The Pug Ate His Face

When his cover artist Jonny M. told Hack that if he ever became incapacitated, it would be his fate for his pug Boris to eat his face within 15 minutes of the dog not receiving a treat when he demanded it. Hack was delighted at the idea of Jonny’s face being devoured in that fashion and immediately wrote this novel around the mental image.

Murder on the Super Chief

The Super Chief was the express train between New York and Los Angeles that was favored by the Hollywood elite in the 1930s and 1940s. Hack had long wanted to write a murder mystery set on the train but when he discovered that Agatha Christie had already written Murder on the Orient Express using precisely the plot that he planned to use, he sued her for plagiarism even though her book had been written 45 years before and he had yet to commit a word to paper. After losing the case in court, he wrote his version anyway which is almost a word-for-word rewrite of Christie’s book except that the characters are classic Hollywood stars and the murderer turns out to be Groucho Marx. Both Christie and Marx sued and were victorious in court, even though Hack was so destitute that they never collected a penny.

The Estranged Bride of Frankenstein

Hack wrote this autobiographical piece about the time he went home with a chick he met at a bar and her husband walked in just as the ‘shrooms they took kicked in.

The book opening:

“For many people, the holidays are hard. For me, the holidays make me hard. Especially halloween.

Every halloween, I find myself in a bar looking for companionship. By itself, that doesn’t make Halloween any different than any other day of the year. Except on halloween, I’m wearing a slutty costume.

I was three whiskeys into the evening when she walked into the bar. I instantly thought, that’s a woman with potential, that’s a woman I could put a ring on. I didn’t mean a wedding ring. I meant the ring attached to a belt that you put a strap on through.

Little did I know when I started that evening, the evening would end with me getting the shit beat out of me, in a hospital room, not sure if I would live. If I had known that, I would have started the evening much earlier, so it would have lasted that much longer.

Ultimately, this is a story about the redemptive Spirit of Christmas and how it can change our lives and enrich our souls. That may be the shrooms talking since the story took place entirely on Halloween and had nothing at all to do with Christmas whatsoever. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me start again, at a more appropriate moment, with the gag ball.”