Archive for March, 2013

A letter to my landlord

To whom it may concern:

I shall not be renewing the lease on unit XXX in the Sunset Terrace Apartments complex. I shall return my key on Sunday, March 31.

My reasons for doing so are many and varied. Here is a brief list of things I find woefully inadequate with this apartment complex:

  • Lack of security: in November, somebody broke into my car and stole my stereo. The car was parked beneath bright light. The incident occurred between 6-8pm on a Friday evening. Nobody saw anything, nothing was recovered and there have been no improvements in security since then.
  • Pigeon infestation: as far as I can tell, there are no efforts being made to reduce the number of pigeons who live in this apartment complex. A pair of those flying rats started nesting on my balcony.
  • Terrible maintenance: I have submitted four requests to have the pigeons removed from my balcony. They are still there.
  • Incorrect office hours: your website, your voicemail and the sign on your door claim the apartment office is open until 6pm. I don’t get home from work until 5:45pm and I needed to pick up a package held at the office. Every time I got there, it was closed. After sending emails and leaving voicemail messages for a week without so much as a brief response, I finally went to the office on my day off, only to find out it closes at 5pm, not 6pm as advertised.
  • Apathetic staff: is it really that difficult to return a phone call or reply to an email?..
  • Strong chemical smell that lasted for months after my apartment’s fumigation.
  • Water outages due to unannounced repairs in the middle of the day.

Over the course of my life, I’ve lived in black widow-infested crumbling houses, derelict dormitories and radioactive Siberian towns, but none of them were run as poorly, in such an unapologetically indolent way, as the Sunset Terrace Apartments. I would wish you luck with your failing enterprise, but I doubt anything short of divine intervention would help you at this point.


                                                                                                        Worst regards,

        Grigory Lukin, apartment XXX

My new book, “Madmen’s Manifestos: Chris Donner, Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh and others,” is a bit different from my previous work. It contains manifestos, public testimony and suicide notes of 20 different serial killers, ranging from household names like Adolf Hitler or Timothy McVeigh to people you’ve never heard about.

It all began with Chris Dorner’s online manifesto. When that rogue ex-LAPD cop with elite training went on a rampage, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who thought it was a bit stranger than fiction. When I heard that Dorner posted a manifesto online, I decided to read it because I was curious to learn what pushed him over the edge and how he justified his actions to himself.

Once I read that, I became even more curious. Of course, I knew that occasionally serial killers and other disturbed people release manifestos, but this was the first time I actually read one. I did some googling and learned that, for some bizarre reason, nobody has ever published a collection of manifestos those madmen left behind.

I know a niche when I see one… I spent the next few weeks researching killers, getting acquainted with copyright law (there were a couple of manifestos I couldn’t include in the book for that very reason) and sifting through public records to piece together courtroom testimonies and notes that were written in foreign languages, etc.

I hadn’t anticipated the psychological toll this book would take on me. I had to go through each of those manifestos and format them. While I didn’t read each of them closely, I ended up speed-reading through all of them, and there’s only so much exposure to a madman’s mind an average person can take. I also had the bright idea to include a micro-biography for each killer, which meant researching them in depth, verifying the dates and casualty numbers, getting far more graphic details than I was ready for.

What began as a “what if” project ended up stretching for weeks, to the point where I had to bribe myself with a new video game to finish the last few chapters. (For my future biographers – it was “X-Com: Enemy Unknown” for PS-3 and it was worth every penny!) After proofreading, double-checking all the details and slapping together what I think is a fairly decent-looking cover, I finally published the book on Kindle.

Just like with all my new books, I’m giving away my “Madmen’s Manifestos” for free! The giveaway will end at midnight this Sunday, March 17th. Make sure to get your free download over yonder before you forget about it. (You know how it goes – you’ll keep reminding yourself and then it’ll be Monday and you’ll have to pay $2.99 and the butterfly effect from spending that money will wreak havoc on your personal life and might change the world as we know it! I hate it when that happens.)

The TL;DR version: My new book is out – go here to download it for free until 11:59pm this Sunday:

And one more thing – don’t forget to leave a 5-star review if you like the book! It’ll make my day – there’s nothing we authors like more than praise from our readers.

“The way to live a long time – oh, a thousand years or more – is something between the way a child does it and the way a mature man does it. Give the future enough thought to be ready for it – but don’t worry about it. Live each day as if you were to die next sunrise. Then face each sunrise as a fresh creation and live for it, joyously. And never think about the past. No regrets, ever.”
Robert A. Heinlein, “Time enough for love”


Good advice… Incredibly difficult to follow on a consistent basis, but good advice nonetheless.