Carv's Thinky Blog I'm an author with a focus on satirical sci-fi and agnostic commentary.

6Sep/160

Mr. Klein’s Wild Ride Hits Shelves TODAY!

Woohoo! At long last, you can hold a copy of Mr. Klein's Wild Ride in your hot hands TODAY! If you live outside the South Sound, it's available on Amazon in print here and electronically for Kindle here. Either way, it's a mere $12, a hell of a lot cheaper than tickets to a high-end theme park like, say, Bliss Panerotic.

If you do live near me, you can come see me in person tonight at 7 at Olympia's Browsers Bookshop, 107 Capitol Way N, where I'll read an abridged version of Chapter 1 followed by a related short story, "Retreat." I'll read the same pieces Thursday at 7 in Tacoma, thanks to King's Books at 218 St. Helens Ave. I'll sign books and answer questions from listeners at both events.

I sold a handful of advance copies last night at Creative Colloquy Olympia, and I've already started doing interviews about the book, so I have some idea what I'll be asked this week. Here's a mini-FAQ to get the conversation rolling:

Q: Why did you use a pen name for this book?

A: Books with sex in them sell better when they're written by women. That's the most relevant answer. But I also wanted to shield my wife, my family and myself from folks who would judge the book's subject matter harshly. It didn't seem fair to my in-laws, for example, to drag them into the conversation. So last summer when the first e-book edition was released, I did my best to con people into thinking Lynn Savage was a real person and I was just her sometime writing partner. But of course Lynn is me, and my in-laws have gotten so used to my nonsense by now that I don't think this will rattle them much.

Q: Will your family read the book?

For the most part, no, and I suspect we're all happier that way.

Q: Can you give me any sex tips?

I can, but mostly they center around communication and body comfort.

Q: Admit it, you're a swinger, right?

I'll tell you I'm open-minded, but otherwise my marital secrets are staying that way. It's only fair to my wife.

Q: Yeah, but really, though, you two are freaks, I bet.

It's interesting to me that when I wrote about Oklahoma religion in Lightfall, no one assumed I was a Freewill Baptist. If I wrote a spy thriller, no one would think I walk around with a garrote in my pocket. But when I wrote about sex, everyone assumed it was an autobiography. The sex had by Gary and Summer Klein in this book is about fictional characters, not me. This isn't the Penthouse letters column.

Q: Why isn't there a real theme park for swingers?

Because swingers tend not to have billions of dollars.

Q: If I tell you I'm a swinger, is that gonna get weird?

No. When I told people I was writing a book about an adult theme park, folks in "the lifestyle" came out to me by the dozens. That is not an exaggeration. I found myself with a mountain of anecdotal research material, most of it fascinating.

Q: Do you really believe people will have sex with robots someday?

You and I probably won't, but yes, I think that will happen. It kind of does now. In fact I believe the day will come in my lifetime when a person seeks to marry an artificial intelligence, ambulatory or otherwise.

Q: Will you sign my book?

If I see you in person, absolutely. The nature of the book might even make that inscription rather special. But if you live anywhere away from western Washington, I'm afraid I probably won't. It costs more for me to ship you a book than I can profit by selling it. These things add up. Also, my publisher can't spring for an out-of-state book tour, so my friends around the country are out of luck. I would, however, happily accept gifts of plane tickets and couch stays if you're really that excited about it.

Q: Is this book erotica?

That's a subjective question, but my gut response is no. I have no intention of being coy. My feeling is if you plan to write about sex, your book had better be sexy. So yes, when it came to the sex scenes--of which there are several--I was trying to turn readers on. (I'm told by male and female readers I succeeded.) I don't fade to black at the moment of truth, nor do I suddenly get all dainty about my language. But the overall intent of the book is not to titillate. It's to incite conversations about sex, a taboo topic in most cultures including ours, and to ask whether monogamy deserves to be the prevailing marital arrangement in the 21st century. Also, I try pretty hard to make readers laugh.

Q: Shame on you for even talking about this.

