OUTLAWS AND IN-LAWS is a book about the
outsider versus the establishment. Insiders. Corpo hirelings.
The three outlaws are me, a failed writer, my brother Bill, a free spirit and independent filling station operator like Billy Carter, and my wife's brother, Potter Brown, a seine fisherman, deckhand, and bluegrass musician, deceased. There's a hootenanny named after him. Potterfest. The film crew making a documentary about me as a legendary underground writer shot some footage at Potterfest, of parking-lot pickers and raconteurs around the old campfire. Former hippies, now grandparents. Drop-outs from the rat race.
The book runs 105,000 words.
It contains poems, prose vignettes, essays, letters, satirical news columns, and straight autobiography.
OUTLAWS AND IN-LAWS is followed by FATHERS AND SONS, in progress, about me and my two sons, Owen and Balder, bluegrass musicians, and me and my father, dead now, like Uncle Potter. It should run about the same length. 90,000 words.
The two books form a set called Fired for Blogging; Book Rejected: Writing the Black Novel After 9-11. The books are about the working conditions of a serious writer in America today. The Plight of the Creative Artist in America, say. The theme is vocation and career in conflict. How do you do the best work you are capable of doing in a world that is hostile or indifferent to your best.
The books are set in South Florida and Northwest Florida. They have a strong regional flavor, and talk about fishing, spearfishing, and crewing on commercial fishing boats in the Gulfstream and the Gulf of Mexico on what used to be Florida's Gold Coast and the Redneck Riviera.
The two books were published on the worldwide web, as they were written, in real time, and are an answer to Andrew Keen's The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture.
The Pro-Am ethic is keeping the culture alive. Disintermediate now!
In the second book I give a presentation on Writing the Black Novel After 9-11 at the combined Florida Noir Festival/Gulf Coast Writers Conference, at Gulf Coast Community College, like e. e. cummings giving the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard. I also sit on a panel discussing Today's Alternative Publishing Options.
Alternative publishing options have kept me going to 300 books. That's something to celebrate.
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