I, An Actress: The Autobiography of Karen Jamey

Author – Published 2005 by Contemporary Press. “Dinsmore takes a cheeky look at the life and times of a tawdry B-movie actress in his entertaining pulp debut, written as the autobiography of Karen Jamey Hitler, a nonstarlet of the 1930s. A precocious, gorgeous German girl whose immigrant parents worked the minstrel circuit, Jamey drops her surname and injures a competitor to get her first significant part. Her career takes off in earnest once she moves from Baltimore to L.A. with her father, overcomes a corrupt agent and hooks up with Tony Tarantella. The seedy gangster introduces Jamey to the “big” names, gives her a job as a stripper and becomes her lover. When he catches her in bed with Fletcher Bisque and kills Fletcher, Jamey flees to Guatemala, where she quickly becomes a local celebrity and gets involved in revolution (and romantic intrigue with a pair of political rivals). A return to America to rebuild her career leads to monster movies, alcoholism and a breakdown. Dinsmore cobbles together a nice blend of Hollywood shtick and bloated narcissism for Jamey’s voice . . . dirty, low, funny and stylish.” (Publisher’s Weekly – 10/25/2005).

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Johnny Astronaut

Author (under the pseudonym Rory Carmichael) – Published 2003 by Contemporary Press..

“In the future, disco is king. Johnny Astronaut is the story of a hard-boiled, hard-drinking P.I. who stumbles upon a mysterious book that changes his life forever. Caught between a vindictive ex-wife, a powerful crime boss, and a sinister race of lizard people, Johnny becomes embroiled in a warp-speed, hilarious adventure that stretches across space and time.”

My first attempt at writing a novel, I decided to write this one under the pseudonym Rory Carmichael. It works for the concept of the book, but the one problem I discovered with writing your book under a pseudonym is that no one believes you actually wrote it. I did, I swear. If you look closely at the cover, the rocketship says “Jeffrey D.” on it. Also, I own the copyright, so even if someone else did write it, I still get all that sweet, sweet money.

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Danger City

Editor and Contributor – Published 2005 by Contemporary Press.

“Without a doubt, the most crowd-pleasing story in Danger City is “Faggy on the Streets,” by Jeffrey Dinsmore. Like his fellow authors, Dinsmore likes his fiction rough, but he doesn’t take a word of it seriously. The title character, John Faggy, is a renegade investigator with an angry streak and “one badassss cracker.” Dinsmore writes, “He’ll take you downtown on the Brown line and when he do, he won’t buy you no breakfast or cook you no Steak-umms, no way, baby. He’ll take you down to where you need to go and he’ll say to you, ‘Look, there, that’s where you belong, you maggot.’” Faggy teams up with a sidekick named Squeamish to orchestrate a drug bust, and by the time the story is through, Faggy has used his sexual prowess to pry information out of a prostitute, gunned down several of the cops in his precinct, and told a convict who refuses to squeal that “if you don’t tell me everything you know about the Enforcers right now, I’m gonna introduce you to the sweatiest, meanest bulldog in this place and laugh as he fucks you in half.” More than any other author in the collection, Dinsmore is able to mine misanthropy for belly laughs, and he nearly upstages the rest of the contributors. (He also has two Contemporary Press novels of his own: Johnny Astronaut, which he wrote under the pen name Rory Carmichael, and I, An Actress, a mock-autobiography of a trashy Hollywood actress named Karen Jamey, born Karen Hitler. His story for the second anthology, also a winner, is titled “The Alcoholic Monkey Who Took Over My Mind and Turned Me Into a Cold-Blooded Killer,” which pretty much says it all.)” (The Believer – 2/1/2007).

Danger City 2

Editor and Contributor – Published 2006 by Contemporary Press.

“Combining an anything-goes attitude with a firm commitment to storytelling, these fourteen stories run the gamut from noir nail-biters to violent comedies to outrageous exercises in absurdity. Though they may leave you out of breath, nauseated, and questioning your sanity, the talented young writers in Danger City 2 will never leave you bored. Slip into the shadows with us and prepare to be entertained.”

Digging the Vein by Tony O’ Neill

Editor – Published 2006 by Contemporary Press.

“This is Tony O’Neill’s memoir of his passage from rising indie music star to raging junkie, shooting up in his groin in an LA parking lot, having blown out every other vein in his body. All long before he was 25, an age at which he had boasted he would kill himself if he wasn’t famous. He may have already exhausted the patience of Marc Almond, Kenickie and even the infamously unstable Brian Jonestown Massacre but he never tests that of his readers. For what separates O’Neill from more fashionable junkie peers is a reservoir of self-awareness and not an ounce of self-pity. The same vicious wit and painful understanding that sustains him against the torrent of chemical abuse never deserts him, not even when he is running from psychotic crack dealers or having an abscess cut from his suppurating arm. His evocation of the haunted landscapes of Los Angeles, that eternal rock’n’roll whore, resounds with the gnarled grace of a vintage Tom Waits adage: This stuff will probably kill you – let’s do another line.” (The Guardian – 8/6/2007).