One of those new faces was Jim Longo, who quickly proved to be far more than just another writer - he has become a good and dear friend. And we actually got to watch him emerge from the chrysalis of someone who was a natural storyteller but an indifferent writer to someone who is still a natural storyteller but whose writing skills have grown immeasurably. He is hard to pigeonhole, though, and after trying for some time to find a traditional publisher for his absolutely WONDERFUL novel, he has now decided to do something about releasing it into the world himself.
I don't, as a rule, think that being involved in publishing your own fiction is necessarily workable in the current climate - the issues of respectability and reviewability surface immediately, not to mention such pesky details as distribution and publicity. But I can attest to several important things concerning THIS book:
1) It really IS that good;
2) it WAS edited, by an editor whom I know and trust;
3) It was just too quirky, perhaps, to capture the risk-averse interests of a trad publisher;
4) It deserves to be out there, because it really IS that good.
If the world is getting you down and you want to poke fun at it and laugh out loud at its foibles, you can't do better than this. The book is called "The Idiocy and the Oddity", it's by James Longo, and it's available here.
Here's a synopsis of it from the back:
"Ulysses stops taking his medications, and thinks that he can change the world. The adventures this this causes himself, his loved ones, two psychiatrists, three secrets organizations, world religions and two aliens will leave you gasping for more."
And it will.
Here's what Jim had to say about himself in his bio, just to give you an idea as to what you're letting yourself in for:
"James Longo took a creative writing class at the suggestion of his girlfriend. She immediately moved out after his first short story. This eventually led to his first novel.
Brought up in New England, Jim received a B.S. in pharmacy from Northeastern University. He now lives and works in South Florida.
Conceived at a funeral on Valentine's Day, nearly delivered in the back seat of a car, James Longo brings a unique perspective to the mundane."
Take a chance on this one. It's worth it.