[Update #3 at 10:49 AM: Now it's Sunday, the last day of this free book thingie, and things are still on the upswing. In the UK, we're now at #184 overall (#2 on hard-boiled, still), and we've had 100 downloads overnight! So if there's anyone you know out there in UK Kindle land who doesn't know, please point them our way. In the US, Psychosomatic is now at #355 overall in the Free store, and #4 on the hard-boiled list. And it's rising on the the Contemporary Fiction list at #20! MOMENTUM is the key. It's all down to discovery. People need to find it. I'm telling you, it's a lot of fun doing this, finding new readers and always pushing to see how far we can go. But only one day left! Huge thanks to all of you out there supporting me. Without you, I'm just a cranky cult writer with terrible bed head.]
It's cold outside. It's crazy. And there's yet another free Kindle novel out there, tempting you...
Here's why you'll want Psychosomatic: it takes place in the sunshine. Yep. And it's batshit crazy.
My first novel takes you down to the sun-blasted Mississippi Gulf Coast, and even though you've got the beautiful weather to keep you cozy, things really heat up when you meet the characters, none of them heroes. All of them dirty.
On Saturday and Sunday, January 21 and 22, Psychosomatic will be free for Kindle users as a thanks for all of those people who have been snapping up my other novels over the past year. If you haven't gone back to where it all started for me, here's your chance.
I wrote a short story that was picked up by Blue Murder Magazine, an online innovator for crime zines, that ended up becoming the first chapter of PSY (as I call it). It was inspired by a night out during grad school where Victor Gischler, a couple of other friends, and me were barhopping. At one point, Gischler was drinking martinis, and he grabbed a pen and a bar napkin, scratched something down, and passed it across to one of our friends.
"There," he said. "That's the first line of your next story."
Our friend didn't want it. Wasn't his sort of deal. So Victor pushed it across to me:
Because Lydia didn't have arms or legs, she shelled out three thousand bucks to a washed up middleweight named Cap to give her ex-husband the beating of his life.
Sure, why not? I could do that. So I pocketed the napkin and we moved on to the next bar.
As soon as I got back home, I smooth the napkin on my desk, typed that line in...and then wrote the first paragraph. Easy. Then I went to bed.
At some point that night, a spider bit me on the ear. That turned kind of nasty.
But later I finished the story, showed it to Gischler, and he was surprised I'd been able to pull it off. He loved it. So I mailed it to a few magazines, and Blue Murder said "Yes".
Later I wrote a couple of other stories featuring two other characters from that story (a couple of con men named Terry and Lancaster) and published those.
Wheels began to turn.
I had a novel.
And a year later, so I did.
Published in 2005 by PointBlank Press, it helped me get a foothold in this crazy world of publishing, getting a cult reputation as people began reading. At the end of 2010, I decided to revert the rights in order to try it out on Kindle. And I'm glad I did, as it's found a brand new audience.
For the next two days, give it a go. I call it my "noir cartoon" because it's just that nuts. The sort of thing I like to call "gonzo noir".
Now, I know that people immediately flock to free books on Kindle, so that's cool. But I'm asking, if you're reading this via Twitter or Facebook, you to help me make a couple of big pushes. If you can, spread the word that I would love to see, on both days, as many people buy it during the 8 AM hour as possible. And once more during the 8 PM hour. Pick one. All I'm saying is that I want to attract new readers, and to do that, it helps to get it in front of as many folks as possible. To do that, it takes a lot of people picking it up at the same time to drive the rank up. Easy, right?
Do that, and I will thank you.
Oh, and for the freeness of it: You're welcome, cheapskates.