Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday, October 16th, 2015: T-shirts and BLURBQUEST

The Official T-shirt Front and Back
The Thoral and Brad T-shirt Design
Test T-shirts came in from today! The colors are bright and crisp, the text is clear and legible! This is me wearing the Brad-style T. I think this design is working pretty well. I wore it around a bit and four people asked me about it. I also got a Thoral and Brad T, which I did not get an opportunity to model, but here it is without a human in it:

Yes, I have begun the quest for author blurbs for Fish Wielder in earnest. Not that I was kidding around before, but now I'm really serious. I already have one great author blurb. It's from Logan J. Hunder, author of the hilarious Witches Be Crazy. Logan was kind enough to read Fish Wielder and say about it, "Fast, fun, fantastic! Fish Wielder is hilarious and unpredictable, like a drunk bear playing whack-a-mole." It is always awesome to have your writing compared to a drunk bear.

Of course, I didn't get that blurb on my own, though. My excellent agent, Mark, sent my manuscript to Logan and requested a blurb. Now, it's my turn to begin my own blurbquest. I enter this quest as a complete novice. I don't actually know anything about how this kind of thing is done, how many blurbs I should try to get or how you even find out if an author writes blurbs. What I do know is that I'm going to start by trying to reach some key folks who have influenced my writing in deep and mysterious ways.

For example, I sent an email to John Cleese the day before yesterday. I figured it was kind of a long shot, but Monty Python's Flying Circus and Monty Python and the Holy Grail were kind of formative of my sense of humor and consequently impacted the writing of Fish Wielder, so I felt like I had to try. I actually found the email address right on John Cleese's website, So, I wrote him the following:

"Hello. I have been a big (if not all that tall) fan of yours since infancy (born 1968). Forgive me if this is the wrong venue for such a request, but I'm wondering if you ever write author blurbs for books, as I have written a book deeply influenced by your particular kind of lunacy and I would love to have you blurb it. I'm a previously published author and produced screenwriter. Thank you for your time, and thank you especially for the years of laughter."

Honestly, I didn't really expect a response, especially given that incredibly cheesy last line...but the very next day (less than 24 hours later) I got this reply:

"Jim, I am John's PA. Thank you for your request. John is currently touring the US and Europe until the Spring. I am afraid John only considers endorsing books for persons he knows personally.

Best regards, Pat

So, BAM! My first failure. At least it was a rejection because Mr. Cleese doesn't do that kind of thing--not because he hated the book.

I also wrote to Piers Anthony yesterday because his Xanth series was my first exposure to the idea that fantasy could be funny. Bink, from A Spell for Chameleon, was a major hero of mine. Anyway, I emailed this to Mr. Anthony, through his website:

"Hello, Mr. Anthony,

I want to start by thanking you for the countless hours of fun and pleasure your books have brought me over the years. I have been a fan since 1977, when I was 13 and read “A Spell for Chameleon” for the first time. The Xanth series was a major influence on my sense of humor, taste in fantasy, and my own writing. You helped make my awkward teenage years a lot more enjoyable.

I don’t know if you ever write book blurbs for authors you don’t know personally, but I would be deeply honored if you would consider writing a blurb for my epically silly epic fantasy “Fish Wielder”. I am a previously published author of comics and a produced screenwriter, but “Fish Wielder” is my first novel. It is slated for release in August of 2016 and my publisher and I are just beginning promotional efforts. I will understand completely if you are not interested, but would be happy to send you the manuscript in whatever format you’d like if blurbing the book is something you might consider. I’ve attached a series of links to the end of this email in case you would like to check out any of my previous works.

Thank you again for Xanth, Bink and stories that engaged my sense of wonder, sense of humor and common sense, all at the same time.


Jim Hardison

Again, I wasn't really expecting a response, but just a few hours later, I got this email back:

"I do read, review, and blurb novels when I have time. I have time this year, before I start writing Xanth #42 Fire Sale in January. I don't guarantee a positive review or blurb, as I give my honest opinion, but I do try to understand what the author is doing. So if you care to send Fish Wielder in .docx, .odt, or .pdf or .mobi, I can handle those and should be able to read it next month.

Piers Anthony

I sent him off the manuscript last night! No telling if he will like it or not, but it makes me a little giddy knowing that an author whose books I've loved since I was a kid is going to read my book. Sorry...geeking out.

So, who else is on my list? Well, here's where it stands at the moment:

Jim's Blurbquest List

Logan Hunder HE BLURBED ME!

They Might Be Giants

John Cleese DENIED!

Terry Gilliam

Eric Idle

Terry Jones

Michael Palin

Piers Anthony ACCEPTED! He's going to read it!

Lev Grossman

David Wong

Nick Harkaway

Bruce Campbell

Kurt Russell

Is that too many people to ask for blurbs? Do these people even give blurbs? Are they the right people? Will the readers care? I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA! That's the magic of it! I'm just totally winging it here and reaching out to these people because their work influenced me, it would make me happy to know they read the book, and if I saw any of these people had blurbed a book, I'd at least pick it up to see what was going on. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I'll keep you posted on my progress, good or bad.

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