Writer who stumbled into typesetting and the occasional cover wrap. Founder of King Shot Press, a micropublisher of radical literature. Currently in Portland, but also sometimes Athens and elsewhere.

Shop (Big Cartel)

MAY 21, 2021: Some Advice

Carr: “This is the shark: a blood-hungry thing, utterly addicted—a machine made to hunt the thing it desires.”

Earlier today, I reached out to Brian Allen Carr for some advice on taking a concept for a novel that sounds kinda stupid and writing it in a way that’s actually damned good. As he did with his book, Motherfucking Sharks, which transcends where it shouldn’t.

So, how’d he pull that off?

His answer was that he kept it simple. Looked to various sources for scene/trope inspiration, then fucked up his unique takes on those scenes/tropes with weird shark shit, then made his primary focus finding the right language to tell it.

This tracks. It’s a book that’s surprisingly quick to acclimate to as a reader, despite the weird nature of it, and I think that’s due to a combination of its simplicity and familiarity, and that it’s given enough space to breathe and be heartfelt. There’s also a poetry in its execution, the sentences have an almost Faulknerian flow, so you never actually feel stupid reading a book where it’s raining fucking sharks in the desert. The concept might seem pulp, but the execution isn’t.

Most interactions with Brian over the years have been like that; I walk away with something I hadn’t been thinking about, the moment I needed to. He’s a fountain of storytelling wisdom.