This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!
This weeks guest on Go ahead, amuse me is Scott Bartlett. Scott first wrote to me and asked if I would feature his new humor novel that he wrote, Royal Flush. I told him to submit a funny post and he could publicize it himself. He took me up on that and here’s a link to his website: Batshite. So, without further ado, here’s Scott.
My name is Scott Bartlett, and I’m here not only to “go ahead, amuse [you]” but to try and do so by relating the peculiar origin story behind my humour novel, Royal Flush.
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 then. 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 that comic involved inadvertently writing pages and pages of dialogue. I think it’s no coincidence that Royal Flush is also very dialogue heavy. The inane banter between larger-than-life 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, still does not have a title. In it, adolescents say things no self-respecting adolescent would say. The plot is cliché, and the characters are unbelievable. I still lacked the experience needed to realize my ‘artistic 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. Lots of video games. Lots of Archie comics. Not a whole lot of 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 flawless. 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. I called it Royal Flush. 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?
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).
Go ahead, amuse me is a weekly posting I will be having featuring another funny blogger. Or maybe not a blogger … you could just be a funny person. So, if you would like to be featured all you have to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me a funny post. If I AGREE that it’s funny, I’ll simply put up your post with a short intro that you write so that my readers will check out your blog. Of course, you also need to put up a link to my blog saying that you’re being featured over here.
See? WIN-WIN … hope to hear from you … or not!