Does anyone other than spammers and Nigerian kings with tons of money check here anymore? I see a small handful of daily readers, but I cannot tell if they’re really reading or fishing for opportunity to advertise their pyramid schemes.
I’ve been thinking long and hard what to with this site; it feels negligent to just let it exist here and use it only as a promotional tool. Most of you follow me across the vast, impersonal networks of social interaction, so you get my updates when something is published. By the way, I hope you suffer my shameless self promotion; I am going at this all alone, without any marketing or publicity support; without even an independent press to push for any of my material, so it’s ground warfare advancing across this vast minefield of modern literature.
I want to be able to present new material, but I also want to shop around that new material for publication. Is that selfish? But then the question arises: why double up (should anything from here be published elsewhere)? Why serve stale leftovers? Would you come often to a house that offers cold plates with, sometimes, regurgitated food? And so I’ve decided to keep the Swine alive via commentary and small pieces of prose or poetry or flash or whatever the nomenclature is for these things.
I have been struggling writing the second novel, the follow up to Short Lean Cuts, not for lack of imagination or verve or material, but for a combination of lack of time and energy. At work I’m in a huge crunch, re-assigned on a different project which is in loads of trouble with a somewhat unrealistic deadline approaching in two weeks. If the deadline isn’t met, it will more than likely make national news. Heads, bodies, appendages will roll. In those moments of insomnia and despair that pepper my nights, I see myself being RIF-ed and collecting unemployment for a year, while finishing up my novel. It helps me calm down and gives me a chance to sleep again.
The brilliant news is that ideas are coagulating and being born at an incredible pace. So, while not physically working on the book, things are fluid and moving and I’m extremely excited about the quality of work that I am about to present to you (realistically next year). The follow up to Short Lean Cuts will not be written in the same style. I realize SLC is experimental and quite rich…it’s very much like an impression, really, of what could be. Re-reading it now, almost half a year after I released it, it seems much like an array of heavy-oiled brush strokes indicating myriad possible ideas, but not strongly focusing on either of them. One reviewer on Amazon pegged it: there are novels within novels waiting to spring out of this story. She is right. But, although quite flattering, I look upon that remark as impetus for a different type of focus: pinpoint sharpness.
And so I think you will like what I’ll be bringing out next year. It will continue with some of the same characters you’ve read in SLC, but stylistically it will be more similar to Saramago, Andrei Makine, and maybe even a little bit of Aldous Huxley in Brave New World. I am not patting myself on the back, crowing my triumphs like some pea-brained hen who just layed her egg and is announcing to the world her achievement; I am merely stating that my days of experiments in language are over. Also, this will be a full-on novel. I’m aiming for somewhere around ninety thousand words.
Much gratitude goes to the two independent presses who have expressed great interest in releasing this new book (you know who you are), but I have decided to eschew their services and self release again–with the mission of later going to the “Big 6” via my representation and seeing if any of them would want to re-release the book under their imprint. I have a small, talented, dedicated team of wonderful people who are helping me put out a brilliant, physical product. They trust me in putting out great material inside the pages, I trust them in producing great material outside and all around the pages. I am lucky.
I hope some of you old readers begin to come back and check here often. I am planning on updating you on publication dates for my short stories, as well as offering new material that will only live here.