Praise for Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise

As ever so kind and gracious, Jill Talbot wrote this recently about Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise:

Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise reminds me of a scene from Walk the Line, when Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) plays “Folsom Prison Blues” for the first time, the way he eases, slowly, into it.  In three stanzas, we move from tremble to tremor.   A fine line between tremble and tremor.  And it’s here Justin Lawrence Daugherty sets his stories.  Where there’s “nothing anywhere around but sky,” Daugherty shows us the bodies in the backyard, the waitress in the diner, the moon-road shimmers and blackened suns, the nameless boy who carries a sparrow.  And he shows us ourselves as grieving shadows.  Daugherty creates characters consumed by their own fights, their own failings, and in doing so, he convinces us that the bad is going to happen, is going to come, “caution or not.” In this hardscrabbble world, we’re either going to protect against whatever’s coming or we’re going to stand out in the front yard and howl for it to come.   Daugherty’s is a powerful, haunting voice.  When I read his stories, I hear the train a comin’.  It’s rollin’ ‘round the bend.”

Yes, I’m Doing The Next Big Thing Interview Again: A Next Big Thing Interview

The wonderful Jennifer A. Howard, Editor-in-Chief of Passages North and former MFA thesis advisor and friend, wrote me and said I should do another Next Big Thing self-interview and assured me I wouldn’t be a jerk for doing it twice. So, I’m doing it. Next up, you have Ryan Werner, enigmatic founder of Passenger Side Books (where my chapbook, Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise, is coming out from this Spring) and rockstar and friend, tells you about his work-in-progress.

What is the working title of the book?

This book is called Now, the Destruction of Days. It’s drafted and many parts of the first book are out in the world and it’s about a lizard-boy. So, publishers: heeyyyyyyyyy.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Myth is so important to all of my writing, the way it functions in our lives, the way storytelling intersects with the way we go about the world. I wanted to create my own myth, some sort of mixture of ancient-style mythmaking and superhero comics and (hopefully) good fiction. At first, I was just writing a couple stories about the lizard-boy until it was clear there was a larger story there. And, there is, and it’s all about loneliness and heartbreak and family and loss.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s all fiction – a novella composed of lots of smaller stories. I know some folks hate that novella-in-stories thing, but I’m happy with it.


What songs would you choose for the movie rendition’s soundtrack?

First, if this somehow ever becomes a movie, I will only sell the rights to PT Anderson. Ha. If that could be a real thing. As far as music, I think it’d have to be some heavily-moody, rainy, thunder-y stuff.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

What does a lizard-boy do to prevent the end-of-the-world he’s destined to bring about?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your book?

Um. 9 months? Over that time I was applying to PhD programs, eating, sleeping, playing video games, writing other stuff, finishing up my aforementioned chapbook, so it wasn’t all a marathon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Compare? Or, hope to live up to and emulate in some way? I spent a ton of time writing this book with Amber Sparks, Robert Kloss, and Matt Bell. Game of Thrones, maybe, in my television viewing, compares. I guess. Also, whiskey. I’d compare the lizard-boy to drinking good whiskey.

Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I guess, like Jen Howard says in her self-interview, I’m sort of inspired by a desire for acceptance and love. It’s pretty heavy in my work, even if I am writing pretty dark, heavy stuff.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There is a dragon.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m not sure. Who knows if it will even see the light of day? Who’s to know?






WDDWAR cover

Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise | Coming from Passenger Side Books | Spring/Summer 2013

I’m super thrilled today to announce that my chapbook – Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise - is OFFICIALLY forthcoming from PASSENGER SIDE BOOKS and Ryan Werner! See the official announcement. Like the FB page.

Special thanks esp. to Ryan Werner for making this thing a reality and for believing in this work.

And, immense gratitude to Matt Kish for the amazing cover artwork.

I’m so thrilled to have this book coming to the world and hope that people will enjoy it and share it and love it.

Originally posted on Sundog Lit:

Thrilled to announce this morning that Sundog Lit is publishing its first ebook – Follow the Blood: tales inspired by Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew” – for your download TODAY.

Follow the Blood features tales inspired by the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew by:

Matthew Salesses | Gabriel Blackwell | James Tadd Adcox |Molly Gaudry | Andrew Borgstrom | Lindsay Hunter | Kate Racculia | xTx | Ben Spivey | Jamie Iredell | Cynthia Reeser |Robert Kloss | J.A. Tyler | Amber Sparks

Follow the Blood may be downloaded with a $3 donation & all proceeds go to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Follow the Blood was compiled and edited by Robert Kloss and Gregory Sherl.

The cover of Follow the Blood was designed and created by Kate Racculia.

Go to to get your copy now!

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Originally posted on Sundog Lit:

Submissions for Sundog Lit’s first THEME ISSUE are now OPEN!

This issue’s theme is GAMES.

We’re looking for all that great lit – fiction, creative nonfiction (personal narrative, hybrid, lyric, segmented essays, heavily-researched essays), poetry – that deals with games, with playing, with sport.

We’re leaving that interpretation up to you, the writer. Video game lit. Baseball lit. Games of the heart lit. Bareknuckle lit. Game of Thrones lit (maybe). Be earth-scorching (as always), be edgy, be fiery, be interpretive.

Submissions open TODAY – March 1 – and will run until June 1st.

Brian Oliu will be guest editing & curating the issue, along with SDL Founding/Managing Editor Justin Lawrence Daugherty. Melt our brains, our faces.

We’re looking for your work of 2,000 words or less. Up to 3 pieces of flash fiction/nonfiction (up to 1,000 words) or 3 poems in one submission. Or, one piece up to 2,000 words.

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