A bit of shameless self-promotion here. (Is there any other kind?)
Early in my writing career — back when I was drafting cover copy for children’s books and laboring over desktop roleplaying game statistics — I was also chipping away on that great American novel to which most naive writers aspire. The main protagonist was an NYC bike messenger who finds himself embroiled in a near-textbook MacGuffin story.
The missus and I were eking out an existence (barely) in Manhattan, and so I took a (third) job working part-time as a bike messenger … killing two birds (rent and research) with two wheels. Nothing says “dedication” like some honest-to-goodness field research! I learned a lot on that job, got to know the city better than most natives, got into a few scrapes, and executed all the recon I needed to breathe into my magnum opus the realism I so desired.
After we returned to California and I wandered off into the wilderness to pen the trail guide to end all trail guides, I would still revisit Flight Manual on occasion with the intent to gain representation and — eventually — see it published. Finally, a few years ago, I shuttered myself from all contact (phone, internet, even the kind company of a microwave) for a whisky- and Rolling Stones-fueled marathon that saw the manuscript completed.
But the print industry isn’t what it once was; iPads, blogs, and Kindle have ushered in a new generation of literature and access that nearly every lit or tech blog and pseudo-news site has already discussed/lamented/lauded. Kindle e-books outsell paperbacks on Amazon. Am I mercenary? Yes I am.
So now — finally, and with little fanfare — I’m happy to announce Flight Manual has been published as a Kindle e-book. No physical form! How you like them apples, Abbie Hoffman?