Posts Tagged ‘they tell me i’m the bad guy’

So, yes, Donnie’s sequel is in the process of being written. I’m not going to drop any plot points or anything because this thing could second drafted to hell and back and leave me looking like a jackass that doesn’t know what he’s doing. And I am not in the habit of making myself look like a jackass that doesn’t know what he’s doing on purpose. But the important takeaway for you, the hypothetical reader, is this: you can haz sequel. Narrative is getting forged and shit. There is dialogue. F-bombs are being dropped willy and also, nilly. And when They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy: Return of The Beast hits your Kindle like a drunk starting a fight with the sun, it will do so as the product of a lot of work, overthinking, and the emotion you hu-mans call ‘love.’ For now, though, it’s still mostly that first thing: a lot of work. And work is hard. Write that down.

Hugs and Kisses,



Who likes bad guys? Everyone, that’s who, bitch. This is R. D. Harless’ Profiles in Villainy.

Like all women, Killer Frost is volatile, man-hungry, and will drain the life from you. While her primary archenemy is the Bechdel Test, she also clashed repeatedly with the character Firestorm. Because fire and ice. Do you get it? No, really, do you get it? This is not a character for which subtlety was ever even contemplated.

Just tell her she's pretty and this all goes away.

Just tell her she’s pretty and this all goes away.

Prior to the (of course) lab accident that created her, Killer Frost was Dr. Crystal Frost, a specialist in cryonics. Really, what the hell else could she have been? The world was much more literal back then. If your name was Frost, you were a scientist who worked with cold. If your name was Woodrue, you were a scientist who worked with plants. God help you if your last name was Shitslinger; you’d be a scatologist at S.T.A.R. Labs and get turned into a crap monster or something. To her male colleagues (stupid penis walkers), Crystal was known as “The Ice Maiden” because she was unapproachable and standoffish (read as: bitch wouldn’t put out, bro; probably a lesbo). There was one man, however, who had melted her heart. And just prior to the malfunction of her life’s work, a thermafrost chamber (because, again, ice), her affections were rejected by this fellow scientist (MEN, amirite?). This shocking ending to a relationship that only existed in her head became the catalyst that caused Dr. Frost to hate-love all men (thanks again, Science). Protip: if a fellow scientist is about to dick around with some crazy contraption they’ve invented and never successfully tested, leave that person the fuck alone. Just keep your eyes on the floor and your mouth shut. If she confesses her undying love for you, nod and suggest having coffee later to talk about it. Maybe then she doesn’t want to murder your ass when everything blows up her emotional, irrational face.

After Frost’s thermafrost refrigeration system accident in the Arctic (Seriously, do you get it yet?), her body was altered into a kind of blah blah blah, she was cold all the time and that’s all you really need to know, like your girlfriend always having to have a blanket over her on the sofa but more and also homicidal. The accident gave her the ability to create and control ice, and, oh shit, she could also mind-control with her kiss, which infected people’s bodies with her tainted ice and made them blindly loyal, which is exactly how ice and the human brain works. Her skin also went blue and she decided to wear a tiara and a low cut ball gown split almost up to her thigh gap, but how dare you think she’s a slut just because she dresses like a trampy body-painted prom queen. Frost kiss, motherfucker! And, as if all this wasn’t bad enough for a borderline shut-in, because some man had broken her with “it’s not you, it’s me” like five minutes ago, she dedicated all of this shit to taking her pain out on all men (this is how the female mind works, guys – take notes).

She's practiced this speech at least a dozen times to her cats.

She’s practiced this speech at least a dozen times to her cats.

To keep herself alive and dick-kicking, Killer Frost now had to absorb the heat from others to the point of their death. A thoroughly modern woman, though, she had no problems easily accepting this (because fucking MEN, amirite, ladies?!). Luckily, a guy who was a walking nuclear battery with his head on fire happened to be nearby, and, thus, Killer Frost entered into a lasting obsessive-, stalking-, and abuse-based relationship with the character Firestorm, who possessed the mind of an intelligent grown man and a high school jock in the same body, the simultaneous bad boy/father-nurturer dynamic that Frost and all other women crave. And because of Firestorm’s heat (his body heat), she decided to pin her entire existence on staying as close to him as physically possible at all times with the looming threat of violent, psychotic behavior if he ever tried to get away from her. And if that sent a chill down your spine, it’s because this character was created from the pure distilled fear of all men.

