Monday, August 20, 2012

830. Royal Flush

When a longtime reader of mine, Scott Bartlett, contacted me about his new book (Royal Flush) and asked me to print his post about it, I was immediately skeptical.  How much money would he be paying me?  $10?  $300?  A million?  A Starbucks gift card for an indeterminate amount that I would immediately lose in my glove compartment or the bottom of my purse?  “Nothing*,” he said (*he may or may not have said that, or I may have made it up).  Was he expecting me to pay him?  And if not, what was the point?  “No money will transfer hands nor cyber-bank accounts with secret PIN numbers, MOV.  And the point is:  quality writing.” 

Of course I thought my loyal readers might at first be confused with quality writing, after reading my words for so long.  But what the heck?  I was willing to roll the dice.  “I’ll do it!” I shouted* to Scott (*emailed).  And without further ado, here is Scott’s essay:

I began high school with a humongous ego.
I’m not sure how that happened.  In junior high, I was a social outcast.  I was into Magic the Gathering and Mage Knights, and what few friendships I had were tenuous at best.

I vividly remember sitting behind the teacher’s desk on the last day of grade seven.  I don’t recall how I ended up there, but there I was—looking out over a classroom full of nobody I felt comfortable talking to.  Looking out over the next three years of my junior high career, stretched before me.  Nevertheless, I entered high school, preposterously, with a high opinion of myself.  And I wanted a girlfriend.

This had immediate implications. For example: I had no concept of ‘leagues’—as in: “She’s out of your league.”  There was just the one league, as far as I was concerned, and I ran wildly about it, querying every beautiful girl in sight regarding her interest in a romantic outing with yours truly.  That’s right—I was that guy.  A serial asker-outer.

But even ‘that guy’ succeeds once in a while.  I didn’t.  For the entirety of my high school years, interest levels in proposed outings were stuck at “not at all interested, thanks.”

I wasn’t bitter about it.  In fact, I found the sheer consistence of it amusing.  And there’s a thing I do when I find something amusing, or interesting, or irksome, or moving.  I write a story.

That brings me to why I’m telling you this.  See, sometime during the sordid junior high years, I realized I want to be a novelist.  In fact, it’s all I want to do.  Nothing else interests me in the slightest (as far as serving as a vocation).  What a predicament!  I attempted a novel then, and got distracted halfway through Chapter Three. I fared better in grade twelve, in that I actually finished a novel—a science fiction novel.  But it was horrible and I knew I would never let anyone read it.  It dawned on me that I lacked the experience to write a good book. To be a novelist, I supposed, one had to experience the world.

“But wait,” I said to myself during the year after high school. “There’s one thing of which I have copious experience. Getting rejected repeatedly by beautiful women!”  And so Royal Flush was born. It’s a book about a man known only as the King, who rules a land known only as the Kingdom.  It’s divided into four parts, and in each one the King fails spectacularly with yet another woman.  (That may or may not happen in the fourth part—I can’t tell you that because SPOILERS.)

The King is incompetent, moronic, and depraved.  He isn’t actually based on me—I swear! And his romantic mishaps aren’t my romantic mishaps.  But let’s just say that when it came to writing about someone who is completely undesirable to women, I was a pro.  And if you’re wondering whether my ego survived three years of decisive rejection from numerous female parties—yeah, it totally did. I am, apparently, Narcissus incarnate. 

Scott Bartlett's new novel, Royal Flush, is the recipient of the H.R. (Bill) Percy Prize.  Please click HERE to link to Amazon to order the book ($12.99), or to read all the awesome reviews.  Royal Flush is also available as an ebook ("e" stands for "excellent"). 

cover image used with permission

Congratulations to Scott on his new book being released!  I am honored to tell people about it. 


1 comment:

  1. Hello MOV, and hello mothers of brothers blog readers!

    I am pleased to make all y'all acquaintances.

    I would love to make beautiful conversation-love with all of you, so if you have any subjects you'd like to discuss, appropriate or inappropriate, feel free to broach them.


When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)