Update July 14, 2006: IT'S A HIT! READ REVIEWS OF WARRENER"S BEASTIE!
The Beast is Unleashed!
June 3, 2006 - I’ve received my author’s freebies and the first handful of reviews has appeared – so far, all of them good. In the case of Publishers Weekly, the journal of record which can put a book on the retail radar just by covering it in a lukewarm manner, gave the novel something very close to a rave review.
Here’s the PW critique in its entirety, followed by some extracts that will appear as jacket blurbs:
Historian (The Civil War in North Carolina) and novelist (The Sands of Pride and Winter Fire) Trotter sends up Nordic myth in this delightfully incongruous tale of mid-life crisis, redemption, and mythical sea monsters. Allen Warrener has long dreamed of doing “something memorable”, but his life has been less than spectacular. He does not become a war hero like his father, nor does he complete the Great American Novel he sets out to write. His marriage fails, his pre-adolescent son is drifting away from him visibly, and by age 40 Warrener finds himself in a dead-end professorship at a North Carolina cow-college. So, when an old acquaintance asks him to organize a North Atlantic expedition to search for the maybe-maybe not mythical Vardinoy Monster, Warrener agrees and assembles an unlikely crew (“motley” doesn’t cover it!), including his undergraduate girlfriend, an old flame from his student days, and a former porn director and his wife (“The Queen of Quality Porn”.) The expedition is quickly unsettled by strange discoveries, hostile Nordic islanders, and a sabotaged ship. As bodies begin to pile up and a Krakatoa-scale volcanic eruption looms, Warrener may finally have his shot at glory, but the price may be too dreadful to bear. Immensely entertaining, this sprawling adventure straddles the boundaries between sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and a rousing old-fashioned thriller (with more than a dash of H. Rider Haggard thrown in), and will find an avid readership in each camp.
Nice, huh? And here are the blurbs:
Trotter’s epic tale seems made for its stark and ominous setting. An evocative story, whose gripping final chapters will have readers on the edge of their seats.
--- Julliet Marillier, author of Wolfskin
An epic-scale novel, rich in characterization, with many surprises along the way. Trotter takes you on a memorable literary voyage that encompasses mystical experiences on the moon-swept fells of Lapland, the “underground cinema” scene of the Sixties, and, of course, the possibilities that may lurk in the eerie lightless world of the ocean’s ultimate depths. With seasoned aplomb, Trotter draws you into a complex world where fantasy and reality co-exist seamlessly.
Stephen Mark Rainey, author of Dark Shadows and founding editor of the legendary publication Deathrealm.
When Bill Trotter began plotting this novel, some twenty-three (!!) years ago, he envisioned a very different kind of “sea monster”, one which at that time was created from sheer conjecture. Yet during recent years, oceanographers and geo-biologists have discovered numerous life-forms thriving happily in cold, eternally dark, high-pressure environments where, 23 years ago, scientists were convinced no life could exist, much less thrive in abundance – the abyssal depths of the sea or in bore-holes drilled two miles underground inside solid rock, where some very odd critters survive – just like the Vardinoy Monster – by leeching chemical nutrients from a purely mineral environment! So what began as sheer fantasy suddenly has a firm basis in scientific discoveries! And in the months leading up to the publication of Warrener’s Beastie, we’ve seen the first-ever movies of a giant squid in its actual habitat (and mighty disturbing it was, too), provocative videos of the whatever-it-is that dwells in Lake Champlain, and on the same day the novel shipped, we saw incredible footage of a deep-ocean volcano, just like the one that appears in the novel’s climax, erupting with apocalyptic fury! Is this guy tuned-in to some special wave-length, or does he have a prophetic imagination? Whatever his bizarre prognosticative gifts, let’s be grateful that Trotter has them, for he’s written one hell of a gripping yarn about an incredibly strange life form that actually could exist!
Dr. Campbell L. Sprague, American Crypto-zoological Society
Okay, let’s stop now and wait, nervously, for the rest of the reviews. Those who’ve read my earlier blogs know what happened with the previous three novels: great reviews, piddling sales, and no incentive for my publisher to support my books with a serious marketing campaign. If you like my work, or have empathy for my declining fortunes, you can help; you can give Carroll & Graf the motivation to advertise my books as they deserve. How? By advance orders for this latest novel, by emails to Amazon, or snail-mails to the publisher. I’m once again close to a major and wonderful reversal of fortune – another two or three thousand early orders for this book will compel my publisher to mount a marketing campaign, instead of just shoveling the books out the door as if they were no different from toaster ovens or radial tires!
I’ve worked myself to a frazzle, so now it’s up to you, my friends! If advance orders start piling up, the publisher WILL pay attention, and promote not just this book, but all my previous titles as well.
And then you won’t have to hear me bitch and whine and moan any more!
UPDATE July 7, 2006: READ REVIEWS OF WARRENER"S BEASTIE!
Very well, then, on to this month’s New Listings for “Records in the Attic”.