The Zookeeper’s Dilemma Is Now On Sale

The Zookeeper's Dilemma CoverThat book I’ve been threatening to put out is finally here. It’s my Vaginal Fantasy Book Club-inspired story of a young zookeeper named Lucy who finds out there’s more to the animals she’s been caring for than she ever could have imagined. Just go click the image for all the details and store links.

When I first started writing this two years ago, I wasn’t trying to construct a universe to contain some characters and a plot. Rather, I was building a platform to explore and deconstruct the paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres which I found often fell back on the use of clichéd tropes and plot devices. After listening to and reading many discussions about these topics, both through Vaginal Fantasy and elsewhere, I wanted to try a different take that still incorporated much of the flavor that makes these books so appealing to so many.

Too often the protagonists in these stories are either hapless, passive victims or overpowered über women who can do no wrong. I chose to tell the story of a regular person, without any special powers or abilities, who is thrust into a series of extraordinary circumstances beyond her control. She is not a damsel in distress, however. She constantly struggles to be heard and take control of her own destiny.

In addition to having some strong feminist themes, I also made the main character black. It was probably my exposure to N.K. Jemisin while I was writing that is responsible for that. Although it was largely an arbitrary decision at the time, I found Lucy’s African heritage not only added to the character, but better reflected some of the book’s themes as well. I also added a gay supporting character and played with issue of gender identity somewhat,  just to nail the “social justice warrior” trifecta.

I terms of the tone, I was shooting for a Buffy or Lost Girl balance of drama, horror, and humor. I find when you lean too heavily on one or the other, the writing starts to take itself too seriously. I wanted to push boundaries, but still keep the reader, as well as myself, entertained.

I also want to make clear that this is not Vaginal Fantasy fanfic. It is a full-fledged novel where Felicia, Veronica, Bonnie, and Kiala appear as  supporting characters. Why? Because I wanted to, that’s why. In truth, it would have been easier to consolidate their characters down to two people and to pull a couple of jokes to make the story tighter, but I like it the way it is. They were largely responsible for rekindling my desire to write, so I’d like to thank them by including them, even if it’s just in spirit. I like to think of them as alternate universe versions of the VF hosts. There are a couple of times where I paraphrased some of the dialogue and subject matter from the hangouts, but I would characterize those instances more as Easter eggs than anything else. There are a few other nerdy references tucked away in there for you to find as well.

If there is enough interest, there will be more books in this series. I had planned for a trilogy, but I’ve already come up with ideas for two additional books after those including a historical and a sci-fi set in the same universe. It all comes down to how many of you willing to read them. Writing a book takes hundreds of hours of brain-grinding work, which is why I decided to charge a nominal fee for this book. I can’t dedicate so much of my time to this project if I’m not seeing some kind of return on it. It’s my goal to someday write full-time, so the more income I can get from writing, the more time I can justify spending on it.

I’d also like for people to actually read it too though, so if you’d like a free review copy, please email me at contact(at)seansandulak(dot)com, or DM me on Goodreads or Twitter, and I’ll send you a copy. All I ask in return is that you give it a fair rating or review on Goodreads or the bookseller of your choice. Your contributions there are worth far more in terms of advertising than any money that I’d spend on marketing.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy it.

After a lion suddenly transforms into a man right before her eyes, Lucy discovers she is descended from a long line of ancestor spirits. Divided into clans and constantly fighting among themselves for dominance, these spirits have secretly infiltrated and influenced civilization for millennia. But as humans begin to destroy the planet’s ecosystem and threaten the very existence of the spirits, the clans make plans to take control. Lucy must decide which faction to join before time runs out, a choice which could tip the balance and seal humanity’s fate. At the same time, a dark force seeks to use Lucy for its own ends, making her wonder if she’ll even see tomorrow.

Crazed recluse and sociophobe who has taken up writing after failing at everything else. Send pizza.

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Posted in Blog, Zookeeper's Dilemma

Now on sale

Unremarkable & Other Stories cover art

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