After a fairly short career of man-eating and overly-dramatic ice-centric wordplay, Killer Frost found out she was dying from her condition. Reacting as any woman would to news of this kind of import, she flipped the bitch switch and decided to go out the same way she’d lived: killing the world right in the phallus. During her final rampage, she died in atomic flame while kissing Firestorm, who tried to save her life by sacrificing his heat in a noble, white-knightish protective gesture and/or final middle finger to feminism (Seriously, the writer was like, “Screw subtlety, son; I’m Gerry motherfucking Conway”). During that last kiss with a nuclear man, Dr. Crystal Frost was accidentally vaporized on the George Washington Bridge, and that is not a joke even though it doesn’t sound like something a human being would ever have reason to say. But the legacy of Killer Frost lived on. After her death, her frenemy Louise Lincoln decided to repeat the accident that jacked her girl Crystal all up, thereby making herself the new Killer Frost. Her reason for doing so? Women be crazy. Never forget.

Who likes bad guys? Everyone, that’s who, bitch. This is R. D. Harless’ Profiles in Villainy.

I've obviously given up on my appearance.

I’ve obviously given up on my appearance.

Old comic book villains harken back to a simpler time when people with no real motive or aptitude decided to become “evil” for the purposes of money or some vague, illusory notion of power. You’re not going to fall into toxic waste and then take over the world, but you’d think at least one person in the history of civilization had actually done that the way these guys try. And when it comes to guys with little to no reason whatsoever to break bad, Dr. Otto Octavius is right up there near the top of the list (a list almost exclusively populated by disfigured scientists).

On paper, Doctor Octopus is the perfect villain. Arrogant, an alliterative name, has a doctorate degree, foreign accent, crazy technology, and an animal-based nickname. If he was a eugenics-advocating Nazi, he would be the whole package (then watch your ass, Red Skull). In practical terms, though, what the hell is this guy’s problem? He was widely recognized as a brilliant scientist. He had a legitimately fantastic workman’s comp lawsuit after the accident that jacked him up because why in God’s name did his supervisor let an employee conduct radiation experiments in solitude with no oversight using a potentially dangerous harness wired to his nervous system that he cobbled together himself? That’s, like, forty OSHA violations right there. Otto could have sued the shit out of Acme Labs or wherever the hell it was that allowed that kind of thing to go on and been set for life. Plus, bonus, he’s got four bad-ass arms grafted to his doughy abdomen. That’s a ticket to instant celebrity and a guaranteed pity prize from the Nobel committee.

So what’s this jackass do instead of talk to a competent injury lawyer? He goes, right off the bat, into full-tilt bullshittery. He takes the medical staff that saved his life hostage in a total dick move that isn’t really villainy so much as it’s just being an asshole. It’s weak planning, too, because what the hell is the endgame there, not to mention it’s really overreaching considering that the biggest plot Otto had hatched up to that point was probably figuring out a way to ‘accidentally’ brush up against his intern’s blouse. Naturally, in the middle of this morphine-fueled, poorly thought-out supervillain debut, Spider-Man showed on the scene to blow up Otto’s spot in lieu of letting a seasoned professional hostage negotiator do his job. But, wielding beginner’s luck and the power of the ‘all is lost’ moment, Otto proceeded to beat Spidey like a red-headed step mule with those mechanical arms that he refuses to make millions off of by patenting. Total facepalm rookie move, though, he doesn’t double-tap the sticky kid in the unitard, just tells him he’s not worth it like it’s a friggin’ After School Special and chucks him out a window. That’s some bush league stupid, and, after shitting that bed pretty hard, Otto moved on to taking over a nuclear facility instead of a hospital (because in the sixties every other building had something nuclear in it). It’s there that Spider-Man rallied back to knock him out with one punch, putting an end to Otto’s, I don’t know, scandalously non-peer-reviewed after-hours research or whatever.

