Tag Archives: fiction

Ten Years After

2021 marks ten years since Nualláin House, Publishers, began print on demand publishing of “literature as reading entertainment” utilizing readily available digital technology and desktop design options, essentially a case of authors seizing the means of production. Over that time Nualláin House has published two genre novels (crime fiction and western), an anthology of Japanese linked verse, and six selections of poetry. Because technology changes the way one does business, Nualláin House has slowly shifted emphasis away from the production of bound volumes of poetry and fiction to the wider readership access provided by the internet. Digital media in the form of blogs and websites provide an entry for the independent artist and writer to launch shoestring operations that do not demand much more than time, determination, and a little imagination to produce and promote their work. After a decade of slogging up the steep cyber learning curve, Nualláin House, Publishers, a publishing project that focused on printed media, has had to widen its scope of what can be accomplished in the production and promotion of literary arts. To that end, along with a new easier to read WordPress theme, Nualláin House has incorporated two fresh projects available through the site’s menu bar to reflect its expanded emphasis: Affiliated Sites and Bamboo Leaf Studio. As before, synopses and approbation of previously published titles can also be accessed from the menu bar as can contact information and ordering print editions

Affiliated Sites

The New Black Bart Poetry Society blog, Parole, was launched in 2012 and was originally conceived as a calendar and events reminder for the poetry society. As the successor to Life of Crime, a more scurrilous Society rag from the 80s, Parole continues the focus on poetry, poets, and the poetry scene.  It has a worldwide readership which has grown from a couple of hundred readers a month to thousands who now enjoy its unique perspectives on modern poetry.

Ode To Sunset, A Year In The Life Of American Genius, a fiction by Pat Nolan, was in the works several years before Nualláin House, Publishers, came into being.  As work on Ode To Sunset was occurring in parallel, the publishing tools available through the internet offered the opportunity to take a creative leap into the online publishing of the manuscript as a serial novel.  At over 600 manuscript pages, the challenge then became one of presentation over a sustained period of time.  The novel was posted over two years, 2014-2016, with yearly updates and progress reports since then.

Joining these two affiliated sites is Dime Pulp, A Serial Fiction Magazine. Nualláin House’s original concept of publishing literature as reading entertainment is being revisited with a new undertaking in the form of a serial fiction magazine posting original crime fiction on a monthly schedule.  Dime Pulp has already published its first issues featuring two original novels in serialization as well as short stories with more original genre fiction in the queue.

For the curious wishing to access the aforementioned sites, click on Affiliated Sites  here or on the menu bar and follow the links

Bamboo Leaf Studio

Bamboo Leaf Studio is an independent art enterprise by poet Pat Nolan featuring his limited edition handmade books, linoleum prints, and studio based literary ephemera. The studio page provides links to four gallery pages of representative work: Faux Koans, Smoking Poets, Women Poet Postcards, and Handmade Books & Surimono.  Click on Bamboo Leaf Studio here or on the menu bar to access the links to the galleries below the brief introduction.

What’s Next?

The events of the past year have presented an opportunity to reassess the expectations for Nualláin House as a publishing arts venture. Although the emphasis on hard copy production is no longer in the forefront, Nualláin House, Publishers, is reviewing its catalog and considering at least one more print on demand edition of creative non-fiction. As well, work is in progress to bring a new serial novel online, in addition to the ones featured in Dime Pulp. Poetry will continue to be a focus but as online chapbooks downloadable in pdf or ebook formats. Bamboo Leaf Studio with new Smoking Poets prints and assorted literary art ephemera continues to be a crucible of creativity in its unique synthesis of art and literature. With the exception of the books, prints, and some ephemera, all of these literary products are available without charge to the interested reader.  Many thanks to those who have faithfully followed Nualláin House, Publishers, over the years.  There’s always something new on the creative horizon.

Under the Nualláin House Umbrella

Nualláin House, Publishers, as a private venture, publishes fiction and poetry in limited editions.  Nualláin House, started in 2011, has in print two genre novels (Western and crime fiction), six poetry selections, and one anthology of Japanese linked verse. The year 2011 also marked the centennial of Irish writer Brian O’Nualláin’s birth, known also as Brian O’Nolan, and by his most famous pseudonym, Flann O’Brien, author of At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman and The Dalkey Archives. Such coincidence was taken to be an auspicious sign for the literary enterprise thus named.  Over the years the perception of what publishing at a POD (print on demand) scale required grew into the understanding that commercial viability was less important than the publishing process itself.  It also led to a questioning of the basic premise of publishing as a commercial venture in the age of the electronic commons.  What Nualláin House provides on demand is a repository of the written word available to interested parties in a nearly antiquated cash and carry format.  The editions are offered at a moderate affordable price whose sole object is to cover production costs. Back in 2011 Nualláin House acquired ten ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers), nine of them have been assigned to books since published.  That leaves one last number.  What will it be?

In the online media world, the potential for spinoffs and subsidiaries is limited only by the amount of energy (and time) devoted to ensure their continued existence.  Along with its print operation, Nualláin House provides cover for Parole, the blog of The New Black Bart Poetry Society.

