Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Little #Book #Trailer, #Anyone?

video
Wait...why does it look so sucky when I use the blogger video feature?  You can see what it really looks like here.

Anyway...trailer.

Someone told me no one does them anymore and no one watches them. Guess I'm always 10 minutes behind the literary fashion.  Typical.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hundreds of #Literary #Rejections Later, Yet All Is Not Lost #Pretend I'm Your Friend


How far we've come from the days when the stories in my ill-fated (until now) collection were roundly rejected by everyone in publishing town!  Remember?  Do your mammalian minds reach back as far as 2007? I sent those stories out individually, and as a collection, and then as two collections, and still nobody wanted them.
"Publish a novel," they said. "Then someone might care about your collection."
"But these stories are special," I said. "They're linked!"
"Who cares about rejection?"
It didn't matter, though, because those were the days of rejections, so many of them, adding up to years. Now I can look back at them fondly because they are in the past. At the time, though, as you know, I wailed and lgnashed my teeth and pulled my hair.

Finally I published the novel in 2014. And, guess what, mice: they were right! As you can see above I now have advanced reading copies of the linked story collection, which my publisher calls "entwined."

The advanced reading copies arrived on Saturday to my front porch. I took the above picture as proof that there can be a pay-off to hanging in there and being persistent.  Like a cockroach, a literary cockroach.

There are worse things. Never say die, right?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Little Advanced Praise? #PretendI'mYourFriend @elizmccracken

It may be true that I've lost my LROD edge due to the very act of having to promote another book, as I've been so accused just this morning, but here I am again.  Call me soft, but this blurb from my all-time favorite story writer, made me cry big cartoony tear drops:
"There are, I suppose, stories full of brilliance, hilarity, and longing—the stories in MB Caschetta's terrific Pretend You're My Friend are full of all these things—but I can't remember when I've read a collection so full of life. Actual life: the bad jokes, the astounding velocity, the sweetness and darkness. You will love the characters here the way you love your own family: complicatedly, with tenderness, understanding, and consternation. The only difference may be how willing—and eager—you are to introduce them to friends. Good heavens, this book is good." --Elizabeth McCracken
Elizabeth McCracken!!! Dang, Mice. That doesn't happen every lifetime now, does it?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Originality & Impact: When Other #Blogs Rip You Off Without Knowing It #thievingblogs

You know you are a Sarah-Palin-style maverick when everyone blogs your content without giving you any credit. This is particularly amusing because the same originality is what makes it impossible (nearly) to get published these days. You anonymice all remember back in the day (2007) when we started this blog, yes? No one thought it was a good idea to post, let alone discuss, rejection letters. They called us names; they sent threatening legal notices; they wanted to shut us down. It was unseemly for an artist to air her dirty laundry.  Now, not so much any more.  It is fun, expected, and entertaining--almost everywhere you look.  I suppose that is progress....or something.

Check out all of these:

Huffington Post
Mental Floss
Click Hole
Flavor Wire
The Atlantic
Thought Catalog
Business Insider
Buzz Feed
Esquire
The New Yorker
MSN
Reddit
Go Think Big
Bustle 
Open Culture

Plus, so many, many more....

I don't even really blame these dudes for not giving credit where credit is originally due. Who can go back that far when everything is an iteration of an iteration of an iteration of an iteration? There's a huge hunger for content on the World Wide Web, so much so that it's just like manufacturing cheeseburgers. People like to know exactly what they're getting, something they know pretty well already.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

From me, A New Book Out This Fall 2016 #PretendI'mYourFriend, #Fiction, #Shortstories, #EngineBooks

