“The fact is, it’s getting harder and harder to get the word out about anything new, especially novels,” says M. Christian, whose biography includes over 400 short story sales, nine author collections, the editing of 25 anthologies, and six previous novels. “Is it no surprise that writers are having to resort to obvious stunts to try and get their work noticed?”
Though Finger’s Breadth – described as a gay erotic science fiction horror thriller – has garnered respectable reviews, Christian says that it has yet to gain the notoriety he believes it deserves.
“Even with Zee at Firepages saying ‘Finger’s Breadth has a way of getting under your skin and sending chills to your bones in both a terrifying and arousing kind of way. Finger’s Breadth is not a story; it is an experience I highly recommend,’ it’s been too damned hard to get word out about the book.
Christian points out other reviewers who, apparently, have also found the book to be superb: “I’ve got Lisabet Sarai, who says ‘If you’re looking for an easy, sunny, sexy book with a happy ending, don’t pick up Finger’s Breadth. If, on the other hand, you want a scary but enlightening ride through the twisted labyrinth of the human psyche, I highly recommend this book,’ and the Circlet Press calling it ‘…one of the most psychologically astute erotic novels since Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, and it deserves to be just as widely read,’ and even science fiction author Ernest Hogan, who calls it ‘a world of crime, out-of-control passions, mutilation, and madness. Terms like noir and hardboiled don’t quite fit – this is more like ultraviolet, the invisible light that makes the scorpions glow in the dark.'”
As for what the novel is actually about, Christian says that the book’s description as erotic, nightmarish, fascinating, disturbing, intriguing, haunting, you have never read a book like Finger’s Breadth is actually pretty accurate – if a little vague: “There are far too many scary books and movies about serial killers, psychos, nasty supernatural forces … but all of that, to me, is just too removed. It’s far too easy to be able to say it’s a matter of them – or him – and us: but the real horror I’ve always felt, and tried to explore in Finger’s Breadth is that the real horror is human nature itself. That, given the right set of circumstances, otherwise good people can have their minds, and most of all their desires, turned inside out.”
And so to try and get the word out about what he feels to be his best novel yet, the reclusive author says that he is willing to step into the light with his most audacious publicity plan ever: to lop off one of his own fingertips
“Okay, my track record for honesty isn’t the best … I’m the first to admit that,” Christian says about his planned amputation. “The whole ‘stolen identity’ campaign around Me2 [his previous novel] was lost on more than a few people. Never mind that it worked and the book sold like hotcakes. But this time I’m totally, completely, absolutely, honest: I really want people to read Finger’s Breadth … and if it takes lopping off the tip of my little finger then I’m gonna do it,” he says.
When asked if the planned amputation is simply a publicity stunt, Christian responded with faux outrage: “A stunt? A STUNT?! Of course it’s a publicity stunt … these days writers have to be creative and, let’s be honest here, more than a bit outrageous if they are going to get noticed. The book’s about a mysterious figure cutting off the tips of little fingers in a near-future noir San Francisco so a pretend self-amputation is just too damned perfect!”
In answer to his admission that the whole thing is nothing but a publicity-seeking prank, Christian shook his head: “That’s not to say that it still won’t happen; they say that a good writer has at least a few good books in them, so if a finger is all it takes to get the word out about this novel … well, I have 19 more fingers and toes to go. Seems like a small price to pay.”
M. Christian can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is http://www.mchristian.com
To receive a review copy of Finger’s Breadth send an email to email@example.com.
More Finger’s Breadth reviews:
It is not that hard to come up with an idea that can be turned into a horror story and that is why horror has been part of the folklore of America and why these stories are so popular on camp-outs as we sit around a campfire. To successfully do this, we need a combination of characters and plot but more important than all else is a novel way to relate the story. For me that is the definition of M. Christian. This book is unlike anything I have read before and I suspect that it will stay with me for quite a while.
– Amos Lassen, reviewer
Finger’s Breadth creates a vivid portrait of a community torn apart by suspicion, where the thrills of hot, anonymous sex go hand in mutilated hand with the chill of fear, and no one is entirely what they seem. M. Christian skillfully mixes a dark, potent cocktail of lust, longing, paranoia and an overwhelming need for acceptance…
– Liz Coldwell, author of Take Your Slave To Work
To be effective, the act of literary intercourse between horror and erotica should be deeply unsettling. It should leave the reader feeling uncomfortable, overwhelmed by equal parts dread and anticipation. M. Christian understands this better than most, weaving a tale that permits the reader but a finger’s breadth of space between fear and arousal. His deft control of the story makes us feel the blade, but it’s his subtle manipulation of our emotions that makes us want the cut.
