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Entries tagged with “a pretty mouth

Tuesday, I was very pleased to hear that A Pretty Mouth has made it on to the final ballot for the Wonderland Book Award! I’m up against some stiff competition, including my own publisher Cameron Pierce’s collection, and another put out by my cover designer, Matthew Revert. Whew! It’s great: I’ll be happy pretty much no matter who wins!

I know it’s the standard line, but with this Wonderland Book Award nod and with the earlier news of my British Fantasy Award nomination, it really is an honor just to be on the list. Really, I can’t express how thrilled I am that A Pretty Mouth has received so much positive attention. Thank you to everyone who voted for me for both awards; your enthusiasm is appreciated!

That said, A Pretty Mouth could use some fresh reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. If you’ve read it, I’d love if you could take the time to say something about it, whether you enjoyed it, were meh on it, or even hated it. (I’m a writer—I thrive on any kind of attention.) I’d especially like to have a few more review over on Thanks so much!

I continue to be overwhelmed and amazed by the enjoyment people are getting out of my humble work(s) of fiction about incestuous flaky fops. As of now, A Pretty Mouth still has a five-star rating on Amazon, I’m gearing up to do a Q&A in February over at The Next Best Book Blog (which should soo be putting up my recipe for an Infernal!, my Calipash Twins-themed cocktail), and just a day or so I noticed that A Pretty Mouth had made a best-of list—to be specific, Black Heart Magazine’s Best of 2012.

Gabino Iglesias, their poetry editor, was kind enough to say about my book:

Fun, unique, sexy, Lovecratian literature of the highest caliber. I wanted to paint my walls with some of the lines in this book. It’s simultaneously classic and new and the prose is undeniably authoritative. This is the kind of book that weak writers read and decide to stop writing because they’ll never be this damn good.

Wowza. Seriously. And the fact that I’m on the list with Stephen Graham Jones, Tom Piccirilli, and several other amazing writers makes my inclusion even more pleasing. Pleasing being an understatement. See, that’s the kind of “undeniably authoritative” prose that gets me this kind of praise!

Thanks again, Mr. Iglesias! And if you, dear reader, would like to own your very own copy of A Pretty Mouth, well… 

Been a while since I did a publicity roundup for A Pretty Mouth! Things have been going great with the novel so far, and while (regrettably) I still haven’t been able to pin down when an ebook will be available for purchase I’ve heard my publisher is “working on it” for those of you waiting on a digital copy. I’ll make a big announcement when it happens as I know many people (other than myself) have expressed an interest in seeing the book in a digital format.

Anyways! Amazon has a few new reviews, bringing my book up to eight (five-star!) reviews:

A delightful romp through the macabre and depraved, made all the more appealing by the author’s obvious enthusiasm and gleeful verve. … She has a fantastic tone that is equal parts horror and wonder, and she managed to capture my particular favorite flavor of corrupt degeneracy with flair and titillation. Spot on!


A PRETTY MOUTH is a book of sensual prose, telling dark, sexy stories. Yes, a mix of sex and horror. Not so much violence, but the creepy edge of horror. … there’s something exciting about the discovery as well as something deliciously disturbing about it. I recommend it highly.

Also, Innsmouth Free Press was kind enough to review my collection!

Tanzer’s greatest asset is the sheer glee of her stories. She seems to be in it for the fun of it. And, because she is having fun, it is difficult not to have fun with her. … Ultimately, Tanzer takes a leap and I admire any writer who does. There is too much safe stuff on bookshelves. Tanzer’s wild collection, though, is not afraid to crash. Tanzer has a swagger of her own which shows in these stories and that, more than anything, is the drawing point for the book.

Finally, a colleague and friend of mine, John Glover, wrote me an early Christmas present in the form of a review/mythology for my person:

 The legend says that Molly Tanzer was born on a starless night in the middle of a battlefield, and that when the sun rose, the ground was carpeted with detached limbs and excavated fundaments. In the middle of this lay a babe, swaddled in black satin, attended by leather-masked beasts with hands of stone and iron. As the sun flew high, reedy pipes wailed and the emissaries of a cult that had long awaited her arrival rode thither out of the east, and strange patterns formed in the dust in the sky.

Hell yes! He goes on to talk more about the collection:

Having said it already in more flowery format, I’ll now say simply that Molly Tanzer is the real deal. A Pretty Mouth is a weighty and strange collection, and one that promises to repay more than one reading. From adroit turns of phrase to morally complex characters to simply good stories, this book has much to offer.

I remain amazed by the response to my collection of weird dirty stories. It’s thrilling to have written something people seem to like, and doubly thrilling that people are taking it in the spirit in which it was intended.

All this, along with the lovely response I’ve received from my live chat with the Lovecraft eZine people? I may faint, bring me my smelling salts!

I suppose what I might be getting at is that you could do worse than pick up my collection for the nerd/weirdo in your life for whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year… ahem.

