A very wise woman I know recently pointed out that while I've been imploring you all to buy my new book, I haven't actually taken time to explain what the book is about. Well, it's a collection of my "war writings," from September 11 to the present day, a comprehensive yet succinct chronicle of a world in conflict. The action travels thrillingly from New York to Afghanistan to North Korea to Iraq and back again, all in a crisp 70 pages. No writer has gotten closer to the truth about this conflict. Most of them are plagued by base forms of sectarianism and are also driven by mindless ego. I manage to avoid those pitfalls. Like Orwell, I write with absolute moral clarity and an abhorrence of cliche. Also, I was a provincial official in Burma in the 1930s, and was once sent by a British newspaper to live the life of a tramp. That, then, is Beneath the Axis of Evil: One Man's Journey Into the Horrors Of War. If you've enjoyed this blog up to now, you'll like the book.
Another very interesting thing about this book is that it's being released by an obscure micropublishing enterprise. I have a novel coming out this fall from HarperCollins that will establish me in the pantheon of hot young American novelists not named Jonathan. But I also remain committed to independent publishing. It worked for me the first time, and I admire the enthusiasm and hard work that Ben Brown puts into publications that, no matter how flimsy, he's not afraid to call books.
In true independent spirit, Ben and I have decided to completely open our finances to the world. If you click here, you'll get a comprehensive and continually updated report on the book's sales progress. We want to show people that this can be done. You can make your own books and make a little running-around-money off of them in the process. At this writing, we've presold 60 copies. By Ben's fuzzy math, I've already made $150. That's a modest sum by any reckoning, but if we sell 500 copies, which is quite possible, suddenly I have a thousand-plus paycheck coming my way. If we sell 1,000 copies, I'm throwing a party. Within the next couple of days, we'll set up a permanent link so you can track my sales, if you're interested or if you just need one more way to procrastinate. (THIS JUST IN: I received emails as I was writing this entry from readers in Canada and Australia, complaining that So New Media doesn't ship overseas. That's not true. Ben informs me that citizens of other countries can buy the book through PayPal. Also, it will be available for sale on Amazon shortly after the New Year.)
Now then, because I am SO punk rock, I encourage you to read yet another web interview with me where I answer difficult questions in the most fascinating manner possible. Thanks to Claire Zulkey for caring enough to ask. And while you're at it, if you missed my interview on Bookslut, this is your second chance. How many more interesting things can I say in one day? You decide.
One more housekeeping matter before I encourage you to keep reading, because there's a fresh and fascinating political post following this carnival of self-aggrandizement.
I'll be taking a hiatus from this blog for the holidays starting December 22 and continuing through January 10. Then, from January 27-31, I will also be idle while I make a brief but fruitful tour of party towns to promote Beneath the Axis Of Evil. But don't worry! A wonderful roster of substitute bloggers will feed you fresh content every day. Here, then, is that roster.
Dec. 23-31. The return of Lizz Westman, still perpetually underemployed.
Jan. 2-10. Matthew Tobey, from the fine humor website Haypenny.
Jan. 27-31. The perpetually nervous Christopher Monks.
I hope you enjoy them at least half as much as you enjoy me. Now, keep reading, suckers.