Parole has posted regularly since 2013 with commentary, criticism, reviews, and essays on the subject of poetry. The New Black Bart Poetry Society is not a school of poetry nor does it endorse or espouse a particular philosophy of poetry.  The Society will entertain most any presentation on the art of poetry, its past, its present, and its future (see Conditions of Parole).  Explications, delineations, categorizations, taxonomies, and various sundry groupings of poets and their work are of vital interest to the Society membership.

The Poetics of Defiance      Delete Punctuation     Contributor’s Notes


In considering the advantages of blogs and online publishing, Nualláin House has looked to the serial novel as an opportunity to develop an ancillary approach to the presentation of literary fiction as a work in progress.  The online serial presents a visceral experience that has the density and complexity of a scripted series paralleling the newspaper feuilletons of 19th Century Paris, and the American pulps of the 1920’s and 30’s.  


Ode To Sunset, A Year In The Life Of American Genius is an serial online fiction about dying and death, about a poet who is not quite Charles Baudelaire, not quite Charles Bukowski, who looks like a well worn Alex Trebeck but with the pit bull demeanor of a Mickey Rourke.  It takes place mostly in a city not always quite Frisco.  This is not autobiographical or a roman à clef, but it is satirical, playful, and inevitably deadly serious.  An eight second David Mamet pitch could be rendered as “A Confederacy of Dunces meets A Fine Madness with voice over by George Steiner.”

Ode To Sunset Contents      Day    Week    Month    Year


Bamboo Leaf Studio is a result of an avid interest in Asian art and design.  Begun as a passion for collecting prints and paintings, reproductions and originals, it eventually developed into a gathering of tools and materials in a small space designated as “studio.” Following were attempts at the production of works in imitation of and improvisation in a laboratory of received and subsequently original ideas.  The outcome has been the somewhat regular creation and fabrication of limited edition objets d’art which include handmade poetry editions, prints, broadsides (in collaboration with Iota Press) and poem cards.

Nualláin House, Publishers has evolved into an artistic non-commercial venture, a boutique press if you will, in which access to ongoing creative processes is granted through a web portal. Essentially the material is free. However, a percentage of the production and shipping cost is included in acquiring a facsimile. Any “overage” is applied to future projects for which, starting from zero, a value can be contemplated.  


And it is for that very non-commercial reason that you won’t find Nualláin House, Publishers titles for sale on Amazon unless they are through a second party.  Nualláin House titles are available exclusively through the publisher and this site.  This applies for items from Bamboo Leaf Studio as well—Parole and Ode To Sunset are available for the browsing, subscription free, at each of their own sites.  Nor will you find a shopping basket or convenient checkouts payable with a credit card.  Both listing on Amazon and through point of sale accounts such as PayPal involve a third party interface which requires a fee (or operation tax, if you will).  If Nualláin House, Publishers was truly a business then perhaps it would absorb these fees as a cost of doing business.  On the other hand your personal info is not entered into a data base to be sold or mined which would happen if we used Amazon and/or point of sale software. If shipping is charged, it covers the cost of materials (labels and envelopes) and postage.  With more than one book or title ordered, as per our policy, the purchase includes free shipping .  A check, money order, cash payment (plus stamp & envelope) is a minor inconvenience to stay out of the clutches of the corporate data mining overlords. Orders can be placed by email at nuallainhousepublishers (at-sign) gmail (dot) com. Repeat customers (donors) will be invoiced with the title(s) ordered with payment expected upon receipt. For those new to Nualláin House, Publishers, orders will be shipped upon receipt of payment.


Best of the Season from Nualláin House, Publishers, and thanks in advance for your support.

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So Much, Selected Poem, 1969-1989
“Descriptions of nature so translucent we can only marvel how he weaves us into them, onward, around that eternal share of misfortune, bitter realization, and expectations gone wrong. This is Nolan’s secret power.  He engages us in magical transformation and will not let us look away.”
—Maureen Owen, author of Erosion’s Pull and Edges of Water


Exile In Paradise
“Reading these poems, I feel like I’m walking down a village lane somewhere in China, beyond the reach of the emperor’s minions, and every door I walk by, someone invites me in for a cup of wine. At this rate, I don’t think I’ll ever make it out of here, and why should I?”
—Bill Porter (Red Pine), translator, author of Finding Them Gone: Visiting China’s Poets from the Past


Poetry For Sale
Poetry For Sale is a fantastic collection.  Anyone interested in the interaction between Japanese and English poetry needs this book.  And anyone interested in renga should definitely get it.  It is an immensely pleasing collection: entertaining, surprising, sometimes sharp and witty, sometimes introspective, sometimes descriptive, the renga unfold with great skill and elegance.”
 —Jim Wilson,  author of Microcosmos, The Art Of The Solo Renga (Sebastopol, 2014)


Your Name Here
“The poems glow with insight and wit as they simply monitor the flow of a mind steeped in Chinese poetry, bebop, the Russian River, the beats, the birds, Heraclitus. . . .  [Nolan] in his own words, is an alphabet male.  And despite the breadth of his learning and thought, is always just talking from right here.  It’s a hell of a book.”
—Eric Johnson, poet and master printer at Iota Press


Hello Life
“Reading Gail King has always been one of my great poetry pleasures. Her inimitable voice narrates the world with humor and tenderness, a world of beauty and occasional sorrow. Her work has healing effects.”
—Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator and author of So Recently Rent A World



