Only certain people should read the Jackson Speed novels

Sometimes when a person tells me that they are reading one of my Jackson Speed novels, I feel an involuntary cringe. There are some people who really should not read my books, and maybe it would be a good idea to help people self-qualify whether or not they should read Jackson Speed.

And I’ll tell you right now, if you are not the kind of person who should read my books, I sinerely don’t want you to read my books.

About a year ago I found myself in a meeting full of about 50 business owners – most of them folks I didn’t know. One of the people in the room – in front of everyone – announced that he’d read the first Jackson Speed novel.

He didn’t say it in so many words, but he didn’t like the book. He acknowledged that I told a good story, and he acknowledged that I’d developed a character. But he did say he “hates” the character, and when he said it, I understood that what he meant was that he hates the book.

That’s cool. I can live with that. He’s not going to read any more Jackson Speed novels, and that’s okay. My feelings aren’t hurt. I knew when I started writing the books that they were going to appeal to only a certain few people.

I understand that Speed isn’t for everyone, and I get why some people don’t like the books.

So maybe it’s worthwhile to eliminate prospective readers before their sensibilities are destroyed.

 

If the word “nipple” bothers you

The protagonist of the story is an old man telling about his memoirs. The character is not the guy running from Yankee bullets in the Civil War. The character is the old man reminiscing. A lot of what he reminisces about are the women he bedded when he was younger.

When I started writing the novels, it struck me as funny if the old man remembers his love conquests by their nipples. So when Ol’ Speedy remembers the girls – and there were many girls – he remembers them by their nipples. So for every female character in the series, there are nipples times two.

If nipples bother you, please don’t read the Jackson Speed novels.

 

If you are given to moralizing

The Jackson Speed depicted in the novels is not a good, decent, church-going type of person. If you are in law school and you want to develop a firm understanding of “moral turpitude,” perhaps you should let Jackson Speed be your guide. He often conducts himself in a vile, base manner. He is a scoundrel.

His only two motivations are self-preservation and getting belly-to-belly with whatever woman is unfortunate enough to catch his attention. He is no Southern Gentleman.

So if your favorite part of your religiosity is condemning other people who are not as good as you are, please take that somewhere else.

 

If you are offended by bigamy and/or extramarital sex

In all of the book descriptions, I specifically point out that Jackson Speed is a womanizer. While the sex scenes are not graphic depictions, Jackson Speed has sex with a lot of women. He’s only married to a few of them.

 

If you don’t like history

The footnotes alone should be enough to keep you away if you don’t like history. Most of the Jackson Speed books are heavily footnoted because the novels are full of true history. While Speed is a character of my imagination, the setting is often real and many of the secondary characters are people who actually lived. I’ve gone to some lengths to fairly and accurately portray those people, and often the quotes given to them in the books are things they actually said or nearly said. All these portrayals, of course, are through the filter of Jackson Speed – who dislikes most of these people – but I do try to be fair and honest when dealing with historical places, events, and characters.

If you don’t have a love for history, too much of the painstaking research I put into the books will be completely wasted on you. So even if you enjoy the stories and think the character is outrageous and funny, and your favorite word is “nipple,” maybe you should skip the Jackson Speed novels. If you think history is boring and just a bunch of dates and places to be memorized, I might recommend 50 Shades of Gray. I’ve never read it, but I’m told it’s pretty banal.

 

If you are under 16 years of age

You’re too young.

 

If you are anyone’s grandmother

Maybe you’d like “Four Things My Wife Hates About Mornings.”

 

If you are one of these three people

My sons, who have never read them, hate my books. It may have something to do with their father using the word “nipples.”

 

If you are this woman

One of my very first reviews came from a woman who said, “I borrowed this for my free Amazon Prime monthly download. I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. I didn’t finish reading the book. Sorry, I’m not interested in hearing about how many times a 15 year old boy gets laid.”

For the purposes of my story, Jackson Speed needed to be 15 years old when he fled his boyhood home of Scull Shoals, so necessarily the story is about a 15-year-old. And let’s remember, in 1845, a 15-year-old was a man, not a boy. A shit ton of 15-year-olds got holes in them in the War of Northern Aggression.

If this woman is you, don’t read Jackson Speed. You cannot imagine how glad I am that she did not finish reading the book.

