My quest for publication through the ABNA was setback earlier this week when it didn't make the cut for the semi-finals. The reviewer at Publisher's Weekly said:
"Wall Street wizards, Christian conservatives, and preening politicians are prominently skewered in this entertaining if sometimes sloppy farce. Having lost his entire fortune and channeling Don Quixote and Huck Finn, Edison Conover IV takes to the open road in a beat-up Cadillac "to seek his fortune." He heads west from Florida, hoping to sustain himself by working as a truck stop chef. Armed with a CB radio, an affected Texas twang, and a fertile imagination, Eddie harangues passing long haul truckers with tales of his alter ego -- a peripatetic cook named Gopher Anus and his famous "One True Chili." Somewhere near Baton Rouge, Eddie picks up a hitchhiker, Cheyenne Warrington, who's running from mysterious hit men. Hoping to jump-start his job search, Eddie heads to Cairo, Texas, to challenge five-time national chili champion Kitty Welbourne to a chili showdown -- provided, of course, that he and Cheyenne can stay alive until then. The author scores some direct hits, but the targets are hardly moving. Moreover, protagonists Eddie and Cheyenne are more caricature than character, lending the manuscript the air of a dashed off project."
It shows that it was read and enjoyed, and that is encouraging. Given that I was busy, in the weeks before the contest deadline, beefing it up by 20,000 words, and adding a quarter of those between the opening and closing dates, one would be justified in saying it seemed spotty, so I fully intend to forge ahead.
I do have to wonder, though, what was said about the characters. The second round reviewers praised the characterization, one calling it the strongest element of the excerpt provided. Moreover, caricature is a element of farce. So where does the balance lie between the two? I guess I'll just have to keep looking for it.
As for those direct hits, they were just drive by shootings. The real target, which wasn't mentioned, is the neo-liberal economic order, which ought to be thoroughly discredited by now, but I guess lampooning that is still considered unacceptable.
Causes Tim Chambers Supports
Occupy Wall Street