Happy day -- CCLaP Publishing's newest original book, the youth/war novella Too Young to Fall Asleep by local author Sally Weigel, finally has an official release date; it'll finally be out to the public on Monday, September 14th. Well, hooray for that! Sally and I have been working on this manuscript for a year and a half now, believe it or not, all the way back to when Sally was a high-school student (she's now a sophomore at Chicago's DePaul University); but I believe that the wait will be worth it, in that this is one of the more exciting unpublished stories I've come across in quite awhile. For those who still haven't seen it, here's the official "blurb" for the book, which will hopefully give you a better sense of what it's about:
Why would a poetry-writing high-school emo girl from suburban Chicago volunteer for the Iraq War? And when both of her legs are blown off in a non-combat IED explosion, how will she ever recover? The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography is proud to present its newest original novella, Too Young to Fall Asleep, the literary debut of talented local up-and-comer Sally Weigel. Originally written when she was still in high school, Asleep is one of the first-ever adult character dramas concerning the so-called "Millennials," a prescient and eerily mature look at the generation of youth just now entering college -- an entire nation of idealistic sincerity-seekers within a maelstrom of suicidal Gen-X parents, a nation of kids who have no problem getting wasted on weekends but feel horribly guilty when smoking cigarettes while doing so. Weigel takes a razor-sharp look at this generation here, through the filter of the two events that have so far most influenced them -- the rise of the dark post-9/11 supergroup Radiohead, and the decimating of their numbers by Bush's 'war on terrorism' -- delivering at the end a haunting and thought-provoking snapshot of our current zeitgeist, in a sophisticated way that can only be done by an actual member of that generation. A "pay what you want" experiment which can be downloaded for free if one chooses, "Too Young to Fall Asleep" marks the daring debut of an important rising voice in the American arts, and you are sure to be both informed and moved by what she has to say.
Don't forget, by the way, that CCLaP is still looking for an army of volunteer proofreaders, to help catch all the last-minute typos that Sally and I might have missed during our own editing; if you'd be interested in helping out, simply drop me a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com. And of course, don't forget that I'm now officially looking for the next book to put out through CCLaP as well! This is one of the biggest problems I face with the center's publishing program, frankly, is simply finding manuscripts that meet the quality requirements I insist upon in the first place; I am always on the lookout for a great unknown manuscript, and highly encourage you to send yours along to me whenever you have a chance. For more on CCLaP's submission policy, you can click here; don't forget, published authors receive a full 50 percent of all revenue generated from their book, a giant increase over the usual 10 to 15 percent of most traditional publishing companies.