Now here’s a helpful test to see if you should be a criminal. If a nerdy teenager who doesn’t have four giant, articulated metal arms grafted to his spine can lay you out cold with one desperate swing, go apologize to everybody you just took hostage, plea bargain the charges down to a couple of years, and use that time to get your life together with the prison psychiatrist. You are clearly not built for the world of crime. Sadly, no one intervened to tell Doctor Octopus this. They all just sat back and watched him shit the bed over and over. I mean, let’s look at the illustrious career of Doc Ock:

-Killed a police captain. Accidentally. With negligence and shoddy masonry. While getting punched in the face.

-Tried to become a gang leader, which . . . c’mon, man, put down the Sopranos box set. I’ll give you credit for the track suit and the terrible Eastern European thug haircut, but you’re not gangster.

-Tried to steal atomic equipment.

-Tried to steal atomic submarine.

-Tried to marry May Parker to get his hands on an island with an atomic power station that she somehow inherited (Relatable. See how Marvel heroes had problems just like yours?).

Here’s another helpful test to see if you should be a criminal. If any of the heists you plan have the word “atomic” in them, immediately quit what you’re doing. If you need three degrees to know why a thing is worth stealing then science is your clearly first love, not curb-stomping shopkeepers for protection money. And, yes, you’re right, even Albert Einstein created a doomsday weapon in a secret underground lab, so go ahead and chalk that up as a point for you if you want, but he didn’t stick up liquor stores to finance it and he didn’t use the a-bomb to ransom Long Island. Look at the way you think, man! You need to take a step back, Otto. Consider the choices you’ve made and the consequences that have resulted. Make a personal inventory. Then suck it the hell up, polish your resume (tip: gloss over prison time), and go get a job at a defense contractor or an R & D firm. And I mean someplace legitimate like Lockheed-Martin or Raytheon, man, not fucking AIM. Shit, would you just get your life together for once?

They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy: Return of The Beast (title may stick, title may not, don’t hold me to anything and stop suffocating me, man!), is in full force production. I’ve said (a lot) before that I didn’t want to do a sequel just for the sake of doing it, and I can safely say that I ain’t doing it for that reason. I’m really liking where this thing is going to go and am happy as hell to be working on it. It picks up on a lot of the threads from the first one; think of it not so much a second Donnie Guillory story as a continuation of *the* Donnie Guillory story (so faux-deep . . . so faux-deep). And it is also the last planned installment for the character. I can’t imagine having anything else to say after this one, and I’m not just some one-trick pony, you guys. I’ve got like three, maybe even four tricks. Not five, though. I’m not David Blaine.

By the way, Bloody Copper, Roaring Lead is still out there on the Kindle. I crazy undersold it when I released it, but it’s a very cool slow-burn mystery with some heart, revelations, a coolly capable man out of his element, and a bunch of story-telling conventions clashing while being subverted. And what’s not to dig about anarchist hillbillies and hard-edged, illiterate killers? I’ve got some ideas to do a prequel for the Freem character in the future, anyway, so why not get on the bus now before it goes totes mainstream, bro? You’re gonna want to say you already knew about it before Oprah puts her book club label on it. Then you’ll just look like a chump.

Hugs and Kisses,

R. D.

Who likes bad guys? Everyone, that’s who, bitch. This is R. D. Harless’ Profiles in Villainy.

Black Manta is the foremost master of one of the last great frontiers of crime: underwater felonies (suck it, Goldfinger). Outrun the cops with your feet and wheels, land chumps, Black Manta’s got the ocean on lockdown ( ‘Ain’t No 5-0 in the Abyss’ reads the bumper sticker on his submarine). From a humble beginning of boatjackings and robbing underwater 7-11’s, Black Manta rose to be the leader of a group of loyal henchmen dedicated to perpetrating some of the only things actually illegal in international waters (could have stuck to running gambling ships or floating brothels, but I guess you forego subtlety once you buy a manta-shaped sub). These acts of sabotage and piracy have made him the sworn enemy of Aquaman, mostly because there’s only one superhero in the whole friggin’ ocean and Manta can’t just find a spot to perpetrate somewhere in the thousands of square miles of water that isn’t adjacent to the guy’s home.

