Thursday, January 06, 2011

HOW I CAME TO WRITE THIS BOOK: Mike White



IMPOSSIBLE FUNKY: Cashiers du Cinemart.

"How I came to write this book" - Mike White

I'm a lazy man. To get off my duff and do anything takes quite a lot. Just as a confluence of events got me writing a zine, another series got the book Impossibly Funky on track. I had a great distribution network for my zine, Cashiers du Cinemart. My best distributor had to be Tower Records. The guy in charge of magazines, Clint Johns -- a prince among men -- asked me to put together a book proposal for a collection of articles. And the rest is history. Oh, wait... The economy imploded and by the time I turned in the proposal, Tower had filed Chapter 11. However, the seed had been planted.

The economy continued to circle the toilet while I worked on what would ultimately become my final issue. It wasn't until I tried to get that one out to the masses that I realized how many stores I used to deal with had closed up shop. I pulled the plug on the zine but still wanted to give one last hurrah. I won't go into how smart it is to put out a book in this economic climate. I
plunged headfirst into crafting a compilation of articles.

I sat down with two friends, Mike Thompson and Lori Hubbard-Higgins. Mike had been with me from the beginning, we were old college buddies. Lori had read all of the old issues.
The three of us met over a list of everything that had ever run in the zine. They volunteered their favorite pieces while I did the same. By the end of a long evening of coffee and weepy
reminiscences (we all had coffee, only I did the weeping) we had a workable list that was pared down until we got to a place that wouldn't result in an insane amount of pages. Additionally, we
picked authors with whom I could still get in contact. Some people have fallen off the face of the earth. I wanted to get sign-off to reprint their stuff and didn't want to chase some author around
for permission.

I wanted to make the book a good investment for people who may have been foolish enough to have read all of the original issues by updating some articles, combining and streamlining others. I also added quite a bit of new material: a couple interviews and articles that had never been published. Thus, the "13.2% New Stuff" emblazoned on the cover. It's fuzzy math, to be sure, but we can all pretend it's accurate.

And then the publishing process began... but that's a whole other story.

Mike White founded the zine on which this book was based: Cashiers du Cinemart. You can find him here.

6 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

My book Write with Fire came out of articles I did for my blog as well as a bunch of column stuff I did. It's a good way to generate a fair amount of material

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Thanks for hosting Mike.


Mike - Thanks for sharing the way your blogs were the basis for your writing. I'm probably going to use my blog for a book, and you've reminded me that I can do that.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Mike- That was a cool post and entertaining to read. Gotta remember this one,for future use.

The economy continued to circle the toilet.

K. A. Laity said...

I whole-heartedly approve of laziness. It is the cornerstone of my work ethic. Also repurposing: it's green to recycle!

In that vein I should mention, Patti, that my episode for Le Ronde, "Provocateur" has been accepted for publication :-) Thanks for inspiring me to write it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is so cool, Kate. Tell me where and when and I will share the news.

K. A. Laity said...

It will be in the next issue of Kippis!. Not sure when it comes out, but it goes to press Monday (LOL, they said I had to have a bio to them before then).