Tweeting Yourself Into Flutter

Well, it’s that time again.

Time to make the call for public participation in my forthcoming second book, Flutter, which will be available August 30th.  We did this for Anointed when it came out, and my publisher seems rather insistent upon offering me the leeway to do it again (for reasons she may still be trying to determine).  What I’m looking for is simple: Review my book.  Review it before you read it.  Review it as if you’ve never read a book that you’ve reviewed before ever not reading it.  If you’ll pardon the obvious copy and paste let down, here’s a small sample of what made it into Anointed  last time:

 “Yeah, I read it.”
–Lucy Swope, reader

“Anointed is about at least as good as the half of Bret Easton Ellis’s The
Informers that doesn’t involve vampires.”
–Russ Marshalek, RussCommunications Publicist for Anointed

“I don’t really feel (Anointed ’s) subject matter should be treated with a
sense of humor.”
–Unnamed editor’s rejection note, circa 2007

“Not quite the Bible, but just as funny!”
–Katie Moss, bookseller

“This is the thrilling conclusion to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series!
You don’t want to miss it!”
–Christopher Choyce, Technocrat

“After 12 hours of work, sleep deprivation, and an Insurance audit, this
book makes even more sense!”
–Sharon McGehee, PharmD

“Anointed should be required reading in the men’s restrooms at all
American airports. It will keep that wide stance in check and prevent
wandering hands from slipping under the stall. Praise Jesus!”
–Collin Kelley, author of Conquering Venus

“I liked it. It was better than CATS. I’m going to read it again and again.”
–Kimberly Kennedy, media personality and
author of Art & Craft of Entertaining

“The funniest take on organized religion since the Left Behind series.”
–Tim Fredrick,

“Apparently the Anti-Christ wears cheap polyester suits and sounds like
Tony Soprano when he speaks. I mean, that’s all I got.”
–Amanda Lauter,

“Oh, this is, um…nice.”
–Zach’s mom

With the exception of the Unnamed Editor, who is very much real albeit nameless, these are meant in jest.  Or maybe they weren’t.  Never thought to ask.  Hm.  I may need to review this a little further.  Are my friends really that funny?

Anyway, one small twist this time.  As Flutter is meant as a tongue-in-cheek rail on Twitter, all reviews will be handled, and printed, by way of a Twitter username.  Not on Twitter?  Well, why the hell not?  I mean, you don’t have to actually update or anything.  Just be there.  Like a kid with cotton candy watching the parade of elephant, while relishing in the sweet tangy scent of splishy-splashy urine.  Better than a car wreck, is Twitter.  So, get yourself a username if you don’t have one, use it if you do, and give me the best blind review of Flutter that you are capable of.  You can comment on this blog, comment on my Facebook page (on either my wall or the link I post to this blog), or you can tweet it (AGGHHH! NO!) and add my username (@zsteele).  All posts on Facebook, or here, need to have a Twitter username attached, otherwise it’s bunk, and will be fed to the Rancor.  So here’s your chance.  Get your words in print.  Entry into this prestigious club of pontification is limited, and the deadline is, let’s say, July 5th.  So, two weeks.  You know you want to.  Send/post/tweet as many as you want, but quite obviously, you’ll only get one in the book.  And do remember to add your username to all non-Twitter posts.  I’ve reserved some old codgy British lady to confirm that your username exists.  Don’t try to cheat Mrs. Featherbottom.  She’s, um, special.

Back to The Bookstore

The most recent episode of The Bookstore is a fair bit of a self-indulgence. But this is my universe, so I’ll construct it as I like, thank you. Actually, the true point of these videos is simply to entertain and tell a story, and it is my great hope that do exactly that.  But I would be remiss in not utilizing it to also promote myself, so why not have Eddie profess me to be one of the greatest writers ever?  I was rather touched by his sentiment, even if he’s just doing so in a vain attempt to bait me into doing an event at The Bookstore.

I’ve upgraded to Xtranormal’s new movie-making program, which they call State.  It allows for more than 2 characters–which I’ve utilized here–and the ability to move characters around.  There’s a nifty voice over thingy that I will ultimately have to give a try, but for now…baby steps.

As with every project I ever undertake, I’m open to comments, thoughts, and ideas.  Additionally, I’m very (I think I mean to say VERY) open to you sharing these videos on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you socially congregate.  As well, you can visit the videos on my You Tube page, and add comments, likes, and so forth.  Don’t underestimate how much it helps.  Same with my books on Amazon.  It’s a public forum in which people who have never heard of me (like Stacy in the video) have the opportunity to read what other people are saying.

