Cracked Skull Interview

James Hastings over at Cracked Skull has informed me that I am their first author interview subject.

How badass! What an honor. Looking forward to seeing more from him and the site.

Check the interview out here.

Some of these questions really made me think!

-TDR

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Brothers of Blood Anniversary

One year ago today, my first published release came out. My novel Brothers of Blood was at that time a three year labor that completely took over my life. Through ups and downs (wanting to quit writing & moving around so dang much), I finally completed the 4th or so draft – now came the hard part: looking for a publisher. The struggles in learning about the ins and outs of the publishing world have taught me so much about this industry that no matter the few pitfalls, I’ve been given a great honor by Black Rose Writing.

My wife introduced me to the legendary North Texas author, Chad Miller, who through email, introduced me to the ever entertaining Keith E B Chawgo (who gave me my first public appearances on his extraordinary podcast, The Literary License Podcast) along with the irreplaceable Vickie Rae. These two were instrumental in setting me up with BRW.

My novel and the people that it has brought into my life (I’ve met so many authors on this journey!) have changed me in so many ways that I’m still discovering what direction I’m barrelling toward.

Thank you to everyone involved with the publication of my book and thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this ambitious little indie author’s first baby and left a review. You’ve created a monster even if you don’t know it yet. More to come soon!

Now, you saw this coming. Check out Brothers of Blood if you haven’t yet! The horror/thriller novel once called “the Manson Family Murders, but in highschool!”

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“This novel reminds me of what Less Than Zero would be like had it been written by Chuck Palahniuk.”

– The Platform author, Alex Bernstein

“Rogers’ talent as a writer becomes bolder and more apparent with every page, as Belle grows older and is left to her own devices. It’s a horrifically realistic picture of a fraction of today’s youth without parental influence.”

– A Taste of Home author, C. Derick Miller

“I was scared, I cried, and I laughed a lot. You wouldn’t know it by the synopsis but it’s pretty dang funny. I hope there’s a sequel!”

– Jesse from Goodreads

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Brothers of Blood follows Belle Whynecrow in her final year of highschool. Her best friends Josue, Xavier, and Jesus the hobo welcome the new kid, Chris, with welcome arms. The only catch? To quell their boredom, Belle tells them to create a kill list, marking off the names as they complete their goal before senior year ends. While struggling to pass their classes with flying colors, this band of merry murderers seems to be on a delightfully bloody roll until Belle’s long imprisoned older brother, Beau, arrives at her doorstep. Now a devout man of God, the brotherhood schemes for his return to his original, and highly exaggerated, bloodlust. That is, if Chris’s jealousy doesn’t destroy Belle’s ranking in the gang first. Not everyone will survive, but those who do will certainly have a year to remember because those that kill together live forever in Brothers of Blood by Tristan Drue Rogers.

Buy the book today.
Available in paperback and Kindle (free with Kindle Unlimited)

Buy it here.

Deep Fried Horror Father’s Day Anthology

Peep on over to Deadman’s Tome’s Patreon to nab a copy of this Father’s Day Horror Anthology, featuring my short story, She Breaks The Skin.

Dad will let you hold the remote if you do.

Edited on 6/16/2019:

So, it is finally Father’s Day and since I have a story in this Father’s Day Edition of Deep Fried Horror – buy a copy and review it! It’d be a great 1st Father’s Day gift to me!

First link is for the e-zine.

Click here for the paperback copy.

I enjoy my copy with a plate of nachos.

-TDR

The Hard Goodbye Review

Book Title: The Hard Goodbye
Author: Chris Miller
Publisher: Death’s Head Press
Page Count: 146
Buy Link: Here

As is often the case for readers of books or consumers of storytelling media at large, they have to work out the likeability of the characters in order to figure out who to root for. This isn’t exactly how crime noir works in the pantheon of literature that it has staked out for itself and this is especially difficult to expect for the main players in The Hard Goodbye, written by Chris Miller and released by Texas indie upstart and dark fiction publisher, Death’s Head Press in early 2019—Miller had previously worked with the publisher on the horror anthology And Hell Followed with his short story Behind Blue Eyes. As devious and unscrupulous character traits are to be had by all characters, except for the women (this is a common trait of most noir as well, so don’t be too hard on Chris here—woman are walking angelic breasts in these types of genre stories), it can be difficult to manage for the reader who isn’t seasoned by the genre in all its grimy and hard-edged glory. However, these and many more irredeemable qualities are the very reason to pick up this book written by the man from Winnsboro, Texas.

