Hey you guys. I have a special guest poster on the blog today, and when I say special I mean special in the non-motherly way. He’s an award winning author, an environmental activist, and a really cool guy (aren’t all Newfies cool?). I have read his new book, and asked him to do a guest post on the blog for his blog tour to promote his new novel, Royal Flush.
The book is hilarious, by the way, and I have to admit that it was completely unexpected. Only because he is a Canadian writer, and us Canadians know disappointment when it comes to our writers, and our film industry. I’m not saying they’re all duds, but the vast majority of the government funded shit, is just that, SHIT.
I noticed that Scott’s book wasn’t government funded, so I was able to read on. It was seriously laugh out loud funny. I think that those of you who know me will agree that I know a thing or two about funny, so you can take it from me that it’s well worth the few dollars it will cost to download it. If you aren’t a digital book kind of person, it’s also available as an olden day book as well.
Anyhow, I also want you to know that I’m not getting paid for this by anyone, and I wouldn’t promote the book or author if I didn’t think it worthy. It’s funny shit, and I hope that some of the proceeds go to beer and condoms. Alright, take it away, Scott.
Hey everyone, my name is Scott Bartlett, and I’m here to try and provide some amusement by relating the peculiar origin story behind my recently-released humour novel, Royal Flush. (This is also part of my August-long blog tour for said novel.)
It starts, I think, with grade school. And no—I didn’t write the book in grade school. I had no thoughts of becoming a writer in grade school. Nevertheless, I believe I was well on track to becoming one, without actually knowing it.
At that time, I drew a stick figure comic that featured me and my friends with superpowers. My drawing career didn’t progress very far past stick figures. But since these were so simple to draw, creating the comic involved inadvertently writing pages and pages of dialogue. And Royal Flush is very dialogue heavy. The inane banter between oversized characters has been identified by several readers as one of its strengths.
Fast forward several years—to ninth grade, when I had the long-delayed epiphany that I do, in fact, want to be a writer. A fiction writer. I decided I would write a novel at once.
Fast forward again—to chapter three of said novel. That’s when I realized that, as a ninth grader, I lacked the life experience and context even to write a book about ninth graders. I stopped writing it.
In grade eleven, I tried again. This time, I completed a novel—a science fiction novel, which, to this day, does not have a title. In it, adolescents say things no self-respecting adolescent would say. The plot is cliché, and the characters are over-the-top. I still lacked the experience needed to realize my vision.
In my first year of university, the situation hadn’t changed. I wanted badly to be an author—a real, live author. So badly that there was nothing else I could envision doing. So badly that I wondered whether I should even be in university. (I remain unconvinced that education is a necessary ingredient for writing.)
So again, I asked myself—what on Earth can I write? What have I experienced enough?
I thought back to my childhood. A lot of video games. A lot of Archie comics. Not much material there.
I thought back to junior high. More video games. Magic the Gathering. Being a loner. I quickly moved on.
High school. It had to be something from high school, from which I had only recently graduated. But what? What unique experiences had high school brought? What defined my high school experience—what was its overarching theme?
And then it struck me: romantic rejection. Complete and utter romantic rejection on all fronts.
I finally had it. In high school, I’d asked out nearly every attractive girl I encountered. Yes—I was that guy. But unlike ‘that guy’, my track record for getting rejected was perfect. Even ‘that guy’ has to have some success every now and then, but not me!
It was frustrating, but I wasn’t bitter about it. In fact, I found the sheer consistence of it sort of funny. I’d written a few short stories on the subject—about a man known only as the King, whose incompetence for romantic affairs spilled over into every other area of his life.
I decided I would turn those short stories into a book divided into four parts. In each part, the King fails spectacularly with a different woman. (Of course, whether he fails in the fourth part is something I can’t disclose.)
And now, after taking 18 days to write the first draft in advance of a contest deadline and several years to edit it, I have a novel that asks the question: can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon succeed romantically?
Once my perfect world was gone, I knew you ruined everything–in the nicest way.
Scott Bartlett has been writing fiction since he was fifteen. His recently released novel, Royal Flush, is a recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize. Click here to buy the ebook ($3.99) or to order the print book ($12.99).