Sunday, October 27, 2013

What I Learned as a Self-Publicizing Author About Reality and Irreality

Sometimes you have to make stuff up as an author. And sometimes you can't make it up.

I'm in the throes of bringing out a new book. Entitled Savior, it's about a father and son battling the forces of evil. My bad guys are not your garden variety thugs. They don't just want to plunder and loot. They want to take over the entire world. I've given them an ideology, a veneer of thoughtfulness all the more creepy for its plausibility and basis on a real world cult. 

Called the Santos Muertos, or Dead Saints, the bad guys in Savior are more than just a super successful illegal drug manufacturing and distributing cartel. They believe that they herald the second coming of Mictecacihuatl, the ancient death goddess of the MesoAmerican people. The Santos Muertos organization is seeking an ancient Mayan tablet called the Chocomal. This tablet contains a code which they believe will allow them to build a doomsday machine and end the reign of Quetzalcoatl, which they identify with Western civilization. Now of course the Santos Muertos don't really exist. But the Santa Muerte cult does. This is a religious practice, condemned by the Catholic church, which has gained increasing numbers of adherents among residents of northern Mexico and the border regions of the United States. Adherents of the Santa Muerte build altars to a saint who does not exist in the Christian panoply. This saint, the Santa Muerte, or Lady Death, promises healing and favors in return for her veneration. 

I recently received an email from my editor questioning whether I might be in line for reprisals from the Santos Muertos for my depiction of their activities in Savior. I had to explain to her that they were not real, and that no, I didn't think any followers of the Santa Muerte cult would be Googling my address and moving me to the top of their most wanted lists. But you never know. With Halloween fast approaching, and my favorite holiday, Dia de los Muertos on its heels, I thought I would put it out there in a blog post. To anybody taking offense from my depiction of the Santa Muerte in Savior - it's just a book. I made it up. It's not real. But for anyone looking for a unique Halloween costume idea or themed event for Dia de los Muertos, check it out. And check out my book on Indiegogo. I'm looking for a boost. And I don't plan on building any altars to the Santa Muerte. Not just yet. But you never know. Ayudame santita.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Indiegogo -- How I, the Writer, Access the Rubles

I just launched a crowdfunding campaign for Savior, my new dystopian thriller, on Indiegogo, the crowdfunding platform. Unlike Kickstarter, it allows people from countries other than the United States to participate in supporting projects, so I'm hoping to win thousands of dollars from all those Russian millionaires who read my blog. I know you're out there because I've got Google Analytics, conneras.

I feel proud to be part of this brave new world of alternative financing. It's kind of ironic, because I finally got a publishing contract from Harvard Square Editions for Savior, but their marketing campaign consisted of sendng me a PDF of possible book reviewers to send the manuscript out to. Brave New World. Good luck if you're just setting out to be a writer. The way ahead is swampy and insecure.

But you, dear reader, can be the key by supporting creation at the outset. Be a part of a creative team that gives light to new work. Get into it. Here's the link to the Savior page on Indiegogo:

Click and rock on. Check out the top prizes where you can actually get in on production of book trailer videos and scripting of the sequel.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shut Down The Tea Party Now

The Republican party has reached new heights of lunacy that exceed even my outsized estimation of where their base is coming from. The sheer madness of their hatred of Obama and our Affordable Care Act is akin to the days of the Berlin Wall coming down. This is what we are witnessing in the GOP today with the government shutdown - the end of the two party system as we have come to know it for at least a century. Unbelievable as it might seem, I think we are reliving the period that led to the breakup of the Union over slavery and the rights of the slaveholding states. But the far right's opposition to Obamacare seems even more misguided then the secession of the slave states did in Lincoln's day. Clearly affordable health care for millions of Americans does not goad anybody's ox outright the way, say the liberation of black slaves did to the property rights of plantation owners. It remains to be seen how far these people are willing to go, but it seems pretty obvious that their respect for the democratic process and the good of the USA is outweighed by their ideological commitments to. . . what? no new taxes? No, the Tea Partying fringe's rationale for the shutdown is that Obama and everything he touches, including Obamacare, represents the end of America. It's a right wing, millenarian, reptilian, shock radio view of America as seen through a lens of racism and ignorance that's driving the Republican agenda, and the only sane response is to get ready to put the heel down on the snake's head come 2014 elections.