Category Archives: blog tour

Richard like John in his own write

Day 4 of the Book of Paul tour is here.
Today we have a guest post from the author Richard Long.
Welcome to the Save the Book blog, Richard.
Make yourself at home. Can I get you a cup of coffee?
No, you want to get started. Fire  away!

Guest Post by Richard Long
Laura gave me my first tarot deck. It was a Crowley. A lot of people get creeped out by Crowley decks, much as they would have been creeped out by Crowley, I imagine. He called himself ‘The Great Beast.’ To me, he seemed more like a big joke.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!”
Stop it, you’re killing me.
You just read the opening lines of  The Bone King, a prequel to The Book of Paul.  They happen to be true. Laura gave me my first deck. I still have it and use it. In fact, I’ll be using it shortly to provide Skype tarot readings for two lucky winners of my Whirlwind Blog Tour. I’m looking forward to the readings. The winners? I suppose that depends on which cards come up.
Actually, I don’t give scary tarot readings, I just write about scary tarot readings. People have enough fear and stress in their lives without me throwing more gas on the flames. Besides, the three scariest trump cards–The Hanged Man, Death and The Tower–can all be interpreted in very unscary ways. Most of the time.
William, the narrator of <em>The Book of Paul</em>, lives in the East Village/Alphabet City of New York in the years before gentrification made it a much less fun and frightening place. He makes a living doing tarot and numerology readings, same as the author did at the time. Like me, he is also a collector, but that’s where the similarities end. He collects ancient occult codices, some covered in human skin. He collects other things that are even more…disturbing.
The mythology of <em>The Book of Paul</em> is based largely on my very unique (so unique you’ll never see it anywhere else) interpretation of the twenty-two trump cards of the tarot.  As William endeavors to unravel Paul’s nefarious intentions, he discovers an arrangement of the trumps that reveals the true story being told. In the following excerpt from one of William’s journal entries, Paul congratulates William on his discovery (which is not revealed, so no spoiler alert!) and rewards his efforts with a very special gift to add to his collection, and the promise of an even greater prize.
A fabulous tarot reading from Richard Long? A Kindle Fire?
No, William isn’t as lucky as three of you wonderful readers.
He’s about to have his very first look at <em>The Book of Paul, a</em> gift that comes with a very hefty price tag.
“You’ve done exceptionally well here,” Paul said, “but you’re never gonna get to the bottom of this no matter how many of those old books you poke your nose into.”
“And that’s because…”
“For starters, those writings were deliberately intended to disguise the truth in countless metaphors and scrambled codes to keep the idiots at bay. They’ve been translated, and re-translated back into the original demotic, Coptic or Greek countless times, every scribe adding his own pontifical touch in his glorious interpretation. Of the more accurate writings, there’s more missing from the tracts than what remains, as you’ve seen in the Drivel of Mary. You’ve about as much luck hitting pay dirt in those dustbins as those literalist born-agains have of seeing the Rapture. However, I have a gift for you that should prove far more enlightening, if you apply yourself with half the dedication of these research efforts.”
He reached deeply into his pocket and told me to close my eyes. “Don’t go using yer second sight and spoil the surprise.” I nodded and felt him place a large rectangular object in my left hand.
It was a tarot deck. Older than any I’d seen. The paintings were incredibly detailed and absolutely exquisite. I turned them over one by one, The Hero, The Herald, The Oracle—all the trumps labeled with Paul’s titles. “These are amazing!” I said, awed and yes, flattered by his incredible gift. I had a hard time spitting it out, but I managed to say, “Thank you.”
“You’ve earned it,” he grunted, taking the cards back before I had a chance to look at the rest of them, setting the cards down gently on the table. “But don’t stay up too late gazing at them. This deck can be quite…entrancing.”
“Is there something else I should know about it?” I asked apprehensively.</p>
“Indeed, there is. Get a good night’s sleep and meet me in the chapel tomorrow. I’m bumping you up to the advanced class, so make sure your eyes are bright and your head is clear. You’ve earned a little taste of the Gospel according to Paul.”
Thanks Richard. Please leave a comment for the author or me.
And here is a pic of Aleister Crowley


And here is his Wiki entry.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visyhttp://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity</a></li>
           
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price ofThe Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visyhttp://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity.
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 

Visit Richard at




Here is our celebratory song. Enjoy.
 I have had to think hard about this one as we have travelled across quite some terrain. So why not a travel song.


More than just a naughty boy: the life of Paul

This week, Save the Book is part of a whirlwind blog tour in support of Richard Long’s novel The Book of Paul. I am not sure what the tour badge is about. As I understand it, only the bloggers can win the prizes. WTF, they give me badge: I’ll wear it

There will be some generic stuff from the tour organiser, but you know we have to do our own thing, as well. We start with a Q&A session and we will finish the week with our own review.
I have asked some general questions to keep the spoilers at bay. So to begin, we will let the author talk about the book and any spoilers are on his head.
STB: The book covers a lot of ground in touching on religion, philosophy and psychology among other subjects. Do you see readers reaching for Google and Wiki?
RL: I hope so. There was an enormous amount of research that went into this book. I’d love for it to spark the same curiosity I felt when I discovered some of these things, particularly the Gnostic and Hermetic material and the connection between them.

