Last week I ran another free promotional giveaway on Amazon for the Kindle version of my novel, RED ASPHALT. This was to be a virtual online onslaught of plugola in order to hopefully kick start some sales and interest into a piece of work that is essentially a piece of me. (If you were to read a few choice comments from a couple of Amazon customer reviews, it is also a piece of shit. I respectfully disagree. Strike that. I disrespectfully disagree.)
As usual, I digress.
All the pieces were put into place with announcements placed on various e-book sites, my blog and website. The first day seemed to go quite well, placing RED ASPHALT into the top 1000 freebies of the day.
Then midnight struck.
The shooting in Aurora, Colorado put the brakes on everything. I’m not about to bemoan the fact that a tragedy of this magnitude ruined my day in the sun. I am totally insignificant in this whole ordeal. There are people who lives were brutally and senselessly altered and dismantled forever by a raging psychopath. I can’t even begin to tell you my feelings or thoughts about this insanity other than my heart goes out to the victims, their families and friends. That this massacre occurred in a movie theater, my favorite place in the entire world and my own personal sanctuary, sickens me to no end. But I can’t realistically comment on the situation with any insight so I refuse to do so. Leave that to the 24 hour news cyclists because they have airtime to fill with enough speculation, disinformation and shit-spewing talking heads that will blather on about this until the cows come home and become tainted hamburger. I also won’t speculate about the effect this will have on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES because in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter at all, artistically, financially or philosophically. Others can, I won’t.
What this has to do with me at all concerns my book. I restrained myself from promoting RED ASPHALT any further than what was already out there, which was beyond my control, due to the nature of the book itself.
RED ASPHALT’s main character is an unhinged individual who takes his pathetic frustrations out on the world with the use of a gun and his car, just to add road rage into the mix. It is not a sympathetic portrait in the least. It doesn’t justify his actions though it does try to explain them. Conclusions can be made that Calvin, the main character, is just a whiny little twerp who decides that everyone is out to get him so he’s going to get them first. He’s blaming everyone else for his pathetic life and, oh boy, he’ll show them. Unfortunately, once he acquires a gun, he tries to "solve his problems" by using it on others instead of himself.
I wholeheartedly confess that Calvin is pretty much of a stand-in for me. Much of his back story comes from my own and his voice, for the most part, is mine. How he handles it all is pure fabrication. I wrote this to alleviate my own stress in life, to blow everything completely out of proportion in order to make what I considered to be a compelling story. I poured my heart and soul into it and attempted to exorcise as many demons as I possibly could in the process. That’s the difference. Calvin picked up a gun. I picked up a pen. There are more, but I must point out, that’s key.
But after early Friday morning, I left the promo for RED ASPHALT alone, not out of guilt or respect, just because I didn’t know what else to do. This doesn’t make me a good guy, an upright citizen or a moral midget. It just makes me conflicted and, just as I did in the creation of my novel; I’m trying to work it out by writing about it.
RED ASPHALT stands on it own two feet. Those are my words, good and bad and I’ll stand by them. But for the moment, maybe a little off to the side, at least for a time.