Guess how long I had to float here motionless so these fish would feel comfortable enough to approach me? Guess, Aquaman!

Guess how long I had to float here motionless so these fish would feel comfortable enough to approach me? Guess, Aquaman!

After fifteen years of damp, briney conflict with the King of Atlantis (giving him a *sick* swimmer’s body), Manta arrived way late to the Civil Rights party in 1977. As a newly-minted activist, he decided that his goal would be to take over the oceans so that they could be populated by oppressed African-Americans (no word on how the African-American community felt about this — their reaction may have surprised him). Black Manta also removed his mask for the first time ever, showing everyone that he himself was African-American, which shouldn’t have been that shocking considering his name literally starts with ‘Black Man.’ The revelation allowed him to join the racially-descriptive ranks of characters like Black Lightning, the Black Racer, Black Panther, Black Goliath, and Vykin the Black (It was a different time, kids), but, not content solely with that elite status, Black Manta also committed the baller-ass move of murdering Aquaman’s infant son right in front of him (by slow suffocationohdamn!). You can’t buy that kind of (undersea) street cred, but, arguably, it did not win him any points for his (undersea) equality crusade. In true superhero tradition, though, Aquaman was not able to exact lethal vengeance for the crime due to the King of the Seas’ staunch morality and/or Manta’s status as highly-toyetic intellectual property.

Black Manta is still around today but no longer making many waves (puns: the last refuge of the damned). He never topped infanticide (who among us does, really?), but he still harbors an unending grudge for a man who’s most notable ability is talking to fish. One would think that in this age of expanded ocean exploration, Manta could make some money taking a bunch of oil platforms on the east coast hostage or ransoming James Cameron, but he’s a simple man with simple needs: he’s killed a couple of Aquaman’s friends, tried to kill both Aquaman and his wife, and tried to kill his own son. Like I said, the man left subtlety behind a long, long time ago.

Black Manta: Hater 4 Life

Black Manta: Hater 4 Life

BCRL Cover 8-6

Soooo, the hardboiled thing is done. That’s right, finished. I could keep going back to it, polishing it, never satisfied (i.e., the George Lucas treatment), but it’s ready to send out to publishers. It feels effin’ great (or ‘just the tops’ in my current vernacular). It also means that Donnie is back up to bat (also up to bat: re-learning how to swear. You buncha bitch-ass shitheads).

Unfortunately for you guys (motherfuckers), I don’t like to tease plot details, characters, or story points (so suck it, assholes). But I’ve said before the last two chapters of the first book really tell you everything you need to know about the direction the sequel is going. Like They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy, there are going to be psychological underpinnings to it the same way Polarization/Pendulum Effect was a sort of runner through the first one (spoiler: the theme was not f-words and nicotine). Also, Donnie’s still not going to be a damn Mary Sue (trope alert, dickhead). He’s been given the power to make fuck-ups on a grand scale so of course that’s exactly what he’s going to end up doing because he’s Donnie and Donnie fucking knows best despite all evidence, right? (biiiiitch)

So hang in there, fans. Shit is going to get way more real and way more unreal before this thing’s through (*middle finger*).

Hugs and Kisses,

R. D.

Something has come to my attention that’s a cause for alarm (for me and now, transitively, for you). I suddenly realized I wrote a book without crowd-funding it first. I can only plead negligence for this oversight. I honestly knew about Kickstarter before publishing They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy, but I wantonly ignored it and, by extension, denied all you the opportunity to fund something that a stranger wanted to make money off of (my heart is black like the other end of a white hole). I can only offer my most profusest apologies for ignoring all of you and your sweet, sweet disposable income.

