Why Suicide?

So my next book, LONG LIVE THE SUICIDE KING, is coming out in April of 2014.  This is gonna be a tough one, folks.  This doesn’t have the nice little hook that my first novel, THE NEVER PRAYER, had.  Demons, angels, love, Twilight-esque themes—that was easy to sell.

Suicide?  Not really what some people want to read about.  Others, well, they want an “issues” book, right?  My wife loved to come home in middle school and read all about the afterschool special topics of the day: drug addiction, surviving divorce, teen prostitution, et cetera.  And yeah, suicide is in there as well.

I’m going to be talking a lot about suicide in the coming year, and I’m going to have to answer the question: why suicide?

What do the experts say we should write about?  Write what you know.  And I know about suicide.  Ask anyone I went to high school with.  Everyone knew I was on the edge, and some thought I did it for attention, and some thought I did it to be cool, but I was suicidal because I found normal, dull, boring life completely overwhelming.  I wanted to die.  Or I wanted answers to the big questions: why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?  Is there a God?

In my book, my hero goes around asking people why they go on.  He asks the question, why not suicide?  Not many people have a good answer to that question.  Or maybe a lot of people don’t want to admit that they even have self-destructive thoughts. Or maybe, for many people, they are happy, or at least fairly content, and they don’t think about suicide at all.  And never have.

I truly hope there are such happy, contented people out there.  I have my doubts.

I would love to be fairly content, but I’m not.  I need answers, and here I am, thirty years later. I still want answers.  I’m not suicidal today, but that’s because I understand now that I don’t have all that much time left, and there are cool things in this world, really cool, not-to-be-missed stuff.  And I’ve learned not to trust what I think.

So I wrote a book about suicide, about the search for meaning, and it has all the themes I love to write about: atheism, drug addiction, hope, and hopelessness and love.

I love my little book.  I’m proud it’s going to find a way out into the world.

2014 Will Not Kill Me – Resiliency

What is the theme for 2014 for Aaron Michael Ritchey?  What do you say?

Resiliency. 

2014 my second book hits the streets, and it’s not your typical little book.  It’s a suicide book, but not your typical suicide book.  It’s a happy, darkly funny suicide book about a drug addict who gets clean, but turns suicidal.  However, the more suicidal he gets, the more interesting his life becomes.  It’s gonna be a love\hate type of book.

I have never had thick skin.  I feel.  Everything.  Intensely.  And this book, well, I’ve spent my fair share wanting out of life, so it’s even more personal.

And I’m shopping a dozen other projects around and getting shellacked by readers, by my critique group, by agents, and by editors.

Resiliency.

Hey internet, what does the word resiliency mean?

resiliency

Web definitions

  1. 1.    resilience: an occurrence of rebounding or springing back

I don’t do that.  I get hit with a rejection, a bad review, a hard critique night, and I go down.  I might still write, and I might still do my day, but inside, I am leveled.

 So this year?  Resiliency.  I talked with a friend who works at Entangled Press, a local Colorado girl, and when she gets bad news, she allows herself to fall apart for ten minutes.  That’s it.  Cry, scream, gnash your teeth, shake your first at heaven!  For ten minutes.

 Then?

 SPRING BACK!  Onward!  Grab the rebound and let’s get to it.

 Perseverance I got.  That’s easy.  I don’t just get into a rut, I furnish it.  I might hate my life, but I’ll keep going and decorate it just so.  For whatever reason, hardworking salt-of-the-earth parents, my Catholic upbringing, my longing to be a stoic warrior, I can do perseverance.

 I need resiliency.

 God, help me.

 

The Never Prayer up for a 2012 RONE Award

Yeah, so I’m reading email, feeling guilty about not updating my blog enough, but I saw the email below.  Voting is a little tricky, but any of you pushers out there wanna say how much you liked The Never Prayer, here is your chance….

Thanks to the good folks at InD’Tale Magazine for giving my dark angel book a chance at becoming award winning!
Message:
Dear Aaron Michael Ritchey,

Because your book, The Never Prayer, received the high review rating
of a 4 star or better, it has continued to the second, public voting
phase for the 2012, RONE Awards. In this phase the readers will be
narrowing down the contestants to 4 – 6 finalists in each genre by
choosing the books they love best.

This is to inform you that your book’s genre is open for voting
beginning today (Friday)! It will only be open for votes for exactly
one week, so it is extremely important that you let all your friends
and fans know! We would hate to think a superior quality book was lost
only because people were unaware of the time limit, so we are
including the link for voting so you can pass it along!

http://indtale.com/rone-awards/2012/week-6

The finalists in this round will then be read and judged by a group of
professionals in the industry to determine the very best in indie and
small published books of 2012. They will then be awarded the
prestigious RONE award, itself, at the formal ceremonies, August 9th,
at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As you can tell, we at InD’Tale magazine went to extensive labor to
create and present the most credible and prestigious award in the
industry today. Our three round system of elimination covers every
facet – highly reviewed, loved by fans, and critiqued by qualified
judges. No other award system today begins to compare, making the RONE
award the very highest of honors bestowed on a book in the publishing
industry.

Thank you so much for submitting your wonderful book to InD’Tale
magazine and good luck!

Sincerely,

Ana Smith
and
The InD’Tale Magazine staff