Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I don't like trumpeting this, but I'm doing it anyway:
One week left! Get 10% off the price of my book PLUS get a free copy of The Other Face: Experiencing the Mask. Just order the print version of The Principle of Ultimate Indivisibility from and enter the coupon code SUMMERREAD305 at checkout, then forward the receipt from Lulu to me at order[at]blissplotpress[dot]com.

I'm uncomfortable with being a salesman. Hawking art like merchandise feels sleazy. At the same time, I want people to read my book and I want it to bring me dollars so I can recoup the (small) expense of publishing it. Sales = good. Selling = bad. I have Inner Conflict.

This is a good thing.

To be "of two minds" (or more) is much better for a fiction writer than to be comfortably reductionist. In storytelling, conflict is key. And self-observation may be the best tool (neck-and-neck with observation of others) an author can employ in creating convincing characters. Each of us is a world in microcosm, a jumble of contradictory selves like cats in a bag. We label the bag "I" just to get along in society.

Truth is, we live in a complicated universe. Complexity theory tells us that everything is a system of interrelating parts, and attempts to reduce the complexity run the risk of falsification: simplistic rather than simple. To embrace the big tangle is to think holistically. Aristotle in the Metaphysics: "The whole is more than the sum of its parts."

I am an entire ecology. So are you. That's the truth of being human. It feels good to accept what is.

So I occasionally play a salesman role, and will continue as long as it feels right to do so. When it doesn't, I'll stop.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about being a salesman, Brent. I’ve just published a book of poetry today and have now started the round of (to my mind) begging e-mails trying to promote the thing. At least it’s not a sequel like last time. That was hard because I felt I could only approach people who’d reviewed the first novel which I did and got about a quarter of the reviews. This time a lot of the people who reviewed the novel I know won’t be interested in the poetry so I can broaden the net a bit. But it is a chore I could well do without.