So, with that in mind, I’m announcing a retroactive Kickstarter campaign for They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy. Now you can genuinely feel like money you spend is worth something and won’t just turn to shit and garbage like it does when you buy food and clothing. All funds raised will go toward defraying the costs of the book’s production, costs that include but are not limited to: setting up this website, buying advertisement on Goodreads, tendon stress in fingers caused by frequent typing, incurred wear and tear on my imagination, $.53/minute compensation for time spent staring at the wall trying to come up with plot points and words I wanted to use that were on the tip of my tongue, incurred wear and tear on my computer’s Backspace key, defrayment of monies spent on brown liquor consumption to combat writer’s block, mileage reimbursement for all the times I was thinking about dialog and plotting instead of safely driving a one-ton metal battering ram through traffic, and a nickel for every time my wife tuned out of the conversation because I was talking about writing because I want to show her how many damned nickels that is.

For your pledge to this campaign, I will, of course, offer rewards. For $150 (minimum pledge amount), I will fondly recall whenever asked that you were the inspiration for the character of Donnie, and that up to one of your friends or loved ones were the inspiration for Will. For the next level pledge ($18,000), I will help you fill out the paperwork necessary to legally change your name to one of the characters in the book, thereby effectively giving you a character named after you. For a gold level pledge ($100K in fat stacks), there are no rules. Anything goes. Anything. Goes. Wink. Wink. (Gimp mask)

Thank you in advance to all those who will pledge their support. I’m currently deep in the edits of what will be my second book and have already begun plotting the sequel to Donnie’s story. I hope you’ll be generous in your donations for the original and remember to keep donating when the sequel is completed. Because if you ever want to read it, my demands are $250,000 in unmarked bills and a chartered airplane to South America (Kickstarter page for that will be up soon).

Obligatory check-in post. Not a lot going on, really, but my not putting much on this site since December makes me look lazy and neglectful, and I am not at least one of those things. Mostly, my slacking off (I said ‘slacking’) is due to being too busy with writing words that will go into a storybook instead of words that will be housed in server bunkers or clouds or human battery farms or however they’re storing Internet data these days.

As for what I’m working on (because I know you’re so invested in it), I’ve put a June deadline on finishing it. It’s a book, which, point of interest, has nothing at all to do with the one that probably brought you to this site. You know, the one that you surrendered actual money earned at that job you hate so that you could read and might have even enjoyed. Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with that one (’cause striking while the iron’s hot is how you get third degree burns, kids). Instead, I’m currently wading twenty-two chapters deep in what will probably be twenty-eight or twenty-nine chapters of a hard boiled Prohibition-era detective story (yeah, I’ve posted about this before, but there’s no harm in repeating it–there is, however, shame. Lots of dirty, whore-like shame). There’s no sci-fi to this story in any way (so I guess fuck you, readers who likes that), but there’s more to premise and a higherness to the concept than just standard hard boiled boilerplate stuff (boilerplates – also hot).

Anyway, when that’s finished up, I’m going to see about getting it printed on Mother Earth-offending paper and sold in Mom & Pop store-killing retail chains; something I didn’t do with They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy because I thought it might be something of a hard sell (and some Amazon reviewers agree). But once this hard boiled thing is all squared away, I’ll be working on the next installment of Donnie Guillory’s life, which I also expect to be the last. Yes, I know trilogies are what all the cool kids are doing these days, but I’m a firm believer in telling only as much story as you’ve legitimately got. If you keep pushing things too hard (that’s what she said) to where the good ideas are drying up and getting harder and harder to come by (that’s what she said), you’re just going to end up disappointing everybody and making a mess (. . . she said that, too). So when the TTMITBG sequel is done, I think I’ll have said all I have to say with Donnie (13% of that being the f-word). I’ve got other stories I want to get to before I die; not gonna spend all my time with him. That guy’s an asshole.

Hugs and Kisses,

R. D.

Okay, so after one day, They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy is at #15 on the free Kindle Sci-Fi list and rising. That’s not bad. In fact, I think it’s pretty damn great myself. The fucking Krampus, however, is calling my house and breathing heavy while he puts a slow knife to a whetstone. That goes on for a good five minutes, then he gets bored and yells “Fuck you! That’s my name!” then hangs up. (it’s an old phone, too, so it’s really loud when he slams it back on the cradle). So to appease this psycho bitch demon, They Tell Me I’m The Bad Guy will be offered free on Amazon for another day. Do not thank me. Just download the thing. Gotta go, the phone’s ringing again.

Do not bone me here, People,

R. D.