Thursday, February 27, 2014


Hey Peeps,

A list, curated by moi. See if you agree. There could be a few books on this list you haven't read, but I personally think you ought to check them out.



PS: In case it isn't clear from the tone of the article, I wasn't really comfortable putting my own book on this list. But it wasn't an opportunity I set up; that was done by the my publicist, and I'm grateful to her for doing so. I don't know a soul at the Huffington Post. When I initially sent back my list of Top 10 books, my publicist gently emailed me to say, Y'know, Nick, part of my job is to drum up notice for your book and this ... this isn't helping the cause. So could you please put your own book on the list? So I did, and I felt uncomfortable about it, but I've been writing awhile and realize that my comfort level has to be balanced against the needs of my publisher; I also have to take into account the legwork my publicist does in setting things like this up.

I only mention it because I awoke this morning to an email from an aquaintance pointing me towards a Facebook post where I am more or less taken to task for putting my own book on this list. I don't know any of the people in this string, and in a way I don't blame them for their opinions—although I think, Internet culture being what it is, it's always the default position to hold a critical/caustic outlook upon the intents of a given individual, rather than to have a considerate outlook as to why they may have made whatever choice they made.

Do I think my book belongs on a list with Pet Semetary, The Exorcist, Blood Meridian, The Haunting of Hill House, The Books of Blood, House of Leaves, and so on? Those classics versus a book that's been out, what, 3 days? I mean, come on. But I had a job to do, and I try to be professional. That means having no ego sometimes—even though the act of putting my book on the list may seem wildly egotistical, and I can understand that viewpoint.

I have a mortgage, my fiancee and I have a 2-year old boy and the last two years the woman I love has been on maternity leave followed by a 1-year school term to get her Master's of Social Work so she can get out of Child Services work, which is eating her soul. So for the past 2 years I've carried all the household payments—as a writer, this is a daunting prospect. But I love my family, so I do what I'm asked when my publisher asks me. Would it be nice not to have to do every little obligation? Maybe, although I'm fine with it and also deeply appreciative of my publisher's efforts on my behalf. But it's not a choice I have right now, and I'm not sure I'll ever have that choice. I'm a writer right now. I have other skills, but this is how I pay my bills. So I have to do things like this. I think other writers have different lives. They have a day job, or have a trust fund, or live on a bohemian kibbutz where they barter short stories for clothes, maybe. If so, that's awesome. I get it, and I respect the way you handle your business. Or perhaps they're just super-successful and have a huge readership and can say "no" when they get approached with such offers—if so, I'm respectfully jealous. But I have a family who I love and I'm not precious about things and so this is how I have to handle my business right now.

Yrs again,

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