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My guess is that many, or most, of you were likely drawn here by the “Balboa Park in Bloom” series. Or you are a family member. Hi, Mom!
The good news for those readers is, despite my gloomy “Post Ending” ending post several months ago, there is more content to come.
The bad news, for you fans of the beautiful Balboa Park stuff, is that the content is a book of snarky psychological satire.
The book is currently titled How to Make Yourself Angry in Any Situation. Here’s a section of the query letter (a sort of narrative resume for the book and author) to explain:
How to Make Yourself Angry breaks down the psychological habits of angry people (aka The Gifted) for all those poor, placid souls who dream of one day becoming raging lunatics. Organized by strategies from Setting Unrealistic and Inflexible Expectations to Nurturing Resentments, the book provides helpful mantras such as “Self-Righteousness Feels Better than Self-Esteem”, “Quit Taking Orders from Your Body” and “Strangers: Just Enemies You Haven’t Met”. Each chapter includes an explanation of the strategy, how-to tips, and skill-building exercises. Examples are provided through anecdotes of fictional characters Adam and Eve in those common situations that only annoy most people but bring out the best in The Gifted – like traffic jams, corrective feedback at work, and telemarketing calls about their car’s extended warranty. These tales also illustrate the joys, and difficulties, of being an angry person. Target readers will be anyone who has encountered, maybe even befriended, an angry person, been angry, or wondered why everyone can’t be as nice as they are. Empathic friends and colleagues will gift the book to fellow victims of The Gifted.
This book is self-help meets Monty Python. While the self-help aspect is a parody, readers may still get a glimpse of how anger can be tempered by different responses to life’s challenges. In this polarized and preachy world, humor and a dose of turning the craziness on its head is more necessary than ever.
I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and practiced in the mental health field for twenty years. My professional background provided me with insights into the psychological patterns that drive angry people, and the rest of my life supplied the details.
I started the book in January, 2020 and hired a local South park author, Amy Wallen, to edit the first draft that May. Eight drafts later, in February, 2022, the book finally felt finished “enough”.
Sent query letters to agents that specialized in humor, including some of Amy’s personal contacts. It was a big boost of confidence to have an established author reach out to her contacts and tell them this project was worth a look.
The good news is that I received a response rate, from agents, of about 30%. I was planning on something like 5%. However, just about every agent wrote the same summary:
Interesting idea. Made me laugh out loud a few times. Problem is, I don’t know where I’d put this in a bookstore. The people who should read it, won’t.
So it seems I still need to learn how to frame this psychological masterpiece for the publishing industry.
No one knows if the industry will embrace this rebellious work of genius.
However, the benefit to living in the year 2022 is that an author can build their own audience.
And, well, that’s where you come in…
If snarky humor is not your thing, would you be willing to take a moment to forward this critical post, or any of the ones to follow, to someone who might enjoy the life-changing benefits of it?
Thank you again for your support!