STB: You cleverly insert parts of the back story of childhood throughout the book. Did you always plan to do this or did it evolve as you were writing?
RL: The present day action in the story takes place in a very compressed three day period, yet the central conflicts between the characters spring from childhood traumas. So yes, the exposition was complex and had to be carefully orchestrated so the flashback scenes didn’t detract from the present and instead amplified that tension, suspense and mystery. Another challenge was the revelation of the mythological material that goes back to the creation of the universe, then on to ancient Egypt, Greece, Jerusalem and Ireland. It’s an epic story with a lot of action and I wanted to keep the freight train rolling. 

STB:  There are a lot of four-letter words to the point that you seem to be parodying your own use of them. What is the go there?
RL: These are gritty characters trapped in a terrifying situation with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. So yes, there are going to be a lot of F bombs dropped. Humor is a big component in my writing, so many times the profanity is played for laughs.

STB: There is  a saying in literature that every villain should have at least one redeeming quality. I could not find any in Paul. Are there any?
RL: I suppose that depends on what you consider redeeming qualities. Paul is extremely intelligent, clever, jovial, ambitious, successful, powerful, fearless — all highly valued qualities in our society. Unfortunately for the other characters in the story, he also happens to be exceptionally cruel and nearly devoid of compassion. It’s clear he has affection for Martin, William and Michael, yet he’ll allow nothing to stand in the way of his objectives. In some of the scenes near the end of the story, you learn part of what happened to Paul that transformed him into such a monster, and in the sequels and prequels the full story of Paul will be revealed. I think you’ll find Paul to be a much more complex and sympathetic character than you can imagine from the first volume. One of my favorite lines in this book is, “Sometimes I think evil is just loneliness with nowhere else to go.” Ultimately, that’s true of both William and Paul. Maybe the rest of us too.  (I thought that was the best line in the book and I made a note of it when I read it. I would buy a T-Shirt with the punchier Evil is loneliness with nowhere else to go – STB)

STB: At least one critic has found your work too violent. What do you say to that?
RL: Read Emily Bronte instead. Shakespeare is horrifically, comically violent. In any Shakespeare tragedy, at the end of Act V, the stage is covered with blood. Nearly every character has been horribly murdered. Greek tragedies are even worse. Matricide, patricide, suicide, infanticide, you name it. ( Richard, Greek tragedy had a rule that all violence happened off stage, but I certainly agree about Shakespeare, with jokes about rape in Romeo and Juliet, as an example – STB) These literary impulses have been very well represented for a very long time. I’m just continuing the time-honored tradition! What I find amusing in the few negative comments I’ve received along these lines is that they uniformly come from male reviewers, not women. I’m not sure why female reviewers seem to be less squeamish, or less vocal about it. Maybe having to deal with men all the time toughens you up. Another thing I find interesting is that a great deal of the violence in the book is not directly described and happens “off camera,” so to speak. So perhaps I spurred the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks in a particularly grisly way. Ultimately, this is a horror story. By definition, horror isn’t pretty. You get what you pay for. As Hunter Thompson said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

STB: There are no obvious heroes in the book yet the reader does seem to want a few of them to survive their various perils. Was this creation of sympathy for extremely flawed characters difficulty to write.
RL: I think Martin and Rose are decidedly heroic in addition to being flawed. We’re all flawed. We’ve all been hurt and damaged. No one gets out of life alive. (We had better attribute that one to Jim Morrison of the Doors unless someone has an earlier reference. – STB) The reward for a lifetime of passionate love with your mate is that one of you gets to watch the other one die. This is the human condition. I am extremely sympathetic to these characters because I came from an abusive household. Their pain is my pain, though far from that extent. And yes, that kind of pain was as difficult to write as it was to experience. 

STB:  Why did you want to write a YA book after this horror novel? Was it a commercial or artistic decision or come from somewhere else?
RL: I have two young children and I wanted to write something they can read before they’re adults. My daughter is autistic and that’s a major theme in the family story at the heart of The Dream Palace fantasy series. She and her brother are the heroes. There are some fun sci-fi elements in addition to the overlapping dream/real worlds. In the next sequel, it gets steampunky in nineteenth century America and Germany. Basically, The Dream Palace is as light as The Book of Paul is dark.

STB: For prequels and sequels to The Book of Paul, are you committed to 500-page books or will you shorten the length?
RL: I’m not committed to any word or page count. I’m committed to the characters and the story. We shall see where the final period is placed. 

STB:  How long was your eBook for sale before you decided to drastically reduce the price and why did you make that decision?
RL: The eBook has only been reduced for this promotion. I’m not sure you can call the difference between $3.99 and .99 drastic. The full price is equivalent to a Starbucks Grande latte. 

STB. I guess people should be aware the book also has quite a bit of comedy in it. Was that the intention from the start?
RL: What can I say, I’m a funny guy. 

The Book of Paul is available in print and digital:

from  AMAZON
Here is our musical tribute:

-Bernie Dowling Sep 24, 2012