The Last Resort
“Pat Nolan’s The Last Resort puts his gun in the right hands–a woman’s–with authority and harmful intent.  Get ready to hit the deck!”
Barry Gifford, author of Imagining Paradise and Wild At Heart



On The Road To Las Cruces
On the Road to Las Cruces takes us on a twilight journey through frontier history.  Nolan’s adroit and stylish prose intertwines death, betrayal, greed and conspiracy as each claims its victims.”
Keith Abbott, author of Downstream From Trout Fishing In America





Holiday Bargains

Happy 2018

Now Available from

Nualláin House, Publishers

Purchase two or more titles
and get free shipping
anywhere in the US
(see How To Order for details)

Also available through our partnership with
Bamboo Leaf Studio
Linoleum Block Prints
from the Smoking Poets series

and the Faux Koan series by Pat Nolan

Order two or more prints
get free shipping
and receive a bonus broadside of
the limited edition
Dylan Thomas print accompanied by Pat Nolan’s
Advice To A Young Poet


Year of the Fire Monkey

seal script

For the “ambitious, adventurous, but irritable”
Year of the Fire Monkey
Nualláin House, Publishers is pleased to announce

the 2016 publication of
Ode To Sunset,
A Year In the Life of American Genius
the print version of the long running online serial fiction

by Pat Nolan.

“. . .it is characteristic of American genius that the casual eye does not easily distinguish it from charlatanry.  Purity of intention lies at the center of American achievement.  Modern American writing is about honesty.  The American tradition is to offer discovery, not virtuoso performances.”
—Hugh Kenner

Scheduled for release in the fall, Ode To Sunset is a fiction about dying and death, about a poet who is not quite Charles Baudelaire, not quite Charles Bukowski, who looks like a well worn Alex Trebek but with the demeanor of a Mickey Rourke, and takes place mostly in a city not quite Frisco. It is satirical, playful, and inevitably deadly serious. Episodes from this raucous irreverent allegorical tale of a man and his muse are still available for viewing at odetosunset.com.

“A satisfactory novel should be a self-evident sham to which the reader could regulate at will the degree of his credulity.” —Flann O’Brien

In the coming months leading up to the publication of Ode To Sunset, excerpts from the final section will be posted at regular intervals to build on the suspense to the outcome of a year in the life of an American genius, the conclusion of which will only be available in the print edition. 

OTS bannermonthlink

 Caveat Lector!
This is not a roman à clef!
Ode To Sunset is primarily a work of the imagination, meaning lies and made-up stuff. No actual poets were named in the writing of this fiction with the exception of dead poets who serve as historical or literary markers as is often required of dead poets.

Read the third of a four part interview with the author at Interview with Pat Nolan, Part Three

In the meantime check out these other fine titles available
from Nualláin House, Publishers.
(Click on the menu bar above for each title to find out more
and what’s being said about them.)


Seasonal Specials from Nualláin House

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Send check or money order
(made payable to ‘Pat Nolan’)
for the listed Sale price to

Nualláin House, Publishers
Box 798  Monte Rio, CA 95462.

ontheroadfront300ON THE ROAD TO LAS CRUCES; Being A Novel Account of The Last Day In The Life of A Legendary Western Lawman
by Pat Nolan

 Pat Nolan’s first published novel, On The Road To Last Cruces; Being A Novel Account of The Last Day In The Life of A Legendary Western Lawman is the story of youthful bravado and an old man’s regret, and as much a dusty tale of buffalo hunts and shoot-outs as a politically driven “whodunit.”  November 2011 ~ 154 pages


A Lee Malone Adventure
by Pat Nolan

Pat Nolan has written a fast paced, tongue-in-cheek, pun filled comedy of errors, misunderstandings, and faux intuition in the mode of a 1930’s pulp thriller.  Instead of the typical splinter-jawed, broken nosed, tobacco breathed tough guy hero, Nolan upends the stereotype by introducing a gorgeous internationally famous former fashion model whose super power is her beauty.
August 2012~ 212 pages



Poems by Gail King 

The poems of Hello Life achieve their freshness in the particularity of experience. The poet surrenders herself to the moment and tenders that subtle cognition as a delighted welcome to life. The ease of her expression in dealing with the everyday communicates an uncommon wisdom. The poems present, through playful understatement and sly humor, the immediacy of spontaneous impressions.
December 2013  ~  64 pages




Your Name Here
New Poems
by Pat Nolan 

The poems in Your Name Here revolve around that quantum axis with seemingly random discontinuities that do not pin down meaning but are left to mean themselves. Nolan’s poetry enacts a sub-vocal monologue that is like the murmur of cosmic background radiation, noticeable only in its cessation or as pauses when the mind registers the sum of discrete moments in an instant.  November 2014 ~ 80 pages


Poetry For Sale
Haikai no Renga (Linked Poetry)

Introduction by Pat Nolan
The eleven haikai no renga included in Poetry For Sale were written over period of nearly thirty years by Pat Nolan and his renku collaborators, Keith Kumasen Abbott, Sandy Berrigan, Gloria Frym, Steven Lavoie, Joen Eshima Moore, Maureen Owen, Michael Sowl, and John Veglia.  In these pages haikai no renga is synthesized as a brief, highly suggestive, well spoken, maddeningly ambiguous, read-between-the-lines kind of poetry tuned to a common understanding.  October 2015 ~ 152 pages

Year Five

year five

2015 marks the fifth year of operation here at Nualláin House, Publishers, and while there were a few surprises and learning experiences, there is also no doubt the education opportunities will keep presenting themselves.  Of the four books Nualláin House has published to date, two have been genre fiction and two have been poetry.  This should not be surprising as among the principals of the publishing concern are two poets.  Genre fiction will still be a focus but because of the abundance of readily available material, poetry will always be a consideration.  Now with four books complete and available, a fifth is in the planning stages.   More on that in the near future.

