Monday, September 6

Let's Talk About My Next Book.


1. “Okay, so what’s the title of the new book?”
Aerating The Mashed Potatoes.

2. “Good. Now…I’m sorry, what is it called?”
The title is Aerating The Mashed Potatoes, and it comes from the name of the book’s final essay. I know it’s a little quirky, but I assure you it will make sense once you get it in your mitts. The more you get used to it, the more you’ll eventually fall in love with its charm and delicate, pine-flavored musk.

I had many title ideas at first: Mea Culpa, 50 Even Poorer Life Decisions and even Pinkerton were all considered for a bit. However, I settled on Aerating The Mashed Potatoes because of what the essay represents, and also because a Google search of that phrase currently yields zero results. More the former than the latter.

3. “Alright, fine. How long is it? How many essays and chapters can we expect?”
It’s about 250 pages, featuring around 50 essays over the course of six chapters. The shortest essay is a few paragraphs, the longest is around 20 pages. There’s also an intro, epilogue, and all the other good stuff you’ve come to expect from a word-based book of words.

Some people thought that 65 Poor Life Decisions (300 pages) was about 50 pages too long, so I took that knowledge to heart. Of course, what they were really saying was "you should have cut 50 pages of filler," but hey, at least their concerns were vaguely heard and flippantly addressed.

4. “How much of it is brand new?”
A lot, actually. I’d say that almost half the book is stuff you’ve never seen before, and even the repackaged CDP stuff has been tweaked and re-written to comedic perfection (especially that one where I fractured my leg at a Fun Run). The new essays and material written specifically for the book are, without question, some of the best work I’ve ever done. There’s funny stuff, dark stuff, sad stuff, exactly what you’re looking for if you’re a fan of my work.

The instant gratification of blogging has been there to give me my attention fix for the last seven years, so it was a Test of Will to write essays I knew I wasn't going to publish on the CDP the very next day. Hanging onto these things has been difficult because I've been so used to sharing things with everyone immediately, but I think it's worth the wait and I'm all the more excited to get them out there. The new stuff covers sex, therapy, violence, death and retribution, and I'm not kidding.

5. “Can we see the cover?”
Not yet. I will say, however, that it’s goddamn awesome and I cannot wait to show you. I will premiere the artwork at a later date; it really deserves its own spotlight. To give you a hint though, I will say that it’s an homage (ie: ripoff) to maybe the most culturally significant piece of 80’s Pop Culture ever. It’s rad, and I'm definitely going to be sued.

6. “Seriously, what’s the name of the book?”
Aerating The Mashed Potatoes. I can’t change it now; it’s way too late and I've made far too many powerful enemies.

7. “How does Aerating The Mashed Potatoes compare to 65 Poor Life Decisions?”
Honestly, I think it’s an improvement on every level. I mean, the layout, essays and style- even the fonts- are virtually identical, but the evolution and experience since 2007 is evident. The cover is nicer, the stories are better, the jokes funnier and the journey is hopefully more worthwhile. If you liked the first book, there’s no reason you shouldn’t like this one even more, unless you’re one of those hipster types that feels the need to tinker with a good thing until it’s busted into a million irreparable pieces. People liked 65 Poor Life Decisions and gave me good advice on how to improve, so I took that blueprint and wrote a better book. I hope.

One of the things that 65 Poor Life Decisions lacked a bit was morality. I mean, there were morals and lessons aplenty, but with Aerating The Mashed Potatoes there’s an overreaching theme of morality in action (with the new material in particular). It might be wedged between essays about poop and the Atari 2600, but it’s definitely there more than the last time around. I'm modestly removed from the Age of Irony and Cynicism, now immersed in an Age of Reflection and Post-Modern Optimism. Or maybe I’m just getting closer to death and it scares me. Jury’s still out on that one.

8. “That's great. How much is this going to cost me?”
I don’t know the exact price right now, but it’s going to be a typical book cost, between $16-$18. Like last time, I’ll have a package deal in place where you can order an autographed book right through me with shipping and free swag included, but I’m putting the business model together as we speak, so I’ll know more once everything’s ready to go. If you’re not interested in the personal touch, the book will be available nationwide, so you can still go the Amazon/Borders/Target/Barnes & Noble route.

I’m also considering a ‘pre-order’ option, where if you reserve and pay for a copy in advance, I’ll throw a little something extra your way. There’s a large overhead when it comes to self-publishing, so if I had a projection of how many books I needed to order right off the bat, it might save me a fiscal headache in the future, and allow the hardcore fans to get something special for their patronage. I’ll keep you posted.

9. “Will you be throwing a release party? Doing any readings? Going on tour?”
While I’d love to do all these things, logistics say that I won’t be doing too much stuff outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Yes, we’ll throw a release party. Yes, I’ll do everything I can to put at least one reading/signing session together. But unless you can guarantee me a whole slew of paying customers (or maybe a dab of sex), it wouldn’t be financially responsible to jet across the country. Maybe next time.

10. “So…when will Aerating The Mashed Potatoes be released?”
Soon. I’ll keep you posted with another FAQ as things continue to fall together. Before December for sure.

Thanks much; it's because of you that I get to write books, and I hope you understand just how important that is to me (and how much easier it is to fit in at parties). Sound off in the comments section with any other questions, and enjoy your day.