Book Club Edition: The Internet is for Porn

Last Sunday, I was interviewed by Annie at New Books in Secularism about Charlinder’s Walk. The podcast isn’t up yet, but when it is, it’ll be the first fiction book featured on their site. She made me ‘fess up about things like Paleolan family values–they have strong family values, but not traditional family values–and Lacey. We spent a good deal of time talking about Gentiola, and also Lacey. She asked me about this one encounter that Charlinder has in a settlement with, as I put it, some “very strict rules about who can have sex with whom.” Those strict rules end up making life harder for some than others. I had some coherent things to say about Gentiola at first, such as her cultural background, and then we opened up a can of worms that led to me rambling on into McRandomness about some other aspects of Gentiola that are kind of tricky to explain outside the text. We talked a lot about sexual politics, religious beliefs, building families, language barriers and dealing with hunger.

However, one thing she did not ask me about was when Charlinder is actually shown enjoying some sexytimes. I have disclosed with a previous Storytime that there is Hawt Sex in this book, and you may get the impression from some reviews that the sexytimes happen with Gentiola. Since the reviews have been posted, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say: why, yes, they do. And I know I also said in a previous Storytime that I wouldn’t show you any more excerpts from Charlinder’s Walk, but today, I’m going to show you a little one.

Adult content after the jump!

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Sunday Storytime: “No, Miriam, tell me how you really feel.”

Happy Sunday, brave readers! Below the jump is the excerpt which you will also find at the landing page for Char’s upcoming blog tour with Novel Publicity. The tour begins a week from now, the schedule is overflowing, and with that in mind, this will be the last excerpt from Charlinder’s Walk that I post on this blog. It’s not that there aren’t plenty more snippets I could show you all without giving away the plot. It’s just that all those passages were written years ago and remain unchanged in presentation and sequence for about six and a half months now, and I think they tend to be more effective if taken in their context. So, if you’ve been enjoying the passages I’ve been posting from Charlinder’s Walk, then…why not read them all in the order in which they appear in the book? The ebook is only $4.99, and it’s available for pretty much any device you could name. For the benefit of print enthusiasts, there’s a paperback available on Amazon and, for those who despise Amazon and everything they stand for, there’s also a paperback version at Lulu.

For the rest of the year, I will continue to post snippets from my in-progress novels. They may look different when the books are finished.

For this week’s Storytime, Charlinder and his mother-figure Miriam are going to have a little run-in with one of their fellow villagers, who thinks they should all spend more time bowing down to the Heavenly Father who (supposedly) made the Plague happen because human beings were acting too much like mortals.

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Sunday Storytime: “There’s no need to get that attitude with me, Char.”

The background for this scene is that Charlinder just got out of a conversation with Taylor, who was trying to convince him that his (Charlinder’s) life would be so much happier if their village practiced the family values of their more buttoned-up, God-fearing neighbor communities. This is the same Charlinder who within the year has his gal-pals lining up to jump his bones. In case you’re wondering, this conversation was written years before Bill O’Reilly gave us (albeit unintentionally) the “Can’t Explain That” meme, so I guess my muse has the ability to see the future.

Please expect this blog to be quiet for a while. Fait Accompli is crying from neglect, so I’m going to spend my evenings writing more on it. If I get in a blog post aside from Sunday Storytime, it means I’m having a slow day at the desk job.

In the meantime, I have a new author interview posted in which Laura Page asks me interesting questions. This is also the time in which I introduce my new challenge for readers of Charlinder’s Walk, to Unleash Your Inner Pedant.

Without further ado, Charlinder is about to get a visit from Robert. They’ve lived in the same place all their lives, but it would be inaccurate to say they’ve ever been friends.

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Sunday Storytime: Charlinder is a bad influence.

Since the Authoring Situation is about as resolved as it’s going to get, I am now sitting here screaming “FREEDOM!” to no one in particular. It’s a similar sensation to when I’ve just finished a writing project, and suddenly I have no idea what to do with all this spare time.

For the first Storytime after getting the Situation squared away, I will…show you another excerpt from Charlinder’s Walk! This is from Chapter 8, just after the point where Miriam chills the fuck out and goes so far as to admit that there’s still time for Char to change his mind. Ruth and Robert are a pair of siblings who don’t get along very well with Char. It’s not entirely their fault; as Roy later remarks, Char wasn’t exactly diplomatic in the face of conflict as a kid.

*****

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Sunday Storytime: “You love the ladies, and they love you!”

This week, I’m going to show you another sample from Charlinder’s Walk. This one is not shown on the website and has not been previously posted at this blog. I shared it with the ladies at the meetup at Teaism (thanks, Ananda!) and they enjoyed it, so today I’m posting it here.

The context is that Charlinder is going to leave on his journey within the next few weeks. All the village know he’s leaving, and they’re going to miss him, so his gal-pals are taking turns saying good-bye to him. As a result, he’s having sex a lot more often than usual, and his uncle is not oblivious. Therefore, Roy is going to tease him a bit. The village does communal meals in the main square, thus the “coming in from dinner” bit.

Also below the jump is a tidbit from my fourth novel, which is currently in the planning stage.

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Sunday Storytime: “That’s the first time anyone’s ever said that to me.”

Hello, everyone, it is now our New Year!

Reflecting back on the past year, I can honestly say, and I haven’t been able to say this about a year in I-don’t-even-know-how-long, 2011 was an awesome time for me.

This was the year that things finally came together enough that I could make things happen. You would think that being only sporadically employed would leave one with lots of spare time for authorly endeavors, but with all those months of job-searching, repeatedly moving house, and wondering how much longer I’d be able to pay my rent, I found it was awfully difficult to stay focused on a given project.

Most of 2010 was a real waste in terms of getting my shit together, but good things were already happening at the start of 2011. I had finally found a temp job that seemed to have some staying power, and I had a place to live which I knew was temporary, but I could make some excellent use of it while I was mine. It was the first year since 2007 that I spent with a steady paycheck and a room of my own for the full 12 months, which meant that I could stop worrying about my employment and residential situations and concentrate on writing.

2011 was the year that I was offered, and accepted, a real job with a salary and benefits for the first time since I finished my Peace Corps assignment in 2008. Even before the job offer came in, though, this is where shit gets real: 2011 is the year that I decided to self-publish my debut novel. We can talk about my thoughts on the publishing industry later, but the point is, early 2011 was when I decided to make it happen.

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Excerpt from Charlinder’s Walk: He’s got a plan.

The book is now for sale.

Here is the passage I read at the Poetry & Prose Open Mic at The Writer’s Center today. Charlinder is losing sleep and his options for transportation are sorely limited. These two ideas are not unrelated.

Late in Chapter 6…

He, too, was part of the problem. He could hardly fault his friends for shrinking away from the debate, when he himself always found it easier to shut the discussion down than to engage. Now he wanted to engage, but not if it meant he’d be alone. He needed to do something. It was his responsibility as a teacher to offer his students the truth, but the best he could give them in some subjects was gathered from materials created over a hundred-twenty years before. What else did he have, though? Did anyone have anything better since the Plague had brought about the end of previously known life?

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