Wild Turkey by Michael Hemmingson (Forge, 2001)

Not a vintage book, but one of my books — since I have a “wild” theme going on here this week, I thought I’d toss it in.

I wrote this one hot lonely summer in 1999, sold it to Tor/Forge in 2000, and it waspublished May, 2001 with little fanfare as I had become orphaned at the publisher (my editor left to become a concierge at SoHo Grand — better money than publishing!)

A bookstore in Santa Monica dubbed it “surburban noir” and that stuck…they top-billed it for their customrs that month as did a few other speciality bookstores.  Reviewes were mixed, some good, some not so good.  The paperback cane out in 2002.  It won the Best Published Novel of 2002 from the San Diego Book Awards Association and has been optioned for the movies (or one movie, the other cable) twice, but never developed. Blurbs from John Lutz, Maxim Jakubowski, Don Webb, Larry McCaffery…

Tor Books was not happy with sales. It went into the black, at least, but was no giant seller.

Wild Turkey is vintage inspired, tossing in some Rear Window, some Joe Lansdale, some Crying Game, and some David Lynch.  It begins “normally” and gradually gets absurd, more violent, surreal, and ultra-violent, and probably more sexual than your usual Tor/Forge novel.

Now, ten years fter I wrote it, I see it differently: some things I still like, some makes me cringe, and I certainly would have written it differently today.

You can find it pretty cheap, hardcover or paperback, on Amazon, ebay, biblio.com, half.com, etc.

So if you’re intetested in this blog guy’s fiction…there are others, plus two forthcoing from Black Mask Books, Shabbytown and The Trouble with Tramps, both set in the past and vintage-y in feel.

2 Responses to “Wild Turkey by Michael Hemmingson (Forge, 2001)”

  1. Took your advice and checked this one out. Hey, I liked it! BTW, did you know about the book with the same title by Roger L. Simon? I haven’t read it yet so I can’t tell how they’ll compare. Supposedly, it won a “Special Award” from the Mystery Writers of America. It was published by Pocket Books (80309) in PB but was published previously (1975) by Straight Arrow books. (Never heard of ’em.) The author was also responsible for “The Big Fix”. Was that the one made into that forgettable Richard Dreyfuss film? Anyhow, this deals with PI Moses Wine, a “hip, pot-smoking shamus”. The cover art (by Sol Korby) depicts a Seventies-looking dud in the foreground smoking either a cigarette or a perfectly rolled joint. A bikini-clad brunette lounges on a pap-san chair in the background. Weird.

    • vintagesleazepaperbacks Says:

      No, never heard of the Simon book but I’ll check it out. The original title of this novel was AFFAIR with I told it to Forge but it seemed too dull and generic, so I changed it. I was planning on a series, the next would be WHITE RUSSIAN and then BLACK VELVET, but my editor left the company before WILD TURKEY even hit the streets, so, abandoned… and less than stellar sales…

      A condensed version of WHITE RUSSIAN is in the anthology, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF LEGAL THRILLERS.

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