The Deixis Press Weekly - Issue #28
If you’re looking for Christmas presents, don’t forget you can get gorgeous hardbacks of SOME RISE BY SIN and THE WORKSHOP OF FILTHY CREATION directly from me at a discounted price (until I run out). Go on, yank my supply chain.
Monday, 29 November
I start the day with (yet) another(! lucky you!) deep existential crisis, when I find out that someone with a relatively high profile did something that was potentially pretty rude (if it was deliberate, which it seems to have been) that has further implications for something else important–all of which turns out to be incredibly damaging to my increasingly limited emotional health this morning.
The problem with this industry is that it’s really small, so if I tell you what the thing is that the someone did, you’ll be able to figure out who it was, and they’ll probably hear that I was bitching about them, and then my name is mud.
Let this “story” join up with the other publishing “stories” I can’t tell you, like the one about the person who said they were going to do a thing and then did the opposite thing, multiple times, until I realized they were actively trying to put me off rather than being just a little scatty. Or the person who made a big song and dance to the whole world about how desperate they were to [redacted], then ghosted me when I asked about it (while continuing to sing their own praises).
Apathy is one thing; fine, you don’t care if your friend or colleague or acquaintance has a particular endeavor. But these … are not that. Anyway, it’s enough to put me off books even more than I already have been.
What am I doing today? GREAT question. I’m finishing off some prize entries (I can’t believe I finally have a handle on prizes; it is a wonderful place to be in!) and finishing off the prep work the audiobook narrator needs for THE WORKSHOP OF FILTHY CREATION. You are going to love this audiobook; the narrator, David Lane Pusey, is so talented.
Speaking of audiobooks, I may have mentioned that SOME RISE BY SIN is available now (UK, USA). If you know anyone who reviews audiobooks, or if YOU would like a FREE copy of the audiobook in exchange for a review, please just let me know. You can reply to this email (assuming you got this newsletter by email) or contact me at the address on this page.
I’ll try to keep the moaning and complaining to a minimum for the rest of the week, and I’ll avoid spreading any more gossip unless I can give you the really gory details.
Tuesday, 30 November
Here we are, in the dying hours of the year, cold and damp and achy, keeping it together mentally, getting our upcoming books on Amazon and GoodReads and NetGalley, trying to get printed copies ready for advance readers, trying to market our existing books, trying to keep friends of the press happy, trying to raise our profile, just trying and trying, and not stopping trying.
Today is a deadline I set for myself in September to get a ton of things out out the door, and I’ve pretty much (almost entirely) managed it. Just a few straggly thread ends, and my little scissors are at the ready.
Would you like a cover reveal? Oh, go on then.
Gorgeous, isn’t it?! I told Libby I needed a cover that honored Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she absolutely delivered. I’m so lucky to have such a talented designer.
Here’s how I* have described the book.
“We all have imaginary lives, and if we are lucky we have a dish to go with them…”
So begins the title story of Genevieve Jenner’s debut short story collection, a ground-breaking anthology of magical realist food writing.
A Russian countess finds herself making borscht for her socialist Parisian neighbours; unknown office colleagues secretly exchange lunchtime delicacies and recipes via the work fridge; steak is cooked at midnight on a Friday to get around Catholic proscriptions; and a thrilling sexual awakening descends into a metaphor of tired sandwiches and squashed fruit.
Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives is a book that the sexiest celebrity chef you can think of would take to read in bed, cackling in private recognition—but not just because it’s about the role of food at the centre of our lives. It’s also about the place of women in the world, the messiness of life, and the joy of snatched moments in the midst of chaos. With a wit and frankness that combines vulnerability and strength, all wrapped up in a package of stories that speak right to the soul, Genevieve Jenner writes about real and imaginary lives with poignance and authenticity.
Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives will be out in time for Mother’s Day next year. You know you want a piece of that Mother’s Day action.
*When I say “I have described the book” I mean the fantastic Emily Sweet, Genevieve’s agent, described the book this way, whereupon I lifted her description to use on the back cover because it’s so, so good.
