I've written some books! Here they are in chronological order.
This Darkness Got to Give
"Dave Housley has written a great bloody romp of a Deadhead psychic-vampire novel. As if, perhaps, Anne Rice and Hunter Thompson had met tripping at a Dead show and decided to reimagine Scanners. I enjoyed every page.”
-- Max Ludington, author of Tiger in a Trance
Massive Cleansing Fire
"Despite its leanness, Dave Housley’s latest story collection, Massive, Cleansing Fire, is full of gloriously witty moments and uniquely fascinating characters and situations. Made up of individual stories, each one ending in a fire or focused on accounts of those caught up in a wildfire apocalyptic event, this is a creative, provocative, and refreshingly different sort of book."
-- Nicholas Litchfield, Colorado Review
If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home
“Accents of hair metal, glam rock, and boy-band pop punctuate the 12 engaging stories in this collection, most of them set in rural backwater towns in the author’s native Pennsylvania. In “Rock Out, Mate,” a teenager being groomed for a lip-syncing boy band asks “What Would Elvis Do?”—and the same question for six other rock star idols—as he attempts to meet the challenges of his job by emulating career choices that his heroes made. “Free Will” applies the rhetoric of Geddy Lee’s lyrics for the Rush song of the same name to the performance of a second-string high basketball team as they desperately strive to win the last game of the season. “Paul Stanley Summarizes the Tragedies of William Shakespeare During Between-Song Banter from the 1977–78 Kiss Alive II Tour,” the book’s funniest story, offers six vignettes in which the KISS frontman attempts to stoke emotions by regaling the audience with references to Shakespeare’s dramas. Housley (Commercial Fiction) populates his stories with adult losers trapped in dead-end lives and teenagers struggling to escape a similar fate, but he treats the pathos of their predicaments gently and with humor, as in “So Fucking Metal,” which follows the antics of two generations of metalheads—an aging former roadie and his teenage daughter—at a memorial concert for deceased Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Readers will find these stories light, amusing, and warmly wrapped (as Housley writes in “How to Listen to Your Old Hair Metal Tapes,” one of three essays that conclude the book) in “that gauze of nostalgia, the soft edge that comes from growing up with something.”
-- Publisher's Weekly
"These stories of Housley’s are better than even the best commercials: they are wry and witty, imaginative, heartfelt. They are beautiful. They are exquisite displays of humanity’s capacity for imaginative empathy. Commercial Fiction is, without a doubt, one of the best books of 2013."
-- JM Gamble, Necessary Fiction
"Part of the greatness of Housley’s collection is that the archetypes we spot in ads aren’t merely deflated, or mocked for being as thin as they are, and neither does Cialis itself take much of a hit. What’s going on instead is that within these brief flickering televised slices of life there’s history, there’s failure, there’s doubt. Housley does the most terrifying than that can be done to a TV commercial: he makes its sunny stereotypes into real people, and follows them, rather than the trajectory of the ad or (mostly) what it’s advertising. We might watch our favorite shows once, twice, maybe a half-dozen times, but we’re bombarded with commercials, with serene shallowness that suggests Everything is Going to Be Okay when, in the stories here, when the ads are pulled into narrative that extends them what’s going on is more complicated, more “tricky,” more human. That Housley can thoroughly territorialize TV commercials and make them into compelling fiction is great enough, but that he can flip things, and remind us that the bought spots we see on TV are only one brief instant of an implied life that we’ll never know, but what we can know is that the implied lives of the perfect, clean joy of a Lexus or Subway commercial are, if we had more time to examine more of the story, lives that are just as messy and complex as the ones we live and the ones we can also find in fiction we read, fiction that gives us long takes instead of glimpses."
-- Nicholas Grider, Heavy Feather Review
Ryan Seacrest is Famous
"Housley’s stories are almost all irresistibly funny. Frogs write back to princesses, wrestlers sellout, combat photographers long for disaster, D.J.s go psychotic, clowns break all the rules, and Jimmy Hendrix is alive with a twelve-step-program. America, Housely seems to say, has finally and decisively opted to be totally popcorn, as the narrator of “Are you Street of Popcorn?” cries out in his moment of ultimate crises, we are all popcorn now: “‘Royale with cheese … Space, the final frontier’ I shout. ‘Stacy’s Mom has got it going on! . .. These Pretzles are making me thirsty! You Bastard you killed Kenny!’”
Other Books In Which I Have a Thing:
"I was recently pleased to come into a copy of the almost-released Cobalt Press collection, Four Fathers, a collection of poetry and fiction by Dave Housley, BL Pawelek, Ben Tanzer, and Tom Williams, with a foreword written by Fathermucker author Greg Olear. Mine is an electronic copy, which I intended to download onto an e-reader after taking just a brief peek at the file on my computer to see what I was in for. Many hours later, the day dim, I realized I was still in my pajamas and that I’d greedily consumed the entire collection. Rarely have I been exposed to literature that offers a glimpse, let alone several different perspectives, on how men feel (I mean, really, deeply, in their heads and hearts feel) about the roles and responsibilities that come with bringing children into the world. In Dave Housley’s piece, in particular, I felt so completely drawn in to the chaos and confusion of his protagonist’s experience with fatherhood that, for those 37 pages, I was a father. My emotions were all over the place as I dedicated the entire day to scrolling further and further into the complex dimensions of fatherhood. As soon as I read the final words, I blinked against the fading light; then, more than the need for the food or water I’d denied myself during my literary binge, what I really needed most was to call my dad."
-- Brandi Dawn Henderson, Tin House
“This solid, legitimate anthology that reflects on a compelling and universal phenomenon will put readers back in touch with their younger selves.” — Library Journal
“There’s a lot to enjoy in these...pieces.” — Washington Post
“Entertaining...Some stories are funny...others are inspiring...Reading these short, angst-packed essays about starting at movie screens and listening to transistor radios is like reminiscing with old friends...[A] reminder that first loves are always worth recalling.” — Booklist
“[A] charming collection.” — Entertainment Weekly
“The seemingly lightweight premise of an anthology built around celebrity crushes yields an outstanding selection of poignant and thought-provoking stories.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Charming...The authors do a remarkable job collecting different types of crushes while keeping the reminiscences short and sweet...A book that balances heartbreak and relief, blind love and terror. ” — Publishers Weekly