Well – a dead woman’s party really. But who really wants to split hairs on a Tuesday morning? I know I don’t. At least not until I finish my cup of coffee. But I digress.
I had originally intended to blog today about Zombieland releasing on DVD and my upcoming writing group tonight. Then it hit me – it’s Tuesday! That means there is something much more meaningful to discuss. Specifically I am talking the mass market paperback (standard paperback size) release of Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry.
I would not have started reading these books had it not been for the use of Twitter. Well, that is likely only half true. You can’t really say what would have happened had I not started being an urban fantasy author creeper through social networking sites. I’m serious! High powered night vision goggles and everything! But creepy fanboy factors aside, this is a wonderful change of pace from the usual urban fantasy. It leans more towards my favorite of movie genres, the Dark Comedy. More specifically it is the literary equivalent of a Zombie Comedy.
The genre and story aside, from a writing standpoint there are a couple of key elements that make his writing stand out to me. The voice of the story encompasses them both because it deals with the footnotes throughout the book and the point of view in the book. Without revealing too much, the footnotes are the little mental asides that Amanda gives to the reader (her version of breaking the 4th wall). Also, throughout the book it is writing in Amanda’s voice as if Amanda were telling us a story over Cosmos. Scratch that, probably something stronger knowing Amanda.
Did you like Heathers when it came out? You will love these books! Did you like Shaun of the Dead or Buffy/Angel? You will likely love these books if you can appreciate the snarky comedy in it. It is a rather irreverent romp through Seattle’s supernatural underground. There are no sparkly angst-ridden vampires in these books. Amanda would pick apart the Cullen’s wardrobe so fast and with such bite Edward would cry to the point where not even Bella would want him. The undead in these books are monsters. Granted it could be because they were emotionally damaged before becoming undead, but that is what makes them so much fun!
Before I get to what my offer is today, let me tell you why I am making the offer. The original three releases of this line came out in trade paperback. The economy being the way it is, people were mostly buying mass market paperbacks (standard sized). If the sale of the mass market paperback of Happy Hour of the Damned does not do well, there will be no book four. For my part there is a unique juxtaposition of my summer next year and the planned location for book four that makes me really want to see it make print. Also, I love me some smart ass and I love me some zombies.
The offer is simple. Buy a copy of Happy Hour of the Damned in stores today. If you cannot find a copy at your local retailers, I would suggest Barnes and Noble online. This offer will really work best if you are local to the Madison, WI area, but I am flexible. Get me your copy after reading it, but by early April of this year. Late April I head to Romantic Times, where I will be meeting up with Mark Henry. I will get your copy of the book signed, personalized, and – knowing Mark’s sense of humor – he will likely write something dirty in it.
Mark has agreed to personalize any copies that I bring with me and depending on how much homemade Italian hooch has been consumed by the time he gets to yours, someone could get some really interesting snark in their book. Also, should I come home with any good swag from the show, I will try and pass it around to those people who handed off copies to me for signing. I am not sure as this will be my first time at this particular convention.
Now if you are not local to me, you can also order a copy from University Bookstore in Washington and I believe there is a method for which they can hold it so that Mark can stop in and sign it for you. Not quite the road trip I am offering the copies of people from the Madison area, but an awesome way to get a unique copy if you are not local to me.
Also, if you know anybody who likes dark comedy, zombies, or even just strong, snarky, irreverent women – suggest they give this a whirl. It is like Sex in the City if they all died and got back up again. Well, and assuming they all talked like uncensored versions of Samantha. With everyone pitching in we can make sure that Amanda and friends get to live on. Well, not really alive… you get the picture.
Here is a pair of contests you can enter when you purchase a Mark Henry book over the next week or so…