|I Need Your Help
||[Dec. 4th, 2009|02:25 am]
This is going to be a long, semi-coherent post.
I am tired, and am recovering from a nasty flu that hit mom, then me, right after Thanksgiving.
Remember same time last year, when I was going through financial and medical family hell due to threat of foreclosure and other long-standing issues?
Remember how so many of you generously and kindly came through for me and my family in the helpvera community donation drive? How you raised thousands of dollars, and as a result bailed me out, and I was able to pay off the three months backlog of my mortgage and the rest went to replace the flooding sewer in my back yard?
Remember how great everything was?
Well, since then, Countrywide, which became Bank of America, took my (your) money, and then DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to modify my loan and my RIDICULOUS outrageous monthly payment that I had been begging them to modify for the second year running.
I was getting naturally behind again, and was in absolute limbo. Paying BofA partially, as much as I could, every month, never knowing what the HELL was going on with my loan.
They only kept on leading me on, promising me, telling me to wait, after hundreds of phone calls and escalations from rep to rep, to VP, back down to loan negotiator, to another negotiator, to rep, ad infinitum.
In the meantime, the economy crashed, swung down, slightly up, months dragged into more months, etc.
I faxed the bank my "financials" (regular statements and income paperwork) four (4) separate times and FED-EXed it once in the stretch of 12 months, only to be told they are processing it and to WAIT, because I had, according to them qualified for the Obama program.
I waited and waited. In the mid-summer I got a significant business loan from a kind private party to hold me out for the rest of the year and a half at least while regular income was solid but growing very slowly and not enough to cover the extra business expenses such as urgent advertising, marketing, and promo that I needed to do desperately for some of the special niche titles my small press was publishing. I was once again fine, and would have been fine now and all of next year if not for...
wait for it....
Out of the blue, for no specific reason, an immediate threat of foreclosure.
Yes, suddenly, in the end of the summer, I received a BofA foreclosure threat unless I come up with my delinquent portion of the once-more-behind chunk of the mortgage over the last 6 or so months.
And, to stave off foreclosure, I used the WHOLE of my remaining borrowed money, the financial cushion that was supposed to last me and my business for over a year of overhead expenses to pay off MOST (just most, not even the whole, that's how huge the amount I was behind was) of what I owed Bank of America, on a small 3 bedroom, 1.3 bathroom tract house in an average Los Angeles suburb -- a house that was now OVER $100,000 underwater in terms of equity.
The foreclosure status went back into the less dire status of LIMBO.
Except, now I was again stripped of all safety and beyond.
I was back to nothing, again poised between the pit and level ground.
They took my financial cushion of 1.5+ years worth of safety.
The bastards robbed me, JUST AS I WAS DOING FINE AGAIN.
So... desperate from struggling for so long, so many unrelenting years of work and hell (mom's cancer, father's death, starting the business, my own health, etc), with no respite, not knowing what else to do (I cannot work outside of the home because I am a fulltime caretaker of my cancer patient mom who is dependent on me and homebound) I decided to take a wild risk of a different kind...
At the end of July, I took 3.5 months of my life, of already non-existent time, dropped all other regular work to write a book.
I wrote Mansfield Park and Mummies.
You have all heard of the best selling Jane Austen monster mash-up phenomenon Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its followup Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, right?
Go click right now on their links to see their incredible Amazon rankings.
Who the ^&@!#$%^!! is buying all those copies?
Well, I took Jane Austen's Mansfield Park original text and expanded it with particular subtlety, keeping the true Austen voice and flavor, and added my own portions that closely paralleled the Austen stylistic mannerisms, wit, cleverness, and a great comic horror-fantasy storyline that (unlike the other mash-ups that are more of a "Frankenstein patchwork around the joints" kind of job) fit very smoothly and seamlessly into the Austen story. In addition, I "massaged" the original Austen prose, not leaving a paragraph unturned, sentence to sentence, clause to clause, to invisibly update and subtly make it more palatable to the modern reader.
In short, I wrote my own more "classy" monster mash-up, and I gave it MY ALL.
I worked my ass off. I HAVE NEVER LAUGHED SO DAMN HARD AND LONG as I had writing this book. There is humor and romantic tension and wacky monsters of all sorts, and true love. There is the Brighton Duck...
I even illustrated it, and basically did everything short of chewing up the pulp to make the paper it was printed on.
My book is out right now, and is available everywhere online. And if you ask the brick and mortar bookstores and libraries, they will order it for you.
And here is where you come in.
I am not asking anyone for a donation -- I am not even asking for you to buy the book -- you all already helped tremendously last year, and I have no right to expect anything more of any single one of you in this wonderful, kind, generous community.
What I need DESPERATELY is to get the word out on this book.
I need word of mouth. And I cannot get it on my own.
After YEARS of STRUGGLING in so many ways...
I am tired.
I am ill.
I have no financial resources to send out review copies beyond a handful.
I have no posse to act in great numbers on my behalf.
I have no energy to write intriguing posts to raise my blogger status and to gain admirers... and because I have no life to speak of right now (for most of the last 4 years), I have nothing to say worth blogging (or things too personal or private, not suitable to be spoken). I don't even have the energy to make "cute trivial pleasantries" posts, such as describing what's in my beverage glass (watered down tea) or what I had for lunch (in most cases you don't want to know -- see, again, too sad or embarrassing to share).
I have no time.
What I have is desperation. And I am begging you all to tell everyone you know about this book -- on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, websites, forums, listserves, emails, and of course in real life -- at work, office, school, watercooler, library, house of worship, synagogue, church, temple, post office, concert hall, meeting, party, supermarket...
If only a tiny portion of that audience that is buying the Zombies and the Sea Monsters books finds out about this book of mine, I will have a regular minimal addition cushion of income that will solve my problems pretty much indefinitely. I will be able to start repaying debts and paying forward -- paying all of you.
I need the book to get noticed by THAT SAME AUDIENCE that's putting the Zombies book into double digits on Amazon.
I am asking you to speak for me.
- Open your mouth, tweet, type.
- Mention it to a stranger on the train reading a book across from you (it might be Joe Biden).
- Write the title on a piece of paper and leave it behind on the seat of a cab or at the airport seating area.
- Leave the library public computer with its screen on the Amazon link to my book.
- Go to a bookstore and ask the clerk about the book by title. If they ask if you want to order it, just say, no, but you were curious to see it, to browse it, since it's exactly the same kind of book as the Zombies and Sea Monsters one and you were wondering if they had it.
I am so tired right now (have been working on this post for the last three days) that I am probably forgetting all kinds of things.
So please, help me out. If you are a prominent blogger or online personality reading this, please re-post it to your own audience, or link to this.
And if your blog only has a couple of readers, please, friend, do the same, and I will be equally thankful.
Here is the official Mummies website with all kinds of information including Amazon and Barnes & Noble order links, and book covers, ISBN, descriptive text, and other goodies.
This book truly makes the PERFECT holiday gift -- for that finicky person who has everything, and for an ordinary person who likes and appreciates books, laughter, Jane Austen, parodies, oddities, good writing, and plain old fun.
THANK YOU, friends, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you to all of you who have ALREADY HELPED SO MUCH, and to all of you who are helping anew.
This is not just a book release.
This is the last straw to keep me going.
* * * Edited to Add: * * *
If you've actually read the book, your Amazon Reviews will be much appreciated!