What Did You Read This Summer?

I’m going to try to start chronicling my reading here on this web page. Playing some catch up because summer’s over, but here’s a quick run down of some of the books I’ve read:

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle by Pat LaPrade and Dan Murphy

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Liar, Temptresss, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

Space Drifters: The Iron Gauntlet by Paul Regnier

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph LoConte

A Wrestling Life by Dan Gable

Ali vs. Inoki by Josh Gross

Hillbilly Jim: The Incredible Life of a Wrestling Superstar by Gary P. West

Currently Reading: 

Groucho and Me by Groucho Marx

The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth

On Deck: 

The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming

You Only Live Once: Memories of Ian Fleming by Ivar Bryce

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

Current Wish List:

The Toughest Man Alive by Gene LeBell

Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

Hail to the Chin by Bruce Campbell (releasing August 15)

Upcoming Events

Jeffersonville Library Author Fair

Saturday April 8, 11 pm to 12 pm

Jeffersonville, IN

I will be signing copies of wrestling books as well as my kids books and science fiction at this local author’s event.

Heroes and Legends Fan Fest

Sunday, April 9

Ft Wayne, Indiana

Signing wrestling books at a huge fan fest featuring two wrestling programs and special guests Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Jerry Lawler, and more.

WBKI FANatic

Friday, April 14, 2 pm

Making my first appearance on this exciting new local program hosted by George Buehler to discuss Louisville’s wrestling history as well as the new book, Louisville’s Greatest Show.

Louisville’s Greatest Show is now available!

For 22 years, the Allen Athletic Club’s weekly wrestling show at the Columbia Gym was the place to be on Tuesday night. Promoters Heywood Allen and his successors Francis and Betty McDonogh overcame the Great Depression, the 1937 flood, a World War, and a “crooked” athletic commissioner to bring the best of the golden age of wrestling to Louisville.

Now for the first time, author John Cosper (Bluegrass Brawlers) presents the full story of “That Gang of Allen’s,” the wrestlers, referees, announcers, and others who made Tuesday Louisville’s favorite night of the week. This is the story of the true golden age of wrestling, when men and women wore their Sunday best to see hometown heroes like Blacksmith Pedigo, Kid Scotty Williams, Stu Gibson, Mel Meiners, Sgt. Buck Moore, and “The Black Panther” Jim Mitchell mix it up with Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, the French Angel, Buddy Rogers, Freddie Blassie, Johnny Valentine, Mildred Burke, Mae Young, Bobo Brazil, and Ginger the Wrestling Bear.

From mud matches to masked men; from Wild Bill Cantrell to Wild Bill Longson; from live TV to live alligators, the Allen Athletic Club was Louisville’s Greatest Show. This is the story of Louisville’s first great wrestling promotion and the families that made wrestling a vital part of the city they loved.

Louisville’s Greatest Show is now available on Amazon.com!

Louisville’s Greatest Show: Available March 10

Louisville’s Greatest Show is ready, and the release date is now set.

I will be selling and signing copies at the Pro Wrestling Freedom Show March 10, 2017 at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, Indiana, right across the river from Louisville. Books will be available for $15. The book will be on sale that same weekend on Amazon for $19.95.

Come down and see why PWF is rapidly becoming one of the most talked about promotions in the Midwest. Several great matches on the card, including Chase Owens defending his Smoky Mountain title in Jeffersonville against Matt Cage and a rematch for the PWF Title between Chip Day and Gary Jay.

Big thank you to Jimmy Feltcher for hosting the book release!

Looking Back at 2016

I keep a checklist of projects on my desktop filled with short-term and long-term goals that get erased as I complete them. When a project is done, it’s deleted, which means I keep record of what’s left to be done and not what’s completed. This year, I decided to look back and, as best as I can, figure up just how much I did in the last year. Turns out I’ve been a little busy. Here, as best as I can remember it all, is what happened in 2016:

Lunch Hour Films, my unofficial short film label the last couple of years, released three shorts in 2016: Drunk Dial from Outer Space, Final Ultimatum, and I Almost Married a Man from Outer Space. An older film, ‘Til Zombies Do Us Part was accepted to the Fright Night Film Festival in November. My friend Cindy Maples also released a short film called Out of My Mind, based on the short story called “Drip Drip.” She took what I think is a mediocre short story and turned it into a shocking little horror flick that seems poised to follow in the footsteps of short film Random and rack up a ton of awards.

A desire to reduce my stress load and focus more on wrestling led to the decision this fall to step away from film making indefinitely, so Lunch Hour will not be producing anything in the coming year. That said, I will be producing a second season of Hauss Show this winter, the wrestling themed sketch comedy series I created with Marc Hauss.

My fiction output was light in 2016, with the June release of a repackaged short story collection, Robot/Girlfriend, and the ebook only release of the noir faiy tale trilogy, The Big Bad Goodnight. Three new books are currently in the works for 2017 and beyond, including Return to Cave World, a sequel to Cave World; a new edition of Demonica: Confessions of a Small Town Super-Villain; and a brand new story, Die Max Die.

