KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


5 Summer Approvals

A year or two ago (not sure...maybe more) I think I wrote down a short, random list of things I find indispensable during summer. People who know me know me as a particular son of a beach ball. Not fussy per se, it's just that I have little tolerance for crappy flimflam and only want to ingest, use, share, and promote things that (for lack of a better word) rock. Things that never (or rarely) fail to please. I think this lack of tolerance comes from my evangelical stranglehold on the belief that life is temporary and that you need to get it while you can. Anyway, here's a few more because you stopped by. #5 Maui Jim Sunglasses. Yeah, I know--gee, Kieran, those things are expensive. Yes, they are, but you know what? You only have two eyes and if you want to play it cheap with the most dense and vital cluster of nerves on your body have at it...but for my moolah nothing works harder. Plus Maui Jim guarantees their polarized lenses, so if one cracks you can't get them replaced at a fraction of the original price. Brilliant turnaround and stellar customer service. What can I say? I'm a MJ man for life. #4 Old school ska and dub music.  When it's really-really hot out (do I need to draw you a picture after this summer?) and I get torqued around the edges...dub and ska tunes just plain soothe. And I'm not talking re-invented, b.s. rock steady sounds overproduced by some hipster clown, I'm talking old wax stylings from the likes of Justin Hinds, Monty Morris, The Techniques, etc. And dub? The Upsetters? Twilight Circus Dub Sound System? Holy smokes...The Bush Chemists? Somehow the horizon always looks softer after some ear candy like this. #3 Pelagic Gear "Blackfin" boardshorts. I've tried a lot of boardshorts in my life, and I thought nothing could trump the tough, made in the USA brilliance of Birdwell Beach Britches, but...whoa...these puppies are freakin' bombproof. I'm talking knives, frayed cable stanchions, falls...big pockets and zero chafe. #2 Lottie's Traditional Barbados Yellow Hot Pepper Sauce. On a recent sail to St. Michaels, MD, I hit the pantry at Flamingo Flats and cleaned them out of their supply. Of course I know people's "best" hot sauce preferences are like the old adage about opinions and posterior vents, but know this. Whatever your opinion on the tricky balance between flavor and heat're wrong. Dead wrong. Bring a straw. #1The Ocean City Library in Ocean City, NJ. Show me a library that's better. There's a pool! A pool and a gym! A coffee bar, a museum, art studios, free classic movies on the big screen, stellar author readings (Swierczynski or Scottoline anyone?), an esoteric DVD collection, writing classes...more importantly...I never fail to find just the right crime novel whenever I visit. So, there you go. Five solid things for what it's worth. Onward.