Charlie and Me, and Me.

family

Hello. As you might have seen if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve got a new book coming out very soon, on October 10th. Here it is.

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January 1971, and Charles Manson is acquitted of the famed Manson Family murders. As a free man, he finds himself folk hero to the disenfranchised youth that flock to his side, where one young follower quickly becomes enamoured with the freedoms of this brave new world.

But something unimaginably terrible may be brewing, in a place where life and death are “just an illusion,” and where a lie, told enough times with enough conviction, can become the truth.

Millard’s alternate history fable is a story of freedom and control; of love and obsession; and of charismatic leaders with big promises.

The digital version is available to pre-order right now in all regions, so please click here and do that. Once it hits 10/10, it’ll automatically download to your device. For info about print versions, keep reading down to the bottom.

In the wake of the controversy over HBO greenlighting an alternative history show based on the notion slavery was never abolished, I figured I’d do “What if?” about something tasteful.

No, of course not. This book has been a (really) long time coming. I first started working on Charlie and Me eight and a half years ago, and for the last six years, have just been sat on it. A piece I wrote about the toll that took on me, both the writing process, and the inability to get it released, is now itself two years old. But I dunno, something about the radicalisation of disaffected young people, and an outrageous leader whose rise is built on a cult of personality just seemed timely.

Other than the recent paperback of 2014’s Smoke & Mirrors and Steven Seagal, this is my first release for over two years. Truthfully, I got severe burn-out after the last one, and jacked it all in. I’m a writer, not a promoter, and the spammy, unending grind of trying to make something fly isn’t great for one’s mental health, particularly as mine was already in a really bad place at the time. But now I’m back on the horse, finally ready to put myself through all that shit again, because for me, this is the one. I put everything I have into this — including another draft, to tighten it up to 2017-me standards — and I can no longer keep it to myself. Live or die, crash or burn, I have to cut the chain and let it loose.

Although, lately I realised I’m practically at the age where if I do suddenly find success, I’ll be used as one of those inspirational “It’s never too late!” memes. “This bell was 38, with a decade-plus of failed releases behind him when he finally wrote the big one. Hang in there, kids!” Weirdly, though Charlie and Me will be the 8th book I’ve published so far, it’s the first actual novel (3 anthologies followed by 4 non-fiction).

So here again are those pre-order links. Be a pal and snap one up, won’t you? I promise it’s really great.

Charlie and Me on Amazon UK

Charlie and Me on Amazon US

As for the question of paperbacks, currently the limitations of Amazon publishing’s print arm (with no proof copies, no author copies at cost, no pre-ordering) makes it tricky to time releases to a specific date. But I’m going to try to get Charlie and Me available in paperback around the day the digital versions hit. But don’t let that stop you from grabbing yourself a digital version, because who knows, right?

For further emotional blackmail, if this does well enough to keep me from burning all my notebooks in a fit of artistic pique again, then I’ve something else ready to go very early next year. And if you think mass murderer Manson is an offensive topic for a novel, wellllll…

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~ by Stuart on September 4, 2017.

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