Hack wrote this because he had a deadline coming up and he heard his cover artist Jonny M. joke to his pug Boris that the little dog’s favorite rapper was “Tupug.” Half an hour later, Hack had this ready for publication.

It’s not his best work.

The Pug of Casablanca

This supposedly “true” story of the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman classic Casablanca was inspired by the time Hack desperately tried to hit on a drunken divorcĂ©e with three bratty kids when he was on a break from his job as the night janitor at the Van Nuys Shakey’s and thought it was a done deal until his cover artist Jonny M.’s pug Boris sat down next to them and she was so charmed by Boris that she forgot Hack existed. The pug talked her into giving up drinking that night and being a better mother to her kids while Hack made another of his countless failed suicide attempts by sticking his head in the pizza oven but only singeing his left ear to a crisp.

The Eye of the Beholder

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).