Sunday, March 09, 2008

Moved to Facebook


Visit me on Facebook for all book news.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Toronto Rape Crisis Center

You can bid on the last copy of Tattoo This Madness In's first print run at their upcoming benefit auction.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


ON BODIES rocked the Art Matters! Festival on March 14-15, and if you were there, then you know why they got an encore..

listen to ON BODIES:

On Bodies is a sexy rock/pop band from Montreal. With influences ranging from PJ Harvey, Sleater Kinney, and Eurythmics, this three-piece group weaves danceable rhythms with epic melodies to support their lyrics concerning space and limits, power and transgression.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Prize and Festival news

Tattoo This Madness In is a Finalist for the 2nd Expozine Alternative Press Awards, Best English Book! (

I wonder if there's a national repository for unused acceptance speeches...hmm.

Mmmmmore good news: I've been invited to participate in the Ottawa International Writer's Festival.

My gig is on April 16th at 6 pm, for those of you slumming in the Capital. I'll be sure to high-five David Suzuki and Michael Ondaatje.

You think I'm kidding? Visit
Plus: new story at

Rock out.

First printing Sold Out!

Tattoo This Madness In has sold out, and it has gone into a second printing. Thank-you, dear readers, and thank-you, Dusty Owl Press.

New one-time offer! If you invest cash in my career, your face goes on the cover of the third printing...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This Week's Mail

From a 16-year-old in rural United States:

"... Im a lesbian. And im a Jehovah's Witness. And more recently, ive came across A LOT of homosexuals within the JW organization. And I just wanted to thank you for speaking out about something and I hope that I can sometime read it!"


Just droping by to say hi. I'm so proud of the fact that there are so many ex-JW's "letting their light shine" and you are one of them. It's important for us "ex-Witnesses" to let our storys be heard because when someone is thinking about joining they only hear from JW's about living forever and all that horse-shit but they never hear about being cut of from their familys forever. I had one person message me this week who is thinking about joining. He had questions that he wanted to ask someone who was a JW. So I told him about disfellowshiping and he was like "wow, I didn't know". So Dan, I said it before and I'll say it again - Your book is a public service.

About the informal Smurf ban of the 1980's:

"It sucked when mom made me stop watching them after all that possesed bullshit. GO SMURFS!!! (They are evil incarnate you know)"


Responses to The Hour's review:

"A dark and seedy angst-ridden adolescent treatise at the expense of the Jehovah's Witnesses?!? Count me in - it may be a voyeuristic way to channel my exasperation with this pseudo-Christian cult but damn does this ever sound like a visceral coming of age punkish piece of pulp-fiction for the never-to-be converted!"

The Jehovah's have consistently been prosecuted throughout their existence in Quebec. Now I'm not one to adhere to their beliefs but i recall that they can still hold religious freedom rights under our charter of rights and freedoms. Man consider the time in the 1950's when Jehovahs were jailed for "subversion" and thrown into jail (see R. v. Duplessis case). Punk rockers similarly fit this out casted grouping. No wonder this book can easily tie the two, it sounds like a tale of persecution.
Let the punks wreak havoc in Jehovah's territory, the cult builds bastions that are probably tax free outside cities like Rome, secluded from the public eye while promoting their version of destiny: and thou shalt not receive blood from another person. They are as blind as they come when it comes to giving a newborn a chance to live, like the sextuplet case now before the courts. But why is it we only see the punks choice of drugs, unleashed sex and abuse as dark and the Jehovah's no transfusion dialogue as less sinister?That is because people are like sheep waiting to be herded by anyone that calls himself a messenger of the man upstairs. And if He wanted to appear, I don't think it would have been through all the proselytizing that goes on in and out of metro stations.
"I was raised in this religion...and I don't have a comment on the book, but I would like to encourage all who have an interest in Jehovah's Witnesses to do some research on them. You can love Jehovah and be loved in return without being a JW. They are full of hypocrisy and false prophesies. When I finally allowed myself to look at this religion and what it teaches, I was surprised at all I didn't know about the false teachings. God bless all who really seek him."


My favourite:

"This gives even more evidence that we ARE in the last days of this dark, evil system and that SATAN is working his hardest on the youth (and inexperienced). If this book disturbs you, count yourself worthy of God's love. Speak to one of Jehovah's Witnesses today or visit a local Kingdom Hall. The witnesses are the only TRUE religion and they offer FREE bible studies to ALL that are interested in learning what the bible tells of your future! You may choose the continued DARKNESS or you may choose the LIGHT!!"


