Went to a reading by John Scalzi courtesy of Avid Bookshop, Athens’ own local bookery. The man is a pro. It’s always impressive to me to see an author–that is, a practitioner of one of the earth’s most necessarily solitary professions–excel at social functions. Not that I’m a wilting shut-in, but going from feverishly churning out pages to working a packed room must be a bit like walking out of your office (wherever and whatever that is) into the middle of a rugby scrum.
I like to write about delusional people. Because we all are—about ourselves, our motivations, the people we love and loathe and lust after, the things we misremember as triumphs or humiliations. All of us see ourselves as the single, bright, burning star in the universe—a universe filled with nothing but. Some people are just a bit more flagrantly delusional than others. And I love them for it. My novels and short stories explore those sometimes agonizing, sometimes humorous, but always excruciatingly uncomfortable moments people experience when confronted by their true selves. (See Tudlong, Joe, narrator of Now It Gets Interesting.)
OK, so that’s the philosophical blahdy-blah. What kind of book/stories do I actually write? Well . . . that’s complicated.
—Though I don’t think it is, not really. Or at least it shouldn’t be. But, short answer: if you walked into a bookstore stocked exclusively with my works (ah, the dream!), you’d probably find yourself wandering the aisles for Literary Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Just Plain Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy Fiction . . .
Which is to say, genre conventions are tyranny. They enforce a rigid mediocrity on our culture, forbidding ambitious writers from really getting into the meat of a story—any story, set in any time or place. Some break out—think of your Chabons and Murakamis. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I hope you’re interested in coming along with me on that journey as it unfolds.
I might be forced to categorize my novels on Amazon and whatnot, but I don’t have to like it. All I care about is the people infesting my fiction—and if that fiction happens to take place on a sofa bed in Florida, or an alternate history Prohibition-era New York, or a magical world sprung whole from my imagination, so be it. The characters tell me what world they inhabit and how they’re dealing with life in that particular setting. And then they basically leave me to clean up the mess.
They’re sort of bastards that way.
As of today, my debut novel, Now It Gets Interesting, is available for Kindles and Kindle apps on Amazon! Get on over there and check it out!
It’s been a long journey to this point, and I’m so excited people are finally going to be able to read it.
In the meantime, here’s a brief manifesto on why I chose to self-publish.
As of today, my debut novel, Now It Gets Interesting, is available on Amazon. Huzzah!
Going off on my own is exciting—and a little bit scary—and I’d like to explain here why I’m going the self-publishing route.
Traditional publishing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but it’s an archaic model that charges a huge premium for an increasingly narrow range of content. These days, if you don’t write about things like half-vampire teenage girls who fall in love with resurrected mummies and hunt demons together, the dead-tree publishers aren’t interested. (On second thought, don’t anyone steal that idea—I think I can do something with it. Mummy Dearest, I’ll call it.)
Meanwhile, digital self-publishing has finally made it possible to reach a mass audience without churning through layers of middlemen. After all, there are really only two people who matter when it comes to writing (or music, or movies, or any art form): you, the reader, and me, the writer.
There are already a slew of authors who have found success this way. Some are new to the writing business, while others have left their old book deals behind, finding the opportunities and freedom of doing their own thing too good to pass up.
And here’s the dirty little secret big publishers don’t want you, the reader, to know: digital publishing costs almost nothing. That allows me to set a lower price for my novel so it’s easier for more people to get their hands on it. To wit:
Now It Gets Interesting is only $3.99! Think of it as going to see your friend’s band play—or half a freakin’ matinee ticket at the movie theater. Heck, I’m pretty sure you’re not legally allowed to walk out of a Starbucks unless you spend at least that much.
I’m psyched to finally be able to get my stuff out there, and I hope you enjoy Now It Gets Interesting.