Oh! And don’t forget, my Folly of the World giveaway contest is still going on! You have a few more days—weekend days if you catch my drift—to come up with an appropriate cocktail and try to win a copy of Jesse Bullington’s latest opus. Get thee to a liquor store! I’m working on mine, though I shan’t be formally entering the contest (I have a copy; I just like making the world a little more bubbly whenever I can), so you have no excuse. So far I’ve mixed Jesse two entries, though I shall not reveal which two. Both were good, though one was so strong Jesse described it, after a sip, as “putting hair on the inside of his chest.” A few new entries have made this an interesting race for the taste so you might should think long and hard before submitting. Or just mix a bunch of shit together on a lark and take your chances. There’s worse ways to spend an afternoon!


Tomorrow evening from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, I’ll be doing a reading with Stephen Graham Jones at Folsom St. Coffee, at the corner of Folsom and Canyon in Boulder, CO. So, if you’re around/in the area, please come on by! And maybe don’t bring your kids, I’ll be reading something with, inevitably, potty-language.

Also! If you’re in Denver or Boulder, Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu will be performing our dragon (nine or eleven-person, depending on how many people come!) this Friday and Saturday at the Parades of Lights. Denver is Friday night; Boulder, Saturday. I’ll be playing cymbals! So that’s awesome. Our new dragon is a real beauty, as you can see, and I’m proud to be part of the performance. I don’t have any info for Boulder but we’ll be, I think, 9th in line for Denver.

I usually don’t leave the house after sundown (except for kung fu class, of course) so this is serious business.

MileHiCon was really fun, mostly! Mostly. But rather than dwell on the things that weren’t altogether rad, here’s a quick roundup of the highlights:

  • My reading went well! I did a few selections from A Pretty Mouth, including the entire first chapter of the novella. People seemed to enjoy it, so huzzah. My co-reader, Travis Heermann, also read, but he was way more high-tech, as he read off his iPhone and had like, actual bookstands for his book. Well played, Heermann. Well played.
  • I moderated a panel on Victorian/19th c. sexuality, which went pretty okay! Things got a little rowdy, which yeah of course. I particularly enjoyed the direction Cherie Priest’s vast knowledge about prostitution in Seattle took the discussion. It’s possible I got a bit verbose on various 19th century pornographic texts, but looking around and seeing many people scribbling titles was a cheap thrill. Victorian porn for the all!
  • I saw many people I knew and many more that I didn’t. It was fun reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, as always!
  • I ate some amazing Indian food at Masalaa with Jason Heller and Jesse Bullington.
  • I dressed up as Herbert West—Reanimator. Not a single person knew who I was!
  • Jesse and I, in a fit of madness perhaps, picked up a bottle of “Scoresby’s Very Rare” blended Scotch whiskey for 7 dollars, to bring to the con … mostly as a joke. Really! But it all got drunk at an extremely rowdy party on Saturday night that left me crippled for …
  • The panel on “Humor and Horror” which I barely made it through, honestly. That I was upright and didn’t say anything too embarrassing is a miracle.
  • But at least I’d (mostly) recovered by the time I lurched my way onto the “Strong Women in SF” panel. I may or may not have spoken passionately, and somewhat at length, about how essentialist notions of gender are wrong and obsolete and hurtful. I won’t laundry-list some of the more eyebrow-raising things said on that panel by other participants, because water under the bridge and all that. Let’s just say I left feeling like there’s still a serious need for those “Strong Women in X Kind of Genre Fiction” panels.
  • Also, I sold every single copy of A Pretty Mouth that I consigned to a local bookstore, so fuck yes Team A Pretty Mouth, and thanks to all of you who bought the book.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it! And if all that wasn’t rad enough, A Pretty Mouth has been getting more (extremely kind) reviews.

The Next Best Book Blog, whilst I was at MileHiCon, posted a meaty and wonderful review. The summation was very flattering indeed (many thanks!):

If you think A Pretty Mouth sounds like a lot of fun, it is. Molly’s got a style unlike any other’s. It’s one that doesn’t take itself too seriously while at the same time impressing upon the reader not to take it too lightly. Beware the enemy, even when it turns out to be you.

Next, Jamie Grefe posted his review over at The Carnage Conservatory. There’s something about my book that seems to induce people to become almost … poetic when they review it. It’s really awesome, frankly, to see people responding in literary ways to my writing. Much more than I was hoping for, which was to give folks a few chuckles and inspire them to revisit, maybe, Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories. But instead, more awesomely:

You are entrenched in a family history much stranger and more gruesome than your own: Calipash, octopus, blood-soul, Roman.
You need a drink.

Last, but certainly not least, my friend Elise (E. Catherine) Tobler reviewed my book on her blog. In epistolary format. That alone would be the highest possible compliment, but she goes on to say:

I write to inform you of a book which has crossed my hands–a book that will disrupt your working hours and most certainly your nights, because once you read these…we shall call them stories, though they seem rather to be historical transcriptions, if you take my meaning…you will never find sleep’s seductive embrace easily again.