Remember all my moaning and groaning about not being able to get my second short-story collection published? Remember how everyone in the publishing world said, "Write a novel first. No one cares about a second collection unless you've written a novel"?  Well, guess what, Mice? Those bastards were right! Coming this fall to a book store near you is my second collection of short stories entitled PRETEND I'M YOUR FRIEND.  Yes, sirree.  I wrote and published those suckers individually when I was a mere third-gendered lad/lass of 30, for the entire decade of the illustrious 1990s. (Some even won some fiction prizes, and all ended up in sweet literary journals...good ones).  Alas, I am now a lot older than I was in my 30s, so when I go back to edit the stories (which are linked by character cycles), I am rather surprised at what my mind was like back then. Mostly it was filled with sex. The stories are very obsessed with the topic, but I guess that makes sense on certain biological and social levels. Well, so, hold onto your hats for a new book from me this coming fall.  By the way, it is also fantastic to have this book come out at long last. The stories are pretty good.  Also, mice, it is the same publisher who put out my novel, Engine Books.  So I am a lucky, lucky literary ducky. What do you think of the awesome, retro cover design? I'm kind of excited, myself

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pay-To-Enter #Literary #Book #Prizes: What's Your Beef, Bro?

It's always cool to win a prize, especially when its a book prize. The USA Best Book Awards are mainly for independent books, though I noticed some of the winners this year were from mainstream publishing houses, which is to say, maybe everyone with any kind of cash leftover in the promotional budget enters into what some people like to call "vanity award" contests. It's not an inexpensive proposal: $199.00 to enter a book in a specific category. Still, someone, or some panel, reads the books and picks a winner, so it's not entirely vanity.  ( I mean, if I paid and automatically became a winner, or if I picked my book as a winner, that would be vanity.) So, criticize all you want. I'm never going to win a National Book Award. So I am delighted that Miracle Girls won a USA Best Book Award. And I'm especially happy that it won in the Literary Fiction category. That just makes me happy. What can I say?

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Problem With #Family: A #Literary Dilemma

So, I've written three drafts of my next book based on this essay, but I hated the way it sounded (too whiny), so I started over entirely. Blank page. And now I am on page 234 of the new and improved version, which is from a much deeper point of view, much more internal. I am getting ready to head into the second half of the book, which deals with disinheritance. I have to say I'm a little overwhelmed at the idea of delving a new into such a hairy topic, but here I go anyway. What makes things all a bit unfun is the fact that my family wants me to stop writing about the topic. I think they wish I would shut the F*** up, or fall off the planet, but I have to write this book. I have to figure out what exactly happened to me and why. I've even found a decent literary method for never mentioning any of them by name: I write about my brothers as The Three. How about that for clever? But, whatever. They don't get it, and never will.
     If they had the capacity to understand, I probably never would have been disinherited (by surprise) in the first place. Someone would have warned me. Anyway, they are all seemingly insulted by the essay, which I think is fairly gentle, to tell you the truth, and not even technically about them. There's barely a mention of them, but everybody has a right to his or her own opinion. Mostly, I've heard from them on the fact that they think we didn't have THAT many guns in the house when we were young. (!) (!!) (Huh?!) (What are you loons talking about?!) We had plenty of guns, believe me, more than I ever hope to see again in one place.
     And you know what else is freaking weird? The members of my entire family have all managed to act like the novel I wrote and finally published did not ever exist. No one has said a word about it to me or to anyone else. They must not ever run into anyone from the old home time: like, the English teachers who have written me notes, or my classmates, or my childhood sweetheart's encouraging family who posted a picture of them holding my book in the local Barnes & Nobles. My family must not go to the dentist either, because it was right there in People Magazine next to Stephen King and Annie Lamott. (My novel did exist. It did exist. I know it existed.) Ah, forgive my crazy: I grew up in a family without mirrors. No one ever reflected anything back at me that seemed even remotely recognizable. Maybe that's why they don't recognize my written version of them. Maybe I am actually in the same bind as The Three; we are blind to one another. I wish we could join together to work our way out, but that is just another fantasy I sometimes have on a Monday afternoon when I am feeling a little blue.
     Sometimes all this is a bit of a head trip, as you can see, but I know I am not the only writer who has ever dealt with the literary dilemma of having a family. Anyone want to share some wise advice, or links on the issue, or general thoughts, encouragements, criticism? I guess I'm feeling a little lonely in all this. Hoping there are still some mice out there to respond.