Thursday, November 3, 2011

Had a pre-prelaunch party for my new novel LIFE IS LAWFUL

The title of the book is called Life is Lawful.

Here's the blurb:

When slacker Grisham Clancy is admitted to law school he's delighted. It means he has three more years to mooch off his parents while avoiding work and the real world. He soon realizes, however, that the law is not all it's cracked up to be. It turns out that all those lawyer jokes are not only true, they also cast lawyers in a good light. It also turns out that the law school brochure was not exactly honest about the job prospects after graduation.

Stuck working for a worn out shadow of a man with early onset Alzheimer's for less than minimum wage, Clancy wonders whether there's more to life. Oh my God! How will he survive? Or will he? Will he kill himself? You'll wish he does!

Life is Lawful is a novel and a memoir. It is a law school admissions and survival guide, and a cautionary tale. It is a story of love and loss, rejection and acceptance, sin and redemption, of family and--Oh, who are we kidding? It's a story about what !@#$% lawyers (properly pronounced “liars”) are.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Everything's Falling Apart

In article after article in professionally edited publications, like the NY Times, WSJ, Financial Times, and so on, I spot typos and grammatical errors. This is reflective of general society, which is falling apart.

But what I saw today takes the cake. The headline in The Telegraph is "G20 finance ministers gather as time runs out." It's mostly about France. So having a picture of the Arch of Triumph (or of some other French architecture) is expected. But what are we to make of the picture with which we're presented?

What's shown in the photograph isn't in France. It's in Pyongyang, North Korea. The way we're going, we'll be there soon.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Super Awesome Zombie Conspiracy continues

"Remain Calm!" the followup to "The Heist," is now up on Amazon. It's coming to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, etc soon.

Deputy Ross returns to town without the fugitives Jake and Trevor, but he doesn't come back empty handed. He brings a new car. He also happens to be carrying the virus that causes zombiehood, zombieism, consumeritis, or whatever the politically correct term is for the disease that causes one to become a zombie. It is up to Stella to protect her granny and to get her boyfriend Jake to return and rescue her.

With 20% more zombies and 100% more nudity, “Remain Calm!” is a continuation of the unreasonably popular "The Heist."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Congrats to the Book Giveaway Winners

The House of Rejects book giveaway has ended. There were 863 people vying for 10 books! I never expected so much interest. The books will be shipped today or tomorrow.

If you still want to read the book and are a cheap bastard :) (just kidding!) it's available for free for a limited time at Smashwords in every conceivable eBook format with the code SSWSF.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Free House of Rejects eBook for a limited time and sales update

From now until the end of September you can download House of Rejects for free from Smashwords in Kindle (mobi), PDF, Epub, LRF, and PDB formats. Signing up takes about a minute, and unfortunately you have to put in a real email. But other than that, the novel is available for free with this coupon code: NW93F

If you read it and like it, please post a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Goodreads, and wherever else you like to shop.

The novel made it to the top 10 in two Amazon categories! Can it reach number 1?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Women Read More Fiction than Men and or More Women Read Fiction than Men

The book giveaway for the House of Rejects, which ends on July 27, is going far better than I expected. With over a week left, 174 people have already signed up. I had been worried that there would be no interest at all.

"Oh, silly," said my wife. "Of course they'll want to read your book." Then she pointed to something we both thought was interesting. Almost all of those who signed up for the giveaway are women. For every 25 participants about three or four are male. The rest are female. Or so I gather from the names and pictures.

This made me think about whether there's something about my book that attracts more women than men. So I looked at the other giveaways. Same result. More women than men signed up to win the other books too. I guess I'm not special.

But now I'm curious. Are there more female readers out there, or is Goodreads an anomaly? Off to Google!

From NPR:
Men account for only 20 percent of the fiction market, according to surveys conducted in the U.S., Canada and Britain.

Book groups consist almost entirely of women, and the spate of new literary blogs are also populated mainly by women.

From the Telegraph:
A study of reading habits showed almost half of women are 'page turners' who finish a book soon after starting it compared to only 26 per cent of men.
The survey 2,000 adults also found those who take a long time to read books and only managed one or two a year were twice as likely to be male than female.

I learned something new today. But why did it take so long to see? Maybe it was bias.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Makes Us Dumber?

The headline says "Google Is Making Us All Dumber," but the article is about memory loss.

The study finds that when we know where to find information online, we are less likely to remember it or recall that information. Instead just relying on conducting a quick search.*
Since when is not being able to remember something a sign of stupidity? The dumbest person in the world can also have the best memory, no? There's nothing contradictory here. And then there's the quote from Einstein: "Never memorize something that you can look up."** That sounds like the smart thing to do, at least from the standpoint of efficiency.

Stupidity is lack of intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new situations. It's also the skilled use of reason. Another definition is the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment.

Is Google impairing this ability? I'd argue for the opposite. Google is becoming a virtual extension of our brain. While scary I think that's pretty cool.

But judging from my having to look up the definitions of dumbness, stupidity, and intelligence, maybe the author has a point.

* Is that a sentence fragment? Are news articles ruining our grammar?

** A classic appeal to authority. But I wonder, why do people cite Einstein for things other than physics? Because he was a brilliant physicist he was an expert in everything else? Let's cite someone else to help me out. Dear old Nietzsche to the rescue: "If one has become a master in one thing one usually for that very reason remains a complete bungler in most other things; but one thinks precisely the opposite, a fact experienced already by Socrates. This is the drawback that makes association with masters unpleasant." But I think that quote applies much more to Nassim Taleb than Einstein. You don't believe me? Try having a conversation with him about something. And it doesn't apply to me because I'm not an expert in anything!