Greetings, everyone! It’s now been a week since the ebook edition of Pale Highway was released on Amazon, and the ensuing whirlwind of activity has been a lot of fun. So far, Pale Highway has climbed up in the Amazon Kindle Store to a rank of #12 in the “Alzheimer’s Disease” section. Since then it’s slunk back down, but with an upcoming blog tour in November, reviews starting to come in, and the print release still a month away, I look forward to seeing it bounce back up there again soon!
“Pale Highway is a fast-paced ride into the mind of a man struggling against one of the most horrible diseases on the planet. Gabriel’s past is told in flashbacks to his youthful brilliance that contrast sharply with his Alzheimer’s symptoms. The enclosed world of the nursing home is his reality, and the other residents are vibrant characters who don’t understand Gabriel, or his struggles to save them. Even Gabriel doesn’t fully understand himself, but he wants to. Pale Highway brings his struggles for survival along with his fierce desire to hold off his symptoms long enough to save everyone around him to brilliant, beautiful life.”
– Misti Pyles, Examiner.com
Also on Examiner, I was recently interviewed by John Valerie. In the interview, we discuss Pale Highway, Alzheimer’s, and my inspiration behind the novel:
Hartford Books Examiner: “Pale Highway” is a sci-fi novel that holds cross-genre appeal. Who do you envision as the book’s audience — and in what ways can such broad appeal both help and hinder marketing?
Nicholas Conley: I feel that the audience for this kind of story is diverse, as the subject of Alzheimer’s is something that impacts an enormous number of people. Since I started writing about Alzheimer’s, I’ve been astonished by just how many people have passionately written to me, to tell me their story, to talk about how Alzheimer’s has changed their lives in one way or another: people with Alzheimer’s, their family members, caregivers, healthcare professionals. And at the same time, while witnessing such a genuine response, it’s then rather shocking to watch how just little attention our popular media gives to people with Alzheimer’s. The media generally looks away from dementia, jokes about it or makes it into a minor subplot, when it’s a condition that’s fully worthy of being front and center.
Believe it or not, but there’s still more! On SFFWorld.com, I wrote a guest post where I discuss the value of speculative fiction, and why the battle between it and literary fiction should be put to a rest. To check it out, follow this link: The Value of Speculative Fiction
There’s this strange idea that literary fiction and speculative fiction are in fierce opposition to each other, but in reality, both forms of literature are nothing but different techniques in which to tell a story. There’s this even stranger idea that speculative fiction—call it genre fiction, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, you get the gist—is somehow “lesser” than literary fiction, and thus that it must be looked down upon, and put on a lower shelf. This attitude leads to bizarre developments, such as how Kurt Vonnegut—who is clearly a science fiction author, considering all his writings about Tralfamadorians, timequakes, and more—is not generally regarded by the literary establishment as a writer of science fiction, mainly because the cultural importance of his work means that if they were to admit such a thing, they would also have to acknowledge that sci-fi can be just as significant as literary fiction.
In addition, we still haven’t discussed the upcoming blog tour in November. Pale Highway‘s tour will be hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours, and so far is set to include reviews from such excellent blogs as Book to the Future, Stalking Shelves and Big Al’s Books and Pals. For more information on the Pale Highway tour (or contact details for any bloggers who might be interested in joining up!) check it out over at Sage’s Blog Tours.
More updates coming soon! Cheers to all of you who’ve been here since the early days of Writings, Readings and Coffee Addictions, and also to the many others who have joined up along the way. If it were possible for me to send all of you a digital cup of celebratory coffee, I would.