I received the first copy of my book Fools and Their Toys.
It is the story of an autistic man with hidden talent for ventriloquism, an irrepressible ventriloquist’s puppet. a zebra. with a habit of insulting the right people at the wrong time, and a lurking serial killer who targets young boys for sexual torture and death.
It is in many ways a continuation of the story in Sing Sad Songs.
I have so many books published now that it is rather hard to photograph them all together in one picture. Of course, this fool feels compelled to put some of his toys in the picture.
Dawes was sad but silent as the sheriff’s deputies put him in the cell in the
county lock-up. Other men would protest
their innocence of being a serial murderer and sex offender. Murray was accused of being the infamous
“Teddy Bear Killer” who molested and murdered young boys all across the
Midwest. Murray was in fact not quite
right in the head. Something was off
enough to make him constantly silent as the stones on an Iowan hillside in
winter. But just because he was silent
and mentally unique, it didn’t explain how he could end up accused of terrible
crimes when he was totally innocent. He
had, in truth, only been guilty of rescuing the last boy-victim of the real
killer. And because he wouldn’t answer
any questions from anybody, and the boy-victim was in shock and couldn’t talk,
he stood a very real chance of taking the whole of the blame. Well, I wasn’t about to stand for it. I would find some way to tell them all the
truth. My name is Zearlop. I am Murray’s ventriloquist’s puppet. And I know the truth that’s inside his
also know you will probably say this is totally unbelievable, that an inanimate
object… or, rather, a puppet who is animated by others, cannot be the narrator
of a story. You are right, of
course. I can’t possibly be the author
of this tale. I am a modified sock
puppet of a zebra with mechanically blinking eyes and mechanically enhanced
mouth movements. My head is full of
cotton stuffing and old newspapers. But
I was cleverly put together by two geniuses, and given life by another.
have to understand; the human mind is like a great complex Labyrinth where no
man has ever mastered every single corridor.
Sometimes the most beautifully complex minds become lost or trapped in a
dead-end corridor, never to find the light outside again.
sometimes a special mind that was meant for special things is helped to find
the light again… shown a trap door or a secret exit by another who has mastered
at least a portion of the great, overly-complex dungeon.
sometimes it is possible to slip past the Minotaur who guards the secrets of
the Labyrinth and keeps us all from unlocking the magic.
My story, the story I mean to tell you even if you
don’t believe I am capable of telling it because I am a mechanical sock puppet
of a zebra, begins with a fool. The
fool’s name is Murray Dawes. That’s
right, Mumbling Murray Dawes, the feeb, the spaz, the Special-Ed idiot, son of
Elmer and Ethel Dawes, the nephew of Harker Dawes, and the only human being in
the universe who had more in common with potatoes than he did with other
people. Yes, I promise I will explain
that last one later in the story.
This week, April 1st through 5th, I created a promotion in which my novel Snow Babies is available for free in e-book format. This is supposed to put the book out there and make people want to read it. I hope I can learn how to use this promotional thingie better than I have for the first time.
I tried to get people to buy it by putting out ads like this, self-created, that had a link to the purchase page on Amazon.
It looks better on Twitter or Facebook than it does here.
I posted it daily on Facebook, Twitter, here on WordPress, and through individual emails and direct messages. So far this week, I have given away four free copies and sold three paperbacks. The paperbacks were bought by me, two of them to give away to specific people, and one that my sister bought before I could send her one. I also intend to send one as a surprise to the girl from my grade school class that the main character on the cover is named after. I am hoping that she and her daughters and granddaughters will read it and love it rather than burn it.
I made a connection over Twitter with Prince Hamdan Mohammed of Saudi Arabia over it, a surprise to me to say the least, though I have no reason to believe that he even accepted the free copy of my book.
But that’s the sum of my promotional results it seems. I may have earned $5 in royalties this week. I may have bargained for one positive review. I have a Saudi Prince for a pen-pal. And my literary work will probably remain in obscurity until long after I am dead, if it even splashes then.