The voice of this book–this is what may capture one, draw one in. I think of all the readers who have yet to discover this lady’s works (surely there are more, as there are stars in the heavens) and I shudder, sirs. I shudder. That they shall encounter these worlds, and “characters” for the first time yet–oh, to have that pleasure again. Our world slips away under a veil of fog when one opens this tome; one is drawn wholly and effortlessly into these tales and it is an effort to come back to what we know to be true. (Or do we? I confess to confusion on that point.)

I’m seriously swooning, but that might be old age creeping up on me. Yes, my friends, I am turning 31 in only a few days! The stars are right and all that jazz. I don’t want much, just to be a modestly successful indie author (you can help make that happen!) and possibly get a new tattoo.

Oh, and cake!

I’ve been sitting on this for a while, as a few elements were finalized—and some stuff may still change, of course—but I could not be happier about this:

Click to enlarge and bring up all the cool little details!

So, yeah. I love my publishing company! Many thanks to my editor Cameron Pierce and my cover designer Matthew Revert. Seriously, I don’t know if I could love this any more!

Oh man. October seems frighteningly close and yet so far away…

Well, okay, I can show you TWO of the covers I’ve seen in the last few weeks. One—the cover for A Pretty Mouth, which is currently undergoing copy edits and shaping up to be the weird, pervy, nerdy book I always dreamed of one day publishing and thus confirming everything everybody always thought about me—is not finalized, and so I can’t show it. Yet. But omfg, it’s amazing. I … might have cried a little when I saw it.

But! There are two other totally rad covers I can show you. First up, from Innsmouth Free Press, here’s the cover for Fungi. I think they revealed this whilst I was traveling in Florida. Check it!

So fuck yes Team Innsmouth! This is obviously insanely cool. Super-stoked to be in this alongside so many fine peoples.

Next up! The first story I sold this year, “The Poison-Well,” will be appearing in The Lion and the Aardvark, forthcoming from Stone Skin Press:

“Aesop’s Modern Fables” is pretty self-explanatory as to what this project is. They aren’t all retellings—mine is original, for example—but all are supposed to be Aesopian stories, relevant to the modern world. I mean, as an armchair classicist, I must say that there are plenty of Aesop’s fables that are still relevant to the modern world, of course, but yeah. Anyways, “The Poison-Well” is sort of more … let’s say deeply misanthropic Beatrix Potter than Aesop, so I’m glad editor Robin D. Laws thought it was a good fit!

Cover mania! Yay!

And seriously, I cannot wait to unveil the sweet, adorable cover for my sweet, adorable little book…


I am extremely pleased to announce next year will see the publication of my debut book, A PRETTY MOUTH.

Cameron C. Pierce, editor of LFP (a division of Eraserhead) and author of several novels, including Lost in Cat Brain Land, Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, and Cthulhu Comes to the Vampire Kingdom, is as awesome as tater tots. He and I had worked together briefly when he guest edited The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction #5, in which he reprinted my article about zombie klezmer band The Widow’s Bane. I thought he was incredibly talented, friendly, and fun to work with.

A few months back, he was also kind enough to read my humble account of the wretched Calipash family that was recently reprinted in The Book of Cthulhu, “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins.” He contacted me and asked if I had ever considered writing more stories about the Twins, as he felt his imprint would be an excellent venue for such a project.

Indeed, I had considered writing more—much more. But what I had to confess straightaway to Cameron was that “The Infernal History” was, regrettably, not entirely fiction. As I told him, the truth of the matter is that due to a series of strange circumstances, I alone possess the records chronicling the Calipash family’s dark and disturbing lineage. With “The Infernal History” I had tried to write a more elegant account of their crimes than the dry history bequeathed to me, as I thought the story might hold some small interest for the general public.

As I had done my Master’s degree on 18th century British literature and culture, I thought the events of “The Infernal History” would be the best place to begin documenting the unfortunate times when the loathsome family’s ancient curse induced the birth of sets of demoniacal twins, much to the displeasure of all who came into contact with them. Given the record’s reception, I believe I was correct in this assumption—and furthermore, I am deeply pleased (and indebted to Cameron) to now be able to bring more of this family’s unusual history to light.

A PRETTY MOUTH will feature an exclusive account of the incident where the 2nd Earl of Rochester, John Wilmot, encountered the Ivybridge family whilst he was still in school at Wadham College, Oxford, as well as four other vignettes, including the original “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins.” The narratives I have agreed to recount are as follows:

“A Pretty Mouth”
“The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins”
“Hour of the Tortoise”
“The Marine Vivarium of Gabriel Prideaux”
“Damnatio Memoriae”

A PRETTY MOUTH will be available in the Fall of 2012.