(Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is by Scott Bartlett, the author of Royal Flush. This is a book I’ll be reviewing in the future. He’s doing a blog tour this month and today he’s visiting us. Enjoy!)
Good day, readers of A ‘lil HooHaa. I come to you not only to complete today’s stop on the blog tour for my humor novel Royal Flush, but also to psychoanalyze myself, and figure out what it is that caused me to write a book of this nature.
Royal Flush, you see, is about a man known only as the King — an incredibly incompetent man, who is morally bankrupt and who endures repeated romantic failures, one after another.
Some of my friends have suggested that the King is based on me.
I object to that interpretation, for obvious reasons. I truly don’t think the King is me, or that I’m the King (something you may be relieved to hear). But I do think the King’s hilarious ineptness when it comes to ladies stems from real frustration.
Let me begin again. Royal Flush is a novel that asks the question: can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon succeed romantically?
It’s divided into four parts, and in each one the King fails spectacularly with yet another girl. (Whether this happens in the last part is something I can not, of course, divulge here.)
He is a man of astounding depravity. At one point, he must defend his castle against a siege with only his royal fiddler, while trying to steal his royal fiddler’s girlfriend.
I’ve wanted to be a fiction writer since I was 15. Back then, I tried to write a novel, but gave up halfway through the third chapter. I tried again in high school, but I still had a major problem: what the hell was I going to write about?
I wrote a terrible science fiction novel, which no one is allowed to read and which I will never do anything with. And once I got to university, I still had the same problem—an utter lack of experience.
But wait. There was one thing I had ample experience in doing — getting rejected repeatedly by beautiful women!
Yes, I realized, I had plenty of romantic rejection stories — both of the short, blunt kind and the drawn-out, brutal kind.
I didn’t base the King’s experiences directly on these stories, just as I didn’t base the King directly on me. (I swear!) But I’d been rejected so many times that I started to become amused at the consistency. Throughout high school, I was unable to secure even one date!
Being a helpless egomaniac, my self-esteem was still robust. But I decided to write a book about the sort of character who would be universally rejected by women. Simply being a jerk was not enough — plenty of jerks get girls. This man would have to be utterly debauched, and completely moronic.
I repeat: the King = NOT ME!
You know what? All that rejection was good for me. As a writer, an immunity to repeated rejection has served me well. In this field, you have to get used to your manuscripts constantly getting turned down by agents, publishers, and competition judges.
Also, being okay with rejection has come in handy as a person who seeks romance, which I have found and lost a few times since writing Royal Flush. I’m confident I’ll find it again, though — and I know how to go about doing it.
Scott Bartlett has been writing fiction since he was 15. His recently released novel, Royal Flush, is a recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize. Feel free to follow Scott on Twitter. You can find the book on Amazon (Kindle/Paperback)