That's right, a bona fide novel.
I am a writer. Every year (since 2009) in November, I participate in the National Novel Writing Month
, where you're supposed to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, mostly just to prove that you can, although there are some prizes of sorts. Except last year, my laptop just DIED like a week from the end. The local computer store told me to get a power button off eBay and bring it back to them. Which I did...in May. And then it turned out that didn't fix anything. But I had a story to save. So finally I pulled the files from my laptop in defeat, and the novel lived on in spite of things. I finished it, which I'm glad I got the chance to do.
And here it is, for your reading pleasure.
The reason I'm posting about it on AP.net is because it directly relates to the kind of music we love here. I set out to write a novel that somehow incorporated all the nostalgic reminiscing that we do - directly inspired by this thread
, among others. I have to say I failed in that respect, at least by my own judgment. But I love what happened instead.
So without further ado, here's what I'm selling:
|PLAY ME LIKE YOUR FAVORITE RECORD|
by Nate Thomas
The Kid. The Captain. The Heart. The Secret Weapon. After a crushing defeat at a tri-state festival competition, three friends embark on an adventure to re-stake their claim in the world of local music. Will they succeed? Unlikely. Who will help them? Who will stand in their way? Heartbreak and hijinks ensue.
That's the short summary. And here's an excerpt, to prove that I am, in fact, literate and can string words together to form a reasonably well-structured sentence (non-existent formatting aside):
|Shane stalked across the floor of Sunshine Records three days later, resolutely ignoring the eager pack of beggars behind him, his mouth set in a thin, firm line. He ran his hand exasperatedly through his red hair, then brushed it forward again to cover his receding hairline.|
“Pretty, pretty please?” Reilly asked for what Shane estimated to be the hundred thousandth time.
“No,” he barked.
“Adorable please?” Reilly substituted.
“Presentable please? Decent-looking please? Cuter-after-a-few-rounds please?” Reilly continued.
“Let me take over,” Summer said, stepping in front of a rather sore-faced Reilly. “Listen, Shane, you’re the best we have. We just got our asses kicked at a tri-state festival – the very same festival you won with your band in 2002! Who better to tutor and mentor us than you?”
“That was eight years ago,” said Shane through gritted teeth. “Eight long years. And that band dissolved – or maybe imploded is a better word – all of six months later. Do you really think that qualifies me to tell you anything about being in a successful band?”
Summer paused. “Sexy please?”
Reilly pulled her to the side, taking the forefront again as Shane shuffled through a stack of records to organize them before setting them up on a display. “Yeah, but you guys were really big before that! At least in the Bay Area. And you told me yourself you were thinking of putting together a new band—”
“You’re putting together a new band?” Summer asked. “Awesome, when did that happen?”
Shane took a quick and well-placed shot at Reilly’s midriff, but Reilly jumped backward instinctively. “You weren’t supposed to tell anyone about that, runt.” The door to the record store squeaked open and shut, and Shane looked up to appeal to the newest arrival. “Kirbo, tell them we’re unfit to parent their new little band project.”
Kirbo, a chubby guy in the same black Sunshine Records polo shirt as Shane, swallowed a large bite of the pizza slice he was holding, shrugged, and said, “I mean, there’s a reason our place is still a bachelor pad after the last eleven years, right?”
“But you guys are starting a new band and so are we,” said Summer. “There’s no better time for us to get the full impact of your experience.”
“How does she know we’re starting a new band?” Kirbo asked around his last bite. He eyed the time clock to see how much longer he had on his lunch break.
“Reilly told everyone, I guess,” Shane said sourly.
“Damn, runt, can’t you keep a secret?” Kirbo said, launching a Morrissey Bobble-head across the store at him.
“I didn’t tell everyone!” Reilly whined, dodging the projectile. “I just accidentally mentioned it while everyone was here. Besides, you know I tell Wren everything compulsively. I can’t help it.”
Wren, who had remained silent so far, said, “So what’s it called?” He smiled as Reilly gravitated back to his side, still making hurt eyes at Kirbo.
