Tuesday, February 17, 2015

There's a Reason They Used to Call it Vanity Press!

This is me drawing a hugh sigh of relief and announcing the imminent launch of “Under the Bus.”
If you’re thinking “OMG! She actually did it!” you are probably one of the couple of dozen people for whom I wrote this novel. For you guys, I note that it's available worldwide in paperback from Amazon and wherever fine self-published books are sold online (priced higher than I would have liked, but it's a whopper and that jacked up the minimum that would enable a printed edition to be available beyond Amazon) and, far more reasonably, electronically via Kindle (other e-book flavors will probably follow in a few months time). As per the usual drill, status on this will be posted on my Facebook fan page and links added to the book’s page on my website.
If you're NOT one of the OMGers, just give me a  big “Yay!” for the achievement, and leave it at that. Seriously! The release of “Under the Bus” puts me 75% through my 4-books-come-hell-or-high-water project, a milestone I embrace with unequivocal pride and joy.  And the 4th novel, “Chasing Fireflies” (some of you think of this as 'the theater one’), should be available within the next 14 months. All in all, a big Wahoo! But this novel, "Under the Bus”, might be something of a “huh?”
Let me explain. 
If you follow my fan page, you may have noticed the quote I posted last month:"I don't know whether it's art or not, and I don't care. What I wanted was to show the energy and rush and confusion of American life." This was Thomas Hart Benton, talking about his 1931 mural "America Today." Except for the "rush" part (and the fact that it refers to a completely successful work of art!), it perfect captures my feelings about “Under the Bus.” 

Like Benton, we're living in a transitional society with tons of new or disappearing experiences to capture. I chose to focus this book on what I know best: the experience of the over-educated and under-employed trying to get a grip on post-industrial, post-middle-class America. Good times! No surprise, I had a surplus of material. Then there was the bigger challenge of how to frame it. 

What many people will say I "should have" done is push out a hilarious broad-stroke satire, or else craft some kind of passionate romance and/or murder to slap in the forefront of the novel and push my primary subject into the background. Instead -- and this is the Janus-headed blessing/curse of self-publishing -- I opted to follow my heart. Let's just say my heart is overly ambitious!  The resulting novel, while speckled with some very nice bits, is an overblown collage that might not be particularly compelling to anyone who's not one of the previously-referenced OMG-ers. For others reading this post, even if you're super-supportive of my writing, it might be wise to sit this one out and wait for my next novel. Again, I am completely serious about this.
Anyway, so you have a better idea of what I'm talking about, you can click here for a sneak peek at "Under the Bus" (which is probably the most entertaining part of the book).

And here's the blurb:

Waking up from the American Dream—one re-org at a time . Welcome to Pinnacle Management Services. The fastest growing managed office services company in North America. Blessed with good timing and a staff of over-burdened under-paid misfits and broken toys, PMS is the paradigm of turn-of-millennium business success. From the initial growth spurt that boosted PMS from the ranks of a simple mom-&-pop shop, it’s a fast five years to the equity partnership investment that surely foreshadows an eventual public offering. 
As CEO Kippy Melcher would tell you, he’s never made a bad decision…only sometimes he doesn’t get the results he wants. When that happens, someone has to take responsibility. And whenever that happens, well, someone else is certain to be thrown under the bus. 
Reading “Under the Bus” is like meeting a friend for Happy Hour and hearing how her job is worse than yours.

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