I’m thrilled to announce that today is the pub day for my sixth novel, WE ARE ALL STRANGERS HERE—a story about a dysfunctional southern family, addiction, pedophilia, cannibalism, and the last days of New Wave, interwoven with the lucid dreaming of Manuel, a Sandinista rebel facing execution in 1986. It’s difficult for me to be “sales-y,” but I’m immensely proud of the work, which took me five years to write, and I hope you’ll consider ordering a copy. Thanks so much.
My publicist, Shana, tells me I should “take a more proactive role” in promoting the book. So, you can now follow me on Twitter @TheNovelNovelist. On Facebook: WeRAllStrange. Tumblr: Write2Live. Instagram: StrangerBook. (Warning: Lots of pictures of our cat dressed as Ian McKellen.) Working on getting a YouTube channel, which…anybody know anything about how to shoot, edit, and score videos? Call me! Also blogging for Huffpo, making lists for Buzzfeed, moderating at Reddit, GIF-ing at Giphy, and helming a new podcast, The Novel Life. Whew! Not sure when I’ll write the next book, but every little bit helps, they say.
For those who were confused, yes, WE ARE ALL STRANGERS HERE is under my pseudonym, T. J. Barrow. My publisher thought a fresh start with a gender-neutral name was the way to get my underwhelming sales record back on track. Don’t want to have to resort to self-publishing. LOL!
I’m sorry for any offense my last email may have caused. I know many of you have self-published, which is totally a viable option. Mary, what you did to promote your adoption memoir, rolling naked in paint at Burning Man, selling it out of your trunk at Ren Faire while singing medieval doggerel? Well, that’s just heroic. I’ve downloaded your book as well as Dan’s poetry collection, SONGS OF MY PENIS & OTHER CELEBRATIONS; Tibi’s children’s book, WHY DO I HAVE A NAVEL? and Chris & Juniper’s spoken word collaboration, AWAKE. A WAKE. You are riding the wave of the future, friends, and I salute you. Mary, if you could see your way clear to taking down that flame war you started on my Facebook timeline, I’d appreciate it. My kids read that page. I’ve had to explain a lot.
Thanks to my new publicist, Tara (Shana left for a “quieter life” as a Navy Seal), I’ve got my first bookstore reading! This Saturday, 2:00 PM, I’ll be on a panel with local horticulturist, Sven Svensson (WHAT DO THE FLOWERS FEEL?), and former porn-set fluffier, Jeremy “Feather Touch” Dorado (STAYING UP). We’ll be reading and signing in the back of the store behind the story-time circle. Just follow the sound of the folk guitar and recorder. Trigger warning: clowns.
Thanks to both Charles and Lexie for coming to my reading. Lexie, again, I don’t set the retail price for the book. I know things are free on the Internet. Free doesn’t pay for a new transmission in the Toyota. Charles, I’m so glad you were able to find a copy of my third novel, FINGERS OF RAIN, at your church tag sale “for only a quarter.” Haha. Hard to believe I spent three goddamn years researching that thing on the Oregon Trail, pissing into a Coke bottle, and eating worms I dug out of the frozen earth. But really, just knowing the books find their way into that special reader’s hands and heart is what matters most. P.S. Anybody know anything about the side effects of Oxycontin? Asking for a friend.
Will also take Vicodin,
I’ll be doing a LiveStream Q & A this Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. I know it’s right smack in the middle of the workday, but it’s still great exposure according to my new, new publicist, Lana. (Tara had a breakdown? Something about lying in the fetal position under her desk surrounded by a stash of office Keurig cups.) Anyway, if you want to watch my Q&A later, just look under BARROW, T.J., and scroll through the first two hundred-forty videos till you get to mine. Hint: I am not the program about T.J. Barrow, the serial killer.
Comin’ at ya live,
I’m glad to hear you all enjoyed the serial killer video. I hear it’s been optioned for a movie. Asking again about painkillers. Who’s holding?
From a godless universe,
Good news! I’m going to be on “Maximum Novel!” with BookTube sensation, Mika XL. Don’t know if you’ve ever watched “Maximum Novel!” (links here and here) but it’s sort of a quasi-interview/Japanese game show format. I’ll be answering questions about my book’s themes of patriarchal corrosion, rampant consumerism, and the fraying of the American family while simultaneously being rotated on a wall-mounted wheel as guests pummel my body with a variety of (mostly) soft objects. Filling out the medical release form now.
Thanks so much for your concern. The doctors think I’ll be back to normal in six weeks, and Mika XL’s lawyer sent the loveliest flowers. Bonus: Oxycontin.
This too shall pass,
News flash! I just found out I’ve got a corporate sponsorship opportunity? Colon Cleanse, Inc. is going to feature my book in their fall newsletter, which has a circulation of more than 10,000 dedicated readers. In exchange, I’ve agreed to let Colon Cleanse, Inc. simulcast my first colonoscopy in order to increase colon health awareness. Like my newest publicist, Mara, says: This is such a tremendous opportunity to remove a stigma and do some good for the world. It’s humbling to think that my little book could possibly save lives. #Grateful
Apparently, the colonoscopy found polyps? Anybody had these? Anyway, I’m supposed to follow a high-fiber diet and give up booze. Ha!
