My novel, Gone Whalin’ is now available!http://amzn.to/1bYuUwJ
One year, six months, eight days, 638 pages, 222,851 words, and 1,025,891 characters after I started writing it, my novel Gone Whalin’ is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. If you want to go buy it now and not read the rest of this, I will understand.
It feels good to be done. Once I got about 15% through the book, the main motivating force behind continuing to work on it was ‘wanting to be done.’ Oh, it will be a sweet feeling, I’d think as I secluded myself in my office to bang out a few pages over the course of several hours only to realize I had inched closer to being done by just a few hundredths of a percentage point and in the meantime missed out on weekends, birthdays, weddings, Spring, and Monday Night Football. But actually being done is as great a feeling as I imagined. At this point, Dean Bickerstaff would throw back his head and laugh triumphantly without removing his cigar from his mouth. (Read the book, it’ll make sense then.)
Why did I decide to to write a novel? The way I remember it, I had the idea that a whaling ship could be a funny setting for a book or movie, or five minute podcast skit. Potentially with somebody aboard the ship who had no business being there. After kicking around this idea in my head for a few weeks, I picked up Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, which I believed to be about baseball, but which actually has a very strong Melville-undercurrent. (It’s good, read it.) I took it as a sign, probably the only time I’ve took something as a sign in my life. I jotted down some notes and in March 2012, started writing.
Also, in this essay I wrote about DadBoner in 2011, I noted that it was the longest thing I’d written since college, which struck me as a kind of sad fact that really needed fixing. (I blew it out of the water.)
What the hell is this novel about? Well, there’s a description of it on the back cover and on the Amazon page. If you need it summed in a sentence or two, it’s about a college student who starts waking up on a whaling ship in the 1800s every other day, the adventures he has at sea, and how his roommate and the dean of his college scheme to take advantage of him on the days he’s back in time. Most importantly, it’s funny.
I’m reluctant to give too much more of the plot away, but if you want a little bit more sales pitch than that, I can tell you that Gone Whalin’ is the best, funniest thing I’ve ever written. This last time, as I sat down to read it, yet again, going through it with a magnifying glass and hypercritical eye, what should be an altogether joyless exercise, there were many parts that still made me laugh. It has some ridiculous characters in it that I’ve grown quite fond of. It has passages where I still am not sure which part of my brain they came out of. It has 166 uses of the word shillelagh. And it has a scene where a dog in a sombrero and sunglasses drinks beer from a keg. You can read three chapters for free at gonewhalin.com
if you want any more info before you decide to take the plunge.
I’ve written enough about this book and now that it’s out, I certainly don’t need to write any more, so I will just say: I hope that you will read it, and that it will make you laugh. Please let me know if it does.
That’s Gone Whalin’, available here: http://amzn.to/1bYuUwJ
PS: If you might be so inclined to repost this, write your own thing about it, review the book on Amazon, add it to Goodreads, take a picture of yourself reading it, give it as a gift, trick your book group into discussing it, or talk people’s ear off at a cocktail party about it until you’re asked to leave, I’d be forever grateful. If you need some time to read through it before you go staking your reputation on it, I understand.
OK, it’s been a few minutes, did you finish it yet? What’d you think?