I'm in big trouble.
I hope you guys are good forgivers.
I put my short story collection, THE HUNGRY MOUTH up for pre-order a couple weeks ago, promising that it would be finished mid-December and you'd receive it before Christmas. What I didn't mention was that I'm still writing the damn thing. Well, not writing it, but doing final editing with my agent/editor. He reads the book, takes notes on what's wrong with it, sends them to me, and I edit. I thought I would've been finished with this process weeks ago, but as I've mentioned before, my agent is a unique case because as much as he is a wizard at the business side of literature and can sell a gay prostitution memoir to a grade school textbook publisher, he's also an artist. He understands literature much better than I do, and his grasp of what works and what doesn't, in every area from major plot points down to comma placement, makes me think he should write his own novels. He also had a pretty kickass grunge band in the 90s.
The upside of him being an artist is he makes a great editor. The downside is that like most artists, he's a bit, shall we say...unpredictable. And in this case, an editing process which he assured me would take less than a week has taken about a month. Which is to say, THE BOOK WON'T BE READY IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, BUT IT'S NOT MY FAULT!
I really do apologize. I'm going to be finished editing within a couple days, but then it takes 7 days to print the books, and at least 3 days to ship them to you, so realistically, you're not going to receive them till the first or second week of January. I'm a bad person and if you want to press charges for fraud, I will understand. Maybe prison will toughen me up. It worked for Dostoyevsky.
Almost 200 books have already been pre-ordered, and I'm sure a lot of those were intended as gifts. Since I've failed to deliver on my promise, what I'd like to do is send you a postcard so you'll at least have something to give them on Christmas morning/Hanukah evening or whenever it is you celebrate Hanukah. So if you pre-ordered the book as a gift for someone else (not yourself!) please email me at **redacted***, put HOLIDAY STYLINGS in the subject line, give me your address and tell me who the gift is for. I'll send a postcard that you can wrap up and write "I didn't fuck up, the author did" on the envelope.
(PLEASE only do this if you bought the book as a gift. My poor wrists can't handle writing 200 postcards.)
For everyone who's been asking me, "When is your next book coming out?" "What are you working on right now?" "Why don't you do something with your life instead of dicking around on Twitter all day?"....here is my answer:
There's a proper sales pitch on the book's own special site, but since we're here on my blog, I'd like to do a rambling Academy Awards style speech and say that I'm unbelievably excited to finally be releasing these stories. Those of you who've stuck with me since the old days of creepy HTML adventures and 1-paragraph vignettes have been asking me to compile a book for a long time, but what you might not realize is that this isn't just a collection of old literary b-sides and rarities. Of the 20 stories here, 8 of them are brand new, never seen by anyone but me and my agent, and one of them, which comprises 1/3 of the book, is a novella set in the world of WARM BODIES, involving the early lives and deaths of Nora, Julie, and M. In my opinion, this collection contains most of the best writing I've ever done.
Of the stories that I've previously published online, all of them are significantly revised, refined, and added to. This book is a unique situation--I'm self-publishing it before I try to land an traditional publisher because I just don't have the patience to wait through that process. So what you'll be getting is an ultra-limited edition that is designed, printed, numbered, and signed by me myself.
There will only ever be 500 copies made.
The book is a matte UV-coated paperback printed on quality natural stock. Every copy will be signed, and any and all profits will go to support my dear old mother, Lynda Jo Marion, who will be handling the shipping for me. (You might get one of her supernaturally not-grey hairs inside your envelope!)
The following stories are present:
THE BACKROADS (NEW)
SHE AND I WALKING (formally "Blind Date")
RED! RED! RED! (formally "The Angriest Stoplight")
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES (NEW)
Note that the books are still being finalized and printed, but if by some chance they aren't going to be ready by Christmas day, I will send you some kind of special Christmas surprise that you can use as an IOU for anyone you might be buying gifts for.
Have you missed the sweet sound of R's voice? Have you wondered how he feels about the holiday season? Is he a post-apocalyptic Santa or Scrooge? Did he cut back on his murder rates in the spirit of Christmas?
I wrote a short story for City Arts magazine about R's first winter as a walking corpse. It's significantly less heartwarming than most holiday specials.
Pick up a City Arts mag if you're in Seattle or read it online here:
Merry Christmas, friends. Enjoy your memories.
Labels: Warm Bodies