The great Nick Offerman offers this gem of advice in his memoir: Paddle Your Own Canoe: Not everyone will like the cut of your jib, but many others will. One simply needs to seek those others and somehow trick them into buying tickets to your production of Gangsta Rap Coriolanus.”
This colorfully worded sentiment goes against much of the advice offered to aspiring creatives, which involves things like chasing trends, researching the right key words and hashtags, and writing to the market.
While I would never advise a creative not properly research the market, there is, too, a value, in making the weird thing you want to make, market and trends be damned. Make the weird thing. Find your people. Create your own market.
I found Offerman’s words particularly inspiring as I read them just as I was preparing to release my book Into That Darkness Peering, a collection of gothic horror poetry and flash fictions, written by me and illustrated by Marika Brousianou.
This book, which just came out last week, is comprised of fully-illustrated, stand alone pieces. It is an illustrated book, but not for children. It is not really a straight poetry or fiction collection, but it’s not a graphic novel either. I was really hard to choose categories and key words for it on Amazon and Lulu.
What it is, is really cool. It came out beautifully, and, yes, it is the perfect time to release a book of gothic horror tales. right on time for Halloween.
I’ll drop a few sample images at the bottom of the post, and if you want to check it out, the book is available on Amazon in print and electronic formats. It is also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so you can read it for free if you subscribe to that service.
It may not be gangsta rap Shakespeare, and I may not be Nick Offerman, but I hope you, my own band of miscreants and weirdos, will give it a chance and buy it.