Monday, April 7, 2014

#740: It's over

THE GAS NAZI!: TEN YEARS IN A CONVENIENCE STORE is available now at's Kindle Store. It's $2.99, as are my other e-books. It's around 190 Kindle pages -- right at 59,000 words.
I think it's worth it, just for the comedy and outrage.
I missed my April Fool's Day deadline. I wanted to get the book out on April Fool's Day so that if my co-workers ever read it, maybe I wouldn't get fired. Maybe if they could take it as a joke or as fair comment and criticism, maybe the heat would be off. We'll see....
Anyway, the extra week's delay in getting the book finished was partly because I had to mess with it a bit. Because I'm paranoid. Because the gas station is a job I still have, I decided the best way to protect myself and sort-of guarantee my continued future employment was to cast the book as a "novel," as a piece of fiction. Even if everybody knows it's really just a memoir in disguise. My hero Brian Aldiss showed me how that's done last summer, when I read his BRIGHTFOUNT DIARIES and the lightbulb went on over my head about how easy this book-writing stuff could be.
So. All the characters' names have been changed, all the place-names. The rest is as real and detailed as I can remember it. And I left in all the comedy and outrage that comes from dealing with The Public.
I think the result is as funny as GUARANTEED GREAT MUSIC! and as twisted as THE CONFESSOR -- sort of a cross between the two. And it's not like I had any choice. This is the stuff that wanted to come out.
You'll get not just the weirdness and stress and overwork, but also the comedy and the outrageous stuff  no one would ever believe if I hadn't lived through it.
You'll meet the store-owner who couldn't stop screaming! You'll meet the old man who exploded in the restroom! You'll meet the drunk guy who threw burger parts at the store! You'll meet the hyper guy who threw Twinkies everywhere! You'll meet all the people who screamed as gas prices went through the roof! And more.
If it's any help, the week's delay in getting this thing done gave me time to think of more stories that should have been included in the book. The more I wrote, the more I thought of. Each day I thought of a few more things, and as soon as I finished getting them down, something else would pop into my head. The result was that in the last week the book suddenly became 6,000 words longer -- until I had a night at work that seemed like a perfect way to finish the book.
And now I'm gonna take a break from this book-writing stuff for awhile. I've written three of them since the middle of last August, something like 550 pages, and I'm starting to feel a little thin. I still have a half-finished Guide To Strange Music that I want to get done, and a memoir about growing up fast with my wild-ass step-brother that only needs a long phonecall to complete.
But I need a break. Maybe I'll blog here more. There's an idea. Thanks to those of you Out There who've put up with my absence the last few months....
And if I should get fired for writing this book, I'll keep you posted about what happens next. After talking to all the area media about it, of course....

Currently reading Ramsey Campbell's PROBABLY, a collection of essays the horror writer has written over the last 30 years. It's WONDERFUL. To me it's much funnier and much more human than his novels and short stories.
Some of it's laugh-out-loud funny, which is a totally new experience for me when reading Campbell.
Some of the pieces are reviews of other authors' works, some are forewards or afterwards to his own novels and story collections, and there are several long, very revealing pieces about his childhood and about what it's like to be a best-selling horror writer. It ain't all free drinks down at the pub! ...There's also a long piece on English schoolgirl-spanking videos that has to be read to be believed....
Only drawback is it's a little pricey, a limited-edition book that's a little rare -- but if you're a sucker for Author's Notes like I am, it's pretty great....

Heard some great work by a heavy rock band called Pelican on SOUND OPINIONS last night -- loud, ominous King Crimson-style instrumentals, no vocals. The SOUND OPINIONS guys called Pelican "heavy metal," but to me they sound just heavy enough. The first music in awhile that's opened my ears. Might work for my continuing need to hear some LOUD guitar sounds.... I'm gonna have to check them out as soon as I finish typing this.
More soon....

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