A few days ago I posted my novel Beyond the Will of God to Smashwords.com as my first experience with the book distribution upstart. Yesterday I posted both of my story collections, Trying to Care: A Story Collection and Implosions of America: Nine Stories.
It’s a bit of a chore formatting your work to run through the Smashwords meatgrinder (why don’t they call it a wordgrinder?), but once you succeed the website is a very writer and reader friendly place. I strongly urge you to go there and buy all of my books as soon as you finish this brief post. Two of the three are set up with the “You Set the Price” payment option. Implosions is still being sold at a premium of $5.99. It will always be sold at that price. Why? Because it’s a collection of damn fine stories that rival any you will find anywhere. See it featured at Short Fiction Spotlight here or check out the 5-Star (★★★★★) review at the Kindle Magazine El Dink here.
My other books are awesome, too. They really are. I’m offering Beyond the Will of God using the “You Set the Price” option because a lot of folks get freaked out by either the word “God” in the title or the word “psychedelic” in the sub-title. It’s a mystery-thriller though…with paranormal overtones. It’s also a bit of a Sci-Fi speculation about music, altered states of consciousness, and the ultimate power of rock ‘n’ roll. If you were born after 1945 you’ll get it.
Beyond the Will of God still needs word-of-mouth support (note: if you’ve read this book and liked it, please let others know. Post a review to Amazon and/or Smashwords; I can’t succeed in this business without your help…really!).
Trying to Care is also listed at the “You Set the Price” rate. This was my first book published online back in the late winter of 2012. It’s six stories struggling with the confusion of love in one way or another. For whatever reason, folks aren’t paying attention to this collection. But they should. These six stories are the first in a very long series that lead up to the novels I will be publishing over the next year or so. See my blog entry called “This is a Place I Don’t Feel Alone: Work-in-Progress” for information on those novels and what I think I’m doing as a writer.
I don’t care who you are, the issue of Love in the 21st century is still more important than anything else — and more confusing. And Love is intimately linked, because it’s so important, to the question of identity and the meaning of life. We roll through our days taking care of kids and homes, going to work, sitting in meetings, writing reports, doing what we do to earn a living. Then we come home beat and tired to whatever world we are making with our “real” lives. Home is not just where they have to take you in, it’s also where you can scratch where it itches. Home is where our emotions take center stage.
I don’t think modern fiction — by men at least — deals with emotion very well at all. I’m trying to change that. These aren’t wussy shit stories written in black and white with stupid happy endings that can’t possibly be real. My fiction works hard to conjure up the battle of the soul that people face daily as they wander through their lives and bounce off of each other. If you buy and read Trying to Care and Implosions of America, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. My next novels Ex:Urbia and Beautiful Morning Blues will be out soon enough. They amp up the ruckus I’m creating pretty dramatically…and they deal with sex straight up, especially Beautiful Morning Blues. Sex in novels is a great thing. I think it’s better than TV even though there’s nothing to see…or watch. Fiction by the writer implies. Fiction in the reader complies. There is no substitute for a horny imagination.
It is humbling to write stories like these. You worry that by turning over rocks and pulling off scabs, or even making deep incisions (with no training as a surgeon), you will either shock your reader or piss them off.
At the same time, you know as you write that you have no choice. Creating fiction must be honest. Writing stories needs to come from the heart.
My conclusion after all these years concocting stories out of thin air is that we are all confused and it’s our inability to understand and communicate our emotions that is doing the confusing. But there’s magic in there with that confusion. If you pay attention to that confusion you find the source of emotion, and you find the end of the string that is all the things that matter to you. This can be scary. It can be dangerous. But it can also set you free.
So go to Smashwords and buy my books. Sign up here at this blog for occasional mailings from me (top of the page). Halfway down the right panel you can also sign up to get these blog posts delivered directly to your email. If you understand what I’m talking about here, you’ll want to stay posted on how things are going with Ex:Urbia and Beautiful Morning Blues. These books are wild and insane and all about love and sex and marriage. Julia Davenport and Hugh Donovan are not your average protagonists.
Thanks for reading.
My Smashwords page can be found here. Page down for my books.