On Writing a Novel

Hi everybody. It’s been a real long time. Sorry about that.

I’m back with some good news, assuming you liked reading things that I’ve written. If you don’t, well, then I have some bad news: I wrote a book.

It’s a novel about talking animals. That may not sound like it has much in common with this blog, or my last book, but there’s a lot about it that you will probably like.

I won’t say much more about it all right now, aside from telling you how you can go ahead and order the thing.

Right now it’s available as a paperback through Amazon.com, and if you use that link, your purchase will also help some kids in Nepal get to a dentist. I know that’s a non-sequitur, but it’s pretty great. Here’s that link again, real big:


OK, so I know that some of you like paper with batteries, so there’s a Kindle version coming out too. That goes on sale next week, and you can bet that I will be re-emerging to let everyone know when it does. You can pre-order the Kindle version here and download it on November 26.

I think you Kindle people are probably nice people and won’t bootleg the book, like jerks, so there’s no Digital Rights Management on the book. That means that you can download the thing to any device that reads ebooks without getting hassled by Amazon, which is great. Read it on your iPhone or iPad or Newton or whatever, I’ll be psyched. I’m not going to make a giant link to the ebook yet because it’s just a pre-order, but here, have the link to the Kindle pre-order again. (Oh and if you prefer the Japanese Amazon, here you go).

So far I’ve spent more time explaining what DRM and Kindles are than I have spent talking about the book. So here, here are some frequently asked questions, at least in my imagination:

Q: Why should I buy this book? 
A: It’s pretty good, I’m proud of it, it takes a lot of risks, and probably isn’t half as alienating as I’m expecting it to be. It’s whimsical, funny, dark, weird, reaches a bit, and was fun to write. I hope that means it will be fun to read. Let’s find out, together!

Q: What’s the book about? 
A: It’s about magic, and listening, and the spirit of things.

Q: Who published it? 
A: Oh, right. I did, but most importantly, Owl Collector’s Club Press did, which is a new little thing I am doing to publish my weird collage-art books and this novel and maybe, in the future, some other things. You should follow it on Facebook.

Q: Why did you write the book? 
A: I was a bit lonely after moving to San Francisco, and went for a lot of walks in San Francisco’s parks, and there are a lot of animals there, and I started thinking about what it would be like if they ran the city.

Q: Who is it dedicated to? 
A: You’re probably asking because of a two-star Amazon review of my last book, which had a variety of criticisms, one of which is that the last book was dedicated to Keiko, and that I never explained who Keiko was. Here’s the thing. A book’s quality really shouldn’t rely on whether or not you understand the dedication. But here’s the other thing: There is an entire chapter of the book about Keiko, using her goddamned name. You can rest assured that the person named Keiko in the dedication and the person named Keiko in the book are the same person. But I want to reiterate my first point, which is that even if I didn’t explain it, you really shouldn’t let that get in the way of enjoying the book. With that said, I’m not going to talk about the dedication in this one, on principle.

Q: What if I love the book? Can I buy three copies?
A: Yes, go for it. If you like the thing, I really encourage you to share your thoughts about it on social media, tag me on Twitter, write reviews, etc. That would be very helpful to me as a self-published author who has literally no money for marketing this thing.

Q: What if I hate the book? What are some ways I can get revenge on you? 
A: If you hate the book, donate it to your local library. That way you will be doing a favor for your local community, because somebody might like the thing, and you can rest assured that you will be stealing money from my pockets, because anyone who wants to read the book will be able to read it, for free, for the rest of my life. Also, if you give it to a used or charity book store, someone will get it there instead of buying it, depriving me of precious coins.

Q: What’s up with this itako stuff?
A: No spoilers, but yeah, that’s all true stuff, based on real field interviews with Japanese itako women, of which very few remain. I researched this a lot and found it dark, sad, and fascinating, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s haunting.

Q: Is your name really spelled that way or is it some pretentious writer thing? 
A: It’s the name I was born with.

Q: Wait, where can I buy the book again? 



Thanks everybody! For real.



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2 Responses to On Writing a Novel

  1. Paul says:

    This is awesome! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  2. Csal says:

    Can’t wait! Looking forward to another creative adventure!

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