Oct 162016
chronosI’m running a promotion today to widely publicize that my little illustrated novella, The Pains is available as a free ebook. That is to say, I’m spending good money to make it known that this book is free. Never mind the words that I wrote for this book; the illustrations alone (by my friend Cheeseburger Brown) are worth paying for. They’re super-creepy and totally awesome.
You can help me, a lot, by
1. Downloading a free copy from Amazon,
2. Publicizing this book on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, grafitti, stopping random strangers in the grocery store and telling them about it, etc. Pretty Please help me publicize this, RIGHT NOW.
Here’s that link again:
The idea behind free ebook giveaways has two parts: (1) if enough people download it, the book moves onto “best seller” lists in its category. This generates lots of notice. If it becomes a “best seller” even as free book, its position atop lists will help increase sales of my other books. I’m aiming for the #1 spot on Amazon’s  “Dark Fantasy” list. (2) The Pains contains advertising for my other books and incentives to join my email list. That’s what I’m really after — new subscribers to my mail list.
The Pains, which came out in late 2008, is dedicated to my brother Paul and  and my sister Maureen.  Paul died of ALS in April of that year, and Maureen died in September, of brain cancer.
The Pains is a little fable set in a universe that is a mashup of George Orwell’s 1984 and Ronald Reagan’s 1984. The story is basically the story of Job (from the Bible, in case that wasn’t obvious). In my book there is a character — Norman Lux, a young monk, an earnest, decent young man — upon whom the universe, for whatever reason, decides to visit unending torment. He bears up with great courage and decency even as he struggles to understand why he must suffer. There’s more to the story than that, but that aspect of the Story of Job is very present in The Pains.
It’s a short book, but it took me a long, long time to write it. Nearly 3 years, for a book that is only 100 pages long.
I wrote draft after draft, but they all sucked. And then, over a few weeks in October 2008, I wrote the version that exists today and of which I’m quite proud.
Only months later did I realize that I was was writing The Pains as a way to come to terms, in my own heart, what was happening to Paul and Maureen. And the reason it took so long to write is that no matter what  torment I invented to inflict upon my poor character Norman Lux, the universe, or whatever, seemed to come up with a way to inflict something worse on Maureen or Paul.
After Maureen died in late September, The Pains seemed to write itself. I struggled with it for 3 years and then wrote it in 3 weeks.
You might not like the book. Who knows, you might hate it. I like it, but maybe it sucks. But it would mean a lot to me if you would download a copy and help me promote it.

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