"His work reasserts the belief that all writers try to keep believing: What we write on the page can become an agent of change."
Welcome to Books by Joe King
News About Joe King
A Salted Slug Now Available
The North American Union said there’s no need to worry about the mysterious red orb that has appeared in the sky, so it must be true.
Zander Kain, ex-Ministry of Communications reporter, doesn’t believe that to be the truth. Now, a freelance writer for Entertainment-Only news—what the independent press has been reduced to—Zander has little hope of exposing the hovering anomaly. However, it doesn’t stop him in his quixotic quest to get the truth into the press, even if it means pitting himself against nearly every facet of society.
This world turns our own on its head and examines it through the lens of absurdity. Zander must tackle the modern-day conceptual enigmas surrounding journalism. Any information that doesn’t support the narrative of those in power, are an enemy of the public. False flags fly high in this tale of mingled bureaucracy, mediocracy, and conspiracy that is part Orwellian, part Vonnegutesque, and hits a little too close to home.
New Novel: A Salted Slug Cover Reveal Event
Join author Joe King for the cover reveal of his new novel A Salted Slug, published by Foundations Book Company. This is a free online event available through Facebook. There will be plenty of fun to keep you busy until the cover is revealed at 6 p.m. After that, you can learn about the release date and how to pre-order. This is open to the public, so feel free to invite your friends. Please join for this exciting event.
Click the even link below to mark that you'll be there. And why you are at it, be sure to follow Joe on Facebook for more updates.
New Novel Accecpted for Publication
A Salted Slug, the follow-up to Joe King's debut novel Raw Egg, has been accepted for publication by Foundations Book Company. While not much can be revealed about the novel at this time, King said he has been working hard with the good folks at Foundations to bring readers an experience that is new while remaining true to his style. This is one you don't want to miss. Check back for more details.
Human Ants Re-released with New Poems
Poetry and novels by Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Kurt Vonnegut, William S. Burroughs, and others shaped a sharp, steely grey mid-twentieth century America into which any artist in his or her right mind would be afraid to be born. Two generations later, Joe King, who has grown up in this world, populates its bleak, industrialized landscape with Human Ants, featuring bold, sardonic personas who tirelessly try to mean something in a world where they fear insignificance.
Although often unapologetically contemporary where it comes to content, King’s poems acknowledge their intellectual predecessors; many are occupied by historical and literary figures (Nostradamus, Iago, Mozart, Jean Valjean.) But the laws of the land as portrayed in this twentieth-first century dystopia King has built in Human Ants still manage to present a sense of hope with keen intelligence and satirical humor.
This work reasserts the belief that all writers try to keep believing: what is written on the page can become an agent of change.
Midnight Oil Anthology Now Available
The worlds of multiple authors stalk in the shadows of the late-night hours of the Midnight Oil Anthology, a collection of stories highlighting tales of deception. Mingled with romance, horror, dark humor, and fantasy, this suspenseful collection of stories will have readers on the edge of their seats, biting their nails in worry, and unable to put it down until they know what happens next. The collection features works from both established and emerging authors, who were hand-selected for this project.
The assembly of authors includes Joe King, author of the five-star rated meta-fiction hit Raw Egg, Taylor Floyd, highly-acclaimed fantasy author of A Nightingale’s Tale, romance-writing guru Sarah Stein, D.A. Roach, who is most known for various genres of YA novels but also writes series novels of horror and dark fiction, Joe Pranaitis, an acclaimed Sci-fi/Fantasy writer, Freya LeCrow, who has been an author for many years and has created many mystery and paranormal stories, Viv Drewa, a.k.a. The Owl Lady, who writes fictional murder, mystery, romance, and adventure books, Karen Vaughan—a humorous storyteller of murder and mystery, Southern Owl Publications publisher and author, Crystal L. Gauthier, and Skyler Rankin, the newest on the literary scene as an author of YA, paranormal, and mystery stories.
All of these authors are of high caliber, and the Midnight Oil anthology is a collection of writing that has something for everybody. From thrills to chills and side-splitting shrills, this collection is sure to please readers of all tastes. For those who dare to turn its pages, just be sure to keep that midnight oil burning.
This collection features Joe King's short story "A Common Place."
Raw Egg Released Nov. 2017
Joe King, the former editor of Morgan County News, has released a new book, which is now available for the new year.
The book, while technically a new release, is an improved version of his first novel, Artifice Historica, now published under the name Raw Egg. King said the new version came about because his old book publisher closed its doors.
“I really loved the story, and I had such a positive responses from it that I knew it would be a shame for it to possibility go out of print,” King said. “Changing the title and the art helps keep it fresh. Plus, I think the new title is a lot easier for people to remember.”
King said he searched for the right publisher for close to a year before signing a contract with Kentucky-based Southern Owl Publishing. In 2019 King regained the right this work and released in independently to bring the price down for readers.
“For me, I found this story highly imaginative and creatively written with characters who lent feelings and emotion to the story,” said Nancy Tulloch, who edited the novel. “Secondary characters also added excitement and new angles to this ever-evolving story. Poetry lovers will appreciate the added verses of poetry the author uses to break up the story and or to add to the feelings of the moment.”