The Nualláin House mission has not changed. As a publishing venture committed to introducing diverse literary entertainment to the reading public, Nualláin House, Publishers, will continue to offer a range of quirky and engaging titles to enhance the modern “reading life.”   What has changed is the variety of options available in presenting and producing written entertainment, and one that Nualláin House, Publishers, is encouraged to attempt.

Access and availability seem to be the buzz words.  The reading public now totes their devices the way some folks used to carry paperbacks around (some folks still do).  In fact, one of the early paperback publishers was Pocket Books, the name emphasizing their product’s portability.   What has changed is that information, in this case literature, no longer needs to be tied to a single use artifact.  Access to the virtual information cloud seems unlimited as is its round the clock availability.  Technology always changes the way business is done whether it is developing a new type of spearhead or the latest application for digital devices.  How it applies to independent publishing requires a reevaluation of what is being made available, in this case reading material.  Business, independent publishing included, carries with it the assumption that there will be compensation for the effort expended in offering a product, and that money needs to change hands. Although that aspect of business will not go away if it expects to remain business, it is quite possible that virtual content will represent merely the ephemeral inducement to acquire the printed artifact as an item of cultural capital.

Perhaps the access to intellectual product should not be predicated on a monetary return.  The factor that will determine such a product’s financial viability is demand.  If there is no significant demand should the property be withheld or should unconditional access be open to all cyber grazers in the marketplace?  Granted, such a free site becomes a special niche, boutique, if you will, visited by a unique readership brought there through interest generated on social media.

Although eBooks seem to occupy the virtual niche, their basis is not all that different from their printed versions in that they are, at the get-go, a product that must be purchased to access, albeit at a reduced cost.  Also, their virtual life lasts only as long as it takes to complete reading the text which can be anywhere from 12 hours to several months, depending on the product.  An alternate paradigm would be one that takes its cues from entertainment programming in that it offers episodic installments available at a predictable time and date and a compelling story arc that carries over an extended period the interest and attention of the reader.  That it is offered without cost removes a further obstacle in its availability.  What is being described is the online serial.

While the concept of an online serial is not new, Nualláin House is encouraged to adapt the concept to an ongoing pulp series of online genre fiction and is currently testing the waters with an original online serial fiction, Ode To Sunset.  Judging from the initial and ongoing response to posted episodes, there is no doubt that it is a viable enterprise with exciting potential. Many of the details are still in flux as to the format and presentation of serial online fictions, but one thing is certain: companion print editions will inevitably be available for purchase.  More will be forthcoming as further developments take shape.



Ode To Sunset, A Year in the Life of American Genius, is the title of the ongoing online serial fiction.  As of this post, eight installments have been published, with two more episodes to complete the current section.  Ode To Sunset is the story of American genius told over the course of a year. It is about a poet who is not quite Charles Baudelaire not quite Charles Bukowski, who looks like a well worn Alex Trebeck but with the demeanor of a Mickey Rourke.  It mostly takes place in a city not always quite Frisco.  It is satirical, playful, and inevitably deadly serious.  Now available for your oculation.  Ode To Sunset.

nulogorevjpNualláin House Publishers is also the sponsor of a sister site, Parole, blog of The New Black Bart Poetry Society.  Parole features essays and bbpsovalcritiques on the art of poetry, poets, and the poetry world in general.  Previous posts have included essays on Philip Whalen, William Carlos Williams, Andrei Codrescu, and Bob Dylan.  Membership in The New Black Bart Poetry Society is open to anyone who follows Parole.


Just A Reminder
current titles are still available,
free shipping with the purchase of
more than one copy or title
How To Order


YNHcvrjYour Name Here, New Poems by Pat Nolan
Never one to settle into a style, Pat Nolan has made of his poetry an exploration of other poetries and of the numerous ways a poem can be.  As an adherent of the Philip Whalen Buddhist-inspired “mind moving” school, he holds to the idea that the poem is framed sentience. Just as the observed world is an occasion of subjectivity, it also mirrors the self in a way that reflects objectively.  The poems in Your Name Here revolve around that quantum axis with seemingly random discontinuities that do not pin down meaning but are left to mean themselves.  Written to be heard by the mind’s ear, Nolan’s poetry enacts a sub-vocal monologue that is like the murmur of cosmic background radiation, noticeable only in its cessation or as pauses when the mind registers the sum of discrete moments in an instant.

