Zombie Seals Review Jake Istenhegyi The Accidental Detective

“ReVUUUUUUuuuueeee . . .”

My landlord is selling my apartment out from under me without any forewarning. This is the second time this has happened to me in Nashville in the last two years. I have decided to move before the new owners maybe/maybe not throw my tail out on the street on New Years Day. Time to abandon ship, like the rat I am.

“ReVUUUUUUuuuueeee . . .”

In addition to boxes everywhere, packed with all the worldly possessions I finally just finished unpacking, I also have a herd of zombie seals in tutus swim-waddling through my living room.


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The Book People Shall Inherit The Earth

Sometimes I think about the scene in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where Tereza first sees Tomas. He is carrying a book, so she automatically feels a kinship with him because she believes people who read have an immediate connection. Tomas, if I recall, thinks she is a little naive.

When I read this (fifteen!) years ago, my feelings aligned more with Tomas, but I’ve come to envy Tereza. As a rule, I much prefer the company of people who read to those who don’t, but I’ve never been able build an image of myself around the idea of books themselves. Many people do, however. They are book people.


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We Need To Talk About Kevin The Vampire

You and your friend have just completed reading Kevin the Vampire. Soundlessly you both reach for your silver-headed maces. On your smartphone, that famous bit of Latin choral music starts to play, the one that means the fates have ordained this hour to toll a death knell for one of you. Only a few words of prayer offered to your capricious god escape your parched lips before you launch yourselves, each onto the other, in a cyclone of single-purposed fury.

But wait! This doesn’t have to come to violence! Instead of beating one another to a bloody pulp, you can talk about this!

I’m just saying, it’s like an option.


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Kevin The Vampire Is Totally A Thing Now

Fifteen years ago I published my first short story. It was about a dude whose roommate was a ghost who tried to steal his girlfriend. Before I sat down to write that story, I had never had the slightest inkling to write ghost stories.

Before I wrote Kevin the Vampire I had no ambitions to write about bloodsucking undead. That’s not true. I want to do a web comic called Sad Vampire. The title gives a pretty good idea what it would have been about.

In one comic, SV is up on a rooftop, where he has just defeated like twenty dudes in mortal combat. SV walks to the edge of the roof to gaze out over the sleeping city and then up into the night sky. Broken and mutilated corpses lie all about him in messy heaps. “The full moon is so . . . sad tonight,” he says.

In another comic, SV is about to eat a pretty lady. She says, “Before I die, I want you to know you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.” In the next panel, SV is gazing into an empty mirror. A drop of blood hangs from his lip as a tear runs down his cheek. “I’m so sad,” he says.

SV is walking through a wood on the night after a sudden spring snow. His vampiric collar is turned up against the cold. A wolf comes out from the trees and lays a bird’s nest at SV’s feet. The nest has fallen from a branch in the storm, and the eggs will not hatch. Timidly the wolf huddles down in the snow, its snout touching the nest. It whimpers as it covers its head with its paws. SV sits down next to the wolf. “I know Lupo,” he says. He pets the wolf behind the ears. “It is very sad.”

Anyways, I wrote a short book called Kevin the Vampire. You can get it as an ebook on Amazon right now. Click on the image to get it!


Print and audio coming soon!

Quit Writing Immediately And Succeed

I was a sophomore in high school when Conan O’Brien started his run on Late Night. I didn’t sleep much then, I saw his show all the time. The first couple weeks were terrible, and then they mellowed into a more pleasing strain of terrible, until gradually I began to find the debacle kind of sustaining. I had turned into a bit of an addict.


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It’s Still Billy Joel To Me

In Kevin the Vampire, I give Billy Joel a bit of the business. In advance of announcing the book’s release date, I thought I’d work through some of my issues with the piano man here, since the chip on my shoulder has a long history. (And a bit of a reputation.)

If you asked me fifteen years ago about what I thought of Billy Joel’s music, I would have said, “It’s like a taking a photograph of your kitchen and hanging it in your living room.” I’m no longer sure what that means, but I bet it’s still a fair description.

An even better one might be this photograph:


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Why Ancient Rome’s Most Boring Poet is Totally Awesome

The phrase Carpe diem is from the Roman poet Horace. It literally means ‘pluck the day’ as one does a flower, sexual connotations attached. The line is addressed to a woman whose name translates roughly from Greek as ‘She of the unblemished mind’ and the thrust of the line is “How ‘bout we fuck before one of us dies?” Only that’s giving it too much credit, because at least that might be humorous. Carpe diem may be the least erotic moment ever put to paper, even if I include the farts and skid marks from Joyce’s love letters.

Seize me!

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Cover Art for Kevin the Vampire

How exciting! We’re getting ready to release Kevin the Vampire here at Square Straw Press.

Wait, who is that?


That’s us!

Check it out: it has an S and a P. It has a square and a straw, and it’s pressing. Plus a bookmark, ‘cause we make books. It’s got everything it is.

The text of Kevin has undergone a few late changes. Some people had an issue with the ending, so I added some plot leverage there. I wasn’t in love with the opening so I made it more suspenseful and asinine. Then we had a long debate over here that resulted in us deciding Kevin’s actions would make more sense if he is less bohemian wastrel and more bourgie snob, so I made changes throughout–but that not that many, because when you really look at it those are just very slightly different senses of entitlement.

We also argued about how to spell bourgie. Booshie. Boozhee. Basically everything looks wrong.

We discussed all this in the woods. True story.

Also I streamlined some of the talky bits. Everyone likes their talky trim and svelte. Like their best friend’s hot grandma.

Kevin will be available in ebook, print, and audio. The audio is not done, but the ebook will be free! So be sure to download that when it comes out. Release date to be announced soon.

Covers are ready for all three.

Oh, did you want to see one?

KevinVampire (3)

This was done by Keri Knutson over at Alchemy Book Covers and Design.

There is corn on the altar. Corn!

You’ve heard of the American Dream, but here’s what America sees when it’s dreaming.  Down to the vampire and the socks, I think.

I amended the text so that the color of Kevin’s nail polish matches the picture. I went to Target to figure out what that color would be called if it was sold at Target. (Kevin buys polish at Walgreens, but I was at Target. On account I am posh.)

The book just says “brightly colored” for the socks, ’cause I don’t have any words for that.

Unless it’s “stripes,” I guess.