"Jehovah's Witnesses are a doomsday destructive cult who exploit and prey on our fears.Their core dogma is that Jesus had his second coming already in 1914 and is working 'invisibly' through their Watchtower organization."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Xtra and Hour Reviews!

Xtra Magazine, Toronto’s Gay and Lesbian Biweekly
January 18, 2007
Pulling down the Watchtower
Visceral teen drama set among Jehovah’s Witnesses
By Sandra Alland

“Montreal-based Cox is a wizard at character and dialogue. I was eventually drawn completely into Damian’s world, and didn’t look back. Cox knows how to write teen emotion and his prose has a sharp, poetic quality. His words bounce off the margins , then grind into your brain, painting pictures so visceral you can almost smell the boy sweat.”

“Tattoo This Madness In is a smartly penned slice of punk drama, a middle finger held high to mainstream society and writing. I can’t wait to see what Cox comes up with next.”

In Montreal's The Hour:

Inked beliefs
MJ Stone

"They're punk, they're filled with teenage angst, they're Jehovah's Witnesses gone wild. Tattoo This Madness In is a subversive ride into the heart of adolescent angst. An anti-Holden Caulfield, Damian Spitz is no catcher in the rye; on the contrary, he's torching the fields with gasoline. Hell-bent on Armageddon, Damian flips an anti-authoritarian finger at the jay-dub establishment, all the while corrupting its youth with forbidden sex, drugs, music and alcohol."

Click here to read the full review:

Friday, January 19, 2007

On Bodies rocks the 514

If you haven't heard of Montreal band On Bodies yet, get smart already. I don't want you to come crying to me when the wave catches you with your fishnets around your ankles.

With packed shows at L'Esco and Petit Campus, I'm going to get a Canadian Tire tent and get in line at the Bell Centre while I still can.

Check out On Bodies Myspace for audio clips, and info about their upcoming performance at the uber-huge Art Matters festival:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wild bucking ride


It's December 17th, exactly five months to the day I began this crazy, wild, life-changing adventure of taking my book Tattoo This Madness In, and telling people "look--I wrote this."

If you've been reading this blog, then you know what TTMI has done. But I'd like to tell you more about what it's been like for me personally, since I so rarely do that. I'm comfortable to lurk behind my computer screen, but I get the feeling that people want to have a swat at me out in the open. Here's the question I get asked most frequently (with a mischievous glint in their eye): "Is your" The short answer is that the surface details are all different, but the emotional core of the book was ripped out and transplanted directly from my own experiences. Et voila, this is the miracle of fiction.

I'm blown away by the vibrant life my book has assumed. It's an entity, and I've sort of lost control of what it does 'out there'. Holy crap. I had no idea what a powerful tool a book is, in terms of reaching out to people and having them reach out to you. It's a homing device for intimate contact. I'm still touched by the couple who came to my Queer McGill presentation, and who ended up pouring their hearts out about being the parents of a queer daughter. The event literally turned into a support group.

The human factor: up,up,up.

Many Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses have embraced TTMI and contacted me, sharing their heartbreaking and uplifting stories. One woman emailed me the day her entire family decided to shun her. I've developed a beautiful friendship with a young man from a Jehovah's Witness family wrestling with his sexuality. There's some violently personal stuff in my Inbox.

University students have written about Tattoo This Madness In for research projects on religion, and one student has asked to interview me for her course on cults.

Then there was the German couple who asked me to dedicate a copy of my book to the City of Munich. Hmm.

This all leads me to believe I've written a book that has a high human factor. To me, that's the best indirect compliment possible.

I've prized all the feedback I've received, and for the insight it's given me. Remember, that as the writer, I have no perspective. It's extremely revealing and moving to me to find out what makes you giggle, what makes you nauseated, what makes you cry, what gives you a curiously pleasant fever, and what makes you miss subway stops. What's amazing is that when 10 people respond to an interview I've done, they will cite 10 completely different things that resonated with them, often elements I had previously dismissed as unimportant.