What the fuck,
WE ARE ALL STRANGERS HERE has been optioned for a TV show! It’ll mostly focus on Manuel, the Sandinista rebel, (now called “Manny” and played by one of those Dancing with the Stars people) and his band of vigilante superhero soldiers from the planet XTron who are actually rogue CIA astronauts sent to infiltrate the Communists and sabotage the Soviets. The studio is excited. Big merch opportunities. (Please see attached t-shirt design: “Time to Manny up.”) P.S. I have a new publicist. I don’t know her name.
For those of you who slammed my blog’s comments thread about the Manny Up shirts, re: “selling out,” “betraying all that is holy,” and “trading craft for whoredom”—here’s one for you: Ted lost his teaching job, and the ten-year-old needs braces because her teeth are so fucked up they literally can be seen from space. I am not kidding. Some asshole kids in her class Google mapped “Harper’s big-ass teeth,” screen capped it, and left it in her locker. The world is doomed and I don’t know why we bother creating art.
Full disclosure#: I aM drunk. Seriousley fuck8in drunk. Tomrrow: I will a!so be drunk. Friday: Still DRunk.
Don’t know if you saw the announcement in Variety, but serial killer T.J. Barrow just got a seven-figure, three-book deal, so I’m going to have to retire my nom de plume, which is fine, as the TV deal is off, my publisher has dropped the option for my next novel, and my agent ran off with my last publicist. Currently number eight on the wait list for a barista position at my local Starbucks. Out of Oxy.
Questioning all my life choices,
Great news! My publisher called back: Apparently, I’m an Internet sensation? The video of me falling off the wheel on Mika XL’s show went viral. Over two million views and climbing. They’ve asked me to write a book about it.
49 thoughts on “DEAR FRIENDS”
I’m laughing so hard I’m crying, and my infant niece is staring at me like I’ve lost my marbles. Thanks. This was awesome.
Yep. Pretty much.
Have you thought about ‘Stand UP.” You could replace our long, lost Joan Rivers!!! Thanks for the rumbling roar you gave me!
THAT’S where my publicist went! Thank you for clarifying. (Still laughing.)
You’ll note editors were left out of the satire bonfire. This is good, right?
So evil. So sad. So awesome. Great work!
Releasing my third tomorrow, and this was All The Things I need. 🙂 Thanks for cracking me up.
At work with a bad head cold, reading this and laughing so hard that snifflie little snortlie noises are coming out of my nose.
My co workers think I am crying.
Wait…. can you get me on that Colon Cleanse thing? That sounds like a great opportunity!
I am so in love with this I’m putting it in my next author newsletter. #kiddingnotkidding
Brilliant. You made my whole month brighter. Thank you.
So original and fun!
Love it, love it!
Holy crap that’s funny!
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I came here for the colon cleanse–and got so much more. Hilarity built on the spine of truth. LOL
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I’m going to follow your marketing plan for our next release. All those publicists had to know what they were doing.
I giggled all the way through this and am sharing it on Twitter. Awesome stuff here! And it makes me wonder how much was inspired by [cough, cough] real life [cough].
Thanks for bringing a smile to this indie author’s face. (Might have to look into that rolling naked in paint thing. Anything for the readership, right? :>)
Sheer brilliance, Libba! Worthy of the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs. You should send it to them!
I hadn’t seriously considered self-publishing. Until now. Sold! Thank you for the laughs!
Reblogged this on authorkdrose and commented:
Hey! You should write a book!
So grateful for this astonishingly (and rather stalkerish-ly) accurate account of the path my author life could be taking ^_~. THANKS for this post!
I’m laughing, I’m crying, and now I know your name! Well done!
Laughing so hard the wine came out my nose!! 😳
Thank you for this very timely post, as I just indie published my first novel. Needless to say, I didn’t decide to write a book because I love book promo!
Thank you so much for revealing the true bewilderment of Indie Author Promotion. I’ve written a ditty for you–and all of us indies.
‘Dear Lord, please send me an author assistant,
I have to do promo but I ain’t consistent.
One day I Facebook, the next I’m on Twitter,
It all makes me want to hide in the (powder room)
I just want to write but they tell me to buy ad space,
Think I’ll tattoo my book covers here on my face.
Then I can pay myself to advertise my product,
And I’ll be the queen of social media redux.
(sung to the tune of Janis Joplin’s fabulous ‘Mercedes Benz’)
Gosh, where is my editor when I need her? I should have written ‘…to advertise my BOOKS’
as it rhymes better with ‘redux’.
I bow before greatness!
Rings a horrific bell and had me laughing out loud
I would like to offer you an opportunity to be my personal manager for all things related to my writing life. I would be pleased to send you the entire mailing list from my author webpage / blog (29 and counting!). I am convinced you will have a promising career promoting serious literature to the post retirement set. There are only two tips to remember – BIG FONTS and BIGGER HEADLINES!
Seriously though, this was a BRILLIANT post! Absolutely hilarious.
Will write for beer.
I was just about to start getting cynical about the horrible self-promo aspect of being a working YA author in 2015 when a friend sent the link to your post my way. Brilliant satire. You have a new fan and follower.
Reblogged this on Jo Grafford.
And that is one of the funniest pieces about writing and publishing I’ve ever read. Brilliant!
Reblogged this on Indie Lifer and commented:
Too much fun in here not to share.
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Thanks for the laugh…and laugh and laugh and laugh. Freaking hilarious!
You have a new follower. 😀
It’s so beautiful
Reblogged this on Dana Stabenow.
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Best laugh I’ve had in ages. Thank you!
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