Cannibal Story in SKIN & BONES

My story “Black Friday” will appear in the #cannibalnoir-themed anthology Skin & Bones edited by Delicious Dana C. Kabel, due out November 26, 2018.

The anthology features anthropophagical tales by hunger artists such as Pleasing Patti Abbott, Aperitive Charles Ardai, Lip-Smacking Lawrence Block, Crumb-Coated Joe Clifford, Ambrosial Angel Luis Colón, Gratifying Glenn Gray, Tasty Tim Hall, Reduced Rob Hart, Tender Tess Makovesky, Mashed Terrence McCauley, Marinated Marietta Miles, Saucy Stuart Neville, Piquant Thomas Pluck, Sweetened Ryan Sayles,  Spicy Suzanne Solomon, Savory Jason Starr, Scrumptious Liam Sweeny, Zesty Dave Zeltserman, and moist me. The book also features a story by the late Bill Crider, who was one of the nicest and most charming members of the mystery community.

My story “Black Friday” was inspired by the U.S. tradition of gorging for the holidays. Also, by Toto Caelo. Here is an appetizer from my story:

“White meat or dark?”

Orlando said this looking at Marcie and her eyes popped open like kernels of popcorn. Plop! Plop! He would’ve busted out laughing but there was a knife in his hand.

Her parents—her dad in the wheelchair, dead from the waist down, depressed as hell, who wouldn’t be?—had generously, silently allowed Orlando to do the carving. Mrs. Arens—“Call me ‘Mom’”—she was the one who actually handed Orlando the carving knife. Dad (“That’s ‘Mr. Arens’”) wouldn’t touch it.

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Humor: Living Underneath the Stompersons

I’ve a new story in the new issue of This Is the Bronx Weekday Magazine. This piece was born from a series of tweets I did about my upstairs neighbors, who may be Quinametzin or who just walk on the floor like they are.

Here is a preview:

Living in any apartment building is a privilege and can be a joy. But living where I do in the Bronx, it seems there are superior joys. If you lived underneath the Stomperson family, for example, in a porous pre-war in Pelham Bay, you’d love it as much as I do.

You’d love the Stompersons’ insistent dedication to the tradition of the Dutch settlers of Bronx history in their wearing what must be heavy wooden clogs 24/7. “What’s that?” you say, waking up in the middle of the night. “Oh that–that’s history.”

Read the whole thing here.

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Appointed Artist in Residence at Morris Park Library

Morris Park LibraryStarting Monday, October 15, I am the Bronx Council on the Arts Artist in Residence at the Morris Park Library in the Bronx. Which means that on Monday afternoons, I run the Bronx Write Now series of free creative writing workshops for the literarily inclined.

A description of the series:
“Have a story you want to tell and not sure how to start? Or how to finish? Curious about the craft of fiction or poetry? Whether you’re on a a draft, are looking for ways to improve your manuscript, or have never written before, this workshop series is for you . . . .

“The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) is a pioneering advocate for cultural equality and has a long history of supporting writers throughout the borough through multiple creative writing programs. The BCA nurtures the development of a diverse array of artists and arts organizations and builds strong cultural connections in and beyond the Bronx.”

The first session was last week, and I have to say everyone who showed up was eager and interested. I think we have a fantastic group already, but you can drop in and join for one session or as many as you like. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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It’s the Only Way to Live. In Cars.

My short short story “I’m Starting to Think about Leaving Tonight” will be published in The Black Car Business, Volume 2 anthology, available on September 24.

You can pre-order the ebook version now for $3.99 cheap.

The anthology, edited by My Cousin Vinny fan Lawrence Kelter, features literary crime fiction stories involving the theme of the infamous, ominous, conspicuous black car. My story was inspired by listening again and again to Gary Numan’s “Cars.” One line popped out to me as a moment of crisis for a character, and, after imagining it, the rest of the story flowed from there. In a readable way, I hope.

On the Book of Faces, Kelter was kind enough to say about me: “[Narvaez] has one of the most interesting and compelling writing styles I’ve come across in years.”

Besides me, the anthology includes authors such as Jonathan Ashley, Brett Battles, Kathy Bennett, Tim Ellis, Ty Hutchinson, Rick Murcer, Gary Ponzo, Jeff Soloway, and Frank Zafiro.

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“Crazy, Am I? We’ll See Whether I’m Crazy or Not.”

I’ll be trying to mumble something coherent, which should be scary enough, at The Bicenntennial of Frankenstein panel at the Bronx Music Heritage Center,
1303 Louis Nine Blvd., Bronx, N.Y., on October 27. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s novel, they’ll be showing the 1931 Frankenstein film with a live soundtrack by Bobby Sanabria & Project X combining jazz, Latin jazz, and funk.

The program will open with a discussion about the film’s influence and legacy, featuring writer, filmmaker, and horror patron Edwin Pagán, horror writer April Grey (A New York State of Fright: Horror Stories from the Empire State), and me, who has dabbled in horror in his time.

Admission: $7 | $5 for students & seniors| FREE for kids 12 & under

Wear a costume! I’ll be the one dressed up as the possibly emerging author.

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Otra Vez at KGB

I read last night (Thursday, August 2) at the MWA-NY Crime Fiction Reading Series amid the moody crimson shadows of KGB in the East Village. The lineup included  Casey Barrett, Kellye Garrett, Rob Hart, V.S. Kemanis, and James McCrone, and the event was hosted by Jeff Markowitz.

The audience really seemed to like the flash fiction story I read, so I’m encouraged to send it out to find a home.

And a donated copy of Roachkiller and Other Stories was not the last in the raffle pile.

Thanks to V.S. Kemanis for the picture!

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Hawking Books in Harlem

It was a fine pleasure to be sitting down on a breezy day  and hawking my bookwares on Saturday, July 21, as part of the 20th anniversary Harlem Book Fair. Truth to tell, it was very breezy. Very, very breezy. Breezy enough to knock my neatly displayed books over (and I’d spent 10 whole minutes making those handmade cardboard book displays — must really invest in real ones, made of lead). Breezy enough to almost knock over the tent at the Mystery Writers of America, NY, booth, C21, which was barely held down by a gallon jug of water at each corner. Breezy enough that my last reserve of bookmarks went sailing, never to return.

However, sales were breezy. (See what I did there?) Sold all my bookwares. Truth to tell, all but one. But that one got pretty beat up as it somersaulted down the pavement, too beat up to even sell at a severe discount. Maybe I can turn it into a doorstop.

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