The Guilty Party

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daffodils and Ice Dancers

Yes, that is a photo of a daffodil. I took it in my garden this morning. Pretty, isn't it?

That's the daffodil part.

How many times in life have you wished for the opportunity for Do-Overs? I'm not talking about a return of service in a hotly contested tennis match or actually paying attention to the roast in the oven instead of taking a nap on the patio only to be waken by a spouse with a blackened face and holding the charred remnant of what was to be the centerpiece of the family repast. I mean something significant. And what could be more significant than ones novel?

Exactly, I am glad you agree.

So you will understand why I jumped at the chance to see the New and Improved version of my first novel Close Enough for Government Work brought into the light of a brand new day. Although the original has had its day, indeed ultimately it has succeeded well beyond what I could have reasonably expected: it secured me, however temporarily, a by-god byline assignment as humor columnist with the short-lived periodical AZ3Sixty; copies of it have been purchased in some pretty far-flung locales; and the Arizona Library for the Blind approached me about creating an audio version, which was one of the great thrills my modest literary life has afforded me. But hindsight is a persistent hound and not long after I held the first copy in my hands I began to tinker with it.

That tinkering produced Boomerang.

Realizing that chances were slim in the extreme that any traditional publisher would be interested in picking up what is essentially a v.2 of a book they had nearly all said "This is quite good, but not for us" to a couple of years earlier, I resigned myself to the fact that Boomerang would serve essentially as an exercise in creating a fifty-eighth draft, not a book to be tossed into the world.

And then, a writers' site I have belonged to for the past three years, introduced a rather extraordinary offer. Working with Legend Press, an up and coming publishing house in the UK, they offered to publish the First Five Thousand properly formatted manuscripts submitted to them. Free of charge. Remarkable and, I thought at the time, plain old foolish. How could they hope to fulfill a promise in September to have all submitted manuscripts "Ready for Christmas giving and holiday marketing plans"? It couldn't be done. I rejected the idea as frivolous. But ultimately I couldn't resist. So in October of last year I sent off the digital file that is Boomerang and have since then been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Government Work's fraternal twin.

YWO and Legend soon found out that producing five thousand books in such a short period of time Simply Could Not Be Done. A small percentage of the submitted manuscripts were brought out before the end of the year, the rest of us were told we could either hold tight or opt out. I held tight.

On March 26th I received notice that My Book Was Ready. I placed my initial order for three copies, my intention being to check out the product and see if it was something worthy of putting in the investment of time and time (money is not going to be a component of any marketing plan of mine in the foreseeable future) into getting the word out.

Payment made throught Google Checkout was promptly processed. The books have yet to arrive. The last correspondence I received from the publisher said this:

The book was shipped by royal mail. I have looked at the order again and noticed that the order is addressed to Christopher Dean, I am not sure why but the address is correct.

There may just be a delay due to Easter and the parcel coming from England to America (which takes at least a week usually). Would you be able to let me know if they don't arrive by Friday and then I will contact the printers to see what we can do.

We will skip on past the part that says "I am not sure why but the address is correct" and go right to the "Christopher Dean" section. Evidently my book was fated to be placed in the mail slot of one of the most renowned ice dancers this world has seen. Christoper Dean, along with his partner Jane Torvill captivated audiences worldwide with their hauntingly romantic, almost erotic (remember, this pair is British) if chilly, version of Ravel's "Bolero" in the early 1980's.

I can only hope that once Mr. Dean has had a chance to read my book, he will be texting Ms. Torvill about a comeback based around a routine featuring the characters of Doreen Lush and Ted Hogwood.

And if you don't know who Doreen and Ted are, you need a copy of Boomerang.

Just like me.

In the meantime, the original is still available. So if you want to take advantage of what is surely the rarest of opportunities to own two versions of the same book, order Close Enough for Government Work now and Boomerang later. Or wait until both are available and quite likely cut a deal on the shipping! Even better, order through your local independent bookstore and eliminate the shipping cost altogether. Whichever way you go I promise you won't be sorry.

Well, actually, I won't be sorry. It's kind of presumptuous of me to guarantee anybody else's reaction to anything. But I'll put good odds on it anyway.

I'll let you know when Boomerang is available. With its own hyperlink and everything!

Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise.

*POD=Print On Demand

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A Bit About Me

My photo
I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.