 

If you think Robert E. Lee sits on the right hand of Jesus

My books, while well researched and historically informative, take a critical view (Jackson Speed’s point of view) of a lot of historical personages. Robert E. Lee is among them.

I spoke about my books once at a meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. These are my people. These are people who love history, specifically the time period of the mid-1800s. These are people who have a deeply held affection for their forebears. These are people who I can talk to and relate to and spend time with. But let’s be honest – most of these folks don’t read fiction. They just want the War of Northern Aggression in stark and vivid reality. They want Ken Burns and Shelby Foote, not Rob Peecher and Jackson Speed. Although, the speech to the SCV went very well, and I had my audience laughing for an hour. But they still aren’t the folks who are going to read my novels.

And I’m afraid too many of them would have apoplexy when they read High Tide and discover that Speed turns Yankee halfway through the Battle of Gettysburg.

But if you are a Son of Confederate Veterans and you can take a joke, then maybe. Maybe. But don’t get mad at me if you start reading the book and discover that Jackson Speed helped prevent Lincoln’s assassination in ’61.

 

If you think I mean 1961

Come on.

 

There is probably a lot more that should be added to this list, and I’ll continue to give thought to other people who should not read my books. I’m sure more people will read the books, tell me how much they don’t like them, and help me identify the characteristics of people who should not read the Jackson Speed Memoirs.

But if nothing in this list excludes you from reading Jackson Speed, then you really should get on with it.

Click here to start buying the Jackson Speed Memoirs.

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Best sales month yet

In a month when all of my other books sold pretty well, Iron Curling Ale performed very poorly. Nevertheless, I love this little book and I'm still glad I wrote it.

In a month when all of my other books sold pretty well, Iron Curling Ale performed very poorly. Nevertheless, I love this little book and I’m still glad I wrote it.

Over the past month I’ve managed to put together my best month of sales and my best single day of sales for my books.

As I’ve said many times, sales of my books aren’t going to get me on any New York Times lists, and I’m not making anything more than date-night money off the books, but sales of the books give me something significantly more valuable than cash in my pocket.

There really is nothing more gratifying to a writer (at least, this writer, I shouldn’t try to speak for anyone else) than to see that someone is willing to drop $4.50 on one of my books. And especially when it’s the later books in the series. That suggests that someone has read one of the books and liked it enough to come back for more. That’s the best part.

So, this month was a good sales month for me.

The book of my humor columns, “Four Things My Wife Hates About Mornings” had a mini resurgence. Never a book to draw much interest from readers, several people bought it this month and one of them left a new 5-star review.

I’m grateful for that! All indie authors understand that reviews help sell books, and so a new review really helps.

The Jackson Speed books sold very well, also, and I’m really thrilled to say that all four of the novels and the new novella sold, which is great. Some months I’ll sell a few of one book and a few of another, but I don’t always sell copies of every book in the series every month.

One thing that was really cool, on my best single sales day yet, I sold at least one copy of all five of the Speed series!

In the big picture, that’s not a big deal, but it was a little milestone that I was happy to celebrate.

I also sold a fair number of paperbacks, and that very rarely happens. I go some months without selling any paperbacks, so that was also a nice surprise.

My sales this month were a happy mixture of sales from the United Kingdom and the United States. As always, I am grateful that so many people in the United Kingdom enjoy reading about a cowardly scoundrel in 19th Century America.

Sadly, Iron Curling Ale achieved another month of zero sales. I don’t mind saying that I’m disappointed with Iron Curling Ale. When I wrote it, I thought maybe it would be the sort of book that would pick up a following. It was only ever going to appeal to a narrow niche of readers, and I always understood that the audience for Iron Curling Ale would be limited.

It’s a rough story all about drugs and sex and drinking and a cross country road trip, and you probably had to have spent time drinking with me in college to even begin to enjoy this book (but, as my wife pointed out, the people who drank with me in college may very well outnumber those who did not).

But Iron Curling Ale is sort of like my offspring – no matter how much it might disappoint me with its sales, I’ll still always love that book. That little book has a piece of my heart.

Meanwhile, to all those who are reading about my actual children in Four Things and those who are following Jackson Speed’s adventures, I remain grateful to you for your interest.