Incognolio Has Launched!

I’m beyond thrilled to announce that my novel, Incognolio, has launched and is now available as a paperback and eBook. For four years I poured my heart, soul, wit, and considerable bile into this book and I can assure you that it is unlike any novel you’ve ever read. For the launch, the eBook is priced at 99 cents and is free to those enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

So far, Incognolio has received exclusively 5-star reviews at Amazon & Goodreads! I’m also giving away five copies of the paperback in a Goodreads giveaway running through August 18th.

I call Incognolio a psychological thriller. But it’s also a comic novel with elements of mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. Most importantly, it’s a real page-turner! And as Professor Solomon Von Pizzle of the Ludicrous Review observed: “Incognolio exudes so much pathos, it’s pathological!”

Special thanks to Karl Monger, Rebecca Faith, and Sione Aeschliman for their invaluable assistance in editing my manuscript and bringing the story to fruition. Sione understood the novel way better than I did myself—having written most of it in something of a trance—and enabled me to do a final rewrite and to, at long last, craft a satisfying ending.

I also want to thank my son Ollie who served as my creative consultant, contributing some inspired ideas, rejecting my duds, and helping me to generate a long list of unusual character names, including: Yiddle, Mr. & Mrs. Yankerhausen, Floreska, Greazly, J.R. Cosmipolitano, Quodon, and the inimitable Dr. Schmendrick.

 

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INCOGNOLIO Pre-Orders Go Live!

Incognolio will be released by Janx Press as a paperback and eBook on August 9th. You can pre-order the eBook now for a special price of 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. 

Here is an excellent 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite:

Entering the pages of Michael Sussman’s inexplicable – category-wise – brilliantly-executed experimental novel, Incognolio is less like walking through a dream than it is like mentally traversing the ingenious daydreaming path of a highly imaginative, psychologically aware writer who is creating an inner epic from the images produced by streams of self-conscious meditation. Yes, it is that immediate. The book itself is crazy; crazy cool. Need an example? ‘“Because I possess the Faloosh,” she replies, employing what is in all likelihood another of my made-up words. “It enables me to intuit the entire backstory of any novel in which I appear as a character.”’ Any attempt to describe the plot line of this book would be arbitrary at best. Still, it is a miracle of inspired effort that Sussman creates such a marvelous coherency to his story – as fractured, unstable, and tenuous as it is. And there is humor. Lots of funny stuff delivered with the offhand manner of a master comic’s best throw-away lines.

Incognolio is intelligent and wry, and securely at home in the surreal insecurity of the self-reflective mind. Dreams do not make good books. Insanity, however, does. Especially the insanity of a writer like Michael Sussman, who seemingly retains a most convivial relationship with the madness of the normal mind. Because that is what Mr. Sussman makes the reader feel: that all those sudden reality shifts, those changes of incidental characters, those displacements of locale and occupation – all are nothing more than the powerful experiences of one who pays attention to this little thing called life. But it is the author’s genuine creative skills that make his through-the-looking-glass words so entangled and enticing, and makes of his wonderful experiment such a grand success. 

—Joel R. Dennstedt, Readers’ Favorite

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Launching 30-Day Kindle Scout Campaign!

Unravel the mystery of Incognolio or go mad!

 

My novel, INCOGNOLIO, was accepted for the Kindle Scout contest and I’m launching a 30-day campaign as of today. Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books.

Here’s how it works:
Readers browse book campaigns by authors and nominate books that they would like to see published by Kindle Press. Amazon takes note of which books readers want and awards contracts accordingly.

What I need from you:
Join Kindle Scout through your Amazon account and nominate INCOGNOLIO. It will take just a couple of minutes! 

What I will get: 
A boost toward winning a publishing contract and Amazon promotion!

What you will get:
You will receive a free copy of any book that you nominate that receives a contract, including mine if I’m successful. You can also read the first several chapters of my novel right now!

Here’s my blurb:

Adrift in the dreamlike narrative of his own novel, Muldoon traverses identities, planes of reality, and the dark recesses of his psyche in an effort to grasp the enigmatic Incognolio. Is he writing a story in which his stillborn twin sister has come to life, or is he the one who died at birth and it’s his sister who’s writing the novel? Guided only by the whims and dictates of his subconscious mind, Muldoon must finally face his demons and write his way to freedom or succumb to madness.

 

 

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Cover Reveal for INCOGNOLIO

I could not be more pleased with this newly minted cover for my novel, INCOGNOLO. It was created by Menchu, a fabulous graphic designer from Venezuela. She was the winning finalist of a book cover contest I ran last week at 99Designs, and she captured the air of mystery and intrigue that I was looking for. The novel has just been accepted by Kindle Scout for inclusion in their reader-powered contest to win a publishing contract. The launch date for my campaign is March 31st, the day after tomorrow!

 

 

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Atheneum to Publish My New Picture Book: Duckworth, the Difficult Child

I haven’t posted for quite some time, as I’ve been hard at work on a novel. But I’m back with three exciting announcements:

La Gran Cadena by Júlia Sardà

The story, my homage to Florence Parry Heide’s The Shrinking of Treehorn, is about a boy with misguided parents who remain untroubled when he gets eaten by a snake.

This is my first picture book to be published since my debut—Otto Grows Down—was released by Sterling with illustrations by Scott Magoon.

 

Special thanks to Harold Underdown and Karl Monger—as well as Emma Ledbetter at Atheneum—for their expertise in editing the manuscript.

 

 

 

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Crashing Eden Script in Semi-Finals!

