Friday, April 20, 2012

The Secret Project Revealed At Last

Where I've actually been for the last few weeks: besides trying to maintain my ordinary life (and not always succeeding), I've been writing like crazy on:

 And what exactly, I hear you cry, is RAISE THE GIPPER! Well, the short answer is, it's a short  and I hope funny political novel.  There used to be tons of these and a few of them would  hit bestseller lists every year -- Mr. Adam, The Mouse that Roared, Feast of Freedom, And To My Nephew Albert I Leave the Island What I Won Off Fatty Hagan in a Poker Game, Our Gang, Rally Round the Flag Boys!, and Dark Horse were just a few of my personal favorites.  It was a great genre but traditional publishing had a hard time with it because topical humor ages so quickly, and because the more-than-a-year traditional cycle meant every joke was stale and dead before it could sting.

But enter the brave new world of self-publishing to ebook. The group of people who wanted me to do this book proposed it to me in the last week of February.  I started writing on March 1.  I was delayed a bit last week because the possibility of a deadlocked convention is pretty much dead with Santorum out (and I also needed to give him a somewhat different role since he'd dropped), so I had to put three days into rewrites (luckily the reality: the Republicans think it's their year but they can't come up with a candidate they like -- has remained constant, and it was possible to build instead around the potential for the Mitt Mutiny).

But in any case, here we are.  All grown up and shipped out, ready for you to buy and giggle madly at.  Now available at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, and at my bookstore site on e-Junkie in both mobi (for the Amazon Kindle) and epub (for iPad, Nook, and pretty much everything else), at $4.99 in all locations.

Since I've had a few readers who became very confused in trying to buy my short stories through e-Junkie, here's how it works: you go to the page on e-Junkie and click to order it. They ask for some information that includes your email.  They email you the download link (check your spam trap if you don't see it) and you click on the link in the email.  It's one more step than Amazon or B&N, but you might want to use e-junkie for one of three reasons, if any of them are important to you:
1) I do get a bit more of the money
2) intended typefaces and layout seem to come through better
3) buying from e-junkie puts you on my mailing list for my irregular newsletter, which features some special offers for collectors now and then, some upcoming books news, and at least one essay that doesn't appear anywhere else, usually focused on my published work.  (but you can always just email me and ask to be put on it, anyway).

On the other hand I'll be thoroughly delighted if you buy it anywhere.

For those of you unfamiliar with the genre of "short political satire", here's the crash course: 

the novels are really short  -- RAISE THE GIPPER! is just 71,000 words.  That's because taking too long about a joke is what your Uncle Jack does when he corners you at a party and you can't get away, and you realize, oh, my, god, he's going to tell the Cooshmaker joke again.  

they are highly partisan; you can't tell political jokes neutrally.  In my case I aim most of the fire at the 'pubs, though a couple of times where there was a big ripe Democratic target, I wheeled to attack my own flank. 

Like classic comedies going back to Menander or earlier, there's a love story in there -- in my case something between a Tea Partier and an Occupier -- which provides a thin plot to stick a bunch of absurd incidents into.

And finally, there's THE PREMISE.  The classics of the genre had a single sentence premise:

Mr. Adam: A nuclear experiment sterilizes every man on Earth ... except one terribly shy geologist who has never talked to a woman other than his mother, who happened to be two miles down in a lead mine.

The Mouse That Roared: The smallest nation in the world tries to declare war on the United States in order to get reconstruction money, but accidentally wins and acquires a weapon so powerful that they ever-after run the world.

Feast of Freedom: In a bit of confusion, as the very last British colony is being decolonized, and has reverted to traditional cannibalism, the Vice President of the United States is mistaken for a gift. 

Dark Horse: a major political party's candidate dies with 30 days to go till the election; trying to use the hopeless race as a backdoor way to develop a candidate for a governorship, they nominate the chair of the New Jersey Turnpike Committee -- but suddenly it looks like he'll win.

So, what's the premise of RAISE THE GIPPER! ....?

The Mitt Mutiny that the righties are already muttering about, i.e. delegates defecting to nominate someone else, has one big problem: they can't agree on a candidate.  But there is one candidate they could agree on .... if only he weren't so, well, dead.  But what if he could become undead? Couldn't you persuade the Supremes that that pesky 22nd Amendment really should only apply to terms served when you were alive?

Anyway, there you have it.  Mobi or epub, two great flavors ... cheap and fast and funny .... and maybe a chance to revive a genre that I used to love the hell out of.

As sanity returns to my life, there will be more here at the blog, too.