Monday, April 30, 2012

Fits Many Genres

The publishing world today is dominated by narrow genres, which is oh-so-predictable.

Where does a fusion novel like THE TOWER fit? THE TOWER is mystery, literary, political, pop, romance, thriller, sports, and likely much else. It doesn’t narrow itself. It aims to present contemporary America in all its complexity and madness. Buy the ebook at Kindle Store or Nook Books and find out.

Before May Day

Tomorrow promises to be a day of much activity. Many Occupy protests are planned across the country. Those looking for insights should read a new novel which is in effect an anatomy of a protest-- THE TOWER, authored by myself, King Wenclas, now available at Kindle Store and Nook Books.  I have enough of a background at activism and engagement to know what I'm talking about.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

E-Book Reading CHALLENGE

I, King Wenclas, independent writer and ebook publisher,


any literary person, or defender of the publishing industry's price-fixing,
to read my new e-novel,
and name a better novel produced by publishing's Big Six this decade.

Two Points:
1.) Many good writers are shut out of mainstream publishing for reasons that have nothing to do with quality, marketability, or art.
2.) Some indy ebook novels are already competitive with the very best from the book conglomerates. By virtue of their independence-- their ability to take artistic risks-- they may be better.

The gauntlet has been thrown. Who'll respond?

(THE TOWER is available for $1.99 via Nook Books and, yes, Amazon's Kindle Store.)

Fascinating New History Book

Those interested in the history of social movements, including the history of early Christianity, should take a look at The Sign by Thomas De Wesselow, which posits the Shroud of Turin as playing a major role in the secret of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are holes in De Wesselow’s theory that one could drive a truck through. (The most obvious is that the image on the shroud clearly shows the face of a European man, with a long face and square chin, and not that of someone from Palestine.) Despite this, there’s a large amount of credibly-sourced history in the book. More important, few other works give the reader such a sense of what a historical miracle the rise of Christianity truly was. The narrative makes real and fascinating the questions raised by history’s greatest mystery. The ultimate detective story. As De Wesselow shows, history goes very close to the event, even without the shroud—yet the mystery remains unsolved. Thomas De Wesselow provides a novel possible solution which captivated, though not convinced, this reader.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


A customer talking in a coffeeshop: “Print books are going the way of rental videos.”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Need for Amazon

The literary establishment is in panic, worried, because of affordable ebooks, that their tottery and moldy empire will come crashing down. Yesterday saw a shaky editorial in the New York Times from lit writer Ann Patchett complaining that brick-and-mortar bookstores are in trouble. She’s frantic that the Pulitzer board awarded no Fiction prize this year. Patchett said that the Department of Justice, by coming out against price-rigging, “has decided to be Amazon’s bodyguard.”

In the same issue, in a different piece, New Republic honcho Leon Wieseltier is quoted on a similar theme: “People who know how to publish books are in danger of being put out of business by people who think they do but don’t.” I guess he can’t see the obvious contradiction in his statement (apart from the fact it’s not true). If publishers are going out of business, then they don’t really know how to publish books—at least not in the current environment.

For some writers, like myself, the ebook revolution spearheaded by Amazon and Barnes and Noble is a godsend. Our current great literary system has designated me blacklisted, a pariah, untouchable, however you wish to term it. No one in the entire system from writers to editors to agents to journalists will allow themselves any contact with me. Whistle blowers like myself are banished to the far reaches of the literary universe. In exile. But now, even if few people know about them or buy them, I’m at least able to get some of my writing via ebooks out there, available for public view. It allows me to prove that I can in fact write. I’ll go further and say that my newest fusion novel, The Tower, is competitive with anything the conglomerates produce. It’s also that rare animal, pop and literature both.

Apparatchiks like Ann Patchett and Leon Wieseltier believe the current moldy system is wonderful, because for those inside the system it is. Neither of them cares two cents worth about corruption within their realm, or what happens to writers who don’t conform. They’ve been trying to shove their stale conception of literary art, centered around the so-called perfect sentence and nothing else—bureaucratic lit—down the public’s throat, through writers like David Foster Wallace, for decades, but the public refuses to swallow it.

It’s truly funny that the great success the big publishers are having at the moment has nothing to do with “literary” fiction. Instead, fed-up readers desperate for readability and plot—and no longer offered that by mainstream novelists—have found it in the obscure or scorned categories of fantasy, romance, and Young Adult. The publishers’ success has come through publishing’s back door, and has been despite the guidance of mandarins. The total dominance of hack authors like George R. Martin highlights the utter bankruptcy of literary fiction. No Pulitzer award? Never has the granting of no award been more fitting.

