Somehow, I've avoided the self-publishing route on three books now. The first was published by a small university press, Pecan Grove, at St. Marys University in San Antonio. That was the result of a competition win, and I learned a lot about editing and the process of word to print from the experience. It was an eye-opener. I'll say no more. Except, when an editor tells you they're "not prissy," leave room for the possibility that they are. The book has five-star reviews and one four-star on Amazon. It's more PC than originally written.
The second and third book have been published by an outfit in the Pacific Northwest named Black Opal. No advances, but a nicely structured payout should the book become a decent seller. Maybe I'll experience that someday. The second book was Ruined Days, and while it was read and even enjoyed by a smallish group, my efforts to push it beyond that didn't amount to much. It did get all five-star reviews on Amazon, four and five on Goodreads, and a decent review or two. At any rate, Resume Speed, the third book, is available for pre-order now, and fully released June 18th.
This third book, Resume Speed, is a collection of short stories, most of which have seen print in various lit reviews, and even Best New Writing of 2015. An interview about it will appear in July's The Big Thrill, the International Thriller Writers magazine. For now, I'm using the blurbs for Night Train, Cold Beer just to show previous books have gotten accolades. Almost meaningless, they say, but I sometimes buy a book if the praise for a previous book seems good. I never buy Pulitzer winners anymore as they (to me) have been about as enjoyable as a noogie from a drunken uncle. RS is available for pre-order at Kobo and B&N.
Resume Speed (buy it, subliminal barely-seen imperative here) runs the gamut of short-short to long stories, with one blurred genre faux memoir that's a smorgasbord of POVs and prose poetry and outright lies. But some of it will piss off distant family members. Some stories are gritty, some are, to me, funny. Most are on the dark side. As Allen Ginsberg said, "Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness." And I have almost done that in this collection. I plan to perfect that in books to come.
Daniel Saldana Paris, a Mexican writer, says, "I personally feel that no one gives a shit about my books—maybe I'm just a pessimist—and that idea feels horrible and refreshing at the same time. I feel ignored and doomed to anonymity, but free to do whatever I want within the sacred space of literature." Okay. With an attitude like that, I'm free to write The Great American Novel. But first, L.A. Hardscape, a sort of Big Sleep in present day SoCal. Then Hot Rods from Hell, a collection of stories with cars in them.
That'll be five books and I should know what I'm doing by then. Maybe. Meanwhile I'm betting heavily that you'll find something to like in Resume Speed. The odds and the point spread are good, with twenty-eight stories and about 300 pages. For those of you with the attention span of a duckling, there are even some one-pagers. Remember somebody dug these stories if only a speed-crazed editor of some eastern lit publication coming upon a deadline who said, "Screw it, I'm using this Wise story for the spring issue, then I'm sleeping for four days."
So this is The Launch. It'll be on Amazon the 18th. You can pre-order it on Kobo now, B&N too. More news to come.