The main crutch of the story follows four friends—or, should I say three friends and one dirty cop—who have had a decent run with small criminal jobs that land them decent-sized rewards with minimal risk. The only problem is that they have to split everything evenly and that they all have terrible spending habits, so after a while, the itch for another job starts to fester. Jimmy is hopped up on drugs. Larry has gone in hiding with his family, or is missing. And John bought a brand new Subaru WRX. While Tony, the odd man out, has an idea. Once the crooked cop discovers from his source that an insurmountable stash of cash is hiding away in a vacant house, due to the owner of it being sent to jail recently after participating in a random bar fight, the others jump at the chance to finally nab that mythical and always dreamed about last job kind of money. This is where things start to become problematic for our characters and a sickeningly perverse spectacle for the reader. If the first chapter doesn’t warn you of what kind of book you’re reading, you’re probably already comfortable inside the minds of villains and other such nefarious people.

With each chapter being written as a POV of another character, the reader is able to put themselves in the head of all the main characters, which allows a level of discernment for who really is the good guy here and if you have to pick one, it’s probably John Savage, but with a name like that, you’re likely to have a few skeletons in your closet as well, differing from the others. Every character is twisted, some are more so than others, and even more than a few have delusions of grandeur, yet they all blend together to fit the world that Chris Miller has created in The Hard Goodbye as a crunchy smoothie-concoction of lies, blood, nudity, North Texas, and irresponsible partnerships that will surely be a guilty pleasure for the most just of us, while those who have already dived into suspenseful works like Black Wings Has My Angel, Blood on the Moon, or Take a Murder, Darling will revel in the twisted display of penmanship and unfiltered destruction of humanity at full display here. And I haven’t even mentioned the reoccurring influence of the monkey.

While the plotted surprises are few and far between due to the nature of the genre, the real oomph of the book comes from the irresistible urge to see bad men go through even worse experiences, ceremoniously ending their lives in atrocious fashion due to their own mistakes and chances taken. And for that, what Chris has written is a deepening lesson in karma that we should all dutifully process as gospel.

As one Goodreads review stated succinctly, “The only thing I like as much as this book is bacon. And believe me, I love me some bacon.” Clearly, what we love and what causes us harm are often one in the same.


About the reviewer:

Tristan Drue Rogers is a writer living in Texas. He has been featured in Open Journal of Arts & Letters, Ink & Sword Magazine, and the Herald-Banner, while his novel Brothers of Blood is available anywhere books are sold. He is a submission reader for Black Rose Writing and a Site Contributor for Genre Urban Arts.

Genre: Urban Arts (Index)

Full disclosure: I am now a Site Contributor for Genre: Urban Arts! Find my author profile here.

Here is where I will update my posts with their links. Check back often!

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4/19/2019 – The Distracting Plague of Happinessa poem about relationships and failed titles.

4/22/2019 – Berthaa short story in rhyme about a monster inside a person’s belly

4/30/2019 – Bastard – a poem about our place in the world

5/6/2019 – Wut – a short essay on the writing process

5/7/2019 – Home – a poem written during a time that my wife (then my fiance) both held jobs that entailed a lot of travelling, keeping each other very much so at a distance

6/10/2019 – Carnival Rabbits – a flash fiction tale about repeating history and pushing blame away from oneself

6/17/2019 Grounded in Coffee – a poem about nature’s greatest addictive drug

7/22/2019 Fall So Hard – a flash story involving the firsts of attraction

7/31/2019 Winter’s Gentleman – a poem detailing one man’s journey through many states

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Check out the site, which features many talented contributors working under a myriad blanket of different mediums, ranging from spoken word, raps, installations, paintings, photography, fiction, nonfiction, flash, and more. They really are a blessing in the writing world, mixed with a little urban edge.

Also, buy my book Brothers of Blood here.

-TDR

9 Questions Interview

Hannah R. Goodman has graced me by accepting my entry into her 9 Questions Author Interview Series.

Check it out here.

Here is a preview:

6. What author or book has influenced your writing?
Far too many authors have tinkered with my brain. Amelia Gray is crazy. Joe Hill knows story structure. Neil Gaiman is a god. Harper Lee wrote the greatest book ever written. Period. Watership Down is better than The Hobbit. Rudyard Kipling knows about the flow of words like no other. Maybe Franz Kafka’s short stories are a little beyond an obsession for me. Mark Twain is straight fire. Elliot Chaze, Orwell, Plath, Vonnegut—I should stop. I read a lot, even when I don’t have the time, I find a way. Tim Rogers was pretty badass for an overbearing journalist and game designer. Don’t even get me started on other mediums! Alan Moore!

Of course, I would send a screenshot from my Instagram as my author photo. D’oh!

-TDR

@RogersDrue

Purchase Brothers of Blood here.