Sunday, September 22, 2013
Some Sort of Ugly and projectial vomit
For starters, my new book Some Sort of Ugly weighs in at around 17,500 words. In other words, I have a novella-length manuscript, and anyone who has ever had the pleasure of shopping a manuscript knows for many years this would have placed it squarely in the dead zone. Most traditional publishers approach novellas like they're poking a turd with a stick.
However, with the advent of the e-book, print-on-demand, and a little bit of luck hooking up with the new Marginalia Press, Some Sort of Ugly is going to be available to readers in October when, otherwise, it would've been filed and forgotten.
I'm excited about this book for a couple of reasons. First, it is considerably different in tone than any book I've previously published. While I've always used humor as my trump card, most of my books tend to drift toward a "some sort" of darkness. This is not the case with Some Sort of Ugly. Instead, I'm pursuing my affinity for raunchy and ribald humor---perhaps tracing my Rhode Island-roots back to a Farrelly brothers influence---and, believe it or not, there is even a love story tucked away in it.
Levity is not a bad thing.
The other reason this project has particularly interested me has to do with Marginalia Press. Headed by my friend Matt Guerruckey, the press focuses on the electronic format, something I have never worked with. Originally, Matt was only going to have it available as an e-book, but after the kick-ass cover art came back, he decided to make it available through print-on-demand as well.
Here's the thing: in many ways, this is an old school DIY project, and working with Matt through the process has been a joy. Matt also employed the help of cover artist Allan Ferguson and copy-editor Pamela Langley to really pull this thing together.
Sure, we'd all like to have our books---our babies---purchased by Random House and reviewed in The New York Times; we'd all like to have enough literary clout to tell Jonathan Franzen to shut the fuck up, but those authors are few and far between. For me, it feels good working with good people to put out a small piece of art. In essence, writers need to write with an audience in mind, and it is my opinion that if you believe in a project---regardless of its marketability in big publishing world---you should do what you can to make sure it gets into readers' hands, somehow.
In the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting all the relevant information for ordering copies, but for right now, here is the cover art. Indeed, you can tell, it is Some Sort of Ugly.
In the meantime, here is a free download of my story "Vandals" at Go Read Your Lunch. And if you haven't been following my Red Sox column at Dirty Water News, please check it out. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the post-season.