This is one of Hack’s more esoteric novels, inspired by a holiday called Beautiful Day, which celebrates all things of beauty. Hack had an idea for a story in which the hero seeks out “true beauty” but he and his cover artist Jonny M. discussed what was beautiful to them and they could only think of hot chicks, to which their male friends agreed. Jonny’s pug Boris suggested pug food, so that was thrown into the mix but the resulting story was only seven pages long. Fortunately, Hack started getting suggestions from female acquaintances along the lines of painting, music and natural phenomenons like sunrises, inspiring faces, and the white plastic bag from American Beauty, which gave Hack enough material (padded by a bunch of his signature anal sex scenes) for a full-length novel (and one of his better ones).
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.
National Sandwich Day!
Happy heavenly birthday to Claudette Colbert!
Colbert is one of our favorite movie stars from the 1930s and 1940s, winning an Oscar for It Happened One Night and starring in such classics as Cleopatra, The Egg and I and Since You Went Away. But our favorite Colbert film is the infamous 1932 camp classic The Sign of the Cross, which features an outrageously wonderful performance by Charles Laughton as Nero and perhaps the sexiest character of 1930s cinema in the form of Colbert’s Empress Poppaea. She was immortalized in one of the most famous nude scenes of the era when Poppaea takes a milk bath attended by her gaggle of slaves, a sight so deeply planted in Hack’s psyche that he wrote this novel about it.
Hack, Boris and I hope everybody is okay as SoCal braces itself for a day and a half of heavy rain in the wake of Tropical Storm Hillary. But we did think it was a bit much when we went grocery shopping last night and the shelves were emptied by nervous folks who were preparing for Armageddon. The cashier at Trader Joe’s told us that he could see the wisdom of staying off the road on Sunday and Monday but he didn’t see any reason why the store should have sold out of toilet paper by 9:00 a.m.