James Frey

Author James Frey blogs about Warmed and Bound: A Velvet Anthology, highlighting a story by our own DeLeon DeMicoli.


Logan Rapp

What isn’t seen, what isn’t associated with this book ad nauseam as is my name, is the involvement of Logan Rapp. He has single-handedly enabled its publication and made us look good. It’s all quiet, all behind the scenes, and without a glance at due credit or compensation. He deserves a medal for what he’s done for this book.

And other medals for having to work with me without fair warning for what this project would become.

It’s difficult to describe right but worth mentioning that our fights were epic. We worked so well together from the start that when one of us was stressed or unhappy, the other heard about it. This has added something, or sealed something already there. The Velvet has always been tightly knit, and when I find people I can fight with like brothers and sisters, I feel at home and everything begins to feel a little more unbreakable. These guys often call each other brother. I wouldn’t, because it’s not the same from a woman. But when you’re ducking vases from my direction and looking at me like you want to kill me, that’s what that is.

Logan is an awesome guy. He has some truly fantastic opportunities opening up for him and I’m looking forward to watching what progresses.

BIO: Logan Chance Rapp is an administrator for The Velvet, and a writer in North Hollywood, CA. He graduated from California State University Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications / Journalism. When asked for this bio, he groaned to himself, muttered “fine” in that way where you just know he isn’t “fine,” but wrote the bio anyway, forgetting that the lovely editor who asked him for it is going to read this. You can find his day job writing at

EDITORIAL NOTE: Logan says, “I only allow this sort of attention on me because it might get me dates.”

In One Year

It was this time last year I sent out the first anthology emails. If I remember right, first to JR Harlan, begging for his story “Love,” and to Craig Clevenger, with more unsubtle begging. Then others, Richard Thomas, Gordon Highland and Caleb Ross, asking for publishing advice and whether they liked various titles—one a play on the well-loved existing phrase: The Velvet warms and binds.

I don’t know what happened between then and now. But this photo, and rumors of other people to be similarly inked, tell one part of it better than I could.

The idea of a Velvet anthology existed well before I was involved. And somehow, we still managed to stumble into something incredible with this project. I am in awe. And tempted to frame Doc’s arm in my home. It has come to mean more to me each day I’ve known about it.

The ink makes sense when you see how much these writers care—about the work and about each other. I’m lucky to have been involved. The book is lucky to have these writers.

A Foreword by the Illustrious Steve Erickson

I was there and I’m still confused by our connection to Steve Erickson.

The man makes us go bananas, I’ve tried to tell him—likely to no avail. Perhaps more than any other living author, he personifies what The Velvet’s writers so voraciously adore in fiction.

There is a distinct vitality in his approach to story. An unmitigated and unfeigned desire for freshness. While the need to restore image over and over is lost amid the affection for new beauty or higher language. That he found any part of WARMED AND BOUND favorable speaks to his warmhearted and openminded nature, above all else.

As accidental forewords go, I couldn’t have thought up a more appropriate author to dream into our book.

Cover Art

Table of Contents

Death Juggler by Axel Taiari
Click-Clack by Caleb J Ross
The World Was Clocks by Amanda Gowin
Mantodea by Matt Bell
All the Acid in the World by Gavin Pate
Crazy Love by Cameron Pierce
Chance the Dick by Paul G Tremblay
Soccer Moms and Pro Wrestler Dads by Bradley Sands
Take Arms Against a Sea by Mark Jaskowski
This Will All End Well by Nik Korpon
Midnight Souls by Christopher J Dwyer
The Tree of Life by Edward J Rathke
The Killer by Brian Evenson
Headshot by Gordon Highland
Inside Out by Sean Ferguson
Laws of Virulence by Jeremy Robert Johnson
Bruised Flesh by Craig Wallwork
Bad, Bad, Bad Bad Men by Craig Davidson
Three Theories on the Murder of John Wily by J David Osborne
The Road Lester Took by Stephen Graham Jones
My German Daughter by Nic Young
What Was There Inside the Child by Blake Butler
Seed by Gayle Towell
They Take You by Kyle Minor
The Redemption of Garvey Flint by Vincent Louis Carrella
Blood Atonement by DeLeon DeMicoli
The Liberation of Edward Kellor by Anthony David Jacques
Act of Contrition by Craig Clevenger
Say Yes to Pleasure by Richard Thomas
The Weight of Consciousness by Tim Beverstock
If You Love Me by Doc O’Donnell
Touch by Pela Via
Love by JR Harlan
Practice by Bob Pastorella
Fading Glory by Brandon Tietz
Little Deaths by Gary Paul Libero
We Sing the Bawdy Electric by Rob Parker
In Exile by Chris Deal

It’s all laughter and nervous giggles until the bombs explode for real. Then the audience’s mood short-circuits fast as a brain stroke: a boom louder than staccato lightning strikes eardrums, a body skyrockets into the air, screams zigzag through the big top, people trample over each other for the swiftest way to the exit.

