You read that right—you can now go online and buy your very own physical copy of Molotov Hearts! Here’s the address: https://www.createspace.com/4220437 Only $11.99 plus shipping! So great a deal! Please order one if you can, but definitely share the link if you think is awesome!
It’s not available on Amazon yet—that should be next week. I’ll let you know as soon as it happens. Also, it will be definitely available to order through brick and mortar bookstores, but that may take a little longer. I’ll try to keep you posted on that front too. Ebooks are coming as soon as I can hammer the formatting down and make it look all pretty—that’ll be within the next couple of weeks.
If you live in Victoria, BC and want a copy, it will be available at Legends Comics. They’ll have the first batch next week (probably Wednesday, April 24th or Thursday, April 25th)! I’ll be talking to other retailers in other cities to try to get it available for all y’all as well.
HOT DAMN! This is happening, folks!
I’ll be done writing it by the end of the month. It’s got a mostly new set of characters from Molotov Hearts, and this time it mashes up punk and K-pop while giving you the healthy dose of romance you expect from the Westport punk community. (I’m totally serious. Yes, K-pop. If you don’t believe me, I’m listening to this pretty much on repeat right now.) This book is also my project for National (International?) Novel Writing Month, so if you’re doing the NaNoWriMo and want to say hi, my username is ‘chriseng’. More details soon!
- Ember: “Isn't holding auditions kind of contrary to the philosophy of bands like Bikini Kill who wanted to make it so anyone could go out and form a group?”
- Fen: “First off, if someone wants to go out and form a riot grrrl band, I'm not stopping them. They can do whatever they want. I'm pretty sure people who are still figuring out their instruments start bands all the time. If you like, think of this as a giant art project where we need people of different skill sets to be able to work on it effectively. Second, everyone in Bikini Kill is my mom's age. They were practicing their feminism a generation ago. The world's changed since then. I admire them and I'm grateful for their contributions, but they're not the beginning and end of punk feminism any more than the Sex Pistols and Ramones are the alpha and omega of punk as a whole.”
On a normal week, this would be the point where I’d publish a new chapter, but there aren’t any more. Molotov Hearts is done. And that fills me with little bits of a variety of emotions. Happiness, relief, sadness and overwhelming gratitude are just some of the things I’m feeling at the moment.
The first three of those are a little on the nose to bother dissecting, but it’s worth taking a minute to address the last.
I’d like to thank everyone who read my book online, regardless of whether or not they ever messaged me about it, clicked the little red hearts on Tumblr, or ‘liked’ the posts on Facebook. The fact they read it at all means literally the world to me. I’ve always dreamed about being a novelist but there was a point not so very long ago when I didn’t think I’d ever get a book written; they all died 1/4 to 2/3 done. Cracking the code and figuring out how to finish them was an absolute game-changer in my life. I’m serious. Everything is different now. But regardless of whether I ever make a single penny off my writing from this point on, the goal has always been just to have people reading my stuff, and that’s all of you. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being there and following along.
There are so many other thank-yous that will go into the finished version of the book (all the people who helped me shepherd Molotov Hearts from a random idea in my head to something that I’m proud of), and I am eternally grateful to every single one of them, but this book would be nothing without people who care about Jenn, Spit and the punks and so I wanted to express my gratitude to the readers up front.
If I could take you all out and get you drunk in public, I’d do it, but fortunately (or un-) you’re just going to have to settle for a sloppy internet gender-neutral “I love you, man.”
Up the punx,
Keep the faith,
Smash the state,
Be excellent to each other,
by Chris Eng, illustration by Karlene Harvey
The four of them descended the stairs during ‘Independent Women’. The basement was a zoo. Word of the cover song had made the rounds in the community since their last show and had elevated the gig to nearly legendary status. The crowd tonight was evidently pleased about the repeat performance.
There were no wallflowers. People had either stayed to dance or left for the comfort of the yard. Considering how tightly it was packed down there, Spit assumed most people had chosen the basement. He’d never seen anything like it. Where there would normally have been a rigidly-defined barrier of people on the edges of the pit, watching the band and pushing people back when they careened away from the centre, there were now just people being less intense in successive waves. The nucleus of the pit was a maelstrom of arms and heads, thrashing to such a degree that from his vantage point on the stairs, Spit thought he could see steam coming off them. By the time the crowd reached the walls there were row after row of people dancing in place, alone with themselves and the music. It was fucking miraculous, he thought to himself. Becky, dancing off to the side of the band, looked beatific.
MJ had been in a good half-dozen bands before Peak Oil and he’d seen her go through the motions but tonight she was at the top of her form, playing like she had something to say, something to prove, something to share.
And Jenn? Jenn was radiant. Spit had never seen her so alive, so filled with energy.
The crowd sang along with the chorus and it was almost deafening. Spit let out a long peal of laughter at the sheer fucking fantastic nature of it all and he ran down the stairs, dodging out of the way of people as he went, hopping and sliding and wedging himself through impossible gaps to make his way to his girlfriend, his love.
That makes me feel weird. I can’t put it any more concretely than that.
by Chris Eng, illustration by Karlene Harvey
“I hear your girlfriend’s in Peak Oil now.”
Spit and Chezz sat on the front porch in deck chairs, cans of Pilsner in their hands, their feet up on the railing.
“I heard they’re playing tonight.”
“In just a couple of minutes, yeah.”
“Want to head inside?”
“Enh—we’re still good for time. We can go when I’m done my beer.”
“You’re a lucky bastard, you know,” Chezz said respectfully.
“She’s hot… and smart…”
“Dude, if you hit on my girlfriend, I’ll break your legs.”
“I can still fuck with my legs broke.”
“Not if I tear them off and beat you to death with them.”
Laughter filled the night air and they fist-bumped each other.
“Hey, man, seriously—how come I can’t get a girlfriend like that?”
“Because you’ll bang any girl in sight, and consequently Snickers is the only one who ever wants to come back for seconds.”
A car screeched around a corner somewhere in the distance.
“I like having sex with different girls.”
“And therefore nice girls want nothing to do with you. You see how this all fits together, don’t you?”
“Yeeeeeeah. You should probably just let it go.”
Thin strains of music came up and out of the walls.
“Hey, are they starting?” Chezz asked.
“Sounds like it. Let’s finish up and head in.”
The screeching came again, much closer this time, and a Range Rover tore up the block and skidded to a stop in the road in front of them.
“What the–” Spit managed to get out.
As they watched, a woman exited the SUV, slammed her door shut and stomped toward them.
“Oh, shit,” Chezz said quietly.
“Dude, that’s Jenn’s mom.”