The attention has been overwhelming. I've bumped into people at parties who've read my book, I've overheard bar-folk talking about it, and I've opened newspapers to find letters to the editor about sexual dysfunction in Jehovah's Witness teenagers. It's unreal. The media has been all over TTMI. Ironically, it's turned into somewhat of a cult and it's spreading like healthy bacteria. Internet rebels write to me about the state of the Smurf Revolution. I say, rock on.

I've had such fun! One of the golden moments: me going on the air on CKUT FM and telling Montreal that when I was a teenager, "...all I wanted to do was suck cock!"

You know, I didn't work alone.

To all who have had a hand in giving this book a life and making my writerly dreams come true--thank-you immensely. Steve, Kate and Cathy of Dusty Owl Press are the ones who took a chance on me and made it all happen. Steve, you toiled mercilessly with me to edit TTMI and didn't let me get away with anything, then you slogged your ass to zine fairs across Canada to show people what we'd done. Kate, you've seized the power of the small press to reach people at a grassroots level. Your professionalism astounds me. Thanks for all the behind-the-scenes hustle you do. Mark, what would I do without you? I would definitely have shorter wings. You have championed this book from day one, challenging me to reach my potential. Anita and Marek, you're my guardian angels and I'm proud to call you my friends.

The list of people to thank is too long, and it's set up for me to forget key names. I trust that you will be able to recognize yourselves in the following character profiles: to those of you who have bought TTMI, read it, given me feedback on it, sold it, encouraged others to buy it, publicized it, believed in it (important one), given me a place to write, offered me technical support, interviewed me, hosted me at an event, attended one of my events, propelled me forward, sent me kudos, given me opportunities--YOU ROCK! Never underestimate the power of a small gesture. When they add up, they make independent artists feel like they breathe super-hero oxygen.

Now I must go. The bath is running.

I will take a bath and sink into a juicy book. And when I get out, I'm going to start writing again, so that when I tell people I'm a writer, I'll be telling them the god-awful, the horrible truth.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

CBC Killed the YouTube Star


So I was like, pissing my undies when I was walking up to the CBC Radio tower in downtown Montreal on the morning of December 2nd, A) because it was my first time on national radio, and 2), because I stutter like a skipping record, on a GOOD day.

You know what relaxed me? Watching the New Littlest Hobo stunt dog perform tricks in the lobby. Cardiac arrest. Wounded paw. That dog should be nominated for an Oscar. I figured if I froze on the air, I could always play dead, that that sort of thing was actually being encouraged at the CBC.

CLICK HERE to listen for yourself, as I aired my sordid past to whoever was awake at 7 a.m., and as Jeanette Kelly put me through her gentle wringer.

Here are some listener comments:

"Got up at 7h00 yesterday morning to listen to your interview on CBC FM. I was so, so glad that I heard it. You were amazing! The way you talked about your life and this poignant juxtaposition of religion and sexuality worked as a fascinating invitation to read your book. I couldn't help but be reminded of the James Baldwin novella, Giovanni's Room. People close to him said that he wrote a gay novel so early in his career, so that no one could ever hold it over him. He got it out in the open and that was that. Courage in art is a theme that draws people like a magnet. You've got it!!!"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Concordia Link Interview

So this Concordia Link interviewer has accused me of bribing her with baked goods. Okay, so I got creative in the kitchen one night and lost my cupcake cherry.

DF'd and out in Montreal

Daniel Allen Cox talks Jehovah's Witnesses and tattoos

By Laura Roberts

"Daniel Allen Cox, author of Tattoo This Madness In, bribed me with baked goods. OK, so I was planning on interviewing him anyway, having heard that his recently launched book had acquired a cult following here in Montreal, not to mention the fact that it was apparently one of the most successful book-signings in Chapters' history. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I must admit that the offer of free desserts caught my attention. Sorry, first-year J-schoolers, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!"

CLICK HERE to read the full, rock-out interview.

CLICK HERE to see why the same interviewer thinks TTMI makes a good, capitalist holiday gift.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Velvet Mafia Interview

From an interview on, where I almost got into fisticuffs with the lovably annoying interviewer (hey, you pry open a clam and it'll snap back!):

"Vol: You must read balls-out transgressive fiction, because it seems that that's what you aspire to do.

Cox: Thanks for noticing what I 'aspire' to do.

Vol: No offence.

Cox: None taken. By transgressive, do you mean Smurfs?

