UW Stout Reading – Part Deuce

So last week was my reading at the prestigious University of Wisconsin – Stout. It was held in the Furlong Gallery of Micheels Hall. There were fancy examples of art on the walls. And on the floor. Somebody tripped on the one on the floor, so we put chairs around it.

The event didn’t draw a huge crowd, but the people there seemed genuinely interested. Chuggie was born at UW Stout, and introducing him there was pretty cool for me. There is still plenty of work to do in order to get a copy in the hands of every student and faculty member of this fine institution, but last Monday’s reading/signing was the all-important first step.

Pic 1: The Furlong Gallery before my reading.

Pic 2: Me wondering if that book is going to stay standing up on its own or if it’s going to fall and get the cover creased.

Pic 3: Reading*

Pic 4: Signing a copy of Chuggie for a Stout student (suspiciously not in the photograph…) who has advanced taste in literature and a love for ADVENTURE!

My friend Stacey came with me, so I made her my slave personal assistant for the day. THANKS, STACERS! Thanks also to Su Hunt and Maureen Mitton for inviting me. Thanks double-also to the students and faculty members who stopped in. STOUT RULEZ!!!!

Coming soon: I try my hand at writing spooky flash fiction for a contest at Wisconsin Life!



*Photo may have been staged prior to the actual book reading. 

UW Stout Reading

Pretty terrific development this week… I’ve scheduled my first ever book reading/signing at UW-Stout! That’s right, Monday the Seventeenth of September at 12:3o pm in the Furlong Gallery (Micheels Hall 178).

I’m excited for a lot of reasons. Chief among them is the fact that Chuggie was born at Stout. I wrote my first ever Chuggie scene there. It was the scene where Chuggie first stumbles into this foggy field of tall grass and an array of petrified wooden posts. He knew right away he’d found a “desecration”, and he was not happy about it. There were these two little needle-mouthed monsters there snarling at him. One he slew. The other hissed, “In death you will serve the Gooch!” before it bounded off into the fog.

So introducing Chuggie to the folks at Stout is a big deal for me. It’s something I’d hoped to do for a long time, and now it’s coming FAST. Eleven days or something? Less? I can’t say for sure, and neither can you. There are some frontiers science has yet to tame, and how many days there are between the 6th and the 17th is one of them.

My plan: I’ll give a little talk about how Chuggie went from a doodle in my sketchbook to a super sweet book with naked chicks and eyeballs and everything good in the world. Then I’ll answer some questions from the good people in attendance (quite possibly with honest, legitimate answers). Then I’ll do a reading from my totally badass book Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater. Which part I’ll read is up in the air, but I’m pretty sure I won’t do anything from the last ten pages. After the reading, I’ll draw five names of people in attendance. Those people will each get a free book, which I will sign if they want. I’ll have other books on hand, which I will have for sale. If anyone there wants to buy a book, I’ll sign that, too. Big stack of bookmarks so everybody who wants one can take two. Then I’ll make some of these punks buy me some ice cream at the student center. Maybe take me to a movie, depending on what’s showing.

Anthony Rapino Interview

We have a rare treat today. New interview contributors Gongleby the Gnome and Blood Tongue share their Q&A with Anthony J. Rapino author of Soundtrack to the End of the World.


Gongleby the Gnome & Blood Tongue Interview
Anthony J. Rapino

Gongleby: Greetings, tall man-person Anthony Rapino! Thank you for sitting down for a gnomey discussion with me and my shadowy friend Blood Tongue! We’ll take turns asking delightfully gnometastic questions.

Anthony:  Thank you for having me.  It feels good to finally be tall.

Blood Tongue: I walk in shadows.

Anthony:  Whispers of lavender-scented pig meat are on the wind.

Gongleby: First of all, Anthony, we gnomes treasure books almost as much as gardening tools. Since you write stories, we’d love to hear about your latest one. What would you like to tell us about it?

Anthony:  I’d like to tell you the first ten people to read my debut novel, Soundtrack to the End of the World, disappeared, never to be heard from again, whilst rumors of a powerful new novel spread across the country like wildfire.  I’d like to tell you that, but I can’t, because I’m being told that’s a lie.

What I can tell you is that it’s a fresh take on the zombie genre, incorporating horror, music, and random acts of fecal vandalism.  Also, it’s up for a Pulitzer.  No, I’m sorry; that’s not true either.

Blood Tongue: Only the weak pursue redemption, but they will find only agony. Whose blood would you like to see spilled by creatures of darkness?

Anthony:  I sort of took care of that prior to the release of my novel, just to be sure.  But I guess I’m always up for demonic vengeance.

Oh creatures of darkness, hear my plea!  The foulest of those who walk to Earth must eat dirt and flirt with the ends of skirts.  They must flee to the wilds and drown in the seas, cast out their love, and eat only green peas.  Take what is yours, dark ones.

