Friday, May 1, 2009

"Hey mom! So, about that story..."

That was a weird conversation to have. My family knows how much I love them. They know how badly I want to be a novelist some day. And I got my first official publishing credit this week.

So I had to call them and tell them not to read it.

See what I mean about weird?

Thing is, the story is noir. It's not over-the-top, but it's a bit strong for most of my family. Even my wife was like, "Good story, but the language and stuff was a bit much for me."

So there I am emailing and calling and saying, "Hey, I'm published!! ....uh, no, I can't tell you where...well, 'cause I don't think you'll feel very good about me when you've read it. But I'm really happy to have it out there with my name on it!!"

Yeah, I know, it's probably just me.

Still, what about you? I'm a crime fiction writer, so most of my stuff will follow some pretty twisted paths. Some of it I'm fine with my folks reading, some of it not so much. Do you have anything out there like that? Or anything unpublished that you hide away and hope no one ever sees that that kind of stuff exists in your head?

Or is it just me?
God...imagine if the parents of some of my students read it...(evil chuckle)


Basil Sands said...

My first novel, Karl's Last Flight, which I put out in podcast audio, contained a scene that starts with an attempted gang rape and ends with eight men being hacked to death by a couple of K-Bar wielding commandos. Even though I didn't get sexually graphic it was messy.

One friend of mine described it as "rather intense" and "psychological nudity". He was surprised that I would something with such swear words and violence, since I used to be his kids youth minister. The funny thing is, one of my rules is that there are almost no swear words in my books and no graphic sex, only insinuations. Apparently the insinuations drew a pretty clear picture.

His wife heard that part of the audio and now looks nervous when she talks to me. Well, at least she still talks to me...I haven't even let my wife hear the audio.

jnantz said...

I know exactly what you mean. God help me if an in-law ever reads that story...

And y'know Basil, I honestly think sometimes the insinuation screws with people worse, because they put THEIR twisted pictures into place, and then convince themselves that the writer was that explicit.

R.J. Mangahas said...

First, Congratulations, Jake. And it would certainly keep the kids in line >:-)

And you know what's funny? It's often that the people who write the dark twisted stuff who are really nice and... not so dark. Ken Bruen comes to mind. I mean his stuff is pretty dark. But when you meet him, he's such a warm and friendly individual.

jnantz said...

Thanks. And while I haven't met Ken Bruen personally, I can imagine after reading the pure poetry of his old blog posts at Murderati that he is indeed a wonderful and warm person. I think pretty much everyone at murderati seems that way, come to think of it.

I do love his written voice, though. Especially Jack Taylor.

Karen from Mentor said...

I just gave my 20yr old my first reader draft with two pages stapled together and asked her not to read them.
The scene is a bit(ok quite) graphic, but it's not violent in any way.

To compare,I went into B&N and looked at some of the books on the shelf that have the more graphic sex scenes and it's on par with that...well, maybe a bit steamier, but not XXX.
I'm still test driving it. Not sure whether I'll launch the book with that particular scene.

So,I completely completely completely understand your hesitation in showing the gum popping girl story to your mom and sisters.
It's kinda like watching your language around nuns. You have that part to your personality, but you don't have to SHOW it to EVERYBODY.
I really liked it though.You've got an interesting style.
Karen :)

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Jake,
Now you'll have to update your "About me" portion of your blog. From "hopeful but as yet unpublished" to "PUBLISHED" (damn straight)
woo hoo

jnantz said...

True, I suppose, but I tend to think of "published" as being specific to least to my mind. So I still think of myself as 'pre-published', but it's certainly better than UN published!

Karen from Mentor said...

I like "pre-published" it's like prepubescent. Funny.

Did you see how excited I am about Joe coming on Tuesday?

I got a lot of funny emails today about it. A lot of them asking if I was REALLY that
Truth be told? um yeah..