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Thanks for your interest in my new novel. I hope you enjoy reading TRUMP IN HELL – Chapter 1 as much as I enjoyed (!) writing it. The download is 100% FREE. Just scroll down the page and click BIG RED BUTTON. You can have the PDF, ePub or both. They'll both automatically download to your computer or device. No fuss. No muss.

I'm hard at work on the follow-on parts of the story. Chapter 2 and 3 are well underway and I'll be publishing excerpts — for the in-crowd, of which you can be a member—soon.

NOTE: As of this point, the audio for TRUMP IN HELL, Chapter 1 is also in production. Believe it or not, doing audio is a bear. I won't say it's as much work as writing the damn content in the first place, but it's no lark, either. Look for it soon! Announcements and initial availability will be made via our push message system, so be sure to click the red bell (lower right hand corner) and opt-in to be first in line.

A Word (OK, Several) On My Writing Method…

The Writer's Life

Readers often want to know “how writers write,” and I have gotten (and probably will continue to get) questions about my way of doing things.

Angry writer putting his fist through the screen of his laptop. Ooops.
Is it just me, or does this seem a tad bit counter-productive?

Every writer goes about the writing process differently. The process can even vary within a project or across projects. Some days go well, others not so much. Some days, the whole process is daunting—even overwhelming—and very frustrating.

Writers block has been known to kill many a work. Fortunately, this writer does not suffer from these issues (generally speaking). In fact, the real problem for me is not a dearth of ideas or lack of inspiration, but the exact opposite! I suppose if one is going to be frustrated, it's better to suffer an abundance of riches rather than a total poverty of ideas or crippling indecision.

Some writers drive straight through, beginning to end. Others (I think most) write piecemeal, working on different parts of the story simultaneously or in succession. Eventually, the whole story starts to round into form, and it gets stitched together. I am one of those guys, actually. In some cases, it even takes an intrepid editor to bring all the pieces together into a semi-coherent whole. Alan Ginsberg did that for William S. Burroughs, author of NAKED LUNCH, which I discuss below. I don't think I'll need one of those, but we shall see.

For a complex yarn like TRUMP IN HELL, it seems to me that the piecemeal approach is the only way to go, as what happens in the middle and end of a story has an effect on the beginning. Believe it or not, and perhaps even more so than in other novels, the writing of this piece seems to be going like that, since it exists in a world—the underworld—where many of the normal rules don't apply. Anyway, things which occur to me while writing this way might not occur to me if I forced myself (which is what it would take) to go in a more linear progression. But it's also for this reason that a novel outline is more of an aspiration than a game plan.

The spark of inspiration… or the fuse of incineration. It could go either way…

Above aspiration, inspiration matters. For me, it often strikes at odd moments and not according any set plan or schedule. Further, jumping around as I write keeps me interested and excited. This is kind of important, because if I can't maintain my interest, the project won't get done. How can I expect the reader to be interested if I'm not?

Finally, this method saves a lot of time in the long run. Adjustments made along the way can be more easily integrated than when following an A to B path. As a result, there is less time wasted in re-engineering the story, and fewer revisions.

The above is important, because it bears on the TRUMP IN HELL project going forward. New content I make available to readers should, I think, follow a linear sequence, more or less. However, I make no guarantees on this, and I reserve the right to take you as far into the past as I go into the future, as well as down any side roads or diversionary paths, as the story leads me. Like those who read NAKED LUNCH in it's earliest drafts, there may be some unexpected time and perspective shifts. Be advised.

NOTE: Having worked for many years in the ad biz, where what you write is carefully vetted—depending, to some degree, on the size of the account in question—by not just principles, but quite often whole teams of people, focus groups and worst of all, law firms which have to justify their retainers, I have to say it's incredibly freeing to work on one's own projects without having to worry about any other opinion than your own.

This is not to say I don't value the input of others. I do. It just means I don't have to go against my gut, or change the work to suit some snooty jerk, or bow and scrape before some bean counter holding back a check until I comply.

Burroughs, Tolkien, Censorship & Stupidity (in Publishing)

Bill Burroughs, looking saturnine (probably in Tangiers… or Interzone).

William S. Burroughs found out how hard it is to both push the envelope and find a publisher. NAKED LUNCH, the world famous counter-culture classic from the '50s, was never published by a major house in the USA, and was originally published in France so as to avoid U.S. obscenity laws. The content of NAKED LUNCH so upset the stodgy, repressed American patriarchy of the time that attempts were made to ban it entirely.

Now think about this. Americans, who supposedly so cherish the 1st Amendment, attempted to ban a book. For words. Just words. Letters strung together on a page. Of course it was for words they didn't like, but that's the whole point. If you cherish free speech, it means you defend it even if you don't particularly like it.

