Once again, a heartbreaking tragedy is in the news: People gunned down in cold blood. Sandy Hook. Paris. San Bernardino–too many places stained red. It’s a crazy world. I worry for the future. Ten years ago I was thinking about Columbine and other mass shootings. I was thinking about those instances of mass murder as I was becoming aware in a change in what constitutes “entertainment.” I’d watch my co-workers laugh at viral videos of people suffering horrific–and possibly fatal–injuries.
Imagine how it will be in twenty years.
I did, and it became the short story Golden Bullet that my new book is based around.
I know Golden Bullet is a good story. It may be the most relevant thing I ever write. I am still at odds with having released it–am I splashing in blood? I wrote it to deal with the San Bernardinos that seem to be in the news every day. I wrote it because I am troubled with how we, as a culture, have become desensitized to violence while being fascinated with celebrities that seem to add nothing beautiful or compelling to our world. I wrote a book and put it out because I know it’s a good book. I have written crappy books, Golden Bullet is not one of them. But, is it ghoulish to put a book out about people who try to become famous by setting up workplace shootings?* This is either the perfect book for our times or the most inappropriate.
The book is out and now it is my job to promote it. Meanwhile, innocent people keep getting gunned down. I was trying to get an agent for a couple of months before self-publishing. Why didn’t any of them bite? Well, I suspect it is the subject matter. This is not a joke to me. The tone is casual, even flippant, but the subject is definitely not humorous to me. I want to go hide in the wilderness and never turn on the news again. So, why have I put out this book? Why do I think you should read it? Why do I believe in it? I just do: Golden Bullet is a crazy book for a crazy world. I wrote it to process the idea of human beings hurting and killing other human beings. I wrote it to cope with the “changes” in art and entertainment and how we interact with each other. We live in amazing times full of possibilities and signs of human potential. We also live in violent, troubled times. All I have left to say on the subject is that I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe.
* The protagonist in the book is part of a group called the Golden Bullet Forum. Each member’s goal is to “engineer” a workplace shooting and get a non-fatal gunshot wound known as a “Golden Bullet” in order to get on talk shows that feature victims of such crimes.