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.