03 June 2010

Welcome back, CJ West

Give it up for author CJ West who's been a writing maniac lately and has another new book out.

CJ's got a virtual launch party on June 10th, click here for details.

In the meantime, the man himself explains a little bit about what's different with his new book, The End of Marking Time. Oh, and want to read it for yourself? Stay tuned at the end of the CJ's guest blog to see how you can win a copy of your very own.

The End of Marking Time has elements of first, second, and third person perspective and I wanted the packaging to shout that this book is unusual. The front cover hints at Michael’s release from prison and I think Sarah Carroll, my cover artist, did a great job putting together a classic cover that warns of danger.

When you turn the book over, it gives you a good stiff poke in the cranium. You won’t notice the little trick I’m playing on the men when they handle the book cover, but I’ll tell you in a moment how you can test it out with your friends. The first thing you’ll notice is that the text is landscape (sideways if you’re not a graphic artist.) When you turn the book 90 degrees to read the text, I’m telling you that you’re going to have to think about this book differently. The second indication that this book will make you think, is that Michael immediately introduces himself and begins talking to you as if you already know him. One of the mysteries of this book is you. Not who you are, but who Michael thinks you are.

Michael is locked in a room facing a large window set into a concrete block wall. The back cover subtly shows the window and the wall, which are the setting for the entire book. Michael believes that you are behind the window, listening to his story and that it is your job to decide whether he is worthy of another chance. That is why there are two big buttons on the back cover. One red. One green. If you press the green button, Michael gets to go free. He doesn’t know what will happen if you press the red button, but he knows it’s not good.

If you knew about the buttons before you picked up the book, you might realize that I’ve tricked many of you into pressing the green button when you turned the book over. This works surprisingly well for men. Try handing the book to your friends and asking them to check out the cover front and back and tell you what they think. Most of the men will have their thumb on the green button when they first turn it over. You have to pay attention, because they will turn the book as soon as they realize the text is landscape. I can’t make women press the button consistently because they are too darn unpredictable. But if I could figure out women, I’d be writing a different sort of book, wouldn’t I?

I’ve created a Facebook group called, I pressed the (RED) (GREEN) button for you to share your own results. Stop in, tell me what you think of the cover, and which button you pressed. Enjoy The End of Marking Time and please join me for the virtual launch party on June 10th.

So... you've hung on just for the contest, right? Right. Here's how to win:

In the comments, post your favorite brain-bending book and why you liked it. All commenters will be thrown into a hat (well, not literally, but you get the idea) and a winner will be chosen on June 9 in anticipation of the launch party. You can only enter once, but everyone is eligible to win.


CJ West said...

Thanks for hosting me today Bethany. It's great to see you virtually, but I wish you were coming to Bcon.


johnny dangerous said...

I'm not sure you'd call it a 'brain bender' but "Watership Down" forced me to think like a rabbit. -- Interesting way to use the cover as more than simply a part of the marketing.
John Desjarlais

Elizabeth said...

I read Shutter Island when it first came out and the ending definitely gave me a brain cramp. I knew *something* wasn't quite right, but I didn't see the actual ending coming.

Thanks for the contest!

Stacie Penney said...

The Time Traveler's Wife is definitely my favorite brain bender. Not only the story (which is great) but the idea of writing the twists! Holy rusted metal batman!

Anonymous said...

House of Leaves, no question.

I'd also nominate the Illuminatus! trilogy, except I got partway through the first book and didn't like it much. I could tell it was going to be a mindbender, though. :)

Cindy-Lee said...

Not to sound totally biased, but I have read The End of Marking Time, and I did not see the ending coming at all....CJ bended my mind! Thanks CJ!

Unknown said...

The Iluminatus trilogy is a mind bender, but I think it was written to be read in jest. Looking forward to reading The End of Marking Time!

June said...

Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections, not only bent my brain, if opened up new brain passages!

ArtistSherry said...

I agree that Shutter Island left my brain boggled for sure! I read so much that it is hard for me to remember every book that creates this reaction. I am currently reading I Am Legend and other stories. I find it and interesting read! I really enjoyed the book 24/7 that was a good book and well worth the read!

Sal said...

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson - Cayce Pollard has an introspective life and quirky mind that captured me. The book itself is dan fine as well. There aren't too many brain benders out there better than Cayce and William Gibson.

Austin's RV Workamping Adventures said...

My favorite brain-bending book lately is "When Do I See God?" by Jeff Inlo...it's a narrative of a person who dies and has to figure out things in his life before he can see God. VERY interesting book. Does play with your head too, makes you think.

Chris Bonner said...

I love the Lee Child Reacher books as you can never find out who did it till the end and i love all murder/thiller book that keep you reading till you have finished the book, i am all ways looking out for new authors

Julie Achterhoff said...

I would love a copy. It sounds intriguing!
Warmest Regards,

Unknown said...

I've just recently discovered CJ and I absolutely love the concept behind "The End of Marking Time". I can't wait to read it!

Unknown said...

misery by stephen king... he totally brings you with him on the journey and i screamed more times than i care to remember at the book..he has a way of getting into your head that you visualise everyhting you are reading...love it... can i have one pleaseeee... because london is a long way and the wait over here for new books is even longerrrrrr. x

Franz said...

The Magus by John Fowles. For years I have envied Urfe his opportunity and have considered how I would have handled the situations he found himself in. I truly feel that Urfe wasted irreplaceable learning events.

I've read the book numerous times (with its varied endings) and will probably always regret that the Waiting Room probably does not exist. In a perfect world we would all find our Waiting Room.



unicornlover said...

I am looking forward to reading "The End of Marking Time". I love murder mysteries, especially intellectually written ones!

Franz said...
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