on blurbury

Been way too long since I posted something. About a month, actually. Been insanely busy though.

I just wanted to talk briefly about blurbs. Most probably don’t know what that is, but writers are crazy about that word. It’s such a big part of their world that it’s almost absurd. Here’s how it goes for me.

For Ash Cinema, I didn’t even try to get a blurb. Didn’t even look for one. I like that novel a lot, especially as time goes on, but I never really felt like I had to grab at people’s attention with it.

For Twilight of the Wolves, I reached out to a lot of writers that I truly love. Mostly just big names because I think you may as well reach as high as possible, because the worst thing that can happen is they say No, which takes nothing away from you. I went for big names too, because this is a difficult novel to pitch and sell, and I thought having some famous names on the cover would do a lot of the legwork for me. Unfortunately, none took the bite, so I scrambled for some last minute ones, and since only one person had read the novel at that point, I got Kyle Muntz to blurb me. Then Berit Ellingsen was kind enough to make the time to read and say awesome things.

Noir: A Love Story is the one that I’ve done right, I think. Because of the way Twilight of the Wolves has struggled to find its audience, and because I had its success too tied to my emotions, I decided to go in a more personal way with Noir. It sort of still crushes me that Twilight of the Wolves hasn’t found its audience, but I’m more hopeful with Noir. I sought out a few different writers and I chose them for specific reasons. Tim Horvath because I wish I could write as intelligently as him. Jac Jemc because My Only Wide is haunting in all the ways I hope Noir is. Matt Bell because we’re both writing a sort of fantastic or mythological modern day. And then Steve Erickson because he’s my hero. I honestly consider him the greatest living american novelist, and have ever since I first burnt through all his novels. I couldn’t stop reading them, so I read them twice. He’s a genius in all the ways I hope to some day be, and I sent him my novel, not really expecting anything, but because I needed him to read it. If he liked it even a fraction of how I love his novels, that would make it all worthwhile. Every bad review would roll off me because I’d know Erickson digs it. I mean, he’s the whole reason I wrote a novel at all. He’s the reason I chose to take writing seriously. He showed me that I could write the things I want to write how I want to write them. I can be different in all the strange ways I am different. I can be a sentimental surrealist and find beauty there. More than that, his novels feel so close to my heart. I imagine we share many of the same obsessions, with film being the most obvious. And I wanted this novel, specifically, to have his name attached to it. I don’t think it’s similar to what he’s written, but it’s the novel of mine that’s closest to my heart. Probably because it’s my first.

And so I really can’t express how amazing it was to receive this blurb from him:

In Noir, Rathke exposes the pale, sickly underbelly of a vibrant utopia for all to see. He unravels the quiet metaphysics of the detective thriller by letting all of the witnesses carry equal weight. Rathke has a faith in his reader that makes the experience of reading his work one full of extraordinary rewards and teeming satisfaction.

So that’s how I went about seeking blurbs, and I think I finally figured out the right way to do it. To be honest, I wanted a blurb from Wong Kar Wai and Max Richter too, but I don’t know if they’d be into that.

There are other things I should be sharing, since a lot’s happened in the last month, but I just wanted to touch on this briefly because it really does make a lot of this feel worth it to me.

There’s one writer that I keep not asking for a blurb, though I probably should have three times by now. That’s Stephen Graham Jones, who’s basically the coolest guy around. I keep saving him for something special. Probably either the giant monster novel or the horror novel. We’ll see.

revenge of the scammed

Lots to update everyone on. I’ll start out with posting the interviews I’ve published in the last month:

Fish Bites Cops! by David James Keaton. Interview published 4/12/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

Understories by Tim Horvath. Interview published 27/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

My Pet Serial Killer and The Laughter of Strangers by Michael J Seidlinger. Interview published 21/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

The House Enters the Street by Gretchen Henderson. Interview published 16/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

The Shape of Blue by Liz Scheid. Interview published 6/11/2013 at Monkeybicycle.

Can’t believe it’s been so long since I updated, especially since I planned on doing it every day during November.

Anyrate, as many of you know, I’ve been defrauded. Nate Tower and so many others have helped me organise a very cool campaign to try to recoup my losses. I’m out $2,000 and I’ll write a proper post about the whole thing later. Maybe this weekend. But, for now, just check out the indiegogo campaign.

So check out The Revenge of the Scammed Anthology.

More than just helping me recoup my losses, it’s full of very cool content. The Anthology is going to be killer and then people like Ryan W Bradley, Charles Spitzack, J David Osborne, and so many others are providing amazing things for backers.

Here’s a list of the anthology contributors:

  • Jesus Angel Garcia
  • David S. Atkinson
  • Allie Marini Batts
  • Ryan W Bradley
  • Paul D Brazil
  • Darlene Campos
  • Garrett Cook
  • Sandy Barrett Ebner
  • Rory Fleming
  • Susan Gibb
  • Michael Gonzalez
  • Amanda Gowin
  • Douglas Hackle
  • Sally Heymann
  • Don Lawson
  • William Lemon
  • h. l. nelson
  • J David Osborne
  • Alex Pruteanu
  • Stephen V Ramey
  • Matt Rowan
  • Robyn Ryle
  • Michael J. Seidlinger
  • Grergory Sherl
  • Ryan Shoemaker
  • Sam Snoek-Brown
  • Ben Tanzer
  • Susan Tepper
  • Refe Tuma
  • Richard Thomas
  • Nathaniel Tower
  • Robert Vaughan

And, if you’re a fan of me doing things, there are all sorts of things I’m personally offering, such as my first novel, Ash Cinema, drawings, paintings, videos of me singing, personal biographies and novellas, and even my editing skills.

So, for this holiday season, help a poor wild ydde out and he’ll repay you in content!

It really means so much to me that this has been put together. I can’t explain how grateful I am and I’ll never be able to thank everyone enough.

So just know I love you and appreciate all you’ve ever done for me.