The Hypester

Have to give a nod to Dick Clark, one of the hustling low-rent entrepreneurs who turned rock n’ roll into a cultural phenomenon. Clark, for all his slickness, operated in the Barnum carnival barker American tradition of ballyhoo. He defined America, selling good clean innocent not-too-sophisticated fun. The salesman who could put over anything—and sometimes did.

p.s. Let’s get Chubby Checker in the Rock Hall of Fame! That he’s not in is a disgrace.

Controversy Sells?


I note Ted Nugent is suddenly back in the news, receiving tons of free publicity.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Craziest Novel?

Occupiers take on the national religion—NFL football. Meanwhile, a radio host is voluble, a security expert is worried, a team mascot is frantic, and the plutocrat who owns the team can’t be bothered. Until it’s too late? Where does all this madness take place? Only in The Tower by me, King Wenclas, now available on your Nook or Kindle.

The Better Choice

Between the unappealing poles of the unreadability of Ben Marcus or the superficiality of George R. Martin, is there something better? Yes! The Tower by King Wenclas (me) is intelligent and also readable. You won’t discover this if you don’t read it!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Oprah Art

Those who believe that Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is a great novel are the same people who think “Titanic” is a great film.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Question

The question is whether those within the current literary system will read a work outside their experience, from a writer who has broken every one of their rules.

THE TOWER by King Wenclas. Get it! (Nook Books or Kindle Store.)

First Occupy Novel?

Is The Tower the first novel inspired by, or in some way about, the Occupy Wall Street movement? To be honest, the Seattle protests of 1999 were as much of an inspiration, but I observed extensively Occupy Philly’s encampment at Philadelphia’s City Hall late last year, heard dozens of speeches, spoke with many occupiers, and saw first hand the enthusiasm of marches. I also noted the movement’s increasing disputes and divides. I took away much which influenced my novel’s characters, words, and ideas.

The Tower is not only about protest. Its themes go deeper. Much else is examined, including music and sports. Much of the narrative centers around a football team and its organization. A key set piece is a depiction of a game. In many ways the novel is about “the games.”

What am I blathering about? Order The Tower at Kindle or Nook Books and find out. The novel’s release date is right now.

Harvard versus Harvard

The literati and dominant media should be happy. It’s now official. It’s been willed into being. Aristocracy lives. The hierarchical society.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Control Freaks

There are two new books out which describe how diificult it is to succeed, and dominate, in a particular field in this country. One, Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky, concerns the workings of Steve Jobs. The subject of the other, The Big Miss by Hank Haney, is golfer Tiger Woods. Both are fascinating reads.

Then again, regarding golf, we have the example of Masters winner Bubba Watson, who is very Do-It-Yourself, with no entourage and no coach. He doesn't even study video of himself. For Bubba, natural is best-- and yet he wins.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Imitators

I was walking through Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square yesterday. A perfectly beautiful day. Near the entrance, a group of young hippies, early 20's, were playing guitars and singing nothing but songs from the 1960's. It was an image right out of the 60's. Therein's the problem. What kind of generation is this? Where's the originality? The different and new? Everything is retro. I touch on this even a little in my upcoming novel, via a hipster character who feeds on nostalgia for the past.

The situation of course is little different in established literature. What's referred to as "avant-garde" is anything but. Instead, recyclings from the 20's, 50's, 60's, 70's.

What's the attitude the new generation should have?

They should be out to destroy the 1960's and everything connected to it. They should take a sledgehammer to that ridiculous era with its feeble posings and shallow ideas. Detonate it. Blast that culture away and start over. Create something original from the shards that remain.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Balkanized Lit

American literature has been sliced up into a score of separatist ghettos to which the novel is expected to conform. Is your book: detective; sci-fi; fantasy; vampires; horror; literary; Christian; YA; what? It's all cookie-cutter stuff, writers imitating imitators, every one of them safely in their predictable niche, nothing original anywhere to be found. Writers as cattle, each one obeying pre-ordained rules.

What happens to a novel which fits comfortably in no slot, which obeys no system rules? Which follows only the author's integrity and devotion to the values of art?

(Coming Soon: the complete 51,000-word version of THE TOWER by King Wenclas.)