Hardcore and the Art Form of the Novel by Ian Truman

tales of lust hate and despair ian trumanI recently read both of Ian Truman’s novels.

The Factory Line captures an entertaining voice in a highly readable manner which relays the exploits of some blue collar factory workers over the course of a day. It’s a voice in need of a story but definitely worth a buck.

Tales of Lust, Hate and Despair, despite it’s title, is not a collection of stories but a noir novel. It’s a mixed bag with some really great moments (the brothel scenes, much of the tone/voice and the bar fight) and some that drag (took a long time to get to the pay off, framing device left open ended). Once I started reading I wanted to continue, particularly when I was away from it. Worth checking out but ultimately could have been stronger.

Bottom line is that Ian Truman is worth keeping an eye on if you aren’t already. Because I liked both of these novels I invited Truman to write a guest blog for us.


Brian was kind enough to provide me with this platform to present myself and my work and my first priority is to thank him for it.

As I am fairly new to the self-published scene, this proves to be a great opportunity to get my work known. The kind of feedback I received when I first sent an e-mail to a bunch of mystery fans for review was a lot like the kind of support I remember hardcore bands giving to one another.

I had first sent a query to Alan Guthrie. He said he didn’t have time to review my novel but that he would forward it and give me an interview on his blog. One thing led to another and a week later or so, Brian from Spinetingler was sending me an e-mail. It was unexpected and it was welcome.

It felt great not having to jump through hoops to get anything. If you’re a writer, you know how the publishing game is rigged. I went to Concordia University in creative writing and there was this conference by a very high executive at Penguin group. Someone asked “Do you need a masters to be published.” and the lady replied, “No, not really, if we like what we read we’ll publish it, but then again you might need the masters degree for us to read it in the first place.”

It’s a fucking loophole.

No one in the (Canadian) publishing world was giving positive answers to my works, so I decided to go the punk-hardcore way.

When I was a signer in a hardcore band, I met quite a few people. Some were strange, some were fucked up beyond believe, some were incredibly peaceful and calm while they played the most aggressive music I have ever heard. One thing is that the sketchiest of men will back you up in hardcore if he knows of feels that your heart is in the right place. They would take time after a show to talk to you about what works and what is too expensive etc… They would give you contacts, take you on a few dates so that your name would be out there. It was amazing peer-support like I had not met anywhere else.

And as far as I know, it was always like that in the hardcore scene. When Black Flag and Minor Threat first got together, there was no one, literally, in the music industry, that wanted anything to do with them. They printed their own 7inches, glued their own cover, called a few other bands they knew about and started touring. Even when there would be fights between Boston crews and New-York crews, it seemed that the bands supported each scene as if their life depended on it.

I’m not saying that the mystery self-published scene is exactly like that, but the kind of positive support I’ve seen reminds me of my hardcore days. Granted, doing blog tours is not exactly like “getting in the van” but the idea Is the same: get out there, do events, team up with like minded spirits.

It was nice to see that the mystery/horror scene was open minded in such a way that if you are serious, dedicated and composed, someone out there who’s got a bit of a following will give you a hand.

So what I’m trying to say is this: Thank you to everyone who helped me out without even asking for anything back.



Ian Truman is the author of The Factory Line and Tales of Lust, Hate and Despair

My name is Ian and I’m a hardcore kid turned writer. I have been straight edge and vegetarian for at least a decade now and I hope to bring the passion, verve and dedication of hardcore into the art form of the novel. You can find me in Montreal, Quebec, with my wife Mary and daughter Kaori.

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