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Sunday, October 11, 2015

NEW NOVEL: Yep, I'm Totally Stalking My Ex-Boyfriend goes against CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Wait, is this a competition?

NEW NOVEL: Yep, I'm Totally Stalking My Ex-Boyfriend goes against CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Wait, is this a competition? #AhStalking #CrazyExGirlfriend 

So many wonderful and heart-wrenching things to say, I don't know where to start. OK, so I have a new book out now, like, now! Like, really, at this very moment at this very second as it is in heaven NOW! And yes, it is my first full-on comedy though I like to think that all of my books have some comedic elements, some darker than others. But now, just as it is coming out, I am torn. Torn! I'm torn about even having released it. Why? Because of the dreaded copycat syndrome. First, let me break it down for you like Special K, Ozone and Turbo in the 80s movie Breakin' (you don't know that reference? I ain't got time. Look it up!).

I'll explain my book first since it is my blog and it just came out, beating Crazy Ex-Girlfriend literally by a few days time. That's the cover you're seeing up top. What's it about? The title is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll give you a little more.

Cass Clinton is a 32-year-old ad agency worker living in Chicago who just broke up with her super amazing, totally Ken doll-ish boyfriend Kyle in order to push forward in her career. But less than a year later when things start to fall into place for her on the work front, she realizes just how lonely she is when not crowded around her goofy and immature group of best friends. An adolescent at heart and in action herself, she sets out on a short-lived adventure to find herself a new man. But after disastrous nights into the new dating field, she realizes that she wants her boyfriend of five years (six unofficially) back. Now, in order to get him back and steal him away from his current girlfriend--that blonde yogi bimbo--she must resort to listening to that little devil-voice every person develops when they think they're madly in love. Now, she must stalk him and get him back at any cost.

A story of friendship, love and realizing what you really want, Yep takes the reader on a comedic journey through the horror that one faces when realizing that they've possibly made the biggest love mistake of their lives, and what they'll do to fix it.

Is it rom-com? Eh! I can't say it's got a lot of romance but it does try to make you laugh while dealing with a subject that is not only not PC but can make anyone squirm just to think about it. Stalking? Really? Did I have to go with that title? Yes. Don't judge the book before you've read it.

Pictures courtesy of the CW

But wait, what about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? In my earlier #PremiereWeek post, I said that I would cover if I had any excitement about seeing this show. Seeing as how it is the only new show on the schedule for this first round of October premieres for the CW, I have mixed feelings about it. In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom (total YouTube star) plays a young businesswoman (lawyer, I think) who isn't satisfied with her life. Weirdly, like everyone else in this world, she wants to be happy. Well, whether through chance or karma or her own disturbed imaginings, she runs into an old love of hers Josh Chan. Technically, he was only her boyfriend for a summer at camp near ten years ago but as Asian guys tend to do, he clearly rocked her frickin' world (that's why Asian guys always get the girl in the movies). But oh no! Josh is moving from NYC to West Covina, California (hey, I actually lived there for, like, a month). Naturally, Rachel's character quits her dream job, hops a plane and moves--not just visits or vacations, because visits and vacations are for quitters... so, is spitting so I hear--across country to get back with him.

Dreamy Josh Chan

And thus a crazy madly in love crazy ex-girlfriend is born. The audience is supposed to root for her to become something way better than what she is and realize the folly of her behavior while falling in TV bestie love with her wacky neighbor, and wanna-be boyfriend, all while singing along--did I mention it's a musical. Dang it! All those years of singing and writing songs that I did throughout high school and college and only now do I realize I should have written more comedic musical novels. Yes, it's possible... I think.

I'm not going to compare because I don't like doing that, but I will contrast my book with the show. For one, though both are geared toward the same audience, my book's protagonist is a few years older, not that it makes a real difference in how she acts. They're both brunettes, but I have a much younger best friend in my book. Also, due to Showtime dropping the original series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will now be censored in its language and over-the-top-ness, while my book has cursing and one or two NSFOLPR (not safe for out loud public reading) passages. The biggest difference is that they are a TV show that has to produce funny weekly while my book is just a one-shot. Read it in a few days and be done (thank goodness I didn't make this into an episodic novella series; #TheWriter).

In the end, while we both cover a very similar topic, how we each approach the mental state of our heroine will be what I think sets us apart and gets more viewers to the show or readers to the book. There's been some talk that some people are already boycotting the show because it asks viewers to laugh at mental illness or to get a chuckle from a very serious issue of stalking. And while that may be true, the fact remains that the show has yet to premiere so we don't know how it portrays the main character and handles such nuance.

Why this post mentioning both? Again, most authors or writers and creative types in general hate being accused of copycatting something, especially if something becomes hugely popular, then your thing comes out right after it. A little history behind this book, I once fell in love with a friend who didn't love me back. Heartbroken, I decided to try channeling this pain into the written word (it was either that or go off to war and I have flat feet and don't breathe well in arid places). From this pain, I produced three works. One is Unrequited which I plan to release as a serial novel across most of next year as it is pretty long. The second is this book Yep, I'm Totally Stalking My Ex-Boyfriend. Before you start thinking that, this was the book to help me NOT DO THAT THING! By writing about stalking, I could see just how damaging it could become and didn't do it.

However, as with about half of my works, I shelved it for a long time, not even bothering to edit it until now. Why now? I'm telling the truth here, I had always planned to release Unrequited either this year or next year but I wanted to have this book out first as an amuse bouche to the craziness that occurs in Unrequited (oh, it is some crazy stuff goin' on in that book). So when I started writing The Writer back in spring, I knew I'd need something far lighter than the dark and exploratory nature of that work which took a lot of time dwelling in the sickness of man. My plan was to always end a season of The Writer in September and follow it up with the editing and release of a comedy in October. This won't always be the case as next year I have another horror book I'm planning but I'd like to stick to this plan.

So, this whole post is just to say that, no, I did not copy Rachel Bloom's idea. I wrote most of the book well over a year ago. Will I shamelessly use any possible success of the show to promote my own book? Probably, yeah. But hey, I'll technically still be promoting the show that way also. Plus, who knows, maybe we'll both find success and we'll feed off of each others successfulness. Hey, it could happen. Don't try to crush my dreams, OK? With that said, I will give Crazy Ex-Girlfriend the old 3 week try and see how they tackle the subject. Meanwhile, if you tune in for the show, I hope that you won't be shy and also buy my book on sale now for just $3.09 on Amazon Kindle store. You'll want to get it now as it could go up for the holidays. That's only the cost of another big bag of fun size candy for Halloween. And do those fat little diabetics running around your neighborhood need four tiny packages of Twix instead of two? I think not. Now, I've offended diabetics and people who love kids. My mom's a diabetic. Oh well, guess I'm going to hell for that comment.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to this new show on the CW? Were you a fan of Rachel Bloom before she got the show (ha! Ray Bradbury. Classic humor around a literary figure)? Are you interested in my book? Well don't be shy, let me know in the comments below (boom! I totally just nailed that rhyme. You could say it was almost... musical. Ha! Oh, now I feel bad because that was lame. I'm sure Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's music will be much better).
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend starring Rachel Bloom airs Mondays at 8/7c on the CW.

Check out my book Yep, I'm Totally Stalking, My Ex-Boyfriend. #AhStalking. 

If you’re looking for Halloween scares check #AFuriousWind, #DARKER, #BrandNewHome or  #ThePowerOfTen. For those interested in something a little more dramatic, check out #TheWriter. The full first season is OUT NOW exclusively on Amazon. Join us on Goodreads to talk about books and TV, and subscribe to and follow my blog with that Google+ button to the right side.

Until next time, “I do things like a G. Because guess what I am? A G.”

P.S. Cass Clinton once again I'm gonna have to shake my head at your attempt at sounding cool. You're so 90s it hurts. I'll keep thinking of a better sign-off.

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