After much gnashing of teeth, hundreds of query letters, and lots of work, my wild science fiction novel is coming out. The release date is May 30th. Mark your calendars.
The Person on the Other Side of This Book is the wild science fiction novel I always imagined writing. I told myself that, as I worked on my three weepy memoirs during graduate school, my reward would be creating a wacky science fiction novel. Some people reward themselves with less work. Not me, I guess. Why? That’s probably a longer conversation than this humble blog entry allows.
The Person on the Other Side of This Book did not turn out like I thought it would. It kept getting away from me. Became an amalgam of memoir and science fiction. It became improv. Surprised me as I wrote it. Surprised me as I look back and read it. The things I make usually don’t turn out like I think they will. So it goes.
I’m very happy with what this book became. Happy to get it off my computer and into the world.
Did I mention hundreds of query letters? I spent the last two years pitching the book to literary agents. To publishers. This is not easy work.
I didn’t get many bites. I’d like to say that my failure had more to do with the novel’s strangeness. It didn’t fit into one genre. The story is not linear. Neither is the writing. I’d like to say this is why agents weren’t fighting over me, but who knows? It might be that my query letters were terrible. Or maybe the book just isn’t any good. I don’t think that is the case, but I’m biased. I actually think the book is really good. And by that I mean that I’m happy with what it became. Will a reader be? It’s hard for me to know, though I’ve had some surprisingly positive reactions from strangers that have given it a look. I suppose folks who hate it probably wouldn’t tell me anyway. Though I have some pretty honest friends.
I’m putting the book out with Quoir publishing. What is Quoir? A heretical, Christian publisher that also puts out work such as reprintings of Philip K. Dick novels. And here I’ll admit that last sentence I wrote is very funny to me. What a wild publisher. I really like the fine people that run Quoir. In part because of the amazing cover they created. See the picture above. Looks like a pulpy sci-fi novel from the 80’s. I love it. And the work they put out is good. And they were supportive of my strange book. So I’m happy to have this wild science fiction novel coming out with the fine people at Quoir.
I’m no good at self-promotion. I’m a teacher, a professor, an improviser, and a writer. So I’m always putting myself in front of others. Being vulnerable doesn’t get any easier as I get older. And yet I continue making myself vulnerable. Sharing The Person on the Other Side of This Book feels vulnerable. The others books too. I just keep putting myself out there even though a part of me doesn’t like doing so. I’m not sure why. Maybe a therapist could tell me. Again, that is a topic for another blog.
Quoir asked me to find folks to support the release of The Person on the Other Side of This Book. They asked to gather people who were willing to: 1) read a PDF of the book before it is released, 2) buy the book on May 30th, 3) and post a review on Amazon on May 30th. This formula, so I’m told, helps a book get visibility. Algorithms and whatnot. I don’t know.
About 50 people joined a Facebook group I made. I presume they are reading the book as we speak. Or as we connect over this blog. I hope they are. It felt strange asking friends and acquaintances to read and buy this book. And so many beautiful people from different times in my life volunteered. That was touching, actually. Even as I’m nervous about people reading the work.
So I don’t know. If you’re interested in supporting the book, let me know. I’ll send you a PDF and you can buy it and review it on Amazon on the 30th. My email is public information: email@example.com. Or find me on Facebook.
I like the book. I’d like people to read it. I’m happy it’s going out into the world. That’s all.