Hello Fiends!
What are we obsessed with this month?  Portland and Dirty Books. Read on to learn what inspires Feral House authors to follow their obsessions.
Have questions? Need answers? Send us a note at info@feralhouse.com.
Death Confetti: Punkers, Pickers, and Transit Ghosts in Portland, Oregon is available NOW.
What inspires Death Confetti author Jennifer Robin?

I was a boot fetishist at age three. Something about the way they hugged a leg made sense to me. I wrote stories about fairies who lived inside a star. The fairies loved go-go boots and getting naked. Sure, they solved crimes, but in reality, I was looking forward to the inevitable point in the plot where I could strip them and make them mud-wrestle. It is only as I approach middle-age that I have thoroughly transformed myself into the spitting image of the fairies I visualized mud-wrestling when I was three.Perhaps none of this will make sense unless I give my cosmic disclaimer: I was raised to be the perfect shut-in. My mother and grandmother were devout Catholics who believed that Soviet spies were rifling through our garbage, and the Mafia had our lines tapped. In response to this, I developed a rich inner world. I wrote, read, and listened to music obsessively.

Even when I wanted to fit in with other kids, or with society at large (upstate New York society in the 1980’s) I was hopelessly out of place. I was an underweight nerd who was driven to and from school by her grandmother. I begged her to let me go to libraries and record stores. In such temples of culture, I would absorb everything I could about philosophy and sex.

In a sense, I was an alien trying to figure out the species I had accidentally been born into. I’d pick up on other aliens—voices that made sense to me: Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Leyner, William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, Dostoevsky. I got into the Irish and Welsh lyrical writers, especially Dylan Thomas. I mail-ordered Kabbalistic porn from a guy named Jacob Rabinowitz in Providence, Rhode Island. My grandmother had no idea what I was getting into those little yellow envelopes! I loved the movie Midnight Cowboy, which I watched on PBS when I was fifteen—back when the station showed that kind of thing. I read rock journalism obsessively and tried to imagine myself in Andy Warhol’s Factory.When I turned seventeen, I met my biological father for the first time. I already had the idea in my head that I was going to run away from home, from “virtual” life as I knew it. Visiting my father was the first time I got to live unsupervised. I spent two weeks on the French Riviera being a party-toy to Norwegian swingers. It was simultaneously boring and fantastic.My influences are everywhere. It is hard for me to discount anything, even a burned piece of toast. Bathroom graffiti, Suffering With Scabies chat rooms, expired salad dressing. I listen as closely as I did to the wind in trees when I was a kid. I listen to necrophiliacs and people who suffer from Pica, the disease that brings its sufferers to compulsively eat non-foods, like tubs of borax, laxatives, weed killer. I’ve had a lot of death-defying experiences along the way because of this philosophy.

The swingers aren’t in Death Confetti; that’s for another book. But in Death Confetti,you will meet a lot of Portland characters, exposed with my vaudevillian scalpel. Each of us is flawed…and in flaws, I see a glorious poetry.

Sin-A-Rama: New Expanded Edition
Available June 2016
Please enjoy this video highlighting the many books explored in Sin-A-Rama.
(Keep in mind this is NSFW.)


 

Dirty Books
Why do we love them?

One of the sadder outcomes of modernity is the death of the dirty book. As pornography becomes easily acquired via the internet, lost is the prurient charm to READING titillating stories that require one’s imagination. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll have the distinct memory of seeing your first dirty book.  Whether handed off from an older brother or discovered in the parental sanctuary, the power of the dirty book in adolescent development can’t be overstated.  As these books sold millions, the lure for struggling writers and artists was too much to resist. In Sin-A-Rama,you’ll find a key to revealing the now famous writers and artists who created these increasing lurid books.Pulps served as a pop-culture medium for confronting the social issues of the day. News headlines that told harsh truths about civil rights, the growing drug & hippie culture, and the Vietnam War morphed into dirty books about interracial wife swapping, satanic drug cults, and dangerous Viet Cong sex spies.

We asked Editor Astrid Daley-Douglas what drew her into the world of dirty books. “I started collecting Beatnik books,then happened upon sleaze books while looking for Beat exploitation titles. I was immediately drawn to sleaze because one of my favorite activities as a kid was staying up with my big brother and watching “forbidden” b-movies on late night television. The sleaze books felt like novel versions of over-the-top exploitation flicks.”

 


 

Click Here to win a copy of Sin-A-Rama Expanded Edition


 

Backlist Titles of Note:  Spotlight on: Sexxx

 

Who doesn’t love reading about what other people do with their genitals?!!! 

The Wallace family revisit their classic historical romp,and rework and update it with acerbic behind-the-scenes entries on Tupac Shakur, Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith, Malcolm X, Jim Morrison and others who have impacted our times.

This classic account of the ultra-sleazy, pre-Disneyfied era of Times Square returns to print with seven new chapters.

“Friedman has drawn a vivid picture of the Times Square area and its denizens. He writes about the porn palaces with live sex shows, and the men and women who perform in them, prostitutes and their pimps, the runaways who will likely be the next decade’s prostitutes, the clergymen who fight the smut merchants and the cops who feel impotent in the face of the judiciary.” — Publishers Weekly

Pure Filth appears as transcripts from the films Jamie produced during these early years of radical and highly personal pornography. Completed just before his death in February 2010, Gillis contributed an introduction to each transcript to shed light on his ideas and plans, as well as anecdotal details and personal commentary. The book has more to do with an artist’s understanding of sex than the mere views of a flesh peddler. The careful language and brutal intelligence that Jamie brought to interviews are what separates the conversations from any other work that might have more academic or prurient pretensions.