November 2014 ~ 80 pages ~ $16 ~ paper ~ ISBN 978-0-9840310-0-9


HELLOLIFEjHello Life by Gail KingPoetry; The poems of Hello Life achieve their freshness in the particularity of experience. The poet surrenders herself to the moment and tenders that subtle cognition as a delighted welcome to life. The ease of her expression in dealing with the everyday communicates an uncommon wisdom. The poems present, through playful understatement and sly humor, the immediacy of spontaneous impressions. Maureen Owen, former artistic director for The Poetry Project in NYC and author of Edges of Water and Erosion’s Pull, says “In Gail King’s poems the events of the day become transformative, the images of the temporary become immediate, and the mystery of being alive in the Now unfolds. “…time like a lake breeze” says the poet, and the wind rises.” Gail King’s poems have also won the praise of Andrei Codrescu, poet, novelist, essayist and NPR commentator, author of So Recent Rent A World, who said “Reading Gail King has always been one of my great poetry pleasures. Her inimitable voice narrates the world with humor and tenderness, a world of beauty and occasional sorrow. Her work has healing effects.”

December 2013  ~  $16.00  ~  64 pages ~ Paper  ~  ISBN 978-0-9840310-3-0


The Last ResortThe Last Resort, A Lee Malone Adventure by Pat Nolan
Pat Nolan has written a fast paced, tongue-in-cheek, pun filled comedy of errors, misunderstandings, and faux intuition in the mode of a 1930’s pulp thriller to talk about the pulp fiction of that era.  In doing so, The Last Resort presents an unlikely set of circumstances in which a worldly-wise female reporter must untangle herself from her past in order to deal with the puzzling events of her present.  Rather than the typical splinter-jawed, broken nosed, tobacco breathed tough guy hero, Nolan upends the stereotype by introducing a gorgeous internationally famous former fashion model whose super power is her beauty.  The Last Resort, A Lee Malone Adventure, is a quirky, entertaining recreation of the lurid screed that once peopled pulp pages on newsstands everywhere.

August 2012 ~ $19.99 ~ 212 pages ~ Paper~ ISBN 978-0-9840310-2-3

ontheroadfront300On The Road To Las Cruces, Being A Novel Account of The Last Day In The Life of A Legendary Western Lawman by Pat Nolan
On The Road To Las Cruces, a work of fiction tethered loosely to historical fact, is the story of the relationship between two men, one garrulous, the other taciturn, the Mutt and Jeff of the old Southwest.  What is related on the road to Las Cruces is as much a retelling of some history as it is how such a retelling might come about, and is represented in the manner of a tall tale, the deadpan details of a crime story, melodrama, and a conspiracy to murder. The road to Las Cruces is full of twists and turns.  The sound of a door slamming like a gunshot brings us into the world of the old Southwest and the gun violence of that historical era.  More than just the tale of a legendary lawman who remains nameless to the end, it is a lesson in storytelling and an allegory for how lives were lived and how death was dealt.  As much a dusty tale of buffalo hunts and shoot-outs as a politically driven “whodunit,” On The Road To Las Cruces is the story of youthful bravado and an old man’s regret.

November, 2011 ~ $16.99 ~ 154 pages ~ paper ~ ISBN 978-0-9840310-1-6

bambooleafchopNualláin House, Publishers, in partnership with Bamboo Leaf Studio, will continue to offer its series of linoleum block print portraits entitled Smoking Poets featuring such literary luminaries as Dylan Thomas, Roberto Bolano, and Charles Bukowski.

Also available from Bamboo Leaf Studio are selection of Buddhist-inspired prints featuring faux homilies for the 21st Century. All linoleum block prints are hand printed on unbleached mulberry washi and signed by the artist with his seal.Order through Nualláin House, Publishers Box 798, Monte Rio, CA 95462

DICK LIT: Q&A with Pat Nolan

warning uspoet
Q: You’re known primarily for your poetry, why are you now writing fiction?

A:  Actually when I first thought to write, I wanted to write fiction.  Novels, short stories.

Q:  What turned you to poetry?

A:  A wider experience of reading, other than the best sellers on the paperback racks at the corner drug store and the science fiction shelf at the local library.  I came to reading late but once I did I was a voracious reader. By the time I graduated from high school I knew there was more to reading than just pop fiction.

Q:  Wasn’t your reading guided by what you were taught in the classroom?

A:  I was an indifferent student.  Most of my reading centered around what I discovered for myself.  While in the Navy I was lucky to have shipmates who were quite literate.  Everyone in my rating read. A couple of guys even had some college under their belts.  Paperbacks were a regular item of exchange, mostly westerns, crime fiction, smut.  Lady Chatterley’s Lover made the rounds.  For obvious reasons. And Miller’s Tropics.  I was into Kerouac then, and always on the lookout for more by him.  Someone suggested that I check out a bookstore in San Diego where my ship was stationed.  I’d never been to a bookstore before, a real bookstore that wasn’t a news stand or the book section in a department store.

Q:  I find that shocking.  How old were you then?

A:  Oh, eighteen, nineteen.  And I think I was a little intimidated by the place.  It was a small store front on a side street crammed to the rafters with books.  I’d never seen so many books outside of a library.  Anyway, I asked after any new Kerouac titles but they only had ones I’d already read.  The clerk showed me a book by someone he said was a friend of Kerouac’s.  It was A Coney Island Of The Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  Poetry.  I think I bought it just so I could get out of there and not feel like a complete idiot.

Q:  Did you start writing poetry then?

