I recently expanded my social media network and joined the Twittersphere. I resisted it for years. Then my writing coach suggested I join because “Twitter has an amazing writing community, you’ll find a shit-ton of support there.” She was right. I don’t have many followers. I don’t post a lot. And that’s ok. I’m just kind of there, gleaning what I can. The best part? I get to meet fellow writers, Indie authors, bloggers–it’s a place for us to mastermind.
We share writing tips, tricks, grammar feedback, articles, blogs, quotes, word counts, days that we rock the shit out of writing and days we don’t–days we sometimes wonder what the fuck we’re doing and why were doing it.
I had one of those fuck-it-all moments not too long ago and being new to the #WritingCommunity I needed to know I wasn’t alone on Self-Loathing Island. I posted: “Today is one of those days where I think, ‘who am I to write anything?’ Anyone else have those days? #WritingCommunity”
A fellow writer and Indie author (whose book, The Exit Man, was optioned by HBO and Showtime) said something that squashed self-doubt. He said, “Who are you NOT to write anything? I’ll tell you who: not YOU. You’re a writer, plain and (not so) simple. You’ve GOT this.”
An a-ha moment doesn’t always come down and hit me like the anvil in a Looney Toons skit, but that day it did. And it only took 24 words, borrowed from someone else’s brain. He’s right–if I don’t write, who the fuck am I?
That writer/Indie author was Greg Levin. I had already read his latest transgressive crime fiction novel before he made that statement. I’d already liked him as a person and loved him as a writer. His supportive comment put him on my I’ll-read-whatever-you-publish list. Newsflash: he was already on that list, because he’s a phenomenal storyteller.
His latest, In Wolves Clothing, is hands down one of the best pieces of transgressive fiction I’ve read. Granted, I’ve only read a few—Chuck Palahniuk, Jim Thompson, Bret Easton Ellis, Patricia Highsmith and now Greg Levin.
Here are three reasons you should familiarize yourself with transgressive fiction (if you haven’t yet) and allow In Wolves Clothing to be the novel that pops your wicked, little cherry:
- The protagonist–Zero Slade–is a pretend pedophile, rescuing girls caught in the nasty underworld of child sex trafficking and he’s easy to love. Regardless of his pesky pill popping addiction, thanks to his line of work, he keeps himself sharp enough to get the job done. Barely.
- Given the grave topic of child sex trafficking, Greg Levin makes digesting this horrid reality a bit easier with–sorry to say it–dark humor, appropriately placed. That is, if the phrase ‘child sex trafficking’ and ‘appropriately placed’ can appear in the same sentence. Oof.
- Reading this book restored my faith in humanity because there are real people–right now, as you’re reading this–doing exactly what the main character, Zero Slade was willing to do. Real people, finding sex rings and saving the–again, sad to say it–sometimes, toddlers.
- One more reason (ok so there are more than three reasons), I couldn’t put it down. That’s huge for me. I’ve put down a lot of books for one reason or another–some from the authors mentioned above. (Hint: I did not put down Bret or Patricia’s novels). Maybe I’m off my hinges, and fans of the aforementioned authors will flog me, but I couldn’t put Greg’s book down. It’s thought provoking and shines a light on some real problems in this world, deserving attention.
Whether you like transgressive fiction and read In Wolves Clothing or not, do me one favor: don’t dismiss the self-published Indie writer. There are some fucking talented writers that don’t have publishing companies in their back pocket (a little shameless self endorsement, but whatev, you get me). If you’re at all curious about Mr. Levin and his knack for word smithing, you’re in luck. His books are on sale. Click here. Right now.