How I Came To Write That Story (and design that cover)
By Eric Beetner
The original Pulp Ink anthology is a stellar collection and one I'm proud to be a part of. I lucked out when then inspiration from Pulp Fiction I was given turned out to be, Zed's Dead, Baby. How could I go wrong?
When Chris Rhatigan and Nigel Bird announced they were doing another Pulp Ink, and the proceeds were going to charity, I jumped at the chance. Chris and Nigel wanted to open the gates of crime fiction a little this time out. They wanted horror too, or crime and horror mixed. This was an exciting prospect for me. I grew up a horror movie buff. In high school my walls were covered - to the point where not single inch of the most boring tan walls in the world were visible. Really. Ask my Dad.
So blending two of my greatest loves into one story? I ran with it.
My story, One-Armed Bandit starts out as a crime tale. A man has been caught stealing from the boss and he is about to pay the price for it. Turns out he wasn't stealing only money, but a little between the sheets time with the boss man's wife.
In the second half of the story, it turns horror. A severed arm becomes re-animated to exact revenge. You might recognize the image of a disembodied arm from the cover at of Pulp Ink 2. This is no accident.
As art director for Snubnose Press, I have been designing book covers for a majority of Snubnose releases. But I'm not so vain as to assume anyone would want my own story to be representative of the collection. I feel it is important to note that the idea for using the severed arm on the cover art was Chris and Nigel's idea. We had already toyed with the dirty typewriter and the grimy background, but when I added the bloody arm scrawling the title across the page, well, Pulp Ink 2 quickly became one of my favorite book covers I've designed. It's the kind of image I would have hung on my wall in those younger days.
And inside, it gets even better. I don't know what kind of mojo those two guys have, but they have pulled together another outstanding anthology and another one I am so proud to be associated with. For the proceeds to go to charity is icing on the blood-frosted cake.
I'm very glad readers have the option to get PI2 as a print book as well as an ebook. The cover art will live on my shelf as a source of pride as much as the story inside.