FROM US: Thinking Outside the Boxes
One of the early reviewers for my new novel, FROM US, had difficulty assigning it to a genre. He liked it a lot, but that did not help him fit it into a single box. I could not find a single box for it, either, and I like the story at least as much as he did.
I pay a price for spanning genres. The price is greater difficulty explaining to prospective readers what they would encounter. A multi-genre story like FROM US is not stereotypical anything.
It seems easiest for me to just assure readers, ever so boldly, there might be a superb story awaiting them here. I offer two indications of that outcome. First, here’s the cover blurb:
America’s in trouble. The Senate’s at war with itself while the House founders anew. Judges twist laws and journalists bend truth. Violent riots light up evening skies.
A rich financier plans two murders to tip the balance of power his way. What’s to stop him?
Mostly three white-collar criminals: a disgraced spy, a blonde with a drinking problem, and a cop forced into early retirement. They’re thieves, who dare not contact the authorities.
But self-preservation drives these misfits. They have exotic skills and dangerous friends. They even have a chance.
Next, I’ll let the main character—who’s a little strange—introduce himself:
My name’s Rudy Baskin—short for Rudolph Baskin, which didn’t work well on tough New York City streets when I was a kid. I got my nose broken in a fistfight over the “Rudolph” part. Later, once I’d become a cop, I got my nose broken again over the “Rudolph” part. So, I became “Rudy” two years after graduating from the New York City Police academy at the top of my class.
Now I’m fifty-one years old, and you can still tell the nose was broken. I don’t care. I only had average looks when I was young. Now I’ve got average looks, forty more pounds around my middle, and thinning hair I dye brown, myself. I figure it’s only the dye that keeps me looking average. I could do worse.
My wife left me five years into my twenty-four-year police career, about three years after I’d been promoted into Internal Affairs. There were no kids and she took the cat. I spent the rest of my NYCP years with Internal Affairs until they threw me out. I was maybe the best they ever had at finding cops who’d turned crooked. I could even sniff out cops who were about to go bad. I mean, I was terrific. That’s mostly why they got rid of me.
My first day back at being a civilian, I got drunk—drunker than I’ve ever been. It was just me and a bottle. If you’re in Internal Affairs, you basically have no serious friends outside the IA department. Almost no regular cop will trust you. And in my case, I was left with no friends inside the department. When you leave IA the way I did, it’s like becoming nuclear waste. Nobody wants to be near you. So, I got drunk alone on my first day as a retiree.
I didn’t mind. I long ago got used to being alone. I kind of like it. I don’t even need a cat around. If I want human interaction, I can open my second-floor New York City walk-up apartment’s window. Then I get the street noise. Sometimes I hear the lady next door arguing with her worthless husband. Sometimes I hear the kid one floor up who sits on the fire escape rehearsing for auditions. He’s a lousy actor, but I’m too nice to tell him. He’ll go through life waiting on tables like he does now, I’d guess. He’s good with French words and wine pairings.
After a while I can close the window and feel content again with being alone. I go to my computer and then I enter cyberspace, where I’m Teddy Bear. Nobody there knows my age. Nobody there knows how I look. And only a few people know how I make my living.
I used to find bad guys to arrest them. Since I got thrown out of IA, I’ve kept right on finding bad guys. The difference is that I’ve started making the bad guys my business partners.
And there you have it: My effort to alert you that FROM US is available, that it’s pretty good, and that it’s hard to tell you why. I suggest you make your own investigation. You can preview 15 percent or whatever at Amazon.com and at Smashwords.
And, of course, you could buy the entire book for less than a pizza costs (e.g. the paperback version) or less than a slice of pizza costs (e.g the ebook). Low prices remove a lot of the risk, right?