After all the caterwauling about Kaos, the book I am presently writing, some light relief:
Some years ago, after writing the novel now called The Kleiber Monster, I decided that I had not really confronted some of the issues that were both implied and raised in that book, and wrote another, now called Tobi’s Game. Tobi’s Game had a similar structure to its predecessor, and covered much of the same ground, but was in all quite a different book. I liked it, as I liked (and like) Kleiber. But when a few years ago I decided to put most of my books up on the internet, I left Tobi out.
This week, after prompting from a friend and fellow writer, it has gone up on smashwords and amazon. You, dear reader, are invited to have a look at it – and Kleiber!. Oh all right, have a look at all of them! Sample them and then buy them!
Yes, I like them all, even when I know no one of them is the perfect novel I have in my sights to write. Nonetheless, they are – according to me – different from run of the mill genre novels and have something that not only sets them apart, but that makes each worth reading.
Of course I would say that.
Tobi’s Game was left out when I published the first four of the novels now available on the net because I didn’t think it met the criteria for publication, not because I think it is a bad book. I think it is a good book, and maybe my best book – except for the one I am writing now…
The path to publication for Tobi’s Game was far from straightforward. It only occurred to me that it might be publishable because of the success of 50 Shades of Grey, a book I have not read and have no intention of reading. I have checked out the synopsis and some interviews with the author and listened while friends have talked about reading it, and trying to read it*. There is a great deal of hostility to this book in the “indy author” world, and I think this is partly envy: that someone else has “gone viral” with what appears to be a trashy novel.
Well, my novels are trashy novels, and I would not mind at all if they went viral. Not only that, from what I’ve heard and read, 50 Shades has brought shall we say certain topics into the mainstream of social life, and discussion of these – not necessarily practice – can hardly be a bad thing. This book seems to have pushed out the boundaries a fair way, and that is what prompted me to seek an independent opinion of Tobi’s Game. That was positive, and as I write at least it’s out there. Whether it stays out there is another matter altogether. You may have to be in quick.
Though Tobi’s Game was written years before 50 Shades, in one sense it could be described as a response to it: another friend, who had given up on 50 Shades, said in effect that she did not want to read about rescuing “damaged” people by enduring their cruelty. Tobi’s Game involves a great deal of sex, much of it sadistic – but it does not excuse sadistic behaviour, is not titillating, and is meant to show that the behaviour and attitudes that underlie that behaviour can not be “repaired” by catering to them. Fantasy sex is one thing, but cruelty to some one who does not like it is another. Whether sadistic sex in this way is between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man, older or younger, is immaterial. It is wrong. These distinctions are at the heart of Tobi’s Game, though I hope readers will not think they exhaust the intellectual and moral interest of my book. There is more there.
Back to the future…thanks for reading.
* Only one of about half a dozen friends who have taken on Fifty Shades of Grey has finished it. The others have quit after the first of three parts.