Then again, this is the same era as the USG persecution of “radical” groups (you know, those darn civil rights activists) and the worst excesses of the Cold War.

Attempts were made to remove NAKED LUNCH from American culture entirely. Fortunately, the efforts failed. The book later went on to become not just a culturally significant milestone for the Beat Generation (along with the works of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, etc.) and an inspiration to other writers, but an inspiration for an entire generation of creatives, from visual artists to musicians.

Along the same lines, J.R.R. Tolkien—yes, sweet old J.R.R. Tolkien!—had a terrible time finding a publisher for LORD OF THE RINGS early on. It's now hard to believe that one of the single most successful written works of all time very nearly went into the rubbish heap of history, but it's the case.

Mr. Tolkien contemplates the Eye of Mordor, or possibly a spot of tea.

At the time Tolkien was attempting to get LOTR published, fantasy was seen as a “children's genre” and not taken seriously by publishers. None of the big houses could see that there was much call for a “fairy tale” with the weight of the Bible. What 10 year old kid was going to read it? What parent of a 10 year old kid was going to wade through it?

Of course, these titans of publishing completely overlooked the rising interest in imaginative fiction of all stripes, as exemplified by the success of the pulps. After all, highly educated literati considered popular fiction trash for the most part anyway.

Well, in the end, who got the last laugh?

As it happens, a tiny publishing house in England (Allen & Unwin) was willing to take a risk—and ultimately enjoyed the rewards! What started out as a weird little niche book with a small but dedicated following soon became a world-wide phenomenon. The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien did pretty well too. 😉

Sure, the big guys eventually saw the light and made money on Tolkien, but it wasn't due to their courage or vision—it was mainly because they finally saw that fantasy was profitable and had the distribution!

NOTE: While the creator of Middle Earth did live to see and experience some of the success and respect his works rightfully garnered, it wasn't until many years after his death that his works went from geek's guilty pleasure to a perennial best seller. The same, to a significant degree, can be said for the author of NAKED LUNCH. Sadly, neither Tolkien or Burroughs lived to see the movies made from their most notable works.

It's Not What You Say Today (or Even How You Say It), But How Much Hype You Can Hustle!

While the style, substance and message of the works of these two seminal writers could not be more different, the problem was the same. They wrote works which challenged the accepted standards of cultural and publishing “normalcy” at a time quite different from our own. They both had to overcome many a “NO!” and keep believing in their work when it was not easy to do so, quite often in the face of jeers, scorn, disapproval and worse.

While I don't expect to face the same hurdles Burroughs and Tolkien went through—and I'm grateful for that—self-publishing is not without it's many challenges. So while I don't have to worry about being censored by a publisher or even banned by a government (at least not yet), reaching an audience as a new author is even more difficult in an age where anybody and everybody (and their brother) is vying for attention.

It's all about eyeballs these days, especially early on. Get enough eyeballs on your stuff and you're on your way. Fail to do so, and your work, no matter how great, is destined to sink into obscurity—perhaps (probably) for all time.

Which is why, if you like my work, I encourage you to contribute towards it's continuation. Help spread the word if you can, too. Be a part of Team Trump (in Hell). 😀

Help ME Finish TRUMP IN HELL – And Get Your Name in Flames… Er, Lights!

Be My Angel (Investor), Crowned in Glory for All Eternity (or Something to That Effect).

TRUMP IN HELL - Chapter 1 - FREE eBook Download

So, heard of crowdfunding? Yeah. That. I'm hoping to get some support as I write this, the Great American Novel of and for our time. (Ahem) This is going to be a big book. If I was an already established writer, they'd probably call it my magnum opus. It's a big, sprawling story, involving a lot of characters. It begins with Trump alone, but you'll meet a lot of strange and scary characters along the way, many of whom are quite familiar.

So it's like this: Writing an epic novel is a b-i-t-c-h. Seriously. Word. It's a ton of work, and homie here ain't rich. Let's just say I sold my Apple stock a few weeks before the iPod came out. 🙁

Crowdfunding is an outgrowth of the “angel investor” idea, but amped up by the web and made egalitarian. In the investment world, “angels” are rich individuals who help fund startups. But these are guys (and gals) who, generally speaking, look for large returns. They commonly invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars at a pop, and aren't really interested in “small stuff,” like a novel, no matter how timely or potentially YUGE.

And they want returns! Big returns. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Helping to fund a one-off (be it a book, game, album, etc.) isn't what they're all about. They want a piece of the action, and they want it going forward. This, by the way, is perfectly understandable. It's just not a model that works well for a lil ol' author like myself.

The good news for us small guys is that there are a lot of cool people out there willing to help keep an artist or content creator going while he or she does his or her thing. That's what I'm after here. Do you think you might be willing to help?