Pilot_Launch_Main_Header_01_2-4

 

 

 

Charles Disney’s TV pilot based on my novel, Crashing Eden, has made it to the semi-finals of the Pilot Launch TV Script Contest. Charles initially wrote a movie script based on the novel, but decided he had too much material. So he switched gears and wrote a TV pilot, and then submitted it to the Pilot Launch TV Script Contest.  The winner of the contest receives $1,000 cash, professional consultation with the ScreenCraft team, and personal introductions by phone to top Hollywood managers, agents, and producers.

 

 

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The Monstore: Debut Picture Book by Tara Lazar

Monstore Cover

Tara Lazar is an amazing woman with an amazing name that just sounds like the moniker of a children’s author. She is also a wonderful mother to two adorable daughters, a blogger extraordinaire, and a tireless advocate and promoter of picture book authors and illustrators. Her annual writing challenge, PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)—hosted on her website each November since 2008—has inspired hundreds of folks to stretch their imaginations and brainstorm picture book ideas, some of which have been developed into manuscripts that went on to be published.

Well, I’m thrilled to announce that Tara’s debut picture book—The Monstore—has just been released by Aladdin, and it’s a doozy!

The Monstore is the kind of story that kids will want to read over and over again, and the delightful illustrations by James Burks ensure that parents will also enjoy repeated readings.

Underneath a trap door at the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe is the Monstore, catering to all your monsterly needs. Zack is in need of a monster to scare off his pesky little sister, Gracie, who ignores the “Keep Out!” sign on his bedroom door. But the plan backfires, and unable to return his monster—the store policy is “No Returns, No Exchanges, No Exceptions”—Zack soon has a houseful of goofy-looking beasties who turn against him, teaming up with Gracie to frighten Zack. Ultimately Zack proves he can be a good older brother, but it’s Gracie who steals the story and comes up with a clever resolution.

A great story coupled with brilliant illustrations adds up to a superb picture book that is sure to be a bedtime favorite. Check it out!

The Monstore
Story by Tara Lazar
Illustrations by James Burks
Aladdin, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1442420175

Available at:
Amazon.com
BN.com

IndieBound

 

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Visionary Fiction Challenges Our Species to Evolve

 

 

 

(The original post of this article can be found at: VisionaryFictionAlliance.wordpress.com)

Human nature is not fixed. It has evolved over the course of millennia and is capable of further change. Is it overly grandiose to suggest that visionary fiction could help play a role in such a transformation?

Most likely, but I shall nevertheless make the case.

Visionary fiction overlaps with several better established genres, such as science fiction, fantasy, speculative, and inspirational fiction. What’s unique about visionary fiction is its focus on the expansion and evolution of the human mind, imagining new frontiers for the human spirit.

What’s the importance of visionary fiction in today’s world?

There is no denying that we live in an era of unprecedented change and extraordinary uncertainty about the future. It’s the Age of Crises. Population explosion, pollution, natural disasters, climate change, economic recession, scarcity of resources, terrorism, and ethnic wars all threaten to disrupt or end civilization as we know it.

Perhaps science and technology can help solve some of these dilemmas. But even the most astonishing technological breakthroughs will not save us if they are not accompanied by a transformation in how we think, act, and relate to each other.

Just as science fiction has furnished the inspiration for many technological advances, it’s conceivable that visionary fiction could help provide the inspiration for a new awakening of the human spirit.

For it is now evident that it’s the shortsighted, self-centered, greedy, and xenophobic aspects of human nature that have created our predicament. Only by evolving into a wiser, more generous, compassionate, and cooperative species can we hope to survive.

My novel, Crashing Eden, envisions a world in which humans are transformed by regaining the capacity to hear the primordial vibration of the universe, reestablishing Edenic consciousness. This may be pure fantasy, but unless we can manage to overcome our differences and think on a planetary scale, our future may well be bleak.

 

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Visionary Fiction Alliance website goes live!

logo for Visionary Fiction Alliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the cool logo of the newly formed Visionary Fiction Alliance, of which I’m a founding member.

A handful of authors met at the Goodreads Visionary Fiction Group and we started a web ring in order to promote interest in visionary fiction. Our new blog went live on August 17th, and will serve as a resource for readers, authors, agents, reviewers, and publishers. I’m excited to be a part of this undertaking.

To celebrate the launch of the VFA, we’re offering a chance to win seven VF titles from our founding members. You can enter the giveaway through the end of August.

You can also check out my new article—Visionary Fiction Challenges Our Species to Evolve—which has been posted on the VSA site.

We each contributed a “blog blessing,” as well, and here’s my little ditty:

May the VSA
Inspire today
And foreshadow
A better tomorrow.

 

 

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A True Wonder: Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder

 

 

 

 

A couple of years ago I happened upon Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. The story moved along at a crawl. The plot was minimal. And yet I was entranced by the novel and couldn’t put it down. The characters were fascinating, the setting was described in such rich detail, the atmosphere was enchanting, and Patchett’s writing was exquisite.

I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up another of her novels. I suppose I didn’t want to be disappointed. After all, it seemed unlikely that she could write another such masterpiece.

State of Wonder was published last year by HarperCollins, and I finally got around to reading it this past week. Is it on par with Bel Canto? Well, no. But in my opinion, few books are.

Once again, however, the characters are wonderfully drawn and the settings are vividly brought to life. Once again, Patchett evokes an atmosphere that is spellbinding. And I found this novel even more emotionally engaging than its predecessor; several scenes were intensely moving.

It’s rare, even in otherwise excellent novels, that I encounter an ending that is fully satisfying. This one is unforgettable. I think it’s perfect.

Some detractors of the book complain that the scientific aspects of the plot are highly questionable, and I have to agree. For me, though, those elements were only mildly annoying and not central to the concerns of the novel.

Overall, I highly recommend State of Wonder. I can’t wait to read Ann Patchett’s other novels. Based on the two I’ve read so far, I’m convinced that she is one of our finest living authors.

 

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