Release Day: The Third Quarto

If you're unaware, the Third Quarto made its debut yesterday at the I.O.W.A signing!

It was an excellent event--we were located in the (extremely nice and wonderful) Cedar Rapids Knights of Columbus hall, which was a beautiful and comfortable location that offered a certain palpable irony to my reading of some very gay meet-cute scenes. Our local author scene here in Iowa is top-notch, and I had a blast.

But I've gotta say, I was nervous about this release. The Third Quarto is pretty love-it-or-hate-it. I've had reviews that say they didn't get it at ALL and oh my god how could Aleph DO THAT THING and why do I bother picking up a pen? And I've had reviews that love it to death, say it's the best Quarto they've read thus far.

Would love to hear what you think, readers. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon!

It starts out with a tangible tonal shift: Aleph, usually pretty calm and collected, is panicking. He deals with the arrival of terrible news by avoiding the crap out of it, which turns into a plot point later on. Basically, all the cracks and character flaws that turn him into a supervillain start showing up here--and that doesn't always sit well.

I don't blame you guys. It's unsettling to write, too. You get close to your characters, and this whole path of Aleph's is kind of like watching your kid get really into something you don't trust, but know he has to learn is wrong on his own. I can promise you that this story has a satisfying ending, although I can't promise it's a happy one.

In any case, I'm proud of it. I love this story, I love these characters, and I love writing my bad guys. Human fears and fatal flaws are the heart of good storytelling, and there's nothing about them that I don't love exploring.

Here's to the next one. 

Alex Penland