Vol: More so the general sense in your book that every moral given can be questioned.

Cox: What was your original question?

Vol: What the fuck do you read?"

CLICK HERE to read the full interview, HERE for an excerpt of Tattoo This Madness In, and HERE for a chance to win a copy.

Stay tuned for more interviews, including the journalist who claims I bribed her with cupcakes, and the CBC Radio One interview where I saw the new Littlest Hobo get shot!

Thanks, Mark, for letting me sweat-stain the beautiful shirt you made.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Letter to the Editor

A Letter to the Editor, Hour magazine, December 14:

"After discovering that Montreal author Daniel Allen Cox read from his debut novel "Tattoo This Madness" In at Queer McGill's literary event at the United Theological College Building I felt the need to respond. I am a counter cult educator that educates the public about the damage of cults and fundamental religions. Many Jehovah's Witness cult members have sexual problems as a direct result of the organizations teachings. It is a little known fact that time spent in fundamentalist organizations frequently causes sexual dysfunction. I am pleased that the teen in the story seems to have overcome, to some extent, the organizations programming but this is frequently not the case. In the real world those who grew up in fundamentalist cults face a lifetime struggle with sexual dysfunction that often results in the over reliance on medications such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. As a counter cult educator I feel obligated to include a frank and open discussion of human sexuality in my own educational out-reach. There is help out there for cult members."

Christian Peper

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The first ever MySpace Book Tour!

Thanks for being part of the first ever MySpace Book Tour! It was great to be in touch with so many fascintaing people, each of whom had a different way of tickling my brain!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Speaking at McGill / Internet Hysteria

I was the guest speaker at Queer McGill (McGill University in Montreal) on Friday, November 24th. What a ripping night. Hour magazine listed this event in their Hit List, which presumably made it the hottest event in Montreal that night! On November 23rd, this entry was also listed as the number one Google news headline for the keywords 'Jehovah's Witness'!

We talked for hours about growing up queer and being raised in a religion, we did the Devil's Checklist and temporary tattoos, and Stephen and Karan were kind enough to read from my book. Something really magical happened as well--there were parents there who were in the process of working out how they feel about their daughter's orientation, and they let us into that process, sharing intimate family details. I applaud the group for making the atmosphere comfortable enough for them to open up.

Check out the venue below. How perfectly ironic...

Thank-you once again, everyone who made this happen.

Friday, November 24, 7-9 p.m.
United Theological College Building
3521 University (above Milton)
(514) 398.2106

Friday, November 10, 2006

Small Press Revolution

We got our TTMI on atExpozine, Expozine, Montreal's annual small press, comic and zine fair, on Saturday, November 25th.

My tireless editor and cheerleader (as he likes to be called) Steven Zytveld made the trip from Ottawa and we burned the place down. It was fascinating watching people choose what temporary tattoo they wanted me to give them, and where!

Thanks, Louis Rastelli and crew, for making Expozine what it is today, and for keeping the indie press alive and furious in Montreal.

Dusty Owl Press has also taken TTMI to these small press festivals in 2006:

Ottawa Writer's Festival
Hamilton Small Press Fair

Long live the indie press!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

3 CKUT FM Interviews

Been cruising the airwaves as of late. I've done two radio interviews about Tattoo This Madness In in the past 2 weeks, both on the super-cool CKUT 90.3 Fm. One more on the way.

Click HERE to download the following broadcasts.

"Hersay" November 1
with poet, songwriter, singer Mark Harris
and with your host, banjo ukelele superstar Sarah "Unkle" Mangle

"Friday the morning after" November 10
with your host, the uber-penetrative Jeffrey Mackie

"Queercorps" December 11, 6 p.m.
with your host, John Custodio

Chapters Book-Signing

Last year, I never thought I'd be sitting behind a table of my own books in Montreal's biggest bookstore.

Well, it happened on November 3rd. We sold 4 times the average for a Chapters-Indigo-Coles book signing! Some people bought the book as a stocking stuffers for their kids, one German couple asked me to address the book to the City of Munich, an Israeli soldier stopped by to chat, I was invited to do a radio interview, and I was invited to speak at Queer McGill. It was mind-blowing to connect with these people.

And because it was so successful, Chapters wants to do it again!

