Publishing a novel only a few months after events portrayed in the book would have been “extremely difficult, if not impossible” through normal channels says the author of American Fascism, a mystery that takes place during the period from the 2020 presidential election through to Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“Really the only way to do an ‘instant novel’ like this was to do it all myself,” says Gary Engler, who wrote, edited, and designed the interior of the fourth book in the FAKE NEWS series. “Fortunately, I have the skill set because of my background in newspapers and book publishing.”
Engler says he wanted the book to come out as quickly as possible because timeliness is critical. “People need to understand what the far right is doing if we want to stop them from destroying the already deficient democracy that exists in the USA and elsewhere. We must think about and analyze the events of January 6, 2021, while memory of that day remains fresh in people’s minds.”
The publishing industry, especially on the fiction side, is not set up to produce a book that deals with current affairs, says Engler. “After moving from newspapers to book publishing, I suffered culture shock because the notion of time was so different in the two worlds. The process of book publishing is measured in months or years, while the news media is all about what happened today.”
While the more leisurely pace of books is suited to thoughtful, deeper analysis, Engler sees a place for combining the best of both worlds. “American Fascism discusses critical issues while entertaining the reader with a fast-paced, suspenseful narrative, but just as important it is timely. If daily newspapers are the first rough draft of history, then the goal of this book is to be a fleshed out, more polished second draft.”
Because the rise of the extreme right and its relationship to the Republican Party is so important, we need to quickly educate and motivate millions of citizens, Engler says. The objective is to utilize the mystery format, which is popular and “easy to read” to, first, help people understand the threat, then second, actively oppose the rise of fascism.
“The quicker we can build a broad-based mass movement to oppose this threat to democracy, the better. And my hope is this can be facilitated by entertaining readers while making them think about the meaning of events that everyone remembers.”
Distributing the printed version and eBook solely through Amazon for the first months enables it to be available quickly (June 1), widely (anywhere in the world as an eBook) and offers the opportunity for first readers to offer their input about any errors or omissions, as well as suggestions for improvement. (Email the author at REDpublishing@sasktel.net) Because Amazon prints on demand, it will be easy to update both versions of the book.