s assurance that I shouldn’t believe everything I saw on TV, my enthusiasm waved from one moment to the next. But the truth was, I was ready for a fresh start.

I wasn’t leaving much behind in Rosemead. Just bad memories and the rest of my crazy family. I figured I could write my own ticket in a podunk Alabama town. Nobody needed to know that I was born in the crappy part of a crappy suburb on the wrong side of Hollywood. But while Rosemead was nothing like the Los Angeles depicted in movies and television, I looked totally LA. It was 1986. My style was an amalgam of punk and heavy metal. My hair was long and my pants were tight. My ears were pierced three times in my left and once in my right. I wore the same Iron Maiden shirt almost every day and never left the house without at least one bandana tied around my ankle.

How could I not ride into town and just take over?

Shit, in my mind, as soon as these bumpkins in Alabama got a look at me, the guys would idolize me, the girls would lust after me and all their parents would fear me.

I would finally become the person the audience in my head had always cheered for.

All the way across the country, as I sat in the backseat of my father’s low-rent Cadillac, alternately picking fights with Joey, talking back to Rick and zoning out to the soothing sounds of heavy metal on my Walkman, I felt it in my gut, a rising excitement that everything was about to change.

For better or worse, once I fulfilled my destiny, the name Louis Baudrey would be synonymous with infamy.


An Interview on Alana Munro’s blog


I was interviewed on Alana Munro’s blog. Topics include my writing process, the consequences of autobiographical writing and self-publishing.

How do you feel about self-publishing? In many ways I’m glad I self-published my novel. It gave me the freedom to do things exactly how I envisioned and get the book out sooner. As I was collecting rejection notices, I realized that I needed to get this book out—out of my computer, out of my head, out of my living room—OUT!—in order to preserve my sanity as well as my wife’s sanity. Writing this book was emotionally arduous. It took a lot out of both of us. I almost lost my marriage over it. So having the book in print was a catharsis we needed to move on with our lives. But self-publishing is also frustrating because you are responsible for every aspect of the process: the editing, the design, the printing, the marketing and the distribution. The success of a book is almost (there are exceptions, of course) entirely dependant on marketing and distribution. So if you aren’t comfortable with those things, it might be a bit tricky. But there’s no shame in self-publishing anymore. In fact, there seems to be even more potential in the “bound slush pile” of Amazon’s CreateSpace and all the other POD deals. Either way, you still gotta fight to get your voice heard… but that’s what being a writer is all about.