Want to give me a gift? The best Christmas present you could give me is a review on Amazon. (Update: The initial reviews have been been stellar so far, for which I’m humbled and grateful. Thanks. I appreciate you.)
As a Decade Fades is officially my seventh book, although I started writing it well before the previous six. And I worked on the manuscript the entire time, nearly four years, from its downhearted first sentence—written in early 2009 while my mother was dying—to its redemptive last line. And although its cover is my first book cover without my goofy picture on it—and even though this book is obviously a novel—it is my most personal, most intimate work to date.
Never before have I witnessed a book published on Christmas Day. True, it would to be a logistical nightmare for the old guard to publish a book on a day where virtually every retailer is closed, but since my friends at Asymmetrical Press don’t worship at the altar of the old guard, I needn’t worry about this. Traditional-pub dilemmas aside, publishing a novel on Christmas Day seems to be a bad idea for all kinds of seemingly obvious reasons. But the only way I feel comfortable publishing this labor of love/agony is by treating it as a sort of gift. So today, as my gift to the world (as well as to myself), I’m publishing As a Decade Fades, fully realizing that the world never asked for this unwrapped, tattered gift in the first place.
Then again, perhaps publishing a novel on Christmas Day might end up being a brilliant idea. Roughly 20 million people are receiving new e-readers (Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhones, Androids, etc.) today. If you’re one of these people, then perhaps you’d be willing to make my first novel the first book on your device. (N.B. reading on my phone’s Kindle app is one of my favorite things to do these days. I devour books everywhere: in line at the grocery store, on park benches, at cafes, etc.) Or you could of course opt for the print version, which is a beautifully crafted 283 pages.
People don’t know how to love the ones they love until they disappear from their lives.
As he approaches thirty, Jody Grafton’s career as a singer-songwriter falls apart: he loses his record deal, his money, his fame—even his desire to create new music. While he stares at the rubble of his one-hit-wonder musical career, his mother is diagnosed with lung cancer, his marriage ends abruptly, and Jody starts drinking heavily to deaden his new reality.
When he hasn’t a single reason left to live, he attempts suicide and ends up in a psych ward where he’s prodded with questions he isn’t yet prepared to answer. Amid the tailspin, Jody receives a phone call from his recently estranged girlfriend and she has unexpected news: she’s pregnant.
As a Decade Fades begins with this phone call. As his twenties twilight, Jody Grafton grapples with loneliness, depression, lust, and infatuation while glancing at the mounting wreckage in his rearview. When he can’t fit—or force—the pieces of his life back together, he leaves his native Ohio to search for answers in the most unlikely of places: Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.
To fade the scars of the last decade, Jody must face his self-inflicted wounds head-on if he plans to discover a brighter future on the horizon. But does he have the strength to piece his life back together?
My friend Andre Kibbe discouraged me from including a foreword in As a Decade Fades. So I didn’t. Instead, the story starts straightaway, as soon as you decide: Yes, I am sure I want to do this.
I’m not a fan of forewords anyhow, and so I’m glad I heeded Mr. Kibbe’s advice and didn’t include one in the book. In place of a proper foreword, you can read my essay about the book here.
Note: Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.
Promo and How You Can Help
Review. If you enjoy this book, I’d really appreciate a review on Amazon.
Discuss. Want to discuss the book with me and others? Use hashtag #AADF on Twitter or discuss it in our official Facebook and Google+ threads. I’ll post my favorite lines from the book in those places. Feel free to do the same; I’d love to know your favorite lines.
Share. This is likely the last fiction I’ll publish for a while. I will move on to something new, but it might take me years to craft whatever is on the horizon. Whatever is next, it’s sure to look radically different from this book. I’d appreciate if you’d share this with your friends via email and social media.