I got news this morning from one of my favourite television writers, Brent Butt – and I just had to share it.
|SOME NICE NEWS TO END THE YEAR!|
First off, I hope you’re receiving this message without issue. I had to switch to a different platform and I’m not what anyone would call a “tech whiz”. It’s been a deuce of a long time since I sent out one of these email Bulletins. So long, in fact, I have no recollection of when that might have been. I think it was an important memorandum about the proper method for collecting Beanie Babies, so… you know… been awhile! But that’s not important! STOP LIVING IN THE PAST, BRENT!!! FOCUS ON THE MOMENT!!! Alright, alright, get off my back, Me!
I HAVE NEWS!!!
Okay, as some of you know, back in 2020 I took advantage of being locked down (as we all were) to do something I’ve always wanted to do – write a novel. It’s something I’ve thought about since I was a kid. I actually started my first novel when I was in Grade 5 (or 5th grade, for my friends in the U.S.). It was a book called BLACK FURY and it may or may not have been a glaring rip-off of Old Yeller, with one important twist that protected me legally: the dog’s colour. I never finished that novel, but I did get three chapters done before I lost interest. For the next few days I focused on drawing a highly detailed cover featuring a dog that clearly had a scorching case of rabies. (Spoiler)
Anyway, later in my childhood I discovered stand-up comedy and that became my life’s singular pursuit. As most of you know, the opportunities presented to me through the world of comedy pushed my writing in the direction of TV and film (and I’m VERY glad it did!)Still, the desire to write a novel percolated inside me. When the pandemic hit, I thought “if not now, when?” So, I began the process. In 2020 I finished the first draft. 2021 I polished and revised it. Publishers said they were interested in me doing a book, but I don’t really think they knew what I had in mind. They were hoping for some lighthearted comedic musings, but that’s not what I was busy stitching together. Sure, my story is set against the backdrop of the comedy business – particularly, touring road comedians in the mid-1990s – and yes, it has some comedic moments, but it is not a comedy. It is, at its heart, a dark psychological thriller which I’m hoping will both excite and terrify the reader.
As I mentioned in an informal Twitter poll, the story involves some violence, horror, and adult language (this may shock you, but sometimes stand-up comedians will curse in the course of their travels). In that poll, I asked this question; Even though I’m known as a comedian, my first novel is a dark, gritty thriller with violence/horror/cursing…would you still have any interest in reading it? I was pleasantly surprised by two things: (1) The number of people who participated in the poll, since I was expecting a hundred or so… around two thousand voted, and (2) the outcome of that poll. I had my fingers crossed that I would get a positive response from maybe 50%. (Anything above 40% would have put me over the moon, really). The end result was over 90% positive! A little better than 90% of you said you would have interest in reading the book when it comes out. That was enormously encouraging and warmed my old bones. So, thanks for that. And now… THE GOOD NEWS!
A terrific literary agent at a highly respected agency has read the manuscript for the novel, had some wonderful things to say about it (“it freaked me out, but in the BEST way!!!”) and offered to represent the work. We signed a contract last week, which means in the new year my novel will be shopped around to some of the top publishing houses in the country…and beyond! I’m thrilled to start this interesting new chapter – no pun intended (and yet there the pun sits, staring us in the face).
I will keep you in the loop regarding the status of that book. I don’t want to tell you the title of it now, because it’s a working title, and a publisher will have some say in the titling of the book before it goes to market. They may push for something other than my choice, once their lawyers explain why “The Hungry Games” is legally problematic and not even an option, really. But stay tuned… when the title gets approved by all parties, I’ll be shouting it loud and lots. In fact, since you’re signed up for these little email blurbs you’ll be the first to know the title, and the first to see any possible cover art. I’ll roll it out to the rest of the world after that.
If you are interested in the book, just know that there will be other potential benefits that come along with being signed up for these email blurbs, these “BB BULLETINS”. I don’t know exactly what those benefits might be just yet, but they’ll be swell – I promise. So, if you know anyone else in your circle of friends, family, co-workers, lovers, enemies, hob-knobbers, elbow-rubbers etc., who might want to get in on the action, let them know they should sign up for the bulletins at my website: brentbutt.com. (The word of mouth really, really helps me out.)
Thanks again for being here! It honestly means the world to me.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & SAFE, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Talk more in 2022.
Brent “Brent” Butt
This is something to look forward to. I wonder what the book will be like?