Summer also saw the release of Lord Carlton: Wrestler, Artist, My Father, the biography of Lord Leslie Carlton. Carlton is a somewhat lost figure in wrestling history. He had a similar gimmick to Gorgeous George, having stolen the act from the same person George did, Lord Lansdowne. But while his life has been overshadowed by the Gorgeous One, his life story out of the ring was full of more drama and intrigue than even the Human Orchid could muster. Carlton was also a talented painter, and he spent much of his later life surviving attempts by his second wife to murder him!

Much of the year was spent working on a new Louisville wrestling history titled Louisville’s Greatest Show. Unlike its predecessor Bluegrass Brawlers, this book with focus solely on 1935-1957, the years the Allen Athletic Club reigned supreme with stars like Lou Thesz, Bill Longson, New Albany’s own Stu Gibson, and the aforementioned Gorgeous George. Louisville’s Greatest Show should be ready for release in spring of 2017.

I’ve already struck a deal for my next wrestling book, a new autobiography by a former WWF star, but I’m not ready to announce it publicly just yet. I’ll be diving in on that project full steam around March.

On top of all this, I found the time to write twenty-eight new curriculum series for Children’s Ministry Deals, contribute to Go Fish’s 2017 VBS curriculum, begin production on my first stage play in almost six years, and completely rebuild this website.

So what’s ahead for 2017? First up, I’ll be producing the play Morbidman Meets His Maker asa fundraiser for Power Ministries in New Albany, Indiana. Marc Hauss and I are also hard at work on season two of Hauss Show, and if all goes well, a second wrestling-themed sketch show will see the light of day in 2017. I expect to release at least three books with Return to Cave World, Demonica, and Louisville’s Greatest Show, and I plan to get out to a number of book signings, author fairs, and wrestling shows.

I hope all of you reading this have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to what 2017 has to bring!

Support Local Bookstores!

Christmas is coming, and if you’re wise, you’re already Christmas shopping. If you’re a shop local fan in the Louisville area, here’s where you can pick up a few of my books:

The Nerdy Planet – Owned by Ken and Myra Daniels, the promoters behind FandomFest and Fright Night Film Fest, you’ll find this little comic shop south of the Gene Snyder on Preston Highway. They’ve always got some special event going almost every weekend, whether it’s celebrating the return of The Walking Dead or celebrating Batman’s birthday. Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman and Bluegrass Brawlers are both on the shelf out there.

Karen’s Book Barn – A gem of a used bookstore in the historic downtown section of LaGrange, Karen’s is the kind of place where a book lover can lose themselves for hours. They’re also high supporters of local authors and feature a wide range of local books right up front. Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman, Bluegrass Brawlers, and Tales from the Dad Side are all available for sale here.

Eat Sleep Wrestle giveaway on Goodreads

Two years ago, I published a book about independent wrestlers titled Eat Sleep Wrestle, throwing the spotlight on nearly two dozen young stars and veterans who lived for the wrestling ring. Front and center on the cover was 21 years old “Crazy Mary” Dobson, a local star who had already seen the world and made a name for herself every place she visited.

Today, the WWE released the first photos of Sarah Bridges, aka Crazy Mary, on their website from the Performance Center.

It’s a lucky bit of good timing too, because this is the week I scheduled a giveaway for the book Eat Sleep Wrestle. Three copies are available in this giveaway that ends next Monday. Head over to Goodreads now to enter (and sign up for Goodreads, if you’re not already a user).

Read the book. Read Mary’s story along with Aaron Williams, Hy Zaya, Eric Emanon, Marc Hauss, and CWC competitor Tyson Dux. Get to know the other stars of tomorrow today.

eswcover

One Week Away!

Frank Jordan: Evil SnowmanBook lovers in the Louisville/ LaGrange area, just a reminder that I’ll be reading and signing Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman on Sunday, October 23 at Karen’s Book Barn. The event is scheduled for 3-4 PM.

I will have copies of Tales from the Dad Side, Bluegrass Brawlers, and a few more titles on hand as well.

Incidentally, the Goodreads book giveaway for Tales from the Dad Side begins on Monday. You can still get in on the Lord Carlton giveaway through Monday as well.

Lord Carlton book giveaway

lord-carlton-cover-3My newest wrestling book, Lord Carlton: Wrestler, Artist, My Father, is now for sale on Amazon, but if you’re a Goodreads member, you can sign up for a free giveaway this week!

Three copies of this amazing biography will be given away on October 18. Here’s how to enter:

If you are a Goodreads member, click the link below and sign up now!

If you’re not already on Goodreads, click the link below, set up an account, and enter the contest.

This is the first of six giveaways coming in October and November. If you’ve never heard of Lord Carlton, this is your chance to discover a man whose life outside the ring was as surprising as his flamboyant career inside the squared circle!

Click here to enter and win a copy of Lord Carlton!

Episode 2 of The Hauss Show is now online

Episode 2 of the new sketch show featuring professional wrestler Marc Hauss is now online. This episode features my fellow IFN Evansville member, Alyssa Rhoads as Marc’s girlfriend – or are they still together?? You’ll have to see for yourself.