Immortal Remains (i.e. None of Us Lives Forever, But If You're Lucky, Your Work Might)

blurred clock, symbolizing time flying
Time flies whether having fun or not. Giving up control means greater hassles and less time…

I looked long and hard at using Kickstarter, Indigogo and other crowdfunding sites as a means of funding this project, but ultimately decided against going that route. The main reason is a simple one: control. Or rather, lack thereof.

When you put a project up on any kind of site like these, you're making them a partner, of a sorts, and that means they get a say—to whatever extent—in your business.

Homie don't like it!

But there are plenty of other reasons I decided against going this route, too.

One of the big ones, if not the biggest one of all, is what I call the Hassle Factor. I have to deal with the ever-changing idiosyncrasies and ongoing, non-stop, relentless BS of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., et al, in my day to day operations. The last thing I need or want to deal with is yet another set of onerous “must dos” and “can't dos” when I don't have to.

Keeping up with all the demands of the digital age is very time consuming, and yes, draining, too. You can literally lose a day or more of writing for all the make-work BS you have to do to “keep up with” all the sites out there that the experts tell us we need to be on. And that's “just” social media. There's a lot more where that came from. Losing days due to unforeseen and unexpected fiat changes made by giant companies has happened to me more times than I care to admit. And I look forward (not) to the same thing in the months ahead. :-/

Maybe someday I'll have a social media manager who can have the joy of dealing with all that sh*t! Until then, this is a one-horse town, baby, and the old bastard is gettin' worn out. He's swaybacked, needs new shoes, hungry—and there's a question as to whether the feed bill will get paid.

I considered first publishing through Medium, and even made inroads to going this direction, as they pay their popular authors. But again, you've gotta leap through hoops to be among the elect. Their editorial board determines who gets the juice on the site. Call me cynical, but I can guess how that's gonna go.

Ugh. So Medium is not for me. No sir. Not right now, anyway.

Limited time (and patience) is also why I've done away with Ko-fi, another crowdfunding site I flirted with—though I confess, I really do like the idea of being bought a cup o' joe now and then, so much so that I rolled it into the membership levels. :-p

Speaking of time, though, it may well be the single most important consideration of them all. At this juncture, I think it's the best use of my time—my limited number of hours every day—to get the word out myself and generate my own following. If you haven't figured it out by now, that's what I'm trying to do here with this FREE GIVEAWAY of TRUMP IN HELL – Chapter 1.

Attitude Adjustment. Apply Brick to Head Liberally. Repeat as Necessary.

KO'd! The end result of applying a brick to the head if one does so TOO liberally!
The sad end of many a would be author…

One day I came to the (D'oh!) realization that everything I need to do—insofar as “self funding” goes—can be done with PayPal, and all with far less hassle. Going it alone may not give me the exposure a big crowdfunding site can give, but such has been, to this point in my experience, fools gold anyway.

Them that has gets. If you've got a following, you do well on any of those platforms. If not, odds are you're going to quickly get buried by those that do, and by the latest, hottest, greatest fad gadget, whatever that turns out to be.

So… seriously… F it! And if you think I've got my head in my keister—it certainly wouldn't be the first time—please let me know in the comments section.

Perhaps the best part of this is that I don't have to share your money with a third party, and you still have all the protection that PayPal gives. No additional middlemen take a cut, which should make you happy. I know it does me. In short, going the PayPal route is better for all concerned.

So no offense to all those great crowdfunding platforms—but go stuff it!

At least for now, anyway. 😉

Get TRUMP IN HELL – Chapter 1, Here…

Files come in a .zip (compressed) file which is standard issue these days. You should be able to unpack it without any issues. No, there's no malware or anything that shouldn't' be there.

Also From K.S. Knight

Another little “side project” of me and mine is The Best Awards. We've finished the first book for the project, called THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR WESTERN NOVELS OF ALL TIME, and it's available FOR FREE on Amazon.

We're really proud of this creation. It's full of interesting lore, biographical info, great photos and more, as well as story summaries that will whet your appetite for the classics discussed therein (mostly no spoilers—we hate those)!

If you love Westerns, then I strongly urge you to check it out. THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR WESTERN NOVELS OF ALL TIME makes a great gift, too! Comments and reviews are, of course, greatly appreciated.

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About the Author K.S. Knight

KSK had his first professional work published at 14, and has been writing ever since. Recent works include QANON & TRUMP EXPOSED, a serious examination of the inane, insane, harebrained conspiracy theory, and THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR WESTERN NOVELS OF ALL TIME. Future works will be fiction, though one can argue that in the Age of Trump, reality is already fiction, like Donald's tan, his "$10+ billion dollars" and his integrity.

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