– Sally Sapphire, Bellasbookslut
M. Christian has seen the future – and it is hardboiled! If you love crime stories – gay or otherwise – and you love science fiction, you will love Finger’s Breadth. No other storyteller nails it quite like M. Christian does. This is a real page turner.
– Marilyn Jaye Lewis, author of Freak Parade
M. Christian is a force to be reckoned with. Just when you think you understand the path that his narrative and characters are taking, Christian throws a monkey wrench, or a limb, or a head into the works and you have to get your bearings and start all over again. No matter which book of his you pick up, prepare for an intoxicatedly weird ride.
– Ily Goyanes, author and filmmaker
Finger’s Breadth is mesmeric storytelling, riveting in execution and appalling in implication. M. Christian’s tale of erotic terror in a near-future San Francisco is imagined so skillfully that it grabs the reader with its easy familiarity, then refuses to let go as it careens to its shocking yet completely believable conclusion. Evoking such Grand Masters as Armistead Maupin, Thomas Harris and Rod Serling while remaining strikingly original, Finger’s Breadth is Christian at the height of his considerable powers. Like Charon the ferryman, the author takes the reader down the dark rivers of human sexuality and shows us things that would normally never see the light of day. Ultimately the most compelling aspect of this fiction is how fascinatingly and terrifyingly plausible it is. Finger’s Breadth should come with a warning label: Read this before clubbing.
– Christopher Pierce, author of Rogue Slave, Rogue Hunted, and Kidnapped By A Sex Maniac
M. Christian is – among many things – an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites.
He is the editor of 25 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi) and Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant) as well as many others.
He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, Licks & Promises, Filthy, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Coming Together Presents M. Christian, Pornotopia, How To Write And Sell Erotica; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, Fingers Breadth, and Painted Doll. His site is http://www.mchristian.com.
So I read about this via MG Ellington and thought I’d give it a whirl:
The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation. Please see here for how to participate!”
Here is what you’ll do. You’ll write prompts. You’ll explore. You’ll fall down. Sometimes you’ll lay there awhile, finding things under rocks that you never wanted to know. They’ll pull you back, using yarn, glue, cajoling and stern words. You’ll keep sewing yourself into who you’ll want to be and you’ll tell them, sometimes too much, because that’s your way and what’s needed. You’ll find how far you can really fly when you’ve made wings to carry you and be breathless from your accomplishments. Besides your words, you’ll give something made from your hands.
I don’t do ‘resolutions’ as a rule – I think they’re just a system for setting yourself up to fail. But this looks like a good project, and there’s no better time like the present.
I like this part:
You can’t start putting all this awesome new crap into your life and body until you get rid of the old crap. Old crap here is defined as many things such as relationships that are no longer working, old crutches, clutter of the mind and of the house.
Just because someone hands you a big rock doesn’t mean you have to carry it. We all have baggage to deal with (such as forgiveness issues and toxicity). What’s weighing you down? Light a candle to your deity(ies) of choice and really do some journaling about it. Explore the issue(s) with a very close friend. Do your best to let go of it, even if you do need to sometimes need to occasionally revisit it.
I know you all are probably tired of me going on and on about We Need To Talk About Kevin, but I wanted to share this quote. And by the way, the movie is due to make its American premier at the end of January.
Because in real life, people are not always perfectly charming. I try to duplicate in fiction the complex, contradictory, and infuriating people I meet on the other side of my study door…I’m less concerned that you love my characters than that you recognise them. Human beings have rough edges. Authors who write exclusively about ethical, admirable, likeable characters are not writing about real people…Good stories require mistakes. If you want to read about unimpeachable characters, order the annual report from Oxfam.
~~ Lionel Shriver
Perfectly Flawed: In defense of unlikable characters
DragonTalk Radio, Virtual Con, and the Purple Ears Society
Press Release for Virtual Con 1!
First of It’s Kind Virtual Sci-fi/Fantasy Convention Keeps Costs Down
St. Louis, MO (http://www.virtualcon.org/)—The price of gas and other economical factors adversely affected attendance at many media conventions so far this year. At these events, fans of science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, supernatural thrillers, anime, and comic books converge with an avid enthusiasm akin to a religious pilgrimage at hotels and other convention centers across the country for weekends filled with a celebration of all things geek. A few of the shows grew in attendance this year, but many declined. Many fans are having to work extra jobs or overtime hours to make ends meet (if they aren’t unemployed). Even if they can get the time off, they must gravely assess the current cost of road trip with gasoline prices soaring, while hotel rooms and restaurant meals don’t get any cheaper.
