Monday, September 24, 2012

Ever Been Hungover? Dysphoric Notions Part I


With the emanate publication of Dysphoric Notions (Ring of Fire Books) on September 25, 2012, I get a funny barrage of questions. Here are the top three:

#1 And this one is weird. How long is it? I repeat. How long is it? I get asked this question so much that I really ought to have a scripted answer. Each time I get this question, I'm just so baffled. Here it is: after edits, the final product is about 170 paperback pages. It was 226 pages on 8 ½ x 11 paper with 1” margins, double spaced and with a 12 pt courier font. And when I wrote it, I wrote it in composition notebooks, four or five of them. Word count? About 50,000 words. Now let me ask: why does it matter?

#2 How long did it take to write? I love this question. Well, as of 9/12/12, 13 days before launch, I was still working on it. I remember the day I started it too. I made the first pen strokes on the morning of January 12, 2009. 45 months is the long answer.
I started my work on Dysphoric Notions two days after I graduated from Goddard College. Two days was enough time to sufficiently recover from the hangover. I don't remember exactly when I finished the first drafts of it, but I started writing the next novel sometime in March 2009. I feel like I wrote the initial 2 or 3 drafts in about 8 weeks. Again: why does it matter?

#3 Is it any good? What a question. Well, yeah, it's pretty good. Is it the best novel I've written? No, I haven't written that one yet.

#4 Who is your publisher? Ring of Fire. They're in Seattle. They're great. They have a wonderful business model. Please support them by 1) buying my book. 2) Buying other books. 3) Telling everyone you know.

#5 How did you come up with the title? It came about because I didn't know how to spell hangover. (Hang over? Hang-over? Hangover? Hangover.) So, I looked it up, and what struck me—a feeling of dysphoria due to chemical intoxication.  I was also taken with the notion that a hangover could be a residual bad feeling from a former time.  The working title was “The White Party” and I suspect that that means something different to you than it does to me.

#6 Is it true? No. It's fiction. Don't be silly.

#7 Did you choose the cover? Ring of Fire chose it and I love it.

#8 How many novels have you written? 10.

#9 Is this your first published novel? Sort of. My novel Sand and Asbestos ran on Sophia Ballou in 2011 as a serial. Dysphoric Notions is the first of my novels to be published with money transactions.


#10 What's the book about? I love this question and I get it so rarely. Well, it's about love and loss and self discovery. It's a tour of central Denver from the confluence of Cherry Creek and the Platte River all the way to the INS office in a vague place on the outskirts of town. It's about adversity and drinks and family and beating the odds. It's a travel piece and it even has a few cocktail recipes. Ultimately, it's a love story.

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