When the Vatican’s top assassin, a Rhodesian merc, a pair of serial killer lovers, a dirty cop, and a professional sadist compete in a mad race for a pair of priceless magical artifacts, betrayal, theft, and murder are just the opening moves in a game of death.
Curtis M Lawson has released his first novel, entitled It’s A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, published by Black Pyramid Books. Lawson is a Boston native who began his writing career in 2007, creating the webcomics Curse of the Black Terror and Divis Morte, and self-publishing as Broken Soul Press. Lawson has also written comics and graphic novels including Mastema for Arcana Studios, and Diabolicus for QEW Publishing, as well as for for Platinum Studios and Bluewater Comics.
We spoke to Lawson about the new novel, and his connection to the community:
I approached this story in a much different way than my first novel. I started with the basic idea of pitting a bunch of awful characters against one another, in a race for some cursed artifacts. After that I just came up with some wild characters and dreamed up a few dozen scenes I thought would be fun to write and scribbled them down on index cards. After shifting around the index cards into something that resembled a timeline, I started hammering it all into a cohesive story. It took a few re-writes and a lot of cutting to make everything come together well, but it was a blast to write.
The title pays tribute to an old comedy flick, called It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. That movie was filled with over the top characters all racing toward a big payday. While my story is a hell of a lot darker and more violent, it was initially inspired by that film.
I’m excited to share my work with the straight edge community. The novel doesn’t have anything to do with the scene or lifestyle, but I’ve been straight edge my whole life. I’ve never so much as had a beer. The choice to be drug free has been a defining part of my character forever.
As a kid I was always curious about people outside of music who embraced a straight-edge lifestyle. It’s not something that is really talked about much, but I think it’s important to recognize people from other art forms who choose to stay away from toxic behaviors. Not all writers, poets, or painters have to be tortured alcoholics. People, young people especially, need to see that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t limit your creativity or pigeon hole you into a music scene that you may or may not be that into. Straight edge is bigger than hardcore. It’s one of the last real acts of conscious rebellion we have left- the choice to not poison ourselves.
Cover art by James Biggie. Additional art by Robb Kavjian. It’s A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World. is available now through Amazon, Kobo, or through curtismlawson.com.