Bereft of Good Ideas

Work on both the electronic and tree-corpse versions of Strange Beasts in a Small Town is going well and I’m still on track to release both at some indeterminate time in either the near or distant future. Yup.

I’m still farting around with the little description that will be featured on the book’s “buy me” pages and will, in theory, brainwash people into tossing some money my way in exchange for whatever it is I’ve written. I’ve batted back and forth several relatively straightforward versions of the same thing before finally deciding to scrap what I’d written and try something that’s a bit more like the novel tonally. Here’s what I’ve got so far; try to envision it hovering between a photo of the book’s cover and a bunch of negative reviews.

This is a story about big monsters, small people, and vice versa.

There’s a giant monster living on the outskirts of the small town of Verbena Fields, Alabama, and the residents there are, naturally, a bit concerned. So, they turn to ex-monster hunter and professional curmudgeon Agnes Stegall for a bit of assistance in ridding them of the creature. But Agnes isn’t exactly a people-type person, so she says “no,” except with a bit of profanity attached.

But her refusal has some unintended consequences: Driven by fear, the townsfolk summon King Vislor — a powerful, albeit neurotic monster hound with an obsessive reverence for humankind — to watch over them. When the beast comes to town, he brings with him thousands of humanlike creatures carved from his own body — animate puppets whose thoughts mirror those of their infatuated master. Although Agnes knows good and well that calling upon one giant monster to get rid of another is a bit like cleaning up a mess by throwing more mess atop it, what she doesn’t realize are the dangerous lengths King Vislor and his creations are willing to undertake to keep the people of Verbena Fields safe. Soon, Agnes is caught up in a fight against a growing list of threats plaguing the small town — military occupation, unfettered rumors, a misanthropic rifle-wielding hermit with a grudge — while simultaneously trying to battle some terrifying monsters looming in the dark, unfrequented corners of her own mind.

Like any tale worth telling, Strange Beasts in a Small Town has a little bit of humor, a little bit of sorrow, some things worth pondering, a touch of cursing, an overbearing mother, fisticuffs between a redneck and a golem, several collapsing buildings and whole lot of giant monsters beating the stew out of each other.

What do you say? Would you drop $3 on this? (Or, $15 if you, like me, still enjoy the things you purchase to be tangible?) Please, drop me a line and tell my what you think.

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4 thoughts on “Bereft of Good Ideas

  1. I like it. Definitely would pay at least $3 for an ebook.

    Instead of “This is a story about big monsters, small people, and vice versa”, I suggest you go with repetition “This is a story about big monsters, small people…small monsters and big people.”

    In the last paragraph, you might want to be more hyperbolic, “Mountains of humor, pits of sorrow, big things worth pondering…..”

    • Thanks for the suggestions. Let me play around with them a bit. I do like the repetition.

      Your $3…or the portion which Amazon doesn’t pocket for itself…will help fund whatever frivolous thing I’m digging that week. For that, good sir, I thank you.

  2. Ah, I just hate writing those things! Boiling your labour of love down into a few hundred words – it’s painful.
    I used to work as a journalist and some common advice for trainees who couldn’t think how to write a story – particularly when struggling with the intro – was to think how they’d tell the story to someone down the pub (bar).
    Simple advice but it works and probably transfers quite well to writing book blurbs.
    My comment on your piece above is that it’s too long. Keep it simple. Sell the idea with short, easily digestible chunks. (sentences and paragraphs).
    You need to grab someone’s attention and money. You’ve only got seconds to do it in before they click onto something else.

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