Thank-you all for coming out, and especially my friends for keeping company.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fan Review and Other Press

"It's the best story about a Jehovah's Witness acting badly since "Orgazmo."...This book is sexually intense along the lines of Delphine Lecompte, although decidedly North American in flavor (Cox is Canadian, but the book takes place on the throbbing vein of America's wang, Florida)."

Click HERE for the full story.

Montreal Mirror, October 5th, 2006:

Jehovah’s rebel

"Daniel Allen Cox cheerfully blurs the line between fact and fiction with his debut novel. 'Tattoo This Madness In first started as a series of journals I kept while riding trains in Europe,' Cox explains. 'The book is about growing up gay as a Jehovah’s Witness teenager, about breaking the rules yet still managing to find spiritual redemption. Oh yeah, and it’s also about blacklisted Smurfs.'"

Click HERE for the full segment.

TTMI in Jehovah's Witness news:

'Tattoo This Madness In' by Daniel Allen Cox

'Fiction novel about a Gay Ex-JW
Gets rave Reviews in the Press'

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Queer XJW reality show!

We're going to try to get Tattoo This Madness In on TV:

"Nemesis is truly rising. The Los Angeles-based band—comprised of gay twin brothers Jacob and Joshua Miller—will see its debut disc hit on Oct. 16. That same day will see the premiere of a new LOGO reality series that follows their stars-in-the-making journey, Jacob & Joshua: Nemesis Rising. But it wasn't always double the pleasure, double the fun for the Miller twins. Raised as Jehovah's Witnesses in rural Montana, they experienced double the conservative religious repression during their first 18 years of life. And early on in the LOGO series, we'll follow them home to come out to their fundamentalist parents and family."

Click HERE for the full story.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Reader's Brew

I've recently come to the conclusion that between reading and writing, the truly creative, magical act is reading, and that writing is the pleasantly tedious process of creating reading material. That's why your comments are so valuable to me. It's the point.

Readers often assume that I thought of all these details before, but each and every one of the comments below reveal something new to me. Remember, as the writer, my perspective has been extremely limited.

Here are some of your thoughts:


word up on the review. i told you about all good queer lit gave me fever? damn i was popping the aspirin like candy and soaking my feet in ice water after plowing through TTMI!


so i bought your book yesterday and read it last night (couldn't put it down actually)...damn boy!! fantastic...i plan on reading it again before we actually get down to discuss it...i want to be prepared!! hehe


"Just wanted to let you know that I rec'd your book yesterday and finished reading it. It's a great read, both funny and tragic and some amazing prose. I even had to pop in my "Placebo" cd's to accompany my reading. Placebo, Nine Inch Nails and Def Leppard are about as wild as I get..LOL Anyway your book brought me back to my coming out days in my early twenties, both as a gay man and as a JW....thanks for that. I wished I had the guts to rip up the NWT in the middle of the K.H. at the time...LOL

As I mentioned before, I am totally comfortable in setting up a booking signing party for our ACB (A Common Bond) group if you ever come to NYC. You have a quality novel. Keep up your writing! I look forward to your next work."


"Not only is your book AMAZING, but you're also a montrealer. doesn't get any better than that. anyway, i picked up your book at Expozine the other day, and used public transportation time to read it today... and honestly, i nearly missed my metro stop, being so engrossed. it's incredible. seriously. props."


"between parties and then today too

i didst read the novella

...moved me.

just wanted to give praise to you.

now, it's nestled lovingly between "madness and civilization" (foucault) and "memoirs of a dutiful daughter", upon my bookshelf.

thank you for writing, and for inspiring.

feels like the air has been pretty charged with aggression and really strong emotion it just me?"


"When I finished reading Tattoo This Madness In for the second time, I cried. I wept because it was beautiful, but also because I realized what a personal manifesto it is for you. I cried because of all the guilt and shame you shed."


"I've been meaning to send a missive along your way ever since I blazed through your book. A fine job, indeed.

The book moved with such brevity and confusion - kind of like its protagonist, I guess. It also resonated with the shards of teenager still left in me, and I often felt that it is a book best read by adolescents. Quite a brilliant insight for anyone over the age of 20.

This probably sounds ridiculous, but you should try to shove this book into the hands of Marilyn Manson.

You know: celebrity attention leads to media attention = you could be the next *real* JT Leroy! Ha ha."