A:  Not really.  I mean, I’d already tried my hand at writing poems so I had a notion of what a poem was, a conventional Romantic notion, and it had to do with expressing emotions toward a loved one, usually an indifferent unresponsive young woman.  They were all very ardent.  No one ever saw them.  I wasn’t very serious about it, anyway.

Q:  You must have become serious eventually.

A:  Yes, eventually.  One thing leads to another.  I started including poetry in my reading .  I can’t say I got all that was going on.  It wasn’t like reading popular fiction.  But it was interesting, challenging.  I came across Don Allen’s New American Poetry.  That was a revelation.  And I started noting references to names of other poets and writers.  Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Pound, Williams.  So I began looking into those guys, and they led me to other writers and poets.  At one point all my reading was taken up with tracking down a wider variety of writers and finding out more about them, their writing.

Q:  Were you also writing poetry at this time?

A:  That kind of went hand in hand with my reading.  In order to understand what the poets were doing I had to try to replicate what they were doing in a kind of reverse engineering.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  I was concentrating on contemporary American poets for the most part, and it was pretty much anything goes, or that’s what it seemed like.  Looking back, I can see that I was really just pissing in the wind.

Q:  Yet you were published in some pretty impressive magazines.  Rolling Stone, The Paris Review, Exquisite Corpse.  And in a number of anthologies.  Don’t you think you were doing something right?

A:  Well, thanks to the kindness of strangers and the indulgence of friends. Not without some trepidation on my part, I have to say.  Success tends to complicate things.

Q:  So after many years you’ve turned back to fiction.  Why?

A:  I never turned away from fiction.  It’s just that the learning curve with poetry is steeper and requires greater diligence.  Around the same time that I had my first book published and was invited to read at the Poetry Project in New York City, I had also written two novels, one of which remained in draft form, and the other as a final manuscript. That was the first version of the western.  Even though I was experiencing relative success as a poet, writing novels was never out as an option.  And novels are a different kind of challenge.  Physically, logistically, especially back when everything was written on a typewriter.  Large chunks of specific time are required.  I feel like I could probably write poetry on the run, but the writing of a novel, for me at least, requires consistency, more sit down time.  And back then, a lot of white out, scissors, glue.  The construction of a final draft was an engineering feat.   Sorting through the renumbered pages with whole blocks of writing crossed out and painstakingly stitching it all back together.  Just the thought of it makes me shudder.

Q: What became of those early novels?

A:  The western made the rounds of agents and publishers but no one was interested.  Thankfully.  And the first draft novel was recycled into a general idea for a story.  I kept the title and the locale.

Q:  One of your recently published novels, On The Road To Las Cruces, is a western.  Is this the same novel?

A:  It’s the same subject, but the narrative has changed considerably.  Even though I had put it aside, the story and the need to tell it stayed with me, and I would go back and rewrite parts or scribble in the margins my additions or redirections.  That went on for several years and finally computers caught up with me and I spent many hours transcribing my typewritten poetry manuscripts as computer documents.  I also transcribed my western which allowed me to incorporate some of the revisions I had arrived at.  And in the process of transcribing, I also rewrote.

Q:  Technology benefitted your processes, in other words.

A:  Technology always changes the way you do business.  Writing a novel is no different.  And as an added advantage, word processors allow, among other things, cut and paste techniques at one time available only to film editors.

Q:  Are you utilizing those tools the way they are in the cinema?

A:  In a way, yes, because cinema is a popular story telling art that uses narrative in interesting, innovative ways.  In doing so, certain idioms are coined, clichés generated.  Telling the story on the page can utilize these idioms, techniques, in similar ways since the reading audience and movie goers overlap and recognize the tropes.  I was particularly conscious of using cinematic techniques in the western, mainly because of the complexity of trying to tell the story on three different levels.  There’s the narrative that takes place in real time, the one that takes place in the recent past, and the narrative that’s as a result of introspection and  dialogue with a ghost.

Q:  Did you also use cinematic techniques in the novel you published last year, The Last Resort?

A:  The narrative in The Last Resort has a fairly straight forward first person camera eye chronology with an extended back story flash back that serves as the booster rocket into the wrap up.  There’s also the  cinematic technique of the cliffhanger, the Saturday matinee movie serial.  The chapters, which for the most part are all roughly the same length, end abruptly or as jump cuts.

Q:  You’ve subtitled the novel A Lee Malone Adventure

A:  Lee Malone is based on a character I created for a serial I wrote for a local weekly newspaper years ago about a supermodel sleuth.  I had started some preliminary chapters for another serial when the editorship changed hands and the newspaper was no longer interested in the material. These odds and ends of fiction were among the last to be transcribed as computer documents, and I didn’t pay that much attention to them until some years after that when I read a couple chapters to a few writers I know.  Their reaction told me that I might be on to something.  So I pursued it.

Q:  Your first person narrator is a woman.  Why a woman, and who is she?

A:  Lee Malone is a stereotypical beautiful woman, former international model circa 1985.  What makes her interesting is how she tries to circumvent that cliché and become an authentic person .  In the very limited realm of a not overly realistic genre storyline, of course.  The  protagonist for these kinds of escapades is usually a tough guy with a broken nose, a five o’clock shadow, and breath that can pickle squid.  I was after something different.

Q:  The Last Resort was published in 2012.  Why is the setting in 1985?  Why not a more contemporaneous time?

