...But You Could Only Carry 100lbs Back To The Wagon

You get home and there is clearly something amiss, but you don't immediately realize it's because most of your possessions are residing in garbage bags, some of which are also collecting actual garbage, not just those things which you own. Sometimes it's a straw that breaks the camel's back and sometimes it's a lead pipe across the spine, and the whiskey escapades of the last few days are clearly that lead pipe. You take only what's important, and she can light the rest of it on fire if it makes her happy. You leave your key on the table, and you do not leave a note.


You Will Need To Learn To Translate

People will talk to you in bars about your book, and they will not say what they truly mean. You will need to nod frequently and perform translations.

"I actually finished your book."
I'm qualifying the finishing part because I'm surprised that I read all 300 pages when it was evident I was not going to enjoy any of this.

"Your central conflict lacked suspense. I mean, I knew where what he was gonna do the whole time. What else would he do?"
Shit, this was boring. And predictable, too. You recycled a story I've seen played out in any number of scenarios, from SLC Punk to Goodwill Hunting, and just gave it a coat of paint.

"Maybe I'm not the right person to read this."
It sucked.

"Still, I'm impressed at your attention span to do all this."
I can't believe you put so much time and energy into a project that almost anyone could tell you was pretty doomed from the onset.


Askew Review Likes TFLARL

"This is the story of pulsating, untamed youth... I enjoyed the fuck out of this book."

Read the entire review.


What Had Happened

I have this day job, the one that funds my current rock'n'roll lifestyle, which is, to engage in massive understatement, a tad demanding. I've been putting in 14-hour days M-F, five on Saturdays and eight on Sundays. It makes it difficult to write, and it makes it difficult to promote this book. Difficult also, because books are not like bands, which are self-referential to a certain extent, and self-sustaining.

That said, there is some stuff going down:

There's a review forthcoming from Askew Review, a Massachusetts-based zine with many fine folk.

Issues of presentation and formatting standards having been resolved, we're once again in business with Amazon.

I got more or less jumped outside a bar last night, seven on two, and in assessing the situation in the moment, who woulda though the metrosexual instigator and hurler of "faggot" invective was going to be backed up by the shaved-head guy with spider-web tattoos on his elbows?

It's still a good book. You'll enjoy it.


Upstarter Likes TFLARL!

"[A] title that all but screams to be read and a prologue that sucked me in with the first paragraph..."

Read the rest of the review.



Only 2,718,708 books have sold more copies through Amazon than This Feels Like A Riot Looks. I can't help but feel encouraged by this.

At the same time, I'm not sure I really want that number to change significantly. And it's not just because Amazon takes a massive chunk of money for the privilege of hosting my book, thereby forcing me to either raise prices into the realm of the prohibitively expensive, or take a $0.12 royalty on each sale.*** No, I'm just naturally suspicious of commercial endeavors that have integrated themselves so deeply into the culture, especially those that bear at least some culpability for the economic difficulties encountered by prominent real-time, brick and mortar, smell the shelves and pulp bookstores, especially in my neck of the woods.

R.I.P. Cody's
R.I.P. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place...

In any event, if book-buying through the Amazon stirs your oatmeal, feel free to make those purchases without fear of repercussion or judgment, but know, there's probably better ways to support people who put words together for a living.

***I opted for the latter because I am so punk rawk that I do not make decisions based on capitalist reality, but rather, on my perception of how best to maintain an underground street cred while engaging in the aforementioned capitalism at every available opportunity, a dichotomy that is only perpetuated by the absurdly low economic return on an absurdly high emotional and chronological investment, but is, nonetheless, a pairing of creative output with monetary input, that most troublesome of relationships, mutually dependent, mutually abusive, like the couple that takes turns getting drunk and slapping each other around.


"And I'm subtle...

...subtle as a T-Rex."

Another excerpt has been made available to quench your literary thirst whilst the novel is in transit from the publisher to your house. Hailing from somewhere half-way through the first chapter, it's called Reading The Ceiling and it features a commanding photograph taken by the author.


Sucka Free Interview

I was recently interviewed by the good folks over at Writer's Manual. I didn't answer all their questions because I thought some of them were dumb. They then published the questions I didn't answer, probably to make me look dumb. Regardless of where you stand on this issue of perceived dumb-ness, rest assured the answers themselves are anything but dumb.
Everything you wanted to know.

Here's some questions they did not ask, but probably should have.

Writer's Manual: What music are you listening to?
Kilian: Man, I can't get Defiance, OH out of rotation. They're in my iPod, car-based CD player, and turntable at home. Boys and girls and guitars and violins and pretty good politics. Also, This Is My Fist, because it's catchy and fun and I have a crush on the lead singer; and Against Me! because they're amazing.