"I read the book and though your style is quite good (keep writing!) it is a bit of a raunch shocker for my mostly born-again readers."


"i love your book dude,your descriptive writing blows me away."


"When Damian was in the bathroom and he’s overwhelmed and confused and sick, he totally changes the scene by taking control of what he knows best—smurfs, tattoos and submission. And he was basically branding his disciples, a 17-year-old messiah. I think that’s what makes it interesting. You touch on the confusion and the vulnerabilirty and exploration of being a teenager, then it changes into control and power, which is a side you don’t see often. I like how the scenes play in your head like a movie. It kind of reminds me of the director Greg Araki."


"I want to say that I have read your book twice and I love it! Not to sound cheesy, but it was great read. And I love the line about the bugs being hit into the windshield, some doing so for suicide."


"I read your book during my commute home on the train. Good job - you captured the craziness that some feel in trying to get out of the Organization. It's very destructive - maybe that's not a good word - but violent - the animosity really comes through - my opinion anyway. Damian is a tragic character - for me anyway - just sort of all this energy and pent up emotion that just explodes."


“I finished your book and couldn't put it down. It was really good Daniel, I love how you write. Everything is very curt and direct, I love that style. Oddly enough, in all the chaos of the book I think my favourite character was Alicia, she was very calming and comforting, for some reason I liked that.”


“I read your book and I enjoyed it. My favourite part was the 'wounds as kisses.' I'm going to send it to a zinester friend in Detroit who I think will like it. Have you ever read Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood? If not, I strongly suggest you do. It's the only novel she wrote (she is a brilliant short story writer) and her main character is a similar (anti?)messiah who works with and against his up-bringing. I thought of it a lot while I was reading Tattoo.

“One more thing I just remembered that I thought was funny. While I was reading Tattoo my brain forgot that DF stood for disfellowship. So, in the scene where Damian is in the hotel room all stoned out with his new friends having sex and the girl was asking him to DF with her, I thought she was asking him to double-fuck her with Zeke. And, as Damian did it, I thought it was such an intimate scene because these two guys were ripping into her and Damian was going right out there, getting so close to Zeke - the gay issue - while affirming his straightness by fucking the girl with Zeke. But, I don't think any of that was really intended. I really should re-read that chapter.”


"You do acknowledge in the book that the JWs have been persecuted themselves such as under the Nazis. At the same time you show that religious repression can leave a young person with the feeling that they have nowhere to turn to discuss feelings or thoughts that they are having. At the same time it seems to me that your characters don't necessarily reject religion/faith per se."


On the net:

WARNING! Jehovah' reading this book might consider the violence they plant in young gay people's hearts with their narrow vision of who is deserving of God's love/Jesus' mercy.Considering how often I get to recycle the Watchtower at my local laundromat, I find it ironic that there are not more critiques of that crap - oh right- its not worth critiquing because its so obviously full of feces. This book is definitely worth the 10$ read, even if your not into the Jehovah's crap, or homo punk culture- it is great writing!


Letting go of everything and starting new isn't easy. Daniel Cox's book speaks the universal truth of repression and struggle, of guilt, shame, fear, and of survival. One doesn't have to be an ex-jaydub to get that. Take it from me: an ex-Muslim and lifelong lesbian-in-denial, whose flee from subjugation, thought not quite as violent on the outside as Damien's, was every bit as complex on the inside. I'm willing to bet there's a little bit of Damien Spitz in everyone.


TTMI is an exploration into the locus of where blind-faith and the physicality of the flesh clash, how religion and sexuality move in overlapping circles, and how ruptures occur when we question that which we have been taught to never question. At the end of the day, TTMI is an explosive poetic tale, beautifully written and scathing. It is raw, honest and electric. You can smell the gasoline, taste the intermingling of bodily fluids and hear the pulse of Henry Rollins and Black Flag. TTMI is by far one of my favourite books, and it appears as though I'm not alone; the novel has just been been nominated for the Expozine Alternative Press Awards, under the category Best English Book. Congrats to the author!


this book is an explosive tour de force... like a greg araki movie on 32 hits of lsd... tom wolfe eat your lunch! my views on jews line up pretty closely with cox's views, despite my rather limited exposure to this religion, but I've had a decent-sized fill, and oodles of enough pentecostal Christian indoctrination to choke a horse! its a strong, surreal little novel ... a page turner!


