Monday, July 13, 2015

Back Jacket Hack Job -- SWIMMING TO TOKYO

Alrighty. I'm new, as you know, and this is my first contribution to a recurring segment here on ATB: Back Jacket Hack-Job!  For each entry in this series one of our contributors puts 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 is 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)  The contributor's 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 DIBBLE-DUM DREAMHOUSE is the tale of an anthropomorphic gumdrop named Steve Martin.  Not the famous Steve Martin.  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 the entire Grum-Dibble-Dum Dreamhouse."

So. That's what I'm doing. For better or for worse. If you think you might be interested in writing a guest BJHJ (and you are! I can see it from here.), send your submission to Stephen  along with a headshot, bio, and social media links.

I've picked one of my own books, SWIMMING TO TOKYO, because writers can be sensitive little souls and that person writing dino porn might be having a crap day and I don't want to inadvertently make it worse. Plus, I don't know the dino porn book well enough to BJHJ it ((I don't!!) ), but, boy, do I know mine.

SWIMMING TO TOKYO is mostly a book with unpronounceable words and names. The main character is named Zosia, which is apparently the Polish equivalent of Sophie. The so-called love interest is called Finn. Much better.

Finn and Sophie wander around Tokyo eating weird food and getting lost. This is a very believable part of the story because streets in Tokyo mostly don't have names. Also, pizza has mayonnaise on it as a matter of course. These two things are unrelated, but equally disturbing.

There are a lot of words/phrases in this story which are in Polish or Japanese. Some translated, some not. All proof that language is confusing those two years of high school Spanish you took do not, in fact, prepare you for anything. 

At its core, SWIMMING TO TOKYO is a love story. There is kissing and a few R-rated bits. If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Related: there is also a scene where Sophie cooks dinner. This is PG-13.


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I think this had the opposite effect because now I really want to read this book. Fascinated by the mayo on pizza. Fascinated and oddly, not disgusted.

Mary Fan said...

Fascinating... Somehow this BJHJ manages to both be a terrible description and yet intrigue me as a reader... Now that takes skills!

Carrie Beckort said...

I'm with Kimberly and Mary - you've made me want to read this! I'm Polish, yet I probably won't be able to translate the Polish words. The only Polish word I'm intimate with is pierogi...

Brenda St John Brown said...

I can assure you, it's a bit disgusting. At least it was to me. Zosia's disgust at this in the book is purely autobiographical.

Brenda St John Brown said...

Haha. I used to love kielbasa and latkes. So good!

Brenda St John Brown said...

Ha. It's HARD this book jacket hacking. A lot harder than writing the actual story for sure!

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Are you telling me your grandparents never yelled at you to get off your dupa?

Brenda St John Brown said...

I bet they still would if they were around. Happily.

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