SEATTLE, WA 1/23/13 — Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the forthcoming summer 2013 publication of In Case We Die, the first novel by longtime Seattle music figure Danny Bland, which follows a pair of addict outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock drug scene of '90s Seattle. The book will also be supported by a unique audiobook project from Seattle's Local638Records.
It wasn't the pounding headache or the all-too familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious. They all have ripped fishnets and dark red lips and Daddy issues.
Both love story and horror story, In Case We Die is a semi-autobiographical and visceral story of love, crime, addiction, redemption and revenge. Bland, a 25-year veteran musician (The Dwarves, Cat Butt, Best Kissers In the World) and road manager (Dave Alvin and the Blasters, The Supersuckers) and longtime Seattlite, brings his own experience to a harrowing tour through Seattle's darkest underground.
"When I first read a draft of In Case We Die, I did it purely as a favor to Rachel [Flotard, proprietor of Local638]," said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher and acquiring editor Eric Reynolds. "Rachel is hard to say no to. But I read it and loved it and actually tried to convince Danny to get an agent, and sell it to a big NY house who could land him a big movie deal. I actively discouraged him from thinking about Fantagraphics. But Danny told me all the reasons he thought that would be a bad idea, and I knew we were kindred spirits. He's shown great faith in us packaging the book he envisions and I'm proud to make that happen, because it's a book I'll be particularly proud of not just as a publisher, but as a Seattlite. It's a quintessentially Seattle novel."
Vulnerable to the high relief of heroin addiction, Bland's characters — Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch — are beloved, unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch, 21, beautiful and dangerous, drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitar, booze and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior — 60s psychedelic musician Roky Erikson. At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt; a miserable job, a drug habit he cannot afford and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
In Case We Die will also exist as a remarkable audio book project to be released by Local638Records [ http://www.local638records.com ]. An exclusive roster of legendary artists, musicians, actors and friends have lent their support and donated their talent by reading and recording chapters of the book including Dave Alvin (Blasters, Knitters), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers), Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, American Splendor), Blag Dahlia (Dwarves), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Eddie Spaghetti (Supersuckers), John Doe (X, Knitters), Jacob Pitts (actor, Justified), Damien Echols (West Memphis Three), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Rob Delaney (comic, Twitter superstar), Lou Beach (author, artist), Steve Earle (singer, songwriter, actor), Mark Boone Jr. (Sons of Anarchy), Amiee Mann (singer, songwriter, actress), Marc Maron (WTF podcast), John Sinclair (White Panther Party, MC5 manager), Lew Temple (The Devil's Rejects, The Walking Dead), Mark Arm (Mudhoney) and others t.b.a., with a portion of the proceeds benefitting MusicCares, a non-profit organization helping musicians and roadies gain sobriety and obtain medical care.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
In Case We Die will premiere in Seattle this July with a number of local events t.b.a. promoting the release, with a wide release in August.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR IN CASE WE DIE:
"Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock'n'roll tragedy." – John Doe (X)
"Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness." – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
"In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey … straight to the gutter." – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
"Beautiful, literary redemption." – Exene Cervenka (X)
"A great piece of work — full of filth and heart." – Steve Earle
"A suitably Peckinpah finale. Bravo. It has been like a traveling dream state and sometimes familiar look into the abyss." – Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
"I am a believer in what Bland has to say. He writes with eloquence, candor, darkness, and humor….the good stuff!" – Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses)
“In Case We Die is a riveting, funny and sometimes tragic story that I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a tale as beautiful as it is brutal. Addiction, love and music in the seedy underworld of rainy Seattle in the 1990’s … the prose are so vivid I had to pinch myself to make sure i wasn’t back there again. Danny is a modern Charles Bukowski.” – Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)