Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Man in the Window

Are you as frustrated as I am by how difficult it is to develop—let alone sustain—a decent writing discussion on social media? It’s promotion, promotion, promotion, all the time. Yes, we all need to promote our books, and those books we think others will enjoy that might not get a big marketing push from the publisher, but damn. Come up for air.

So, beginning today, One Bite at a Time begins a new self-promotion policy: any book I publish will have five promotional blog posts, with the accompanying announcements in Facebook: Two before the book is available, one to announce its availability, and two after it launches. (Policy subject to change is I ever get a contract, pending negotiations with the publisher, who will be expected to carry their weight, as well.) Now that the policy has been announced, here’s another announcement you’ll like: for my next book, I am waiving the “the blog posts prior to release” rule, and stopping at one for The Man in the Window. Why just one?

Because it’s available now. This is the blog post to announce it.

The third Nick Forte story, The Man in the Window, is now available both in paperback and for Kindle at all finer Amazon and CreateSpace web sites. Paper lists for $9.95 (Yes, that’s right. Nine-ninety-five. Less than tem measly bucks. Actual price adjusted accordingly for your nation’s currency, because I know I’ve sold at least one book in Australia and Ireland, as well as one in Tanzania, which makes me an international fucking author.) The Kindle version is $2.99, also adjusted accordingly.

Things are getting tough for Nick Forte. He’s basically a decent guy whose cases are taking him places he doesn’t want to go, teaching him things he’d rather not learn. In the Shamus-nominated A Small Sacrifice, his natural good guy inclinations almost get him killed. (Yes, I’m still flogging that Shamus nomination. I’d put it on my tombstone if I didn’t plan on cremation. Even then, The Sole Heir may be instructed to disperse tiny notes with, “Here lie the ashes of a Shamus-nominated author” written on them.) In Book Two, The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of, he bends over backward to make things come out right, thus ensuring they don’t. (TSTDAMO was not nominated for anything, but it’s still a good book. Would I lie to you?)

In The Man in the Window, what starts as a divorce case morphs into what Forte thinks is a bullshit investigation until things strike closer to home than he’s used to. After his secretary is attacked, an old friend who has nothing to do with Forte’s current business is dragged into the case with bad consequences, fraying even more the increasingly tenuous cord that binds Forte to the good father/loyal friend/stand-up guy he likes to think of himself as.

I always thought John Connolly was a little disingenuous when he claimed the arc in the Charlie Parker novels that lead to The Black Angel and The Lovers grew on its own as he wrote each book without forethought on his part. Now I believe him. I intended Forte to be an Everyman with skills, but always tied to his musical roots as much as the now-private cop he’s become. I still think of him that way, but his experiences are such they can’t not affect him. Everything that happened to him in each story informed how I viewed him in subsequent stories, and it’s some dark shit. Not supernatural dark as in Connolly’s Parker progression, but Everyman dark, things neither you nor I would ever want to have to encounter in our lives. Certainly things neither you nor I could encounter and remain unaltered in fundamental ways.

So he changes, and he’s not done. The next Forte book, A Dangerous Lesson (scheduled for either late 2015 or early 2016) moves him a little farther down his personal slippery slope, leading to the Nick Forte who first gained public exposure in Grind Joint, where he plays a supporting, but critical role. The aforementioned Forte novels predate Grind Joint, but the series never found a home, so they were set aside. When the character was well-received as a badass in Grind Joint, I thought it would be worth my time to polish up the old books and let anyone who was interested see that the badass didn’t spring forth straight from his creator’s head, but grew to be that way, and that maybe his journey, though not always pretty, might be entertaining and, on some level, enlightening as an informal study of how even a straight arrow can be worn down by events mostly beyond his control.

Do they work? Beats hell out of me. That’s for you to decide.


pattinase (abbott) said...

You are writing up a storm, Dana. Congrats.

Dana King said...

Thank you, Patti, but not as much of a storm as you might think. All three of the Forte novels I've released so far (as well as a fourth, due out in early 2016, have lingered on my hard drive for quite some time. I'm only recently decided to clean them up and publish them myself.