Wednesday, 1 December
First of December! I’ll pinch and punch myself on your behalf today.
(Please, American readers, don’t be alarmed–it’s merely a delightful quaint British tradition.)
While I wait for final edits to come in from authors and proofreaders alike, today is a fantastic day to figure out a little bit of social media marketing. I’m not brand new to the idea of using social media for marketing, but I’m also not particularly good at it. It’s hard to know how many posts make up a good campaign versus at which point you start to look spammy, since one person may follow only a handful of accounts (so they’ll see everything you say) and another person may follow a few thousand accounts (so they’ll never see anything you say, no matter how many times you say it).
I do think social media marketing drove quite a few sales for Some Rise By Sin, so I’d quite like to focus on The Workshop of Filthy Creation for the next couple of weeks, which is easy enough because it’s had tons of great reviews from lots of different outlets. So that’s what I’ve set up today; it took bloody ages and that’s just Twitter–there’s also Instagram I should probably be looking at too.
Now I need to focus on Siôn’s #somerisebysilver dressing-up contest; we’ve had a little bit of engagement, but others have said they can’t dress as a character if they haven’t yet read the book (fair enough), so I’ve been thinking of writing some character descriptions and tweeting those out. I don’t think I can do it now, though–I’m knackered!
Thursday, 2 December
Would you like ANOTHER cover reveal? You know you would.
Again with the incredible design work on the cover. If you need anything designed at all, Libby is the perfectionist artist of your dreams.
Here’s how I have described the book (it was really me this time–ok, with a little help from Publicist Hannah):
A GLOBAL BANK IS HIDING A DARK SECRET
An artificial intelligence algorithm has been secretly implanted into its computer system …
A TERRIFYING NEW ADVANCE IN TECHNOLOGY
… but this aggressive and highly sensitive AI is good: so good that it bankrupts the entire world economy.
A frighteningly realistic new thriller, The Transfer Problem is an adrenaline-fueled mystery that takes readers to the heart of a dark world. Ethan, an introverted banker with a traumatic past, falls in love with Anna, an enigmatic scientist with whom he shares an academic interest in the philosophy of existence and consciousness. But with the reappearance of Ethan’s rogue brother Robert - a hacker who is forbidden from using technology - the hypothetical turns all too real: Robert convinces Ethan to let Anna transfer a conscious mind into Ethan’s trading algorithms.
But when Anna’s experiment goes well - too well, in fact, with world-altering consequences - Ethan finds himself on the run, searching for answers to Anna’s mysterious past and looking desperately for a way to give humanity its future back.
With nail-biting action and smart, technical themes, The Transfer Problem asks what it means to exist, to be real, and to be human. But it also asks an even bigger question: how far would you go to avenge yourself?
Pretty hot, huh? This is such a fun and action-packed book, with surprising humor and a lot of smart ideas. It’s also probably the most genuinely commercial book I’ve got on my roster: I feel like just about anyone who reads fiction would like it. Yes, it’s sc-fi, and yes, it’s a bit philosophical, but when it comes down to it, it’s just a damn good read.
Today? Oh yeah, more social media stuff, and incorporating edits. Fingers crossed I will have everything in place to send Genevieve and Adam to printers for first proofs tomorrow.
Friday, 3 December
Friday the 3rd of December is tomorrow. That’s right. I’m speaking to you as the Ghost of KL City winning the Malaysia Cup Yet to Come.
It’s cold and dark here. There have been no new sales of my existing books on the date of Thursday, 2 December. And … my tiny son–where is he? I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney-corner, and an iPad (displaying the Roblox login page) without an owner, carefully preserved.
But are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only? Truly, you yet may change these shadows I have shown you, by an altered life.
By buying THE WORKSHOP OF FILTHY CREATION and SOME RISE BY SIN as fantastic Christmas presents, either directly from me or via Amazon or even by ordering through your favorite local bookshop, you will honour Christmas in your heart, and try to keep it all the year.
God bless you, every one,