Thursday, January 8, 2015


Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
HAWM, young disciples!  I am very, very pleased to introduce the first original, recurring segment here on ATB: Back Jacket Hack-Job!  For each entry in this series one of our contributors will put on the hat of a total industry hack attempting to write the back cover of a book.  Writing terribly is almost as hard as writing brilliantly, so this should be a fun challenge.  There are three basic formats:

A)  A real book.

Example:  "HARRY POTTER lives in a rundown house on Privet Lane with his adoptive family the Dursleys.  The house is probably a colonial, I'm not really sure.  Around 1500 sq feet.  Of course this is all in England so I guess it would be whatever the equivalent of that is in meters.  500 sq meters, I guess."

B)  Your own book.

Example:  "GRUNGE, GODS, AND GRAVEYARDS is a book.  My book.  I wrote it.  You like NA?  Too bad.  This is YA, bitches!  You can't tell right now but I'm making the devil sign with my fist."

C)  A made-up book.

Example:  "GOLLY GUMDROPS GRUM-DUM-DIBBLE-DUM DREAMHOUSE is the tale of an anthropomorphic gumdrop named Steve Martin.  Not the famous Steve Martin, it's just a coincidence.  But!  He has a secret.  A TERRIFYING secret.  Because when a walking, talking confection has a sweet tooth, a holocaust of cannibalism will ensue, devouring (literally) the entire Grum-Dum-Dibble-Dum Dreamhouse."

Got the picture?  Oh, if you think you might be interested in writing a guest BJHJ, send your submission to me along with a headshot, bio, and social media links.

All right, let's get started.  Just because I suspect this will be the least popular format, I believe I will kick us off with a look at the worst possible back jacket copy for my own novel, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS:

Oh.  Hey.  How's it going?  You, ah, doing all right?  Look, I know you don't want to hear from me and...what?  Yes, I know you told me not to talk to you, but...look, can I just say my piece?  Jesus Christ, two minutes of your time, that's all I'm asking!  You'd think I was asking for a freaking car loan!  Well, yes, I mean, I do need to borrow $10,000, but we'll get to that...well, I'll just, look, I'll just toss it out there.  But that's not the point!  God, you never let me finish!

Look, here's what it boils down to: everybody needs a book in their life.  I mean, there's Angry Birds and Facebook and shit for when you're on the toilet, and, really, at the end of the day, God knows all I want to do is to just fall down on the couch and watch some old Simpsons reruns, or, you know, if you're a hip kid or whatever and you've got the Netflix maybe you watch some Bojack Horseman or what was the one with the detectives?  You know, Woody Harrelson was in it.  Was that not Netflix?  Look, you're getting off track again.

The point is...yes, swear to God there's a point.  The point is sometimes you just want a book.  And they're all pretty much the same.  But, you know, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS is one of them.  So grab it.  Or don't.  I don't give a shit.  But, look, what I really wanted to ask you about was this $10,000.  I am in really dire straits.  You don't even understand.  No, the mob is not gone.  I mean, yeah, they've had to evolve with the internet age and everything, just like everybody else, but they're still there.  And if I don't get them their money, well...


Amy Jarecki said...

Hahahahaha! This is hilarious...wish I had $10K floating around. LOL

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Thanks for the shout-out with no. 2. My best friend calls my book a different G-string every time. "I'm reading Grape nuts, goolosh and gizmos." Or "gnomes, grass, and gifts." The last one isn't funny. But's a riot. I'm sorry, what are we commenting on?

Leandra Wallace said...

Maybe if you wrote for the toilet book genre, Stephen, you wouldn't need that 10 grand! ;) I'm sure it's a booming industry. And 'got the Netflix'. Love it!

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

I'm still pissy because I always thought it was GRUNGE, GODS, AND GRAVEYARDS and it turned out to be "GRUNGE GODS" AND "GRAVEYARDS." And then not a single band in it was named The Grunge Gods! Dafuq?!?!!?

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Oh, you will, with all that Highlander money.

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Is that like a book that turns into a toilet? Because that would be...AWESOME!

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