As I mentioned on last week’s podcast, I’ll be bringing my books back to other e-book platforms/formats over the next couple months. My first non-Kindle release is Life During Peacetime, now with a fancy new cover and a low price. I’ve also made a number of minor grammatical edits to the main text; most people won’t notice the difference, but I’m a stickler about typos. For those of you who’ve already bought the Kindle edition, I’ve notified Amazon about the changes and you should be able to get the new version by going to the “Manage Your Kindle” page at Amazon (though the tech support monkey who responded to me warned that getting the updated edition to you will take anywhere from two to four weeks).
If you just want to buy the book, scroll to the bottom of the page; if you’re interested in learning more about what I went through writing it, read on.
Writing Life During Peacetime was a profoundly uncomfortable experience for me, not just because it was an emotional period in my life, but because it was a stark reminder of my failures as a writer. I’d been working for months on my memoir about last year’s hitchhiking trip (in between my job and other writing projects) and had hit a brick wall. The book was becoming a top-heavy, whiny dirge about how awful my life was before I left New York, which combined with my constantly having to push the release date back (I originally hoped to have it out last summer, but now it likely won’t be out until this spring) sapped my morale and made it impossible to continue.
Additionally, I struggled with getting the tone right. While I’ve written about deeply personal parts of my life before, I was never quite happy with the way they sounded. I know I’ve lectured about how good writers need to avoid bathos and didacticism in their writing, but it’s damn difficult to put that into practice. Even after I’d finished Peacetime, I kept trying to shoehorn a moral in at the end.
Truly, didacticism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
When Life During Peacetime was originally published, a couple people asked something along the lines of “what’s the point?” The point of the book is whatever you think it is. There’s no moral or lesson beyond that which you get out of it on your own. In hindsight, this was the smart approach, as everyone who reviewed the book had their own interpretation. Davis Aurini compared me to Bukowski and saw Peacetime as a tale about the directionlessness of modern men and women; Francis Begbie thought I was channeling Delicious Tacos and brought up the “alpha fux, beta bux” aspect of the story. Robert Koch had an amusing review mainly focused on the fact that I idiotically described the book as “erotica” in my initial emails, as I was still uncomfortable about publishing it.
Life During Peacetime was a mental enema; it helped me clean out my brain and refocus on my main memoir, rewrite it to make it better.
While I was re-editing Peacetime for this release, I contemplated writing a follow-up segment about how my relationship with Audrey has progressed since then, along with adding some details that I omitted from the original book. I decided against it because Peacetime already stands as a complete work. Any additions now would be like defacing the Sistine Chapel with dick drawings; completely pointless vandalism.
If I revisit the story, it’ll be later, after I’ve wrapped up my existing writing projects.
But enough of that crap; here are the links to buy the book:
- Click here to buy Life During Peacetime for Amazon Kindle.
- Click here to buy it for Barnes & Noble Nook.
- Click here to buy it for Kobo.
- Click here to buy it for all other e-book formats (including PDF) at Smashwords.
If you’re a blogger interested in reviewing the book, email me by clicking here and I’ll send you a copy. Use the subject line “Life During Peacetime Review.” When you publish your review, let me know and I’ll post a link to it here.