Category Archives: Interview

More 2014 Happenings

Maybe the biggest 2014 happening is this: my name in a Table of Contents with Dennis Lehane, in a book of stories inspired by the Boss:

trouble in the heartland

Not on the cover, but I’m right there in the ToC, I promise! My story is a bit of country noir based (very, very loosely) on “The Promised Land.”

(Not my story.)

Here, I’ll let the anthology’s editor, Joe Clifford, wax poetic about the awesomeness of this anthology.

I also contributed a couple items to hot-shot lit site Electric Literature. First was an essay on the “new genre” of country noir.

el cn

Also at Electric Lit, I interviewed Benjamin Whitmer, who wrote one of 2014’s best books, Cry Father:

el bw


New stuff that happened in 2014

Wow, haven’t posted here in a while – all the action’s over on Twitter and FB, when there is action, which is irregular.

Which is not to say nothing has been going on. To wit:

My story “Bad Brother” went up at the always bad-ass Plots With Guns.


My story “The Cloud Factory” was translated into German. How cool is that????


The ever-cool Amanda Gowin interviewed me at Curiouser & Curiouser – coolest thing about the interview is we spend not one word talking about writing.


I also had a story called “A Straight Face” go up at the Chaing Mai City News site – for all I’ve written and am writing about Thailand, kinda crazy this is my first actual in-Thailand publication.

chiang mai cn

Finally, Liam Sweeny reviewed Moondog. In his words:

Most of the stories take place in Thailand, Laos, and other places in East Asia, while some are set in America. Thailand, specifically Bangkok, was a place that, before I read Moondog, was a place that seemed too chaotic and jumbled for me to hold it in my mind. When I realized the stories took place there, I was afraid I wasn’t going to like the collection. But Merrigan was able to capture the essence of it, to lift the veil of the Eastern world and show the grit and the grime, the hopes and crimes of a place that has a culture very different than mine, but nonetheless had the same heart. Merrigan was a perfect tour guide here.

md review

… and let’s hope there’s more, lots more, to come in 2015.

Me, writer with kids

This is what having kids is almost never like.

The money quote: “I may be blaspheming the Holy Writ of The American Church Of All-Consuming Parenthood but I’m going to say it anyway: I’d be a better writer without kids. But so what. I only learned what love was when I held that little baloney loaf for the first time. Love is nothing if not sacrifice. No words I’ll ever scribble will hold a torch to that.”

The rest is over at Cari’s Luna’s place.  She did me a solid and interviewed me about being a writer, with kids. Have a read, leave a comment.

Update city: Grift & Murder Your Darlings

News breaking out all over:

Had a flash piece go up over at Grift. “The Smooth Shoulder” will take you approximately 2 minutes to read, so, won’t you? Here. A bit of it:

 Across the street, Merilyn nearly dropped the baby scrabbling in her pockets for her phone.  She had to yell to be heard on 911, the baby howling to halt a freight train.

“The fuck you doing, man?” said Angus.

Angus’s heart rate was two-twenty, his irises vanished, skin waxy and bubbling with boils.  He hadn’t slept in four days, on the smooth shoulder of a long meth ride ever since Ginger had left with the kids.

Thanks to John Kenyon for taking this piece, and providing some very nice edits.

The very cool Cort Bledsoe was kind enough to do an interview with me over at his place, Murder Your Darlings. We talked about a few things, such as writing and parenthood:

 Me: How has being a father influenced your writing?

Court: As I type this, I figure I’ve got about more 10 minutes to work before my oldest gets up and needs fed and watered. Kids hem you in, no question.

And yet it is wonderful to be interrupted by a slobbering 10-month old.

I’m one of those who willingly retreats for whole days into the sanctuary of your head. My kids won’t allow me to stay there that long, though. I am thankful for it.

Go have a look, please.

Other good news coming shortly.