EXOTIC MUSIC OF THE BELLY
DANCER will be available in print book, e-book and audiobook formats on April 25, 2013!
I have contracted with The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House to publish the sequel to EXOTIC MUSIC OF THE BELLY DANCER.
OUT WITH BLOWFISH is tentatively scheduled for an April 2014 release.
Since 1999 Brian Sweany has worked for Recorded Books, one of the world's largest audiobook publishers. Prior to that he edited cookbooks and computer manuals and claims to have
saved a major pharmaceutical company from being crippled by the Y2K bug. In August 2012 Brian signed a contract with The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House--yes, THE FIFTY SHADES people--for his debut novel, EXOTIC MUSIC OF THE BELLY DANCER. The book is slated for an April 25, 2013 publication, but in the meantime Brian is about halfway finished with the sequel, MAKING OUT WITH BLOWFISH.
Brian's influences include but are not limited to John Barth and John Hughes, Chuck
Palahniuk and Chuck Woolery, E.L. Doctorow and Cory Doctorow, Kurt Vonnegut and Kurt Cobain, Cormac McCarthy and Jenny McCarthy,
William Faulkner and William Shatner, Philip Roth and David Lee Roth, Orson Welles and Tori Welles, Mark Twain and Marky Mark
& The Funky Bunch, Edith Wharton and Edith Bunker, Donnie & Marie Osmond, David & Amy Sedaris, Jenna & Barbara
Bush, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, On the Road and Road House, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Charlie's Angels, F. Scott Fitzgerald
and Scott Baio, applewood-smoked bacon and Kevin Bacon.
has a BS in English and History from Eastern Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. A former semi-professional student, his collegiate tour included stop-overs
at Wabash College (the all-male school that reputedly fired Ezra Pound from its faculty for having sex with a prostitute), Marian University (the former all-female school founded by Franciscan nuns that if you don't count Brian's expulsion has fired no one of consequence and is relatively prostitute-free), and Indiana University (via a high school honors course he has no recollection of ever attending). Brian has spent most of his life in the Midwest and
now lives near Indianapolis with his wife and three children. He is represented by the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. Questions?
Comments? Smarmy hate mail? Inappropriate stalking? Feel free to email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @briansweany. He also posts an occasional book review on Goodreads.
My morning gets off to its usual start.
I wake up. Masturbate.
Eat some bacon and eggs. Drink a cup of heavily creamed and sugared coffee.
Have a frank
discussion with my father about his testicles.
And so goes another day in the over-sexed, drunk, occasionally
well-intentioned, occasionally Catholic teenage life of Hank Fitzpatrick. His young adulthood has its dark moments, but it
isn't dark. It has its tragedies, but it isn't tragic. Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer speaks to those nostalgic
readers young and old who can quote John Hughes films, recite Guns N' Roses lyrics, and are still pissed off that Freaks
and Geeks got canceled. These readers want to see the homecoming king fall flat on his face, implode in spectacular fashion,
dust himself off, and then do it all over again. And if somewhere along the way they're reminded of the redemptive power of
a belly dancer's love--well, that's okay too.
Advance praise for
Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer
vein of David Sedaris or Chuck Palahniuk, Brian Sweany has written a tight satirical story that has you bent over with laughter
one moment then wiping away the tears the next minute." -Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook
"Brian Sweany has re-invented
the coming of age novel with Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer, a bawdy, unfiltered snapshot of adolescence. Hank
Fitzpatrick, the hormonally challenged narrator of the story, has a remarkable capacity to be both nihilistic and tender--think
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Leave It to Beaver--minus the literary pretense and relentless self-awareness
of so many other protagonists in the canon." -William McKeen, author of Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson "Exposing the belly of the male beast is a brave thing to do. Brian Sweany
writes like an American Martin Amis, and that's a great thing." -Alexandra Fuller, author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight "For anyone who ever wonders about that guy in school who has more fun,
more girls,more drinks, more sex, drugs, and rock and roll, more luck (and bad luck) of the Irish, Exotic Music of the
Belly Dancer tells all. But behind every party is the hidden truth: that the world, if given time, will break your heart."
-Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child
"Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is funny and tragic, occasionally even a warm, homespun homage-to-me-familia,
but it is the dark and subversive stretches that burned deeply into my psyche and kept me turning the page." -Sonny Brewer, author of The Poet of Tolstoy Park
"Prepare yourself for a nostalgic, strikingly honest trip
back to your yearning youth. Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is more than a romp, and it will do more than jog your
memory: it will run your memory over with a juggernaut of hormones, teen confusion and dawning awareness."-David L. Robbins, author of War of the Rats
praise for the author's virility
"During an auction for the audio rights
to my new novel, Dracula in Love, my editor forwarded me an e-mail from Brian Sweany, who was one of the bidders.'This
book is so hot that I can't wait to get home to my wife!' he proclaimed, and then outbid everyone else and presumably went
home and made his wife happy." -Karen Essex, author of Dracula in Love
A NAVEL IDEA
(a blog of little consequence and even less insight)
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
THE JOURNEY OF MY BELLY DANCER: 1990-2012
10:31 am edt
After many years of toiling in obscurity, I can finally say, "Hey, somebody actually likes
me!" As of August 9, 2012 I'm in possession of a signed and more importantly co-signed book contract from The Writer's
Coffee Shop Publishing House for my debut novel EXOTIC MUSIC OF THE BELLY DANCER. I'm an overnight sensation, and by "overnight"
I mean 22 years.
Yes, I said 22 years. James Lee Burke once famously had a novel rejected 111 times over a nine-year period. THE LOST GET-BACK BOOGIE, a bluesy, liquor-fueled
trip about a Korean War vet in the '60s who heads out West after being paroled from a Louisiana prison farm, was eventually
picked up by LSU Press. Shortly thereafter, THE LOST GET-BACK BOOGIE was of course nominated for the Pultizer Prize in Fiction.
Okay, so it hasn't technically been 22 years that I have been trying to get published; rather, it's been 22 years since
I started writing. It was in 1990, when I was a freshman at Marian College in Indianapolis, that I realized I had a way with
words. Throw in the fact I had been a trained speed reader since the age of 10, and suddenly creative writing and English
classes came effortlessly. I never studied, ever. If you gave me six hours, a pot of coffee and a pack of Marlboro Lights,
I could write a minimum 10-page report. Give me a week and I could write a dissertation. Give me five minutes and I could
write an excruciatingly cheesy poem that would make, to quote Barry Manilow, the young girls cry. Needless to say, much to
my parents' consternation, I didn't really care much for the reports or the dissertations.
then the world conspired against me. My father was killed in a car accident when I was 21 years old. I was left with an anchorless
family, and I didn't want to be the anchor. So I wrote, drank, smoked a little pot, wrote, drank, dropped out of school for
a little while, wrote some more. In the mid-90s, after somehow convincing a college to give me a diploma, I penned a 110,000-word
socio-theological "epic" entitled THE MESSIAH PROJECT. I was proud of myself. I still remember celebrating in my
trashy little apartment with my then-fiance, now-wife-of-17-years. We drank a couple bottles of Two-Buck Chuck and debated
over who would direct the movie version. Over the next five years THE MESSIAH PROJECT was rejected by every major literary
agent and publisher in the English-speaking world.
Looking back, I needed to write THE
MESSIAH PROJECT. As bad as that book was--and trust me, it was horrible--I needed to learn how to write before I could learn
how to write well. I needed to know how to regiment my time, how to make myself sit down in front of a computer screen and
type for two hours a day even when I had nothing to say. And ultimately, I needed the rejection. I'm a firm believer that
good writers succeed in direct proportion to the number of times they're called bad ones. Eventually, after finally mustering
the courage (and humility) to stuff THE MESSIAH PROJECT in a Kinkos box in my attic, I started writing again. I also started
reading nothing but books by authors who fit my profile: young, male, alienated, funny as hell, a little disturbed. Hello
Eggers. Hello Sedaris. Hello Palahniuk. Then I re-familiarized myself with the New Journalists: Capote, Thompson, Mailer,
Wolfe. What emerged from that personal journey, along with (amazingly enough) a rock-solid marriage to a smoking-hot wife,
three kids who pretend I'm cool, and a comfortable life in the suburbs, was EXOTIC MUSIC OF THE BELLY DANCER.
BELLY DANCER's journey was by no means painless. It took me two years to get an agent and six years
to get a publisher. In those six years the manuscript was completey rewritten once and made it to three ed-board meetings
(the publishing equivalent of third base). I was great at getting one editor to like me, but getting an entire room of editors
was a different story.
Now, finally, it's the readers' turn.