You may be wondering what exactly The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is about. Here’s the blurb:
The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is the ideal novel for mature readers with juvenile senses of humor who enjoy satire, sex, knife fights, theosophy, bestiaries, sorcery, and some history thrown in for good measure. This tale focuses on the comic misadventures of a 14th century Franciscan monk known as Brother Banenose, who dreams of becoming a saint. Unfortunately, he is afraid of being martyred. Even less fortunate, Brother Banenose inadvertently inspires murderous rages in many people he meets in the outside world, including a family of relentless barbarians. When he learns that a precious relic has been stolen from his monastery, Brother Banenose sets off to recover it. Along the way he strikes up questionable friendships with some less than pious individuals including a sultry witch, a fraudulent swineherd, a warrior maiden, and a soothsayer who can only foresee doom. His quest leads him to The Idyllic Land Of Bliss, which happens to be beset by both a menagerie of fantastical monsters and the Black Death. The situation grows even more perilous once the Holy Office of the Inquisition arrives in town. If you were to put The Decameron, The Name of the Rose, and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle into a blender and hit frappe, you would wind up with something resembling The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. Original paintings by the author are included.
Please memorize this blurb & repeat it to at least twenty strangers verbatim or your pinky toes will wrench themselves off your feet.
“Fetch me more sharks that I might jump them!” I’ve retroactively decided that was my motto whilst writing The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. In other words, I embraced absurdity like I was the novelty vacation magnet to its refrigerator. (Yes, there’s still a plot & emotional throughlines but we’ll get to them in another blog with less focus on wackiness.)
So I was a bit nervous when I received the edits back on the book. I didn’t personally know my editor, Majanka Verstraete, so she was under no social obligation to humor me about its quality. I was also concerned that there might be a language barrier between her & the jokes. Would ninety percent of the text be struck through in crimson with foreign expletives in the comment balloons?
So when I finally psyched myself up to read through the edits, I was pleasantly surprised to find her notes clear & helpful. There were no calls to massively overhaul the story. The most common revisions she suggested were to cut down on the adverbs & exclamation marks. I personally don’t understand the modern dislike for adverbs as the succinctly describe how actions are performed, but I’m not going to argue with someone who’s had more books published than me. Many of the gratuitous exclamation marks survived, however, as I come from a nation that undervalues subtlety! I also made a few superfluous adjustments like changing the occupations of background characters that nobody will care about besides me.
So it’s probably for the best that the major publishing houses didn’t return my calls. I would’ve most likely been assigned to an editor whose professional advice would be to gut the idiosyncrasy out of it, incinerate it, & scatter the remnants across the globe so it’d be even harder for them to reconstitute. I think there was a vampire metaphor at the end, but the hypothetical result would be to turn it into the book equivalent of a zombie, which has an even larger cultural cache than vampires so long as they’re completely removed from the original Haitian concept of zombies. Luckily Booktrope allowed me to pick an editor who let me me keep it kooky! Ms. Verstraete is my new favorite editor!
So you’re still getting a weird book! Hooray for you! Now let’s see if it survives proofreading…
After weeks of merely telling you The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose will be published by Booktrope, I now have something to show for it. Feast your eyes on the brand new painting I made for its cover: