An Essay from the Fringeimg_9083

Thank you for buying TORMENT.

In the short time the book has been out, and considering that Abbi helped me pitch it to you nice people, who generally read Romance and Teen Fiction, I am happy to have seen it (all because of you) rise into to the “twenty something thousands” on Amazon last week. And also for those following along on the Twitter book I’ve been posting, I thank you. These are major successes for an unknown and I am humbled and appreciative that anybody would spend a dollar on my work.

TORMENT was a book entitled THE LUTHERAN twelve years ago and at that time I loathed THE LUTHERAN so much that I vowed to rewrite it someday. And so I did. I just wanted to tell you about the process behind these things in order to encourage those out there who are struggling with developing programs to write in any genre.

I am not successful. Have lived on what you would refer to as “THE FRINGE” the overwhelming majority of my life. I’ve lived in a FEW houses. I’ve also slept in my vehicle, under overpasses, at YMCA’s, in the woods, in the mountains, in many floors, on beaches, lakeshores, on the street, etc. I don’t mind it. I like THE FRINGE. I only have a basket of clothes and currently, when I’m here, sleep in Abbi’s warehouse on a blowup mattress with my very old dog Katie.

The floor is fine. I’m only 47. I’ve been a dishwasher, worked in the rodeo business, was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, a translator, drew blood, sold bootleg whiskey, was a Spanish teacher in the “not so nice part of a city” and had wonderful kids in my high school classes, worked on ranches, for the federal government, was a commercial fisherman off Kodiak Island in Alaska, hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2010 from north to south (actually hiked 2,243.1 miles between July 9th and December 12th of 2010 on that particular trail because I was lost for 65 extra miles), was a scrap guy, painter, sheet rock hanger, ran the New York City Marathon (and some other stupid thirty-three mile jungle race in Central America that made me pee blood), have been to every state, lots of countries, on and on and on… though I tell you, tis’ books like TORMENT I’ve always written on the side.

I start before daylight seven days a week and my program contains five parts: 1. I edit Abbi. 2. I edit me. 3. I add new material. 4. I memorize vocabulary. 5. I read. I go every single day, seven days a week until I can’t go anymore and have been doing so since December 30th of 2013. Since that time I’ve only had eight days off and my shortest day has been four hours. My longest, fourteen. I hand write everything first in yellow notebooks with a pen. TORMENT (eight notebooks, four hundred pages even) took me nineteen months, forty-five hundred hours and eleven pens. I typed it on a $111, plus tax, Goodwill computer I bought in Waco, Texas. I average reading 23,000 pages a year, about ninety books, mostly fiction, and I do all of this because I BELIEVE in it. Writers, reread it: BELIEVE IN IT. Yes, I am extreme. But I will never “phone a book in” that I expect you to purchase.

Abbi just said “stop writing, the young people will tune you out.” I’m getting a text on my nineteen-dollar flip phone. It’s a photo. All of my photos on my nineteen-dollar flip phone look like a mermaid holding two big bags of rolled coins and she is always blue. . .forever the blue mermaid from the world of the text. . .

This was a thank you. A get to know. Never been on social media. Okay, my teen fiction series is next so I hope the teens didn’t stop reading. I won’t assault you anymore in BLOGGYLAND, or whatever this place is called.

Thanks again for the help with TORMENT. We’ve a tiny baby to pay for hereabouts and you’re appreciated.

Jack Britton Sullivan


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