—first page, opening to Axel Taiari’s Death Juggler

Official Contributor List!

At last . . .

Matt Bell is the author of How They Were Found, a collection of fiction published by Keyhole Press in 2010, and Cataclysm Baby, a novella forthcoming from MLP in 2012. His fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, Unsaid, and American Short Fiction, and has been selected for inclusion in anthologies such as Best American Mystery Stories 2010 and Best American Fantasy 2. He works as an editor at Dzanc Books, where he also runs the literary magazine The Collagist, and as the Visiting Writer at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. He can be found online at

Tim Beverstock uses writing to explore his fascination with all things sweet-natured and dark. His angular, urban narratives feature characters clinging to the edge of their feelings as they dip below the surface of modern life and experience the hidden ambiguities of their existence. Between writing, he enjoys indulging in his passion for boutique beers, volunteering for a food rescue organization and reading noir fiction. He is 32 and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. For news and updates bookmark:

Blake Butler lives in Atlanta and edits HTMLGIANT. He is the author of Ever and Scorch Atlas and There is No Year. In November 2011, Harper Perennial will publish a nonfiction book about sleep, Nothing.

Vincent Louis Carrella is an award-winning writer, game designer and father of two girls. His debut novel, Serpent Box, follows the mystical life of a deformed ten-year-old snake handling boy in post-depression Tennessee. Learn more at Follow his Blogazine, Giphantia, at, or on Twitter @theserpentbox.

Craig Clevenger is the author of The Contortionist’s Handbook (MacAdam/Cage, 2002) and Dermaphoria (MacAdam/Cage, 2005). He is currently at work on his third novel. (photo by Timothy Faust)

Craig Davidson wrote the books Rust and Bone, The Fighter, and Sarah Court. His nonfiction has appeared in Esquire and GQ. (photo by Lisa Myers)

Chris Deal writes from North Carolina. He can be found at

DeLeon DeMicoli lives in San Francisco, CA. When he’s not writing, he trains in Mixed Martial Arts.

Christopher J Dwyer is the author of When October Falls and numerous short stories that skirt the edges of noir, horror and science fiction. His work has been featured in numerous magazines (both online and print), including Twisted Tongue Magazine, Pendulum, Colored Chalk, Red Fez, Shalla Magazine, New Horizons, Gold Dust Magazine, Nefarious Muse, and Sex and Murder. His stories have also appeared in several fiction anthologies, including Fried! Fast FoodSlow Deaths, End of Days: An Apocalyptic Anthology, Dead Worlds 5, and more. He is the former writer-in-residence of indie online magazine Dogmatika. He can be reached through his official website,, or Twitter @chrisjdwyer.

Brian Evenson is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the limited edition novella Baby Leg, published by New York Tyrant Press in 2009. In 2009 he also published the novel Last Days (which won the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel of 2009) and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York’s top books of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he directs Brown University’s Literary Arts Program. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann’s Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship.

Sean P Ferguson is an EMT and a PST for the state of New Jersey. In his off time he reads and writes all he can. His work has been published in the literary journal Cellar Door and in Colored Chalk. He is currently working on a novel, a number of short stories, and reviews. You can follow him at

Amanda Gowin lives in the foothills of Appalachia with her husband and son. Her stories have been published in BlackHeart Magazine and Thunderdome. She has always written and always will.

JR Harlan is from Southern California. He is fond of words, women, and whiskey. He runs Nefarious Muse, a short fiction blog at

Gordon Highland is the author of the novels Major Inversions and the forthcoming Flashover. A member of The Velvet since 2006, he is a site moderator and one of its most frequent posters. Gordon has been directing videos professionally for over fifteen years, and lives in the Kansas City area, where he also enjoys writing, recording, and performing music. Visit him at

Anthony David Jacques has bagged groceries, sold women’s clothing, booked international travel, roasted coffee, repossessed cars, survived cancer and Christianity, gotten married, written a novel, and now he works as a gemologist while slaving over prose. Writing is what he does to make sense of everything else. His short fiction has been published at Colored Chalk, Dogmatika, Troubadour 21, Pulp Metal Magazine and Outsider Writers Collective. He is currently at work on his second novel.