Shane and Kirbo made eye contact across the room, and Kirbo shrugged again, turning to clock in. “We’re thinking Nostalgia Club,” said Shane. “We’ve got a potential drummer. Still looking for a bassist. But we want to go back to the kind of music we used to play.”
“Back in Marathon Runner,” said Kirbo. “It was fun, after all.”
“I thought you said that band imploded,” Reilly teased.
“It did,” Shane snapped back. “We’re not thinking of recreating it or reliving it. Just getting back to what made us happy back then, in a new setting, with new people.”
“I have a proposal to make,” said Wren. He stepped forward to face Shane and Kirbo, who had joined in the display-setting. “You need a bassist. We need a drummer. We’re both beginning new bands, new adventures, so to speak, in music. It would be good for both of us to have an ally.” He stuck his hand out. “What do you say to this – as soon as our bands are complete, you take us under your wing and we do this together?” Shane and Kirbo looked at each other, communicating telepathically.
“It would be fun,” said Kirbo, taking Wren’s hand and shaking it.
“Yeah, whatever,” said Shane as he did the same. “Here’s your first tip. See that bulletin board by the door?” Summer, Wren, and Reilly nodded. “That’s advertising, right? But it’s also classifieds. My suggestion would be that you do what we did to snag a drummer – put an ad up. Just a short description of what you’re looking for. Out-of-work musicians check it pretty regularly – it’s one of the few places in town that these kinds of ads are posted. Another idea,” he continued, looking at Summer now, “is to scope out the music department at your college. All kinds of indie musician kids hang out there. I assume you’re going back this semester, right?” Summer nodded.
“I’m re-registering tomorrow,” she said.
“Keep your eyes open,” said Shane, as the door squeaked open again. He glanced to the entrance. “Oh, shit,” he said under his breath. “Don’t look now.”
“Hey, friends!” said an obnoxious voice from the front of the store. The three of them whipped around as its scruffy owner continued, “It’s the gracious losers. Hey, that would be a good name for your new band, wouldn’t it? It would convey the history of your valiant attempt to make a name for yourself.”
The four boys who had entered with him chuckled appreciatively as Summer, Wren, and Reilly said in the same deadpan voice, “Hey, Vin. Hey, Antagonists.”
“Aw, why so sad?” said a well-dressed boy to Vincent’s left, who was the clear leader. “Vinny’s just kidding with you. After all, fifth place is a respectable finish when you consider how many people didn’t even make it through the first day of the competition.”
“Have you heard from Addy, by the way?” said another sleek boy who was perusing the shelf marked New Arrivals.
Before any of them could say anything, Kirbo and Shane converged in front of them. “You know,” said Kirbo, “I’ve heard a lot about you guys, but I don’t think we’ve ever been properly introduced.”
“Oh, it’s easy,” said Shane. “They all look alike, so I just call them all Binky.”
“How sweet,” said their leader, “you’ve hired goons to protect you. Did you do that with the prize money you didn’t win at Best Coast?”
“Listen, Binky,” said Kirbo. “Next time you want to talk trash about us or our friends, try doing it somewhere we can’t kick you out. Hit the door.”
“Maybe I should’ve called them the sore losers, Slade,” Vincent said to the leader. “C’mon, Simon…Spencer…Skelly. We need to start packing for tour anyway.”
The door banged shut behind them and left a momentary quiet hovering in the room.
“All right, I’m all in,” said Shane abruptly. “You guys are going to kick their asses even if it kills me.”
And that's the basic set-up.
So if your interest is piqued, but not THAT piqued, feel free to PM me and I can send you the first three chapters completely free.
If, however, you are sold, you can purchase an actual, physical, paperback copy of this novel on Createspace
, which is where I published it, for $9.
I appreciate any interest and feedback. This novel was inspired by the kind of conversations that we have here. Speaking as someone who doesn't have "music friends," I rely on this site a lot, and I had a blast writing these characters and this story. I feel like I should also qualify this story in that it is by no means intended to portray the realistic struggle that young bands go through in the current music industry. It's just a novel. Fiction. And that's all.
And I'm sorry for the insanely long post.