I can't see how anything written about personal redemption can be anything but powerful for both the writer and the audience. I thank Cox for putting forth this piece that reminds us of the importance of community and self love and that provokes discussion among people about beliefs and religion.And a BIG congratulations to Mr. Cox for his nomination for the Expozine Award of the best English Fiction work!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Smurf Under your Bed

One of the most frequently asked questions I get about Tattoo This Madness In, is if the Smurf/Jehovah's Witness connection is a joke. CLICK HERE to read the results of an online survey I sent out, and decide for yourself.

So owning a smurf used to be taboo. CLICK HERE for other things JW's can't, or shouldn't, do.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Launch (we Blasted Off)

Still recovering from the launch party high. Zeke's Gallery, October 6th. Cool. Thank-you to everybody who made it happen. And who made me sign autographs for an hour-and-a-half. It was cool to be surrounded by trash-amalgam robots.

Sarah Mangle opened the show with her banjo ukelele, singing to us from the heights of her ladder. She took us into her patch of sun-dappled sky. Matthew Fox read from Cities of Weather and won the Devil's Checklist prize, a free copy of Tattoo This Madness In, after being certified the room's worst Jehovah's Witness. Tanya Schuh read the most touching poems, including one of my favourites about a non-princess and a pea. Richard Burnett's playful arguments with Zeke between performers kept us all entertained.

After the break, my darling beau Mark Harris read from my book, giving it a life in the world of sound I never could. His fiery readings of Diamanda Galas and Patti Smith was a masterful work of cultural synthesis. His vocal tribute to TTMI, an Antony and the Johnsons gem, was pure emotion.

Then the Ottawa crew, who travelled by bus and by car and by camel to get there, ended the event brilliantly. Sean Zio spread his infectious love-energy around the room, bringing spoken word into our bosoms. Kathryn Hunt, of Dusty Owl Press, wormed into our psyches with her thoughtful poetry and riffed a duet with Zio to wrap up. Steven Zytveld, Dusty Owl's resident Owl, read animatedly from Chapter 2 of my book, and then rippling material of his own.

(Check back to hear the entire show via webcast)

Gotta do this again.

Funky Ink--Feature Review

Ottawa Xpress
October 5th, 2006

Heart-racing literary madness
Matthew Firth

Hell-fire debut launched by new Ottawa small press

Daniel Allen Cox's short novel Tattoo This Madness In (Dusty Owl Press) helps restore my faith in Canada's young writers. Cox - along with Chandra Mayor, Joey Comeau and others - isn't happy to fall in line and barf out more soft-around-the-middle fiction palatable for the middle class. Cox et al. are young guns who write like young guns; their fiction is laced with piss and vinegar. Cox, in particular, takes his CanLit cues from bold and inventive writers such as Derek McCormack and Tony Burgess, instead of stodgy farts like Alice Munro.

In chapter 2 of the book, the protagonist, Damian Spitz, a teen on the run from Jehovah's Witness brainwashing, cuts loose at a Dead Kennedys concert. It's no fluke that the DKs open with their anthem Chickenshit Conformist from Bedtime for Democracy. Cox picked this song for a reason: It's the theme for the entire book. Damian has rejected his upbringing and refuses to do as his parents have done; he refuses to conform to the stultifying, self-hating doctrines of their religion. It's been stuffed down his gob for too long.

When the Smurfs - of all things - are centred out in a sermon as being pawns of Satan, Damian can't take it any longer. He goes apeshit in Kingdom Hall, lashing out against a church elder and the religion. Thus begins a quest to willingly disfellowship himself. In Jehovah's Witness speak, it's the equivalent to being excommunicated. Damian, after years of denial, decides he will feel rather than think, he will bask in impulse and sensation and take others along with him for the ride. What follows is a hedonistic, sexually charged, violent romp fuelled by a punk rock soundtrack.

Key in the book is that Damian discovers his sexual leanings in his emancipation. He goes from being a teen terrified to masturbate because God will hate him for it, to ass-fucking a fellow ex-Jehovah's Witness on the hood of a car. A wee bit of a radical transformation, but when the fetters of indoctrination come off, they really come off.

Cox's prose style is also key to the book's success. He writes with energy. The story surges from word one. Cox doesn't bog the reader down with insipid metaphors or boring descriptions - his characters' actions forcefully drive the book forward.

