a) fighting a cold
b)fighting pink eye
c) pressing on trying to judge the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest essays.
So, basically, this gets me a little breathing room. Also, full disclosure: Zach is both my boss at Wordsmiths and a personal friend, but he is also just about ready to join the ranks of "southern authors" (far more than I, mind you), as his first novel, Anointed, is going to be published in March by Mercury Retrograde Press. It's a really, really GOOD book, and that's all I'll say about it, because, well, more full disclosure: I'm also working publicity for the title , so for me to give any sort of review, well, I'd feel a bit...sheepish. Instead, I grabbed Zach and said HERE. DO THIS BLOG THING. WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF.
And, surprisingly enough, he agreed.
I feel like I just fell through the rabbit hole and into Wonderland…
So, I have been decreed a “guest blogger”, with the glowing task of filling the grand shoes of the great and magnificent Russ Marshalek, who I believe has decided to finally seclude himself in order to write the first three words of his long spoken of memoir. Don’t tell him I told you, but I know for a fact that those first three words are, “I am awesome…” I’m not sure where he goes from there. Something about a Webbie, the Creative Loafing Fiction contest, and a bottle of ketchup I would imagine.
Anyway…introductions! Where are my manners? (they’re not in my coffee, I assure you) I am Zachary Steele, owner and operator of Wordsmiths Books, and the author of the forthcoming novel, Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO, my first, due out March 2009.
Anointed is, well, it’s, um…hey, you know that story about the guy who does some miraculous stuff with water and wine and gets a bunch of people to follow Him, and then kind, of, well, dies? Yeah, well, this isn’t His story. It’s actually the story of the corporation that was built in His name. The Christ Corporation, to be exact. A corporation of Divine proportions, two-thousand-plus years in the making that has eschewed morality and religion in favor of prophets and glory. And the glory of profits. Over time, The Christ Corporation has remained steadfast in its determined effort to remain separate from religion. They are, rather, the business in religion and a calming force over the heretical insanity of the modern media. What has kept this financial behemoth intact is the service and face of their CEO, the one to whom they refer to as Christ. Every thirty-three years a new CEO is anointed (lest fate befall them beforehand, something that has occurred only a handful of times in their many centuries of operation), and positioned at the forefront of the operation as the public face of the Company. Until, that is, Timothy Webb gets the job. Idealism and Christ…two words that had not been seen in partnership since the days of the Founder (Jesus, to you and me), and a thorny crown atop the head of those who believe themselves to be the engine of the religious machine.
Throw in an Anti-Christ hell-bent on ruling the world, a slandered and misrepresented angel (and soon to be closest friend of the newly anointed Christ) known to the common world as Satan, a God who doesn’t like to leave messages, magnificently robust salaries derived from the sacrificial giving of others, twelve bumbling disciples (one of whom seems to have a history of deceit), and Mr. Potato Head, and you’ve got a nightmarish combination of insanity that is meant to make you laugh, meant to make you think, and if you’ve a weak emotional constitution, you might even find a tear or two. Who knows? I know writing it made me cry, but, that’s a different matter that has nothing to do with the story, but everything to do with the process of writing.
Anointed is accompanied by a new-media push that has opened strange, new, doors for me as a writer. Writing a book is nice bit of fancy-pants, getting it published by someone who is willing to pay you to print it is fantasmicarrific, but learning about viral marketing and the concept of broadening the story and characters through new channels has been mind-bogglingly sensational. Aside from the website of The Christ Corporation, and a blog only fit for a Christ, there’s also a fan page for Anointed on Facebook, a Myspace page and a Twitter account for the outgoing CEO, Billy Christ (which is splendid fun, being able to give life to a character with a multitude of updates each day). All of these outlets have given the universe of Anointed a wider berth and have allowed me to expand on characters and scenes as I would have never been able to do before. Additionally, it gives readers a larger spectrum in which to immerse themselves. And, beyond that, it’s just a whole hell of a lot of fun!
Since I have a bookstore, I’ve decided to host my own book launch (didn’t see that coming, did you?) on February 21st, beginning at 7 pm. It’ll be an active party, with plenty of food and drink, music and entertainment, authors and industry types, and, well, the very first public reading of Anointed. Eeek! I look forward, as I’m sure you can appreciate, to finally being able to sell the piece of work that has lived in my computer for seven years now.
I’ll depart here. Maybe Russ needs help with the next few words. More likely, I have a store to run and a Holiday kicking me in the shin. Thanks for the opportunity to pipe in and talk about me for a bit. I was going to talk about grits—quite possibly my second most favorite topic—but if there’s ever a second chance, I’ll save it for then.
For what it's worth, I (I being Russ) obviously did NOT write the book I was going to during the month of November. I think I prefer just being a PR/Marketing guru to other people's babies.