Ok, enough promoting. Here’s the fourth video in The Bookstore series, Going Viral.


Jonny B. Goobe


Dear Jonathan Franzen,

I couldn’t help but notice that you recently released a book.  I believe it’s called, Freebird, or something like that.  I haven’t read your book, although I did see a review of it on the wall of a toilet stall recently.

“Jonathan Franzen’s new book gave me the runs,” it said.

I found this to be reason enough–had I not already had a few–to steer clear of your recently released paperweight, as I’m not terribly fond of diarrhea, and don’t much like public restrooms.  But I did see that you managed to snag a vote of approval from the one, and only, Oprah, who informed her legion of minions that your work was qualified enough to stamp her corporate logo on the jacket of your book.  Which is interesting to me, as your previous book, which I believe was called, The Correcthings, was also selected by The Duchess of Daytime Television, like, two decades ago, or whenever it was you wrote it.  And yet, at that time, you were quoted thusly:

“I feel like I’m solidly in the high-art literary tradition,” and, “I see this book as my creation and I don’t want that logo of corporate ownership on it.”

Which is amusing, as well, seeing as how you weren’t at all bothered by the corporate logo of your publisher on the spine.  But allow me to steer clear of the past, and instead, focus on the very now now.  It appears that some people really don’t like Freebird quite as much they should, given the nature of your inclusion in Time as a, “Great American Novelist.”

Lookit, see, just like I said.

Lev Grossman really seems to like you, by the way.  Might want to watch the back door.  Just sayin’.

Anyway, The Atlantic sure didn’t like your book.  In fact, I think they felt that their review might have been tastier alone than your book covered in cheese.  And, in my world, that’s saying a lot.  But since you are unlikely to read the review, please allow me to highlight a few interesting takes:

“One opens a new novel and is promptly introduced to some dull minor characters. Tiring of them, one skims ahead to meet the leads, only to realize: those minor characters are the leads.”


“The language a writer uses to create a world is that world, and Franzen’s strenuously contemporary and therefore juvenile language is a world in which nothing important can happen.”


“Perhaps he can learn a lesson from Freedom: write a long book about mediocrities, and in their language to boot, and they will drag you down to their level.”

The Atlantic Wire has opinions too, and not all of them are very good.  in fact, they seem to have pooled some other opinions that say very much the same, even going so far to state, “Some critics think the book is trying so hard to be relevant and modern that it winds up failing at some of the crucial tasks of a novel.”  That doesn’t sound very good.  In fact, it makes you sound like a teenage kid, pining for attention, but managing only to demonstrate your futile state of immaturity.

And there’s this rumor that you killed Oprah’s dog.  Shame on you.  Santa probably won’t be visiting you this year, so you know.

So, what now Johnny?  Are we to wait another eight years for a door stop of mediocrity.  So far, you’ve only managed to make me want to read Stephen King again–and not the King of the past, before he retired in order to go all aliens, and repetitive angry cars, but the lean, writing machine that produced orgasmic horror back in the 80’s–or perhaps watch repeats of Gossip Girl, so, yeah, that’s not really saying much buddy.

I lied earlier.  I read the first page of your new book.  I didn’t like your use of, ‘The,” in the opening sentence, and promptly put it aside.  Then you went and re-let Oprah pick your book, and now it has that corporate logo sticker thing on it, that seems to flaunt your hypocrisy like a pink balloon in a blanket of other-worldly blue skies.  I mean, I guess I’m just confused, you know?  Why was it such a bad thing for The Correcthings, but for Freebird?  Did you have a change of heart?  You recently stated that your quotes were misappropriated, or the like.  I once told a gathered crowd at a Christopher Moore signing that, “I wasn’t going to waste any more of my time,” introducing him.  But I didn’t mean that.  I misstated what I meant.  Is that what you did?  Did you mean to say, “Golly, I’m really elated that she selected me, though I must admit that I am also surprised, given the previous selections?”  Because I would understand that.

Surely that’s what you meant.

Stevie says that's not what you meant.

Well, I guess that’s all I have to say.  I still won’t read your book.  Not until you stop killing dogs, misusing the word, ‘the,’ and denying that you jumped the commercial bandwagon to fame.  But we both know that won’t happen, so let’s just agree that you aren’t as good as you, or Lev Grossman, think you are, and we’ll move on, yes?


In the meantime, I thought you should see what true writing looks like, so here’s a video for the new season of Gossip Girl:

That’s Leighton Meester.  She’s as bad at being a musician as you are at being a writer, but she’s much prettier.  She wins.

Yours insincerely,

The Esteemed Irreplaceable Fantastic Me, Zachary Steele