A Valentine’s Day Twofer

Cover image used for my novel, The Jesus Wars. Digital collage composed by me from PD materials.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Over the years Valentine’s Day has morphed from a day of grade-school insecurity over whether there’d be any in my box (in the 70s teachers paid no mind to our self-esteem; we just had to tough it out) to a day of spotlighting my romantic insecurities; to a day of romantic bliss because I never had to be insecure about love again (well, hardly ever); and finally to a less romantic day where my husband and I just try to be extra appreciative of one another. Since we’re normally fairly appreciative, this is not that different.

But while Valentine’s Day was evolving in my personal life, it seems to have changed for the outside world as well. My kids had to bring cards for everyone in the class. As they attained the age of romance, the idea that one should not trigger people’s insecurities became widespread. It was still fine to have a great time with one’s sweetheart, but it wasn’t mandatory, and not having a sweetheart was not a reason to be left out of Valentine’s Day. The Day became about showing love to everyone, especially one’s lover, but also especially people who might be feeling unloved. It now seems to be a day in which we all try to be extra appreciative of one another.

In that spirit, I offer two gifts to my readers. First, I have self-published my novel, The Jesus Wars, on Kindle, and will soon make it available on CreateSpace. I really believe in this novel, even though no agents or publishers did. It’s edgy, and I didn’t have a snappy beginning when I first sent it out, and I think it fell between two stools in the industry: it’s not literarily trendy because sophisticated satire is not in right now; and as Southern literature I don’t think it flatters the South enough (it’s not The Help). I did get an exceptionally kind rejection from Pank, in which the editor said it wasn’t the kind of thing they published but they liked it a lot, and he said it a couple of times and went into more detail than is usual in a rejection.

Here’s something about what the novel does do and how it came to do it. One winter I had just finished playing two awful church shows, and I suddenly thought, “What if these churches were in the same small town?” “What if these fictional churches started to compete with their awful shows?” “What if I could twine a fiction about some closeted gay Christian musicians through my fictional competing shows?” And, later, “What if this all had something to do with our entry into the Iraq War?” So that is how the novel came to be and what it is about. It is funny, but sometimes it is sad because I take my characters seriously.

That’s my first gift. Kindle seems not to have properly listed it yet, though they claim it is live, so here is a link. Please go and have a free look inside. If you like it, you can either buy the whole thing for $3.10 or wait a few weeks until Amazon allows me to lower the price in a tempting sale, or wait a couple of days (I think) and buy the paperback, which I need to take care of next. Or you can do nothing, but where’s the fun in that, and don’t forget you need to make me feel loved today. If you do read it, please, please, please leave me a review. Nothing would make me feel the love more.

My second gift is another Doctor Who review, which you can find below.

I’m so behind in posting these. Will try to catch up.

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