El Balazo is taking a hiatus

Ahoy book lovers and friends. El Balazo is taking a much-needed hiatus starting September 20th, 2016. The hiatus will last at least until the end of the year, and will likely continue a bit into 2017. 

We may still publish pieces periodically on the blog and post to Twitter. We will also still take submissions (if you'd still like to send them!), but won't be able to respond to them until after the hiatus.

Thanks for all of your support and your wonderful submissions. We are excited to come back with renewed energy for all of your fantastic work! 


The Funeral Papers Chapter 1: Songs I Put on the mix cd for my father's funeral ... playlist!

In the opening pages of The Funeral Papers, Josh Gross fusses with the antiquated sound equipment in the synagogue hosting his father's funeral. He's looking for a way to play the ten songs on the playlist that was his one contribution to the funeral for his father -- a man to which Josh had barely spoken for ten years. 

Josh's description of each of the songs in the playlist kicks off the wry, clever, emotive feeling of the memoir and gives a nice, concise description of the characters and scenes to come. It's also full of a bunch o' good songs.

Have a listen! Or better yet: have a listen while reading The Funeral Papers, our memoir by Josh Gross out August 8th! 


The funeral papers by Josh Gross Pre-sale from July 13-August 8th!

Pre-sales for The Funeral Papers by Josh Gross are happening from July 13th to August 8th! It’s a time when ya’ll get to snag some extra fun stuff that’ll be gone soon!

As part of the pre-sale:

... See your name in the thank-you page if you purchase by July 18th!

... Get a screen printed packet of The Complete Arnie Gross (and other fun stuff!), signed by Josh with a custom note. Hurry, there are only 50 packets available!

... Or … get both!

If you're not ready to dive in yet, feel free to check out the book trailer, read the first chapter of The Funeral Papers or read a  longer description of the book here!

And always remember: El Balazo loves you.

the funeral papers by Josh gross - for sale August, 2016!

We are excited to be publishing the memoir, The Funeral Papers, by Josh Gross in the summer of 2016!

The Funeral Papers begins at the funeral of Josh’s estranged father, Arnie, where Josh is given a manila envelope stuffed with the complete output of Arnie’s elusive writing career, texts Josh previously believed to be non-existent.

Arnie was a terrible father, an absentee weirdo who played tricks on Josh in order to teach him questionable life lessons. Arnie was lazy, enigmatic, and frustrating. Josh was the sort of kid who knew how to throw a few good jabs of his own. He hoped his father’s writing could shed light on how things had gone wrong between him and his father. But when Josh finally reads it, he goes into a tailspin.

The memoir moves from Arnie’s stories, articles, and poetry about the 1970s Sausalito houseboat community to Josh’s commentary on the writing, then to scenes of Josh and Arnie’s relationship and back again. Throughout, Josh grapples with his responses to his father's writing, which uncover old wounds but also cast a different light on some pivotal memories. Josh realizes he is simultaneously competitive with, embarrassed of, and proud of his father. He also realizes to his horror that despite his efforts to the contrary, he and his father chose the same profession, the same lifestyle, and the same types of friends. They even look the same.

The Funeral Papers is strange, raw, and surprisingly relatable. The process of muddling through his father’s writing forces Josh to examine himself, providing a fascinating look at the struggle toward forgiveness, or at least closure. Deep in the push and pull of opposite forces — dependence and independence, vulnerability and strength, knowledge and mystery — Josh creates a dialog with his dead father’s writing, exploring whether or not it is possible to heal the wounds created by years of anger and misunderstanding.


call for Essays - Writers + the Internet

Ah, the Internet. That distracting, fabulous force that forever changed how we communicate, entertain ourselves, do business, learn about stuff, etc., etc. It's da best, right? Aren't we lucky to have been born in the Internet age?

For writers, the Internet can be kind of a bitch. A badass bitch, but a bad bitch nonetheless. Are you having a a helluva time figuring out how to be a writer in relation to Queen Internet? Is it frustrating AF when it came (or is just now) time to have that at least well-enough-paid-to-live-off-of Writing Career, but the Internet had destroyed the prospect of said career with her neon red, fire-laser eyes? No? Yes?

Whatever your experience, I'd like to hear about it. Because it's probably interesting. So, please send me your pieces so I can gather some good ones into a book of essays. 

To be clear: I'm looking for essays on the tension writers feels vis a vis the Internet. The timeline for this call is open-ended. I will publish essays on the website until I can get enough to pull into a book. So, send them my way!

Killstanbul by Matthew Di Paoli - for sale summer, 2015!

Killstanbul is a quirky, off-genre pulp crime novel(la) set in the winters of Reykjavík, Prague, and Istanbul. Carolus, an Icelandic native, navigates a tangle of women, attackers, and ancient cities looking for the unfortunate mark he’s paid to kill.

Carolus is oversexed. And overpaid. And too familiar with wiping the blood of a fresh kill from his hands. He gets what he wants (and more than enough of it) and worries about the imprint his actions leave on his soul.

Carolus's blood runs deep with the weirdness of Icelandic lore. The twelve Yule Lads trained him since his childhood to be a skilled assassin, and he lives and kills by the rules they taught him. 

Killstanbul's characters loop in and out of the plot in surprising ways. The lives of Mr. Delicious, the Turkish candy-maker; Bjorn, the deadbeat husband of Carolus’s sister; and Marta, owner of the Poseable Religious Emporium (a warehouse for religious figurines), crash into each other with disastrous consequences. The characters are caught up in the cynical wind of Carolus's life and the strong thrust of their own motives. 

The book is a deliciously odd, entertaining, and satisfying first novel of an exciting young writer.

Introducing El Balazo Books

El Balazo believes there’s a bunch of good writing hiding in the heap – and too few people willing to promote the good + weird stuff salvaged from it. 

Old, clunky publishing companies search mostly for blockbusters that will pay the costs of their Manhattan office buildings and hefty print runs costs. 

And, self-publishing, well ... c'mon; it sucks. 

As a hybrid publisher, El Balazo can let established and emerging writers:

  • More quickly publish their manuscripts in unique physical and digital packages
  • Keep more of the money from the sales
  • Keep that street cred they might’ve lost through self-publishing

Got something good? Oddball? Creative? Something with a mix of media? Send it to us! We’d love to help you get it in the hands of readers.