Monday, August 15, 2011

Big Bad Blurbs

I need to get a few things off my chest. 

First, I have dropped and shattered yet another jar of peanut butter on the floor.  This is the second jar that has met its doom this month.  The funny thing is that they don’t shatter but merely crack and send powdery shards of glass everywhere. It’s hilarious and a blast to sweep up in flip flops.  Naturally, both jars were full.  I can’t seem to keep one in my possession long enough to eat the contents.

Second, I’ve admitted to myself that I believe in elves.  Every time I drop and break something, which is often, I actually pause for a moment and hope this will be the time when those elves that helped the shoemaker are going to appear and clean the mess up.  I contemplated leaving that shattered jar of peanut buttery goodness on the floor just to see what would happen. 

I did this once with laundry at an old apartment building and was rewarded with my clothes being taken.  It was a progressive thing.  I would go down one day and they were on the dryer, I took what I needed and left the rest, the day after that they were folded.  It made sense that if I left them there one more day they would somehow magically appear put away in my drawers.
Not so.
Why didn’t I put the clothes away?  I don’t remember.  I was in college it was a 100 years ago.  Who knows?

Now that I’ve unloaded my dirty laundry let me also say I HATE writing blurbs.  If ever there was a time for those elves this would be when I would request their help.  I recently had to write a blurb for my upcoming release “The Incident,” with Seventh Window Publications and found the task of writing the blurb daunting.  I always do.  I began to wonder why.  After all the book has been accepted for publication, the book is written, edited, the cover art has been decided, so what is the big deal about writing a little paragraph summing it all up?

I think it has something to do with exactly that.  As writers, we spend an inordinate amount of time on our output.  The entire process from start to finish in getting anything published is arduous.  It is also thrilling, wonderful, and exciting.  Now after weeks, months and I’m sure in some cases years, the project is done and you are asked to ice the cake with a blurb.  Sum up all of that in a paragraph; please, thank you and goodbye.  I realized as I was writing this blog that maybe writing the blurb is painful because it is like sending your kid to college.  It’s the final farewell before you both begin the endless promo-ing, interviews, and will endure both praise and criticism from reviewers and readers, who, lets face it, in this genre can be pretty intense.

Neither you, nor your baby know what the future will bring and the blurb is really the first impression of your work to a potential reader.  So don’t fuck it up and could you keep it to a paragraph, max.  Thanks.  I obviously want people to read and enjoy what I write.  I want my kid to be well-dressed and well-mannered.  I want all the other kids to like him/her and I don’t want a bad report from the parents.  So I write the blurb, all the time wondering if those elves could lend a hand or at least clean up that damn peanut butter, or at least maybe that kind soul who folded my laundry years ago could swing by and this time take the peanut butter.  I’m not picky.  Elves and thieves are welcome around my fire.

So adieu little blurb, go out and make Poppa proud.  Smile, say thank you, even when you get a crappy review or some tired queen from Oregon gives you shit on goodreads, you just smile and take it honey, cuz there’s plenty more where that came from.

Ever hear of a synopsis?


Make sure you come on by my website where the elves are always at work or find me on Facebook and Twitter.  I can also be found dishing dirt and smut at my sex advice column over at and be sure and keep your peepers peeped for “The Incident,” and “The Birches” both from Seventh Window Publications and “Lily” coming soon from Silver Publications.

-- Xavier Axelson

1 comment:

  1. I told you those elves were little bitches! As usual you have me laughing my ass off like a loon.

    Thank you and now the men in white coats are here to kick my ass into submission. what they really don't know is that I like being kicked into submission.


    Btw thanks for mentioning the dreaded synopsis issue. I have three to write thank you very much and I am not a happy camper at the present moment.

    Anyone got a jar of peanut butter or a den of thieves?