Mark Jaskowski lives in Gainesville, FL, where he works rather strange service industry jobs and writes at the picnic table near his apartment. This is his first published work.

Jeremy Robert Johnson is the Bizarro author of the cult hit Angel Dust Apocalypse, the Stoker Nominated novel Siren Promised (w/Alan M. Clark), and the end-of-the-world freak-out Extinction Journals. His fiction has been acclaimed by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk and has appeared internationally in numerous anthologies and magazines. In 2008 he worked with The Mars Volta to tell the story behind their Grammy Winning album The Bedlam in Goliath. In 2010 he spoke about weirdness and metaphor as a survival tool at the Fractal 10 conference in Medellin, Colombia, (where fellow speakers included DJ Spooky, an MIT bio-engineer, and a doctor who explained the neurological aspirations of a sponge). Jeremy runs Bizarro imprint Swallowdown Press and is working on a host of new books.

Stephen Graham Jones started writing in 1990, in an emergency room. Ten years later, his first novel came out, and, since then, there have been six more, and two collections. It Came From Del Rio and The Ones That Got Away are the most recent books, and Flushboy and Not for Nothing (both from Dzanc) are up next. Jones has also had some hundred and thirty stories published, anthologized, and included in annuals and textbooks. And he still finds himself in the emergency room more than he really planned. Jones teaches in the MFA program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has been a member of the Velvet since 2005. More at

Nik Korpon is the author of the novel Stay God and the noir novellas Old Ghosts and By the Nails of the Warpriest. His stories have ruined the reputation of Out of the Gutter, Do Some Damage, 3:AM and Everyday Genius, among others. He is a fiction editor for Rotten Leaves Magazine, a book reviewer and a co-host of Last Sunday, Last Rites, a monthly reading series in Baltimore, MD. He received a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College in London, England, and now lives in Baltimore. Give him danger, little stranger, at

Gary Paul Libero has been bald since 1997. He is a technology professional living in Middlesex County, Connecticut, with his wife and two toddlers. His short fiction can also be read at Nefarious Muse. He hopes to have a novel completed before his kids are able to read.

Kyle Minor is the author of In the Devil’s Territory, a collection of short fiction, and co-editor of The Other Chekhov. His recent work appears in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Plots with Guns, and in anthologies such as Best American Mystery Stories 2008,guest edited by George Pelecanos (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), Surreal South (Press 53, 2007), edited by Pinckney Benedict and Laura Benedict, and Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers (Random House, 2006). As a graduate student at the Ohio State University, he was a three-time honoree (in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction) in The Atlantic Monthly‘s annual writing contest. Random House named Kyle one of the “Best New Voices of 2006,” and The Columbus Dispatch named him one of their “20 Under 30 Artists to Watch” in 2007. Website:

Doc is a rock ’n’ roll dropout that writes dirty noir from a cramped apartment in Newcastle, Australia. To pay for the bills and booze he looks after the elderly, soaking up their tales/tails. His work has dirtied the pages and screens of Crime FactoryPulp Metal MagazineShort, Fast, and Deadly Nefarious Muse, and Thunderdome. Doc is the editor of, a crime-noir webzine.

He can be contacted at:

J David Osborne is the author of the Lynchian gulag-escape novel By the Time We Leave Here, We’ll Be Friends. His second novel, Low Down Death Right Easy, is due out this winter from Swallowdown Press. He lives in Oklahoma with his dog.

Rob Parker currently lives in Waterloo, Ontario. He has his MA in English & Film Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and secretly hopes that one day, serious men in dark suits on the university payroll will speak in quiet, horrified whispers about the monster they created.

Bob Pastorella lives in Southeast Texas. He’s published with Outsider Writers Collective, Thunderdome, Nefarious Muse, Troubadour 21, and his short story “To Watch Is Madness” is featured in The Zombist: Undead Western Tales Anthology. He is currently working on a vampire/noir novel. You can visit Bob at

Gavin Pate is the author of the novel The Way to Get Here (Bootstrap), and his short stories can be found in places like The Collagist, Barrelhouse, The Southeast Review, and Dogmatika, among others. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College, and lately, in the lengthening days of the impending summer, he has been steadily working on what’s now only known to him as The Next Book. His story “All the Acid in the World” was first published by the now no more online magazine Perigee.