Writer's Manual: Against Me! huh? Aren't you bothered by the announcement their next album would be released on Sire Records, and imprint of some big fuckwad major label?
Kilian: I am. Big time. Some bands do this, and you're like, ::snort:: what the fuck ever. But a band like Against Me! that 1) wrote so many great anarchist songs, 2) seemed to live a D.I.Y. ethics, and 3) put out a fucking DVD about how they were too cool to ever sign with a major label, and then they do this. It kinda feels like the moment you find out your girlfriend's been hooking up with your dad.

Writer's Manual: What are you working on currently?
Kilian: I'm short-storying. There's this sense of holy-shit-get-it-done, because once the summer ends, the 10- and 12- and 14-hour days of educating the youth of today begins and the creative juices dry up quicker than [deleted: immature and gross reference to female sexuality]. One story is this blow-up moment of unfulfilled connection, the other is this funky formatted three-parter about the beginning and dissolution of a relationship, told out of sequence and through one-sided email conversations. I think they're both pretty good, although ZYZZYVA decline to publish the former. We still like them, though.


My Title Can Kick Your Title's Ass

Some folks have established a mechanism that analyzes the power of a book's title in leading toward massive, mind-numbing sales. A fairly strong working knowledge of the intricacies of the English language is required to garner the full effect, which, as a result of my day job as a shaper of young minds, I possess in full. After entering all the valid information, the computer has decided that This Feels Like A Riot Looks has a 42% chance of selling many books.

This novel had many working titles, including No Manifesto (14%), and D.I. Why? (20%), so it looks like I narrowly escaped certain retail doom by settling on the final version that graces book covers across San Francisco and the Internet. At the same time, the most gratifying aspect of the whole Titlescorer program is the absolute superiority it has granted my title over those of certain pirate-supply-store-opening fellow:

A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius: 10%
You Shall Know Our Velocity: 10%

Just to review, if you were to add D.E.'s titles together, multiply by the sum of his total books and compare it to the title score garnered by TFLARL, they'd still fall short of the score posted by my single book, unaided and unaltered.

I also dominate pretty much all the Russians, which would have once been cause to drape a flag around my shoulders and bellow: "I can change! You can change! Anyone can change!" but now just leaves me feeling slightly let down.


Signed Copies

Sometimes a book isn't enough.

Sometimes you want a little more.

Sometimes you need a loopy, scrawly signature on the title page to really complete the reading experience.

And now you can have it. Signed copies of This Feels Like A Riot Looks are available at the stellar author's den. Also available is a stunning photo of the author and some incredibly relevant biographical information. Get some.


Admittedly Cheesy Promotion

PopCurrent is this site where folks (average people! you and me! anyone!) can submit media artifacts to receive quality rankings of either "pop" (good) or "flop" (bad). The more "pops" one receives, the prominently displayed the media item is displayed. The more prominently the media item is displayed, the greater sales shall be. Therefore, more pops will result in greater sales.

To put it another way:

(p → q) ∧ (q → r)) ├ (p → r)

The above hypothetical syllogism can only be proven true if you head here and start popping away.


Free Book Giveaway!

Many, many people read while deucing. I find that most bathrooms I enter contain some form of literature, all of it available for perusal while you drop some science. In my own bathroom, currently, one could find To Have and Have Not (Hemingway), Please Don't Kill the Freshman (Trope), Cathedral (Carver), and a back issue of Heart Attack Magazine (hardcore for the hardcore), all of which are read, almost exclusively, while pinching a loaf.

Since so many of us enjoy reading while sinking the Bismark, I have this offer. I will send you a free copy of This Feels Like A Riot Looks on the following conditions:
  1. You only read it during your visits to the fortress of solitude, even if you're absolutely riveted and truly want to abandon friends and family in favor of this book.
  2. You track the number of times you took the Browns to the Super Bowl before finishing all 292 pages.
  3. You report back on the final number of times you went colon bowlin while reading so I can post the number here. Your true identiy may continue to remain a secret, of course.
Agree to the terms, send me your address, and a free book shall be yours.


Welcome Aboard

Independently published by Mutiny Pressings, in a joint venture with Lulu Enterprises, This Feels Like A Riot Looks is the first novel by Kilian Betlach, a teacher and writer from San Francisco.

From the back cover:

Ft. Lauderdale, 1997: Sun-burned tourists buy cheap T-shirts, white-legged geriatrics clog the highways, frat boys prowl the A1A strip, and Mark Reynolds is trying to understand how everything turned into quicksand. Mark fronts a band that seems to get bigger with each successive show, he writes a column in an independent weekly, and spends his days as part of the Scene, where beer and good people are never in short supply. This is the destination Mark has aimed for, the end-point of every choice. But why then does he wake up every day feeling worse than the day before? As the summer rolls relentlessly on, his band, his friends, the hanging-out, all seem increasingly bleak, until Mark reaches for the one thing that will set it all right, or ruin everything completely. These are the three weeks in August that will define the rest of his life, and irrevocably change the lives of his two best friends.