One convention coming up on Nov. 11th, 12th, and 13th, looks to address this by using videoconferencing technology. Virtual Con 1 will allow fans to enjoy the convention experience without leaving their homes, or simply by going over to a friend’s house for a virtual “con party”. The fan community will be able to rub shoulders with actors, authors, indie movie moguls, comic book artists, voice actors, and other celebrities from the convention world just as they would at a “brick & mortar” convention by using an easy-to-use user interface provided by the corporate training specialists at Smart Training. The interface will also provide a movie room, a cooking lesson from Stuart Bergman aka “The Con Cuisine Guy”, and a lesson in pirate fashion from the makers of “Salty Eye for the Mundane Guy”. Actor Guest of Honor is Jackson Bostwick of “Shazam!” and “Tron”. Author Guest of Honor is Shane Moore of “The Abyss Walker” series.
Virtual Con is the brainchild of Larry Lewis, the Executive Producer of “DragonTalk Radio: Your Convention Connection”, a weekly podcast and audio magazine that showcases the geek convention world. Virtual Con 1 will be convened on November 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2011.
For more information on Virtual Con, contact “DragonTalk Radio: Your Convention Connection” at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-662-3047. The website is http://www.virtualcon.org/.
i will be afk from tomorrow morning until either late sunday or early mondayI’m on my way to Louisville to attend Fandomfest/FrightNight Filmfest to get my writerly convention ❤.
I’ll be able to send tweets, but I won’t be able to respond to them until I get back! (unless you’re one of the three people I follow on my phone! o.O)
Y’all be good, now, and don’t break the internet while I’m gone, y’hear?
eta: btw I broke my MSN messenger. I fubar‘d my contacts list. Now I can’t see who I was following. So if you chat with me on MSN, the solution is to dump me off the list and add me back! Contact me via e-mail for the address if you don’t have it. Sorry!
I will be attending in Louisville July 22 through July 24. This convention is crammed full of everything. Very busy, as a con should be. There’s no way I’m going to get to do or see everything. But it looks like a great time, and I can’t wait to be there!
Jason Sizemore, BossBorg of Apex Publications, will be there with the Apex booth. He has eight panels that weekend; I have only three, plus a signing. While he’s busy working, I’ll be manning the Apex booth. Look for me there!
This is my complete schedule:
9:00pm Panel Room B Horror Writing: Character & other Considerations
11:00am Panel Room B Writers Groups
5:00pm Concourse Signing
3:00pm Panel Room B The Paranormal in Fiction
I just ordered the most plain, generic business cards I could create, but I did include my QR Code, which is cool.
[[this is a repost]]
I say this all the time:
The narrative parts of the story aren’t platforms for the author to step on stage and explain or reveal things to the reader.
Yet people reading my writing – critique partners and first / second / even third readers – will say that they’ve read ‘so far’ into the story and still don’t know what’s going to happen at the end. Well, the reader isn’t going to know what’s going to happen at the end by page five because the main character doesn’t know what’s going to happen at the end until she gets there. The way I write, the reader doesn’t know anything that the main character doesn’t know – if she doesn’t know it, tough. The reader may figure it out before the main character, and that’s cool. But I’m not going to drop point of view just to point something out for what I consider ‘lazy readers’.
It’s right up there along with:
Forecasting. “If I’d known then that before the end of the day, the goat would have eaten my hat and my Great-Aunt Hattie would never speak again, I would have worn the blue shirt instead.” This cheats the reader of the pleasure of finding out what happened.
Emphasis on that last sentence is entirely mine. I’m mean. I figure if my readers aren’t smart enough to figure stuff out on their own, they don’t need to be reading my writing. The writing I read growing up, I had to figure stuff out on my own. I had to learn to think and then put those skills to work. It seems like writers / people in general these days don’t do that so much – either they don’t know how or weren’t taught how or weren’t taught how properly. Or something. It’s aggravating.
My point is, I refuse to drop information into my readers’ laps just because they expect that information to be there. I refuse to spoon feed anything to anybody. Doing so is lazy writing. It never hurt anybody to have to sit down and figure something out for himself.
I know a number of people won’t read things where they have to figure things out on their own. If that’s the case, these people just won’t be reading my writing. And they probably won’t be reading a score of other writers, either.
[[Quotes from Nalo Hopkinson: About Writing: Things Fall Apart.]]