Monday, March 12, 2007

Rebel Press to serialize novel online—FOR FREE!

I am now hard at work on my third novel, nearing the completion of the first draft. My first novel, the comedy Into the Sunset, is currently making the agent rounds. Meanwhile, I’ve decided to serialize my second novel Like I've Never Been Born online—FOR FREE—with a new chapter posted twice a week on Rebel Press’s web site.

Giving his hard work away, you're thinking? Is he crazy? Yes, and yes. Hey, it's not doing anyone any good sitting on my hard drive. Plus, there are other reasons, which I’ll mention shortly.

First though, here is a quick synopsis of the book:
Early December, 1980. Angela Girardi, a nineteen-year old student, travels from her upstate New York college to Manhattan to seek out her (and her mother’s) idol John Lennon. She is determined to hand-deliver her mother’s unopened suicide note, which had been addressed to John. Angela wants to honor her mother and accomplish this last task for her; only then will Angela allow herself to grieve, move on with her life, and figure out her uncertain future. But circumstances on the night of December 8th change the course of her life forever.

I started work on the novel in December 2004. Between June 11, 2005, and July 29, 2005 I sent out thirteen query letters to various literary agents. I received seven rejections; six are still pending. Then on November 4, 2005, I read an announcement online about an indie film being made called Chapter 27, starring Jared Leto, which included this info:

Lindsay now set to star opposite Jared Leto in Chapter 27, an indie film centering on the 1980 murder of John Lennon. Lohan will play a devoted fan of the former Beatle who befriends Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman (Leto), shortly before the murder in New York 25 years ago.

Oh, fuck, I thought. My lead character, too, encounters Chapman several times. Either I'd been ripped off, or someone had the same idea as I did. I know it's not uncommon for people to get similar ideas at similar times. After a cooling off period, I realized it most probably was just coincidence. (I haven't seen the movie yet, as it doesn't have a distributor.) But the similarities made me feel like I couldn’t get the book agented or published since it would appear I’d just rewritten an existing story. It killed the book for me, and I last worked on it in December 2005. Though a few fellow writers read the manuscript and critiqued it, it never finished the editorial process. Under normal circumstances, I’d give it another round of revisions.

So, that is reason one for serializing the book. Reason two is that I use Lennon's lyrics throughout, as they are essential to the story. I know that obtaining the rights to so many lyrics would be a huge obstacle to publishing the book in the traditional formats. So I'm giving it away—I won't make one cent from it.

Look for updates every Monday and Friday. There are 30 chapters in all (that’s 15 weeks!). Thank you and enjoy!

To read the first chapter, go to:
Like I've Never Been Born

Please leave feedback and comments here or email me directly.

EDIT: It seems many people oppose the existence of the film Chapter 27, because it gives Lennon's killer the fame he desires. In my book, I never mention his name, and in fact he is a minor character. My novel is more of a tribute to Lennon, as my lead character figures out the direction of her life after the suicide of her mother.


NormalGuyNormalGirl said...

Just read Chapter 1. I'm definitely drawn into the story. Very solid writing. It's a shame you had to abandon it as a commercial project...

Don Capone said...

Thanks, Jason. Yeah, reading through it now after over a year, I still like it, but see some things I'd fix. Like maybe starting out with them already in Manhattan, then flashing back to why they went there. But it works as a linear story, too, because at the same time they are travelling to NYC, so is the killer. Then they all meet up.

Thanks for reading and I hope you stick with it. All the chapters will remain posted, so people can always catch up.