A:  I had started the early chapters in 1985.  And rather than go back and retool the time frame to something more current, I decided to stick with it and avoid as many anachronisms as possible.  No cell phones or internet back then so that allowed a slower unfolding of the plot and a more leisurely development of the back story on Lee Malone.

Q:  You portray Lee Malone as rather willful.

A:  She has a cocksureness instilled by her life of privilege as a beauty.  And she knows how to use her looks to get what she wants.  But there’s a down side, and that is that all men lust after her and most women hate her.  Her aloofness is also a tragic flaw.  Men are cowed by her imperiousness and women suspect her of treachery.  Consequently she is alone.

Q:  You’ve published two genre novels, one a western and the other a pot boiler.  Are you seeking a conventional audience as opposed to one that was primarily interested in your poetry?

A:  The interest in my poetry in a very qualified sense has always been limited.  I don’t expect that my novels will be read by many more people, conventional or otherwise.  Given that the novels are written by a poet, conventionality was never a consideration.  Other than to label them genre works. Also this imagined audience will undoubtedly encompass many who have read my poems. Anyway, the idea of an audience for my work is always problematic.  I don’t think that my subject matter and how I approach it has universal appeal.  What I write about and how I write might find more support among men than woman.   The western is about gun violence, and the pot boiler, as you characterize it, is about titillation.  These are two things that fascinate men, sex and death.

Q:  Are there more macho centric gender specific novels in your future?

A:  I’m currently working on two crime fiction novels and a series of short stories in the same genre.  They’re detective stories, dick lit, if you will. Dick signifying slang for detective, of course, not the male sexual organ. One is titled simply, A Detective Story, and the other is in between titles right now.

Q:  Why crime fiction, dick lit, rather than something more universal that appeals to everyone?

A:  Crime fiction actually has a universal appeal, at least since Poe, who is said to have pioneered the detective story.  It is essentially comedy, sometimes quite dark, and situational, often improbable.  I feel comfortable with the conventions of genre fiction.  One novel, a period piece set in the 40’s before the war, is an attempt to represent the kind of writing that was being published in the pulp magazines with a little twist of  French surrealism.  The other might be characterized, in an 8 second Mamet pitch, as young Philip Marlowe in the  21st century.

Q:  Let me see if I have that right, you’re writing genre novels in order to write about genre novels.  Would you call that meta-fiction?

A:  I might, but I don’t exactly know what that is.  My characters are fictional, there’s no pretense that they are anyone beyond the page, even if they represent figures in regional history or in the history of fiction.  Every time I sit down to write a poem I am writing the history of poetry. Not in any grand ultimate critique, but in the relationship between myself and poetry.   In the same way, when I sit down to write a novel I am writing the history of fiction.  I have a hyper awareness of what has been written and I naturally factor that into the process

Q:  You’re mimicking a style appropriate to the story you’re telling.  Is that how you approach writing all your novels?

A:  I don’t know.  I’ve only written two so far. But yes, there is an awareness of the genre that determines how, stylistically, it is written.  Writing novel scale fiction requires a degree of engineering, of being more than just a voice but a writer director producer set designer camera lights action.  I assume that anytime a story is told some kind of mimicry is going on.

Q:  For example.

A:  Um, for example, ok.  Well, after the first version of my western was rejected, I was still enjoying my readings in the history of the old Southwest.  This is a subject that had also fascinated me as a young reader.  The more I read, the more of a historical sense I got of the people, the actors upon whom western legends are based.  I read authors from that period, Owen Wister for instance, author of The Virginian, contemporary accounts by Charlie Siringo, and modern regional authors like J. Frank Dobie to get a sense of how the stories of that time were told.  In rewriting the western, I had those voices to accompany me in the telling of my story. Or stories, as there are four stories, told by different storytellers or story telling devices.  What I was after was an underlying tone, a lingering in the language from that time.  In doing so, I didn’t write a conventional western.  It is more matter of fact, laconic, about a subject that has been mined repeatedly.  I gave it a different spin.

Q:  You refer to your reading quite a bit.  How much of a role does reading play in your writing?

A:  Reading is the other side of the coin.  I spend as much time reading as I do writing, maybe more.  I don’t read much fiction though.  I read primarily to satisfy my curiosity about particular subjects.  Neuroscience or cosmology, the micro and the macro of it all.  Sociology, anthropology, history.  These are areas of scholarship that continue to interest me.  To speculate on any of these subjects is what engages the imagination for me.  Coming at it from another way, writing genre novels is a reaching back to the reading that I enjoyed so much when I was younger and inspired me to think I could be a writer, a time of innocence that existed before I stepped into the world of serious literature.

Q:  Now that you are heavily committed to novel pursuits, have you put aside writing poetry for the time being?  Or for good?

A:  Yes, for the good of poetry, I should actually stop, but no, that obsession continues unabated.  And it’s not like I put on a different hat when I sit down to do one or the other.   To paraphrase Philip Whalen, it is something I do all day, every day.  I give the novels the same attention and concentration I give to my poetry.  And the fact that I am primarily a poet simply means that I bring a peculiar sense of language to the table.  These novels might easily be considered very long prose poems, poems on an epic scale.

