February 04, 2011

Why you’d hate my weird little novel

Guest post by Graham Parker

Why you’d hate my weird little novel

I write this blog because my existence is in danger. My very essence as a hermit-writer-crab-thingy is being threatened. When my novel was first published, it was selling slowly and sporadically. Being a first time author, I was quite adept at going unnoticed, flying stealthily under even the most sensitive literary radars. I swooped and turned, dove and made somersaults, they could never catch me. Not even close. I was like smoke, like liquid lightening. (Only very Cool, not hot and prickly!)

But nothing lasts forever. Slowly sales started picking up. People stumbled upon my novel by accident and told their friends. Others found press releases and lists. This in turn caused Amazon Uk, Canada, and Germany to start linking my weird little novel to other weird little novels, and, to my horror, to actual works of slight-to-moderate literary significance! This had never been my intention. Things were getting out of hand!

I started getting requests for interviews, guest posts, and signed copies. Everybody with half a blog expected me to send them free copies of my novel through international mail, even though I was still more or less broke. My first reaction, of course, was one of denial.

‘Don’t worry about it,’ I told myself, as I clutched crucifixes of every major religion and several foam-rubber worshipping groups to my chest. ‘This will all blow over. A few more weeks and Amazon will start bothering other pretend-authors and leave me alone.’

Of course, things only got worse. There came the inevitable celebrity parties, with the drink and the drugs and, worst of all, the staying up past nine in the evenings! Who needs all that? Who can keep up? Of course, you can try to decline, but at what cost? Sooner or later celebrities will turn on you, hunt you down. I don’t want Oprah to TP my house, Ron Jeremy to brutalize my mailbox, Steve Buscemi to slightly crumple my morning newspaper. I’ve seen it happen to other authors and it isn’t pretty. Fair enough, I don’t actually have a newspaper subscription, or a mailbox for that matter, but you get the point.

I’m not going to take this lying down, though. I have just as much right as the next closet recluse to wallow in self-pity and enjoy the painful hardships of the struggling artist. That’s the only reason I got into this racket in the first place. So I’ve identified some of the misconceptions that may have lead to unintentional sales of my novel. Most of the hype about "No Hope for Gomez!" is not actually true:

  • Reading my novel will not make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
  • It will not cause brain damage. Not if you read it properly, keeping your head away from heavy objects at all times.
  • It will not reveal to you the meaning of life. (This is part of the prequel!)

Lastly, I’m starting a petition. Petitions always work incredibly well, often changing the world both overnight and for the better. So, sign in the comments below to help me get things back to the way they were, with just a few sales every week or so.

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

No Hope for Gomez! is his fiction debut:

Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.
Follow Graham's blog here