Cox lives in Montreal, though the novel is set in Miami. The publisher - Dusty Owl Press - is right here in Ottawa, giving this city a role in pumping fresh blood into the old CanLit heart with Tattoo This Madness In.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Intellectual Hooligans

The Owl Manifesto:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that Ottawa holds untapped numbers of talented writers; that all great art communities come from supporting other artists; that cross-pollination of the disciplines is a Good Thing; that literary readings should first and foremost be about exposing yourself to the styles and opinions and work of a variety of other writers, and should be about having fun with the language; that art and politics are not, and should not be, entirely distinct; and that art in its many forms can build community and make a difference. And that we would like to be "a non-partisan, multilateral, cross-disciplinary Force for Good."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

11 Bookstores, 1 Library

I'd advise you to steal Tattoo This Madness In from the following bookstores, but the people who run them are really nice:

Chapters (Montreal)

Paragraphe Books (Montreal)SOLD OUT
The Word (Montreal)SOLD OUT
Zeke's Gallery (Montreal)

After Stonewall Books (Ottawa)
Collected Works (Ottawa)
Venus Envy (Ottawa)

Glad Day Bookshop (Toronto)
Pages Books and Magazines (Toronto)
This Ain't The Rosedale Library (Toronto)

Powell's City of Books (Portland)

and now available in Carlton University's LGBT library! (Ottawa)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cumming and LaBruce

What do Alan Cumming and Bruce LaBruce have in common, besides fame and all the boys they could ever want?

They both have Tattoo This Madness In...

I have a cool bet with LaBruce that if TTMI pierces his hectic art-making schedule and gets him to read again, he'll post his miracle-healing testimonial here.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thanks, Droolies!

Precious readers, you have made my day. I'm spending it inscribing your books, sipping coffee, taking my time with your envelopes, glad that I didn't write this damn book for nothing. It's fun to send books to Germany and South Africa. My darling beau Mark has kindly volunteered to be Santa's elf and scribble your addresses.

Aaron and Agata, it is in horror that I realize I forgot to thank you on the acknowledgements page. Without that writing desk and room in Krakow, who knows what might've become of this book.

My publisher, Dusty Owl Press, sent a box of books to a gay ex-Jehovah's Witness conference in New York City. I told them to send it express, to make sure it gets there before Armageddon sweeps our sweet, naughty asses into the abyss.

Oh yeah, in case anyone's wondering, the offer to send nude photos of myself in exchange for buying a book is just a rumour...Okay, so it happened, but the deal's off...unless you can think of a really good reason for me to re-visit my days as New York's most elusive hustler.

Friday, July 14, 2006

What Folks are Saying

“If William Burroughs and Clive Barker had a love child and fed it only BooBerry cereal, it's literary output might be as highly charged and frenetic as the sexy bloodbath that is Tattoo This Madness In. I'm waiting any day to hear that Haley Joel Osment has optioned it as his breakout role in an adult lead, now that he's 18 and old enough to do whatever the fuck he wants. TTMI could give him just what he needs -- Smurf tattoos, Jehovah's Witness teen abductions, and gay sex scenes in a burning sports car. Hot, hot, hot."

--Reed Massengill, photographer and author of Portrait of a Racist

“Daniel Allen Cox unravels the twisted truth in the heroic rebel yell of queer youth.”

--Richard Burnett, Hour magazine, Montreal

"In an edge-of-control world on the manic fringe of apostasy, Daniel Allen Cox poleaxes us into believing escape is possible. The ink from "Tattoo This Madness In" stains in the best way imaginable. Cox writes in the same manner that the needle-man at the core of his drama sins: outrageously,calculatingly, urgently. He kicked my ass all over the place."

-- Brian Ames, author of "Eighty-Sixed"

“Tattoo This Madness In is smart, weird, speedy, subversive, and intense. It's filled with surprising images and sharp, economical sentences. I was almost mad when it ended, so I immediately read it again.”

--Scott Heim, author of We Disappear and Mysterious Skin, now a major motion picture.

Friday, June 02, 2006

What's your Smurf name?

What’s your Smurf name? Go to the Smurf Name Generator, find out, and go buy a nice plot of mulch and a mushroom house. Don't forget to post your new name on this blog!:

photo courtesy of dave and dylan