Based on an interview conducted by Suzanne Lang for A Novel Idea aired on KRCB FM (Rohnert Park, CA) February 13th, 2013; edited, condensed, with material added for continuity and coherence.

Neo-Pulp Fiction

Order Now and get free shipping!
(offer good through August 18, 2012)

A Lee Malone Adventure

        by Pat Nolan


Deep in the redwood wilds along the Corkscrew River, someone is shooting neighborhood dogs. The year is 1985 and Lee Malone, former fashion model, queen of the runways from Paris to Milan, once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world, now a part-time reporter for The Corkscrew County Grapevine, is looking for a story to sink her teeth into. When Lee finds the owner of Kelly’s Seaside Resort brutally murdered, it leads her on an adventure that includes a mysterious gray van, another murder, extortion, pornography, sex slavery, and a shadowy organization of militant feminists known as SAPHO.  In the process, Lee Malone’s notorious past catches up with her.  
The Last Resort is a rollicking imaginative romp in the neo-pulp hard boiled genre told with the succinct directness of a Hammett, the witty hyperbole and lush locales of a Chandler, as well as a sly nod to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys adventures.  

  August 2012 ~ $19.99 ~ 212 pages ~ Paper~ ISBN 978-0-9840310-2-3

 Sample Chapters

   Chapter Six Runway Past   Chapter Twenty Two Naked Blade

Praise for The Last Resort

“Set in 1985 Northern California, The Last Resort is an audacious neo-pulp noir.  Lee Malone, an amateur sleuth, must operate sans the usual PI anonymity, for her scandalous past as celebrity model guarantees recognition. When her search for a murderer leads her into outback hustles and corporate rackets, some unsavory crimes, criminals and conspiracies are lying in wait.”
− Keith Abbott, Professor, Naropa University, and author of Downstream From Trout Fishing In America,  A Memoir of Richard Brautigan

“I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading a book.  I read The Last Resort slowly, savoring each chapter. . .allowing the previous chapter’s outrageous plot twist to settle in.  Pat Nolan was completely successful at suspending my disbelief. . . keeping things right at that edge.
— Peter Andrews, radio host of
OFF THE SHELF on KGGV 95.1 FM  (Read the entirety of Peter’s review)

“. . .chick lit for guys. . . .”
anonymous correspondent

“Pat Nolan’s Last Resort puts his gun in the right hands–a woman’s–with authority and harmful intent.  Get ready to hit the deck!”
− Barry Gifford, author of Imagining Paradise and Wild At Heart

“. . .damned skillful and witty. . . zany plot offset by delicate descriptions of the coastal scenery and wonderful lances of wit about character types.”
Eric Johnson, poet and master printer, Iota Press

There’s an awful lot to praise about Pat Nolan’s new book THE LAST RESORT, but the top thing for me is the grace and fire and sheer fluency of Nolan’s prose. When I think of the current generation of so-called American master novelists, their prose (with maybe the exceptions of David Foster Wallace and Bill Vollmann) goes clunkety-clunkety-clunk. Nolan’s prose races past almost the whole lot of them like a Ducati on full throttle. Add to this the fact that he pulls off one of the most difficult feats for a fiction writer—a male writing convincingly from the point of view of a female—and that he captures the terrain, towns, and people of northern California better than I’ve ever seen them captured in print, and you’ll know why I literally couldn’t put the book down.

Terms, Conditions & Categories

Nualláin − (pronounced Noo-al-ayne) Celtic for the family name, Nolan, meaning noble or famous.  The Irish writer Brian O’Nualláin was also known as Brian O’Nolan, as well as by his most famous pseudonym, Flann O’Brien, author of At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman and The Dalkey Archives.
House – a business organization of like minded folk, kindred in their interest in the creative, bringing together years of experience in writing, self-publishing, book design, and book selling under one roof, peaked, in the shape of an open book (see logo on the masthead).
Publishers – a business or profession intent on making available literature of a particular genre, be it fiction, poetry or non-fiction, and often entered into more for personal satisfaction than financial gain.  The year 2011 marked the centennial of Brian O’Nualláin’s birth, a fitting beginning for Nualláin House, Publishers, and the publication of ON THE ROAD TO LAS CRUCES, A Novel Account of The Last Day In The Life of A Legendary Western Lawman by Pat Nolan (November, 2011).  Nualláin House, Publishers, will proceed on the assumption that what appeals to the editors might well appeal to other reasonably literate, intellectually curious readers.
Fiction – that which is made up, imaginatively, under the assumptions of possibility more than its probability irrespective of the truth; in short, fanciful lies.  Under the heading of fanciful lies, coming soon: THE LAST RESORT, A Lee Malone Adventure by Pat Nolan (August, 2012).
Poetry – the evil of banality.
Non-Fiction – not fiction.
Whimsy – capricious, eccentric, unpredictable and erratic (see Quirky).
Quirky – an abrupt twist or curve, idiosyncratic (see Whimsy).
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eBooks – at present, the eBook format taxes the technologically challenged and DIY mentality of Nualláin House, Publishers’ production designer.  Suffice it to say, all titles will eventually be issued as eBooks (see Future).  In the meantime, pdf files of sample chapters and limited edition poetry books will be made available on a regular basis with the compliments of Nualláin House, Publishers (see Future, Sample Chapters, and Limited Editions).
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