M. Christian, with fingers intact – so far (photo by Shilo McCabe)
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.
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