Not even kidding! My mom just finished reading my novel (finally, good God), and yes, the verdict is in and she likes it.
Thank you, Jeebus. This from the woman who never reads my blog. (“You still write your little blog?” Yes, I do, woman.)
So what more glowing recommendation do you need than that? Also, my sister thinks it’s great! (Yeah. You think I’m like, damning with faint praise or pointing out the obvious or something, but they love to read, and I drive them both a little “bonkers,” so for them to like my book? This is high praise. My entire life I’ve been shoving pages in their faces and yelling READ THIS RIGHT NOW! “Alright, already, calm the hell down, Sylvia.“)
(ps private note to my cousin and my father-in-law, who as far as I know are my sole family members who read The Blog… Hi, you guys! kiss kiss.) (My sister does read it sometimes, I think. Steve, too, but I think only because I follow him on Facebook and he feels “obligated.” Since FB and Twitter took off, I have about four readers total, I believe.) (Yeah, my daughter and son glance at the site once in awhile, but only to make sure they’re not mentioned. They’ve forbidden me to write about them here. Ever. Hi, you two. Mommy loves you!)
If you have a Kindle, buy yourself a copy. Gift one to a friend while you’re at it. If you don’t have a Kindle, go read the excerpt and maybe you’ll want to order a copy when we start printing ‘em. (Steve is putting finishing touches on the tech stuff as I type this.) We’re working with Create Space on Amazon — will keep you posted as we battle through our latest tech-geek adventure. (Thanks, Stevie. Sorry you haven’t had any weekends off in… uh… a long time.)
Will it be on the Nook? Who knows. We’re trying. But Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t seem to groove that well with each other at the moment, do they now? (understatement of century.)
Apparently some of the snobbier book critics out there refuse to read/review any books that are self-published. Well, how are they going to enjoy my fine book if they stick to this rule? I’ve never peed in anyone’s pool in my life, thank you very much. Well, there was that time when I was 6, but hello! I was 6!
It’s not like I haven’t tried to get an agent/publisher — I have. For years. If I wrote books whose covers were illustrated with high heels, champagne glasses, baby bottles and binkies, I think I’d have a better shot. But you know what? As much as I love that genre (“jenner,” as my late friend Milly called it. “I love that jenner!”), it’s not my style. My stuff is a little… dark. Funny. Intense. Creepy. I cut to the bone. What’s wrong with that? I made a deal with myself, when I was a really little kid, that I would only write stuff that was no bullshit. Cut to the chase. The bone, if necessary.
I was furious, senior year in high school, because this stellar essay I wrote was “too personal,” according to my English teacher. Imagine.
(How did I know it was stellar? My teacher told me.) He wouldn’t let me read it aloud at an event they had on campus. I was one of three students whose work was entered in a contest for the National Council of Teachers of English. They were allegedly honoring us. Well, not all of us. Yeah, it was a big deal and all. Except if you were me.
You know who got the glory? A guy who wrote a story that was a complete and total rip-off of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, right down to the stinkin’ albatross. Where is the justice? (That was me, walking home from school, waving my fists at the heavens.) That’s called plagiarism, ya idiots!
You know the only reason “Confederacy of Dunces” was published? The author, the brilliant and misunderstood John Kennedy Toole, took his own life. He was depressed over his book not getting published, that’s why. Some idiot editor told him it had no point. If you haven’t read “Confederacy of Dunces,” you need to read a copy of that, too. You will see that it is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. (One of my favorite book titles of all-time, btw.)
Kennedy’s mom, Thelma Toole, went a little crazy, herself, after her son died. She was determined as hell to get his book published. “Each time it came back I died a little,” she said, about the numerous rejections she received. Finally, she barged into the office of writer Walker Percy, who was then a prof at Loyola University New Orleans. He was a little concerned that she was apeshit, because, you know. She was.
But then, guess what? He read the book. He fell in love with it. And he helped to get it published.
See how important mothers are?
Also, if Toole had been able to self-publish as easily as we can nowadays, maybe he would have stuck around to write some more books. That would have been nice, but like they say in Texas, que sera sera.
Now go read my stuff and pssst… pass it on.