Getting Into Trouble

Thunder  Road

Light’s out tonight…
Trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision,
Smashin’ in my guts, man.
I’m caught in a crossfire
I don’t understand

~ Badlands, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Very excited to announce a new project that I’ll now be part of. It’s a new book, edited by Joe Clifford and published by Zelmer Pulp. The title is pretty self-explanatory: Trouble In The Heartland: Crime Fiction Based On The Songs of Bruce Springsteen.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Trouble In The Heartland

If you follow my work, you know a particular slant of my noir photography is what I call Springsteen Noir. These are images that are influenced by the songs of Bruce Springsteen, and/or include particular Springsteen lyrics in the stories I tell.

This past summer, when I presented at Bruce Noir Film Fest in Asbury Park, I thought that may have been the extent of this niche.

But with this book by Joe and team at Zelmer, I see that there is, in fact, much continued interest in dissecting Bruce’s songs through the alternate filters of photography and literature.

I haven’t read any of the stories yet, but the contributors read like a Who’s Who of the current crime fiction and noir genre. Here’s a list of writers that will be part of this book, along with the Springsteen song titles they will craft a tale from:

* Lynne Barrett – Dancing In The Dark

* Eric Beetner – Open All Night

* Richard Brewer – Last To Die

* Jamez ChangThis Little Light Of Mine

* Jen ConleyHard To Be A Saint In The City

* Mike Creeden – Something In The Night

* Lincoln CrislerBorn To Run

* Hilary DavidsonHungry Heart

* Chris DeWildtGlory Days

* Les EdgertonThe Iceman

* Peter FarrisWhat Love Can Do

* Paul J. GarthNebraska

* James GradyThunder Road (of 6 Days Of The Condor fame.)

* Jordan HarperProve It All Night

* Chris F. HolmMansion On The Hill

* Chris IrvinDeath To My Hometown

* David James KeatonThe Ghost Of Tom Joad

* Issac KirkmanStreets Of Fire

* Chris LeekCandy’s Room

* Dennis Lehane (Yes, the guy who wrote Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, and more…) – State Trooper

* Benoit LeLievreAtlantic City

* Ezra LetraDoes This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?

* Matt Louis My Hometown

* John McFetridgeSpare Parts

* Lela Scott MacneilDarkness On The Edge Of Town

* Court MerriganThe Promised Land

* Brian PanowichWreck On The Highway

* Rob Pierce – Rosalita

* Tom PittsLocal Hero

* Keith RawsonMy Best Was Never Good Enough

* Chuck (CD) ReganRadio Nowwhere

* Chris RhatiganWrecking Ball

* Todd RobinsonWe Take Care Of Our Own

* Ryan SaylesHighway Patrolman

* Gareth SparkStraight Time

* Richard ThomasBecause The Night

* James TuckI’m On Fire

* Steve WeddleMeeting Across The River

* Chuck WendigQueen Of The Supermarket

* Dyer WilkDry Lightening


All of these contributors to this book are an esteemed and varied bunch. Between them, they’ve covered pretty much every nook and cranny of the literary landscape: Novels and short stories. Flash fiction and novellas. Poems and lyrics. Probably have written a grocery list or two as well.

Now they’ve jumped on their mean motor scooters and headed down to E Street. I haven’t seen the stories yet, just some thoughts and ideas that some have posted to their websites. But I’m sure they may contain – as Bruce sings about in his song, Land of Hopes and Dreams“Saints and sinners. Winners and losers. Whores and gamblers. Lost souls departed.”

I say may contain. The stories that these writers create may, yes, contain these characters. Or maybe not. It’s all their interpretation of the songs. They’ll be creating new mental dimensions using Bruce’s songs as guidelines, not blue prints. It’s all up to them.

From my end, I hope my images can help lend some visual scope to this project. From what I can tell, I’m last to this party (how it all came to be is for another day.)

But now I’m at the table and I’m stoked to be there. I’m finishing up gathering my images (I keep thinking of something I’ve shot that will work) and should get them to Joe this weekend.

Oh, I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention the other great aspect to this project: A portion of the net proceeds will be donated to The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which benefits injured service members, veterans and their families, long after they’ve returned home from the battlegrounds.

Overall, I think it’s a pretty great project and I can’t wait to see how it continues to develop.

Stay tuned here for more on this for sure. I’ll also post updates on Twitter with the hashtag #TITHL

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

7 thoughts on “Getting Into Trouble

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