The novel, under both the new and former title, has a solid five-star rating on Amazon.com and was featured as a rising title on Bookdaily.com
“It had just the right amount of terror, dark humor and in-depth character building--to keep me entertained throughout” writer Jessica Ozment said of the book. “I found the premise of the story to be quite clever and easy to fall into. I'd highly recommend this read to anyone, as the story offers several different elements within its pages.”
Raw Egg tells the story of a would-be writer who becomes trapped in his own stories as he overlooks the common threads of fiction that control his life, locking him in a battle for his own existence.
King said while re-releasing his first novel has been exciting, he also has other projects on the horizon. One of which is another re-release, but this time around there will be some big changes. He explained his plan is to re-release his poetry collection Human Ants with twice as many poems. He added that he is also completed the major part of a first draft of a second novel.
“Although I can’t give away too much about the second novel, I can say it will involve a heavier science fiction element and will also tie in some fictional reworkings of some of my experiences as a news writer,” he said. “It’s certainly going to be a book that will leave its mark.”
For now, King is promoting his re-release of Raw Egg, which is available on Amazon.com in paperback for $10 and $2.99 for Kindle.
Historic Rugby Writer's Series
Can you tell me a little about the workshop series itself? has it been scheduled for a while?
The workshop is a series Historic Rugby does to showcase area artists. It is geared toward people with an interest in writing and people with an interest in the author. For those reasons, it has a questions and answer segment. In many ways it’s more of a conversation about writing than anything, but I’ll put my own spin on it by including some readings and probably playing a few original songs.
This event was scheduled before I had left Morgan County News. In fact, I booked it in my office when I received a call suggesting I take part in the series. The original date was set for June, but everything got busy for me when I left and we changed the date to October 14th at 1 p.m. (2017).
What will you speak about, and what will the workshop entail? is it open to the public, or have people already signed up and reserved their spots?
The workshop will be about my take on writing and my works. It is open to the public and free. I hope to have a big crowd full of both people who have never heard of me and people who remember me as the editor of their local newspaper.
Tell me about the books you have written so far, and maybe future plans for your writing.
So far I have published two books, Human Ants and Raw Egg. Human Ants is a poetry collection full of an assortment of styles and vibrant imagery. All of the poems hinge on the contrast between the vastness of the universe and the impermanence of human existence and an attempt to make meaning out of this on an individual level. Raw Egg is a novel, but it is more of a novel about itself. The story is told from the perspective of a person who comes to the horrific realization that he his a character in a book. There are some deeper plot twists that complicate this situation, but I won’t ruin the fun for any new readers.
I have some new works planned as well. The next book will incorporate my love for science-fiction and journalism. I won’t ruin this one on you either, but I can tell you I’m fairly close to finishing the first draft. I’ve put it on pause until I finish my M.A.T. program, but I expect to submit this new novel to a publisher by the end of next summer. After that, I plan to release a short story collection and then work on an allegorical high fantasy trilogy. I have a grand plan of tying all of my works together at some point as well. Of course, that will be way down the road.
Do you have any good feelings about your time here? How has it influenced your life? are you drawing on any of those experiences today?
A lot of how journalism influenced my life will be found in my second novel. Several plot points were loosely based on experiences or the feelings of experiences I had working as a journalist. I think the influence of Morgan County will come across in new novel in a few ways.
Human Ants Book Signing
Former editor of the Seymour Herald and current reporter for the LaFollette Press will hold a book signing March 28 for his recently published work Human Ants.
“Writing news is something I still enjoy and will continue to do, but I always wanted to be involved in the artistic side of writing as well,” author Joe King said.
King, whose recent poetry book Human Ants was released by Sarah Book Publishing last May, said one of his goals for the work was to capture kaleidoscopic facets of the modern human collective conscious.
“I didn't write just another a collection of poetry where I selfishly used the medium as a form of therapy,” King said. “I think too often those attempting to write poetry focus on their own emotions rather than crafting a character and allowing the character to speak the poem. When people write in that narcissistic way it creates sentimentality and begs the reader to provide unearned sympathy to the writer. To me, that's not what poetry is about. It's about creating a condensed story full of imagery and musical language devices.”
To tackle this approach on poetry, King explored classical poetic form as well as experimented with the variety of the craft. “The construction of poem's form can be just as important as the words themselves,” he said. “Well placed line breaks, enjambment and spacing can create a visual appeal of the poem that can add a whole new level to the work.”
As for content, explores subjects as grand as the end of the world to something as concentrated as the second before a car accident with humor, sarcasm seriousness and introspection, “Although often brazenly contemporary when it comes to content, King’s poems acknowledge their intellectual predecessors; many are occupied by historical and literary figures,” poet Jessie Janeshek wrote in the forward to Human Ants. “King’s poems provide lenses through which to view our increasingly difficult present with keen intelligence and satirical humor. His work reasserts the belief that all writers try to keep believing; what we write on the page can become an agent of change.”
With Human Ants available for purchase through Sarah Book Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, King said he would welcomes his upcoming book signing as a way to meet readers one on one.