No. Flatly, no. I feel no shame whatsoever. I expected to, kind of, but I don't. Sex is great. Most of us enjoy it very much. It's terrific to share your body and time and care and joy and passion with someone whose company you enjoy. Rape is awful; pornography is a mixed bag of awful and helpful. Erotica is often badly written but usually harmless, if not helpful. Sex itself is phenomenal. Even the Bible thinks so, at least from the Song of Solomon's perspective. If your religious culture and/or upbringing have made you ashamed of your body and sexual appetite, I can sympathize, but otherwise that isn't my concern. I don't have to be party to other people's hang-ups. I can share my voice--and, behind the scenes, the voices of people I've loved for years--to share the message that sexuality is a core element of what it means to be, and love being, a grown-up human person. Your body, male, female or indeterminate, is your personal property to use, display and share as you see fit. Your childhood pastor does not get a say in that. I get no say in that. If you want to stay celibate and live in a burlap sack, have a blast. I do not. Neither of us is inherently wrong. I do not believe sex, married or otherwise, is a sin. I don't believe sin is even a thing. I believe unkindness is a thing, as are dishonesty, betrayal, cruelty, and a lot of other traits and behaviors that exist within sexuality. But do you honestly believe God gives a care what consenting adults do with their crinkly bits? If He did, then why make them so much fun? Now that human beings have invented contraception and STI preventatives, I believe the real sexual fun park exists all around us.

And this, my friends, is just one tiny phrase in the grand tale of why Carv will never, ever run for public office.

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2Jul/150

Mr. Klein’s Wild Ride Starts…NOW!

Gentle Reader, we have so freakin' much news for you today!

Carv here. If it seems I've let Lynn do most of the heavy lifting this week, rest assured I was up to my eyeballs in EPUB modifications, alt tags, index errors....You know: fun stuff. Meanwhile, Lynn was searching through Gary Klein's archive of behind-the-scenes park memorabilia from Bliss Panerotic. Her conversations with Gary have been setting my ears on fire, at least during rare moments when I've had time to listen. In other words, as the troubadour of olde put it, she got the goldmine, and I got the shaft. But that's only fair, I suppose, as Mr. Klein's Wild Ride is mostly Lynn's book. I did a fair amount of copy-editing and research, but she's the one who got Gary to open up about his time on Catalina. You can understand why he'd be so reluctant. Given the crap he's been given by smirking talk show hosts, not to mention the public airing of his every sexual whim, this has been a rough month for Gary and his family.

The thing is, he's still pretty funny. And yes, since we're long past the point of yelling "TMI," he's decided to let it all hang out in our pages. You'll read every steamy detail of the lurid, polyamorous goings-on at America's first adults-only sexual theme park. Not to put too fine a point on it, this book is hot enough to fry an egg and two strips of bacon with sizzle left over for an order of hash browns. Is it erotica? No, not exactly. It certainly has more to say about twenty-first-century romance and marriage than any volume of Fifty Shades. It's more like Fifty Additional IQ Points, or Jurassic World with higher-thread-count sheets.

And no, by the way, we did not know Jurassic World would open the same day as Bliss Panerotic when park construction, not to mention Lynn's book, got underway. But hey, Chris Pratt, if you want to produce and star in the feature film, be our guest. You'll find the rights surprisingly affordable.

The midnight hour is upon us. This book is going live. As the day progresses, you'll find versions for every common e-reader, phone or tablet at the Smashwords link here. The EPUB version is ready fresh out of the gate, so get your copy today! It's Fourth of July weekend, so bring on the fireworks!

Were you one of the thousands of guests at Bliss Panerotic's tragicomic opening weekend? If so, we'd be thrilled to hear your story. (It's okay, you can whisper it in our ears. Your secrets are safe with us! Mostly!) And if you enjoy the book, please do us the huge favor of reviewing it positively on Smashwords and elsewhere. For an e-book like this one, public thumbs-up matter more than you know. We appreciate your enthusiastic partnership in the future of Mr. Klein's Wild Ride. So have a magical Fourth and, on behalf of Lynn Savage, happy reading!

Mr. Klein's Wild Ride cover

Mr. Klein's Wild Ride cover

Smashwords link to MR. KLEIN'S WILD RIDE

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2Jul/150

Packed and Ready

--by Lynn Savage

Carv and I have had a busy week! In fact, you could say we're doing our best impression of a proverbial one-legged contest entrant, what with readying Mr. Klein's Wild Ride for publication and creating pristine new copies of Carv's previous works as Smashwords e-books. It's a tall order. Smashwords is a wonderfully author-friendly company, but its auto-vetting software and cover requirements have been known to send calmer authors into sobbing hysterics. The result will be worth all the writer's cramps. We have a new book coming out!

Tomorrow, in fact!

Why, if you were to click, say, here, you would probably find that you were sent to my Smashwords author page. There you'd find preorder information for Mr. Klein's Wild Ride. Buy it now, sexy people, and it'll be ready at midnight for your beach-reading pleasure over this hot Fourth of July weekend! Carv says our book is smart and funny, so you'll even feel good about downloading a novel that cab IN NO WAY be said to be kid-friendly.

Take a walk on the wild side!

Mr. Klein's Wild Ride title banner

Mr. Klein's Wild Ride title banner

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