This blog tour train is headed to the Americas!!
This blog tour train is headed to the Americas!!
Today, we are kicking off a week of bookish wonderment as we celebrate Jason Lee Norman and his recently released short story collection Americas. It's actually a pretty cool concept, if you haven't picked it up yet - 22 short fictional stories, one for each of the countries that make up the Americas.
Jason was a new-to-me author just a few months back. He made a twitter faux pas - of the typically deadly 'pitch a blogger your book' kind - and I took mercy on him because I appreciated his unique spin on book peddling. Jason is a really cool guy who just happens to be an indie author who just happens to have an in-your-face and uber contagious way of getting his work out there. He also has a funny bone the size of Canada and appreciates the occasional ego-stroking. I can't wait for you to meet him!
Jason and I have a great blog tour lined up for you guys. A million thanks go out to our hosts: Susie and Amy of The Insatiable Booksluts; Marc Schuster of Small Press Reviews; Beth Diiorio of Candle Beam Book Blog; Tee Tate of LitStack; Jennifer of Books, Personally; and Benoit Lelievre of Dead End Follies. These guys have some super cool bloggy toury things in store for you and I am beyond ecstatic to have them on board. If you aren't familiar with them yet, please check them out. Really. Right now. Go ahead. I mean it. And then come back and follow each of us throughout this week's festivities and help us spread the love of all things Americas!
Sit back, relax, and let us start by razzle-dazzling you with Jason's insight into what being indie means to him:
Am I indie now? Thank God! At least I’m something. When I first think of indie I think of it in the most direct sense. I’m all alone out here. There is no agent; there is no book deal from a big publishing house. I write what I want to write and I write what I think will engage and entertain other readers. That thought of being all alone out here doesn’t really last long. There are a lot of people out there who have either bought a book, written a review, or agreed to put me on local television that are helping me out every day. Maybe there’s no agent or publicist but there are people who believe in me enough to click a link or buy a book from me just because they think I’m a nice guy. I may not have a larger corporate network behind me but I still have to find ways to connect with my community so that they know I’m here and know what I’m about. If they like any of those things then I may just earn their support.
Secondly, I think that there is a community out there that would identify themselves as being indie in one way or another when it comes to writing and literature. This is the community that I am desperate to connect with. These are the people I look up to on a daily basis and I don’t even know them personally. Living where I live in Canada I can feel very isolated at times and very separated from other writers but the indie community that I am able to interact with on the Internet definitely takes that isolated feeling away. There are online journals and small presses doing wonderful things and connecting with readers in great ways. They publish bold writers (the list is too long to even try) and especially short fiction that I believe is better than anything else being done by any “established” or mainstream literary presence. This indie community is inspiring to me because they publish what they want and they put all of their energy behind the writers they believe in. When observing from a far off place like where I am, I sometimes think that these people have it all. These writers are read widely across Canada and the United States and the small presses are all doing great for themselves. This is probably mostly a naïve observation to make because the struggles that these smaller indie presses and writers have to deal with are greater than anything I’ve had to experience. They keep doing it because they love what they do and that’s what makes me look up to them so much. I’d love to be considered indie in the same vein as these groups of writers and I’d love for my book ‘Americas’ and anything else I produce to be considered as such too. To throw my hat into the same ring, into the same marketplace that these artists do each day is an honour. Although I can’t touch and talk to all of them on a daily basis, there is still a community out there. Everyone can feel it and you see more and more writers talk about it each day. They support each other and they respect good writing and they respect the proper attitudes that it takes to achieve any amount of success out there in the world.
Lastly, being indie means that I don’t have any money. Money isn’t that important to me but I would like to be able to take my girlfriend out to dinner some time. Writing a book is the most round about, ineffective, self-indulgent way of making money I can think of.
P.S. buy my book
Jason Lee Norman is probably the greatest writer in town. He has a glorious beard and is knowledgeable in almost any subject that exists. Do you want to kiss him? Probably. Friend him? Most definitely. Be him? Impossibly. Visit his website to learn more: http://jasonleenorman.wordpress.com/
**Next stop on the Americas Blog Tour Train... Tomorrow: The Insatiable Booksluts review Jason's collection.**