Cameron Pierce (b. 1988) is the author of The Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island, Lost in Cat Brain Land, Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, and Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden. His fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bizarro Starter Kit (Purple), The Nervous Breakdown, Verbicide, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens, The Pedestal Magazine, Nemonymous, The Dream People, Kill Author, Everyday Genius, Christmas on Crack, Avant-Garde for the New Millennium, and other publications. Cameron also runs Lazy Fascist Press. Visit him online at and

Edward J Rathke is an adventurous dandy wandering space and time. More of his life and words may be found at

Caleb J Ross has been published widely, both online and in print. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing from Emporia State University. He is the author of the story chapbook Charactered Pieces: stories, the novels Stranger Will and I Didn’t Mean to Be Kevin, and the forthcoming novella As a Machine and Parts. Visit his official page at: Twitter: @calebjross and Facebook:

Bradley Sands is the editor of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens and the author of Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy, Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You, and My Heart Said No, But Camera Crew Said Yes! His contribution to this anthology is the first chapter of a forthcoming novel called TV Snorted My Brain.

Axel Taiari is a French writer, born in Paris in 1984. He studied Screenwriting and Modern Literature. After an endless string of shit jobs, he quit everything to focus on writing. His work has appeared in multiple magazines and anthologies, including Dogmatika, 3:AM Magazine, No Colony, and 365tomorrows. He is also the creator and co-editor of the literary journal Rotten Leaves. He has recently finished a noir science-fiction novel and is now trying to sell his soul to the devil. Read more at and You can also stalk him on Twitter @axeltaiari.

Richard Thomas was the winner of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest at ChiZine. He has published dozens of stories online and in print, including the Shivers VI anthology (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, Murky Depths, PANK, Pear Noir!, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, Dogmatika, Vain and Opium. His debut novel Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications) was released in July of 2010. He also writes book reviews at The Nervous Breakdown. Visit his blog at For more information about his novel go to (photo by John Geiger)

Brandon Tietz was born in Omaha, NE, (1982) and raised in Kansas City, KS. He studied Illustration and Literature at the University of Kansas and deejayed under the stage name Agent Green while in college. Tietz’s familiarity with nightlife and his fascination with the socialite lifestyle led him to write Out of Touch (2008), a transgressive take on the coming-of-age story in which the main character feels no physical sensation. In 2009, Tietz joined the Chuck Palahniuk Writers’ Workshop, where he now serves as one of the moderators. In 2011, Tietz re-released Out of Touch through Otherworld Publications. He’s currently working on a new book called Vanity, a themed novel-in-stories.

Gayle Towell is a fiction writer living in Hillsboro, Oregon, with her husband and three children. Author of Moron and X, she is currently working on her second novel, a quasi-sequel with the working title Seized.

Paul Tremblay is the author of the weirdboiled novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland, the short story collection In the Mean Time, and the novella The Harlequin and the Train. His short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales and Year’s Best American Fantasy 3, with stories due to appear in Cape Cod Noir and Supernatural Noir. He’s the co-editor of the anthologies Fantasy, Bandersnatch, Phantom, and Creatures. He still has no uvula and lives somewhere south of Boston with his wife and two kids. (photo by Michael J Maloney)

Craig Wallwork lives in West Yorkshire, England, with his wife and daughter. After leaving Art College he studied to be a filmmaker before becoming a full-time editor for nine years. In his spare time he writes short stories and is working on his fourth novel. His fiction has appeared in various anthologies, journals and magazines. Follow his progress via his website:

Nic Young lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He has packed supermarket shelves in Edinburgh, slept in the open Sahara desert, and broken an inordinate number of bones. He has been writing software since 2005, and stories since 2010. Visit him at (photo by Lillith Leda)


EDITOR Pela Via is the fiction editor at Outsider Writers Collective and a member of Write Club. She has been published in Nefarious Muse, Red Fez—for which she received a Best of the Net nomination, Word Riot and others. She is married to a scientist.

Welcome to the Velvet Anthology

Update: The Kindle Edition of Warmed and Bound is now available. The EPUB will be released September 2011. To be notified when it’s available, leave an email address here. Thank you.  —PV 


Warmed and Bound is an anthology of short stories stitched together by the people at The Velvet and edited by Pela Via. The book was released July 22, 2011, and is currently available through major online retailers.

Book trailer by the beautiful and talented author and producer Gordon Highland.