Gongleby: I apologize that my friend is such a grouch. I’m sure deep down he has the kind and gentle soul of a gnome snoozing beneath a mushroom in the rain. I do my best to mentor him in the ways of gnomes. Have you done any mentoring of young writers? If not, would you like to?

Anthony:  I have mentored many young writers.  Most of them took out restraining orders against me.  I would love to mentor some more writers.  My only requirement is that they never look me directly in the eye, always address me as, “Oh Craggy One,” and provide many gifts of cured meats.  Let the applicants come!

Blood Tongue: I feed upon the shrieks of the damned. How will you celebrate when the last of your enemies are cast into the Well of Boiling Blood?

Anthony:  With homebrewed beer and smoked pig meat of course.

Gongleby: Didn’t I tell you he was a grouch? But on the subject of celebration, how did you celebrate the first time you were published?

Anthony:  That’s referred to as case 00913, and it has been officially expunged from my records, thank you very much.

Blood Tongue: Madness claws at the neck of sanity. What joys do you find in the writing of horrors?

Anthony:  I’d like to trade my back scratcher for your madness claws please.  And what is this about joys of writing?  I’m starting to think gnomes know nothing of writing.  How could you speak of joys when the threads of black frog intestines drip along the walls of my mind and foam from my mouth in everlasting eruptions of filth and bile?  When the creamy center of all that’s good and holy is reduced to fornicating stink lizards in a bed of wormy goat brains?

And you ask me of joy?  JOY!?  I only have one thing to say to that!

I rather adore a hot cup of coffee on a rainy morning while I write.  It makes me feel cozy.

Gongleby: I’m sure you’d be just as good at writing happier tales, but if you’re happy telling scary stories I’m happy for you. Do you ever write stories that aren’t horrifying? Tales of gnomes? Perhaps sword and sorcery or science fiction?

Anthony:  My stories almost always have some speculative nature to them, but they traverse the range of human emotion.  I even have some happy endings now and then.  I vomit violently for days after writing these, but I find the readers enjoy it.  The stories, not the vomit.

Blood Tongue: Existence is horror. Everything else is a lie. Does your writing come from horrors you’ve witnessed? Or from horrors you imagine?

Anthony:  They start with one and end with the other.

Gongleby: Imagination is a gift from the cosmos! Do you create other things with your mind, like paintings of gnomes or sculptures, also of gnomes?

Anthony:  You’re a speaker of truth, Gongleby.  I’ve worked within most creative disciplines along the path to becoming a writer.  In high school and college my main focuses were art (painting, drawing, carving) and music (guitar, singing, bass).  In college I also started working within the digital arts for a spell.  By the end of college, I’d discovered writing, and I knew it was the form of creation I’d been searching for all along.  Though, I also create delicious food with my mind.

Blood Tongue: When we open the final gateway, there will be only insanity. None shall be spared from the carnage. What future horrors will you unleash upon your fellow humans?

Anthony:  Lately I’ve been attempting to lure unsuspecting victims into my Insanity Rocket, wherein I plan to brainwash the passengers with a six hundred and sixty-six hour nonstop presentation of dancing turnips dipped in simmering chocolate sauce.  The chocolate soup will begin to swirl and swirl until the resulting whirlpool sucks the rocket into its black hole of turbid liquid and spit us out into a blessed world of cracked and splitting wooden panels, squared across the walls of the universe in a way that prevents slime and sludge from entering the extremities of liquid fire.

I’m sorry…what was the question?

Gongleby: Thank you so much for the interview, Anthony! It was an absolute delight. Would you care to add anything before you go?

Anthony:  Nail clippings make for a superb sugar substitute.

I am very proud to announce the launch of my debut novel, Soundtrack to the End of the World, currently available in signed limited hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook editions. What’s it about? Glad you asked.

A suicidal nudist strolls into traffic.  An eccentric Buddhist claims he can occupy other people’s bodies.  All the while, whispers of a new form of entertainment blow through town.  Prompted by these strange occurrences, Marty Raft, a not-so-gentle giant, investigates and discovers underground clubs peddling music that induces an out-of-body experience.   Marty and a wannabe comedian, Corey, set out to prove these special frequencies are nothing more than a hoax, or at worst, a mass-drugging.  Instead, they uncover a secret with world-ending possibilities.

If you can hear the music, it’s already too late.


Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Collect all twelve game pieces (available from each blog stop during my tour), put the pieces together, and decipher the code.  It will lead you to a secret website.  If you’re the first person to comment on the site, you win!

Join us in the Insanity Rocket to discuss the contest.

Stop by the blog tour page for all upcoming dates and more contest info.


Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest.  On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas.  Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.

His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A cappella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds.  His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World.  Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website: http://www.anthonyjrapino.com