PRESS RELEASE: In what is clearly an act of pure desperation, author M. Christian has threatened to amputate part of one finger to publicize his new novel, Finger's Breadth (Zumaya Books).
"The fact is, it's getting harder and harder to get the word out about anything new, especially novels," says M. Christian, whose biography includes over 400 short story sales, nine author collections, the editing of 25 anthologies, and six previous novels. "Is it no surprise that writers are having to resort to obvious stunts to try and get their work noticed?"
Though Finger's Breadth – described as a gay erotic science fiction horror thriller – has garnered respectable reviews, Christian says that it has yet to gain the notoriety he believes it deserves.
"Even with Zee at Firepages saying 'Finger's Breadth has a way of getting under your skin and sending chills to your bones in both a terrifying and arousing kind of way. Finger's Breadth is not a story; it is an experience I highly recommend,' it's been too damned hard to get word out about the book.
Christian points out other reviewers who, apparently, have also found the book to be superb: "I've got Lisabet Sarai, who says 'If you're looking for an easy, sunny, sexy book with a happy ending, don't pick up Finger's Breadth. If, on the other hand, you want a scary but enlightening ride through the twisted labyrinth of the human psyche, I highly recommend this book,' and the Circlet Press calling it '...one of the most psychologically astute erotic novels since Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, and it deserves to be just as widely read,' and even science fiction author Ernest Hogan, who calls it 'a world of crime, out-of-control passions, mutilation, and madness. Terms like noir and hardboiled don't quite fit – this is more like ultraviolet, the invisible light that makes the scorpions glow in the dark.'"
M. Christian, with fingers intact – so far (photo by Shilo McCabe)
As for what the novel is actually about, Christian says that the book's description as erotic, nightmarish, fascinating, disturbing, intriguing, haunting, you have never read a book like Finger's Breadth is actually pretty accurate – if a little vague: "There are far too many scary books and movies about serial killers, psychos, nasty supernatural forces ... but all of that, to me, is just too removed. It's far too easy to be able to say it's a matter of them – or him – and us: but the real horror I've always felt, and tried to explore in Finger's Breadth is that the real horror is human nature itself. That, given the right set of circumstances, otherwise good people can have their minds, and most of all their desires, turned inside out."
And so to try and get the word out about what he feels to be his best novel yet, the reclusive author says that he is willing to step into the light with his most audacious publicity plan ever: to lop off one of his own fingertips
"Okay, my track record for honesty isn't the best ... I'm the first to admit that," Christian says about his planned amputation. "The whole 'stolen identity' campaign around Me2 [his previous novel] was lost on more than a few people. Never mind that it worked and the book sold like hotcakes. But this time I'm totally, completely, absolutely, honest: I really want people to read Finger's Breadth ... and if it takes lopping off the tip of my little finger then I'm gonna do it," he says.
When asked if the planned amputation is simply a publicity stunt, Christian responded with faux outrage: "A stunt? A STUNT?! Of course it's a publicity stunt ... these days writers have to be creative and, let's be honest here, more than a bit outrageous if they are going to get noticed. The book's about a mysterious figure cutting off the tips of little fingers in a near-future noir San Francisco so a pretend self-amputation is just too damned perfect!"
In answer to his admission that the whole thing is nothing but a publicity-seeking prank, Christian shook his head: "That's not to say that it still won't happen; they say that a good writer has at least a few good books in them, so if a finger is all it takes to get the word out about this novel ... well, I have 19 more fingers and toes to go. Seems like a small price to pay."
M. Christian can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is http://www.mchristian.com
More Finger's Breadth reviews:
It is not that hard to come up with an idea that can be turned into a horror story and that is why horror has been part of the folklore of America and why these stories are so popular on camp-outs as we sit around a campfire. To successfully do this, we need a combination of characters and plot but more important than all else is a novel way to relate the story. For me that is the definition of M. Christian. This book is unlike anything I have read before and I suspect that it will stay with me for quite a while.
– Amos Lassen, reviewer
Finger's Breadth creates a vivid portrait of a community torn apart by suspicion, where the thrills of hot, anonymous sex go hand in mutilated hand with the chill of fear, and no one is entirely what they seem. M. Christian skillfully mixes a dark, potent cocktail of lust, longing, paranoia and an overwhelming need for acceptance...
– Liz Coldwell, author of Take Your Slave To Work
To be effective, the act of literary intercourse between horror and erotica should be deeply unsettling. It should leave the reader feeling uncomfortable, overwhelmed by equal parts dread and anticipation. M. Christian understands this better than most, weaving a tale that permits the reader but a finger’s breadth of space between fear and arousal. His deft control of the story makes us feel the blade, but it's his subtle manipulation of our emotions that makes us want the cut.
– Sally Sapphire, Bellasbookslut
M. Christian has seen the future – and it is hardboiled! If you love crime stories – gay or otherwise – and you love science fiction, you will love Finger's Breadth. No other storyteller nails it quite like M. Christian does. This is a real page turner.
– Marilyn Jaye Lewis, author of Freak Parade
M. Christian is a force to be reckoned with. Just when you think you understand the path that his narrative and characters are taking, Christian throws a monkey wrench, or a limb, or a head into the works and you have to get your bearings and start all over again. No matter which book of his you pick up, prepare for an intoxicatedly weird ride.
– Ily Goyanes, author and filmmaker
Finger's Breadth is mesmeric storytelling, riveting in execution and appalling in implication. M. Christian’s tale of erotic terror in a near-future San Francisco is imagined so skillfully that it grabs the reader with its easy familiarity, then refuses to let go as it careens to its shocking yet completely believable conclusion. Evoking such Grand Masters as Armistead Maupin, Thomas Harris and Rod Serling while remaining strikingly original, Finger's Breadth is Christian at the height of his considerable powers. Like Charon the ferryman, the author takes the reader down the dark rivers of human sexuality and shows us things that would normally never see the light of day. Ultimately the most compelling aspect of this fiction is how fascinatingly and terrifyingly plausible it is. Finger's Breadth should come with a warning label: Read this before clubbing.
– Christopher Pierce, author of Rogue Slave, Rogue Hunted, and Kidnapped By A Sex Maniac
M. Christian is – among many things – an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites.
He is the editor of 25 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi) and Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant) as well as many others.
He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, Licks & Promises, Filthy, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Coming Together Presents M. Christian, Pornotopia, How To Write And Sell Erotica; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, Fingers Breadth, and Painted Doll. His site is http://www.mchristian.com.