Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Book Delay

Posted on April 8, 2011

This blog post is meant to address the growing unrest of my fans in regards to the---shall we say fluid---release date for my tween murder mystery novel, The Purplest Nurple.

The novel, as you know, follows a plucky seventh-grader named Tim McGivens and his tubby sidekick Smitts as they investigate the death of a fellow classmate. A death by titty twister.

When I offered up a brief excerpt online (reposted here), I had no idea the response/demand for the book would become as large as it has. People began writing letters asking about its progress; a few folks started online chat boards to share plot theories; there was even some rather disturbing fan fiction.

That was fifteen years ago.

Since then, demand for the book has grown exponentially. There have been two fan-made film adaptations, with accompanying making-of documentaries. A biannual Purplest Nurple convention draws huge crowds to Sydney, Australia. And, apparently, the largest subsection of the online role playing game Second Life concerns Martindale Junior High, where the book is set. All this, and people have never read the complete book.

Initially, it was supposed to come out in June of 1997. Then, as I was writing one particular scene about dissecting a raccoon in Biology class, I saw the story open up before me in ways I had never thought possible. What began as a two hundred-page book grew to four hundred pages, then twelve hundred, and finally around 17,300 pages.

We now learn not just about Tim’s investigation but also the history of Martindale as a commercial fishing hub, detailed accounts of dodgeball games with accompanying statistical analysis, and several television scripts for Restless Embers, the fictional soap opera Smitty’s mother watches in the book.

Also, footnotes. Thousands of footnotes each carefully crossed-referenced and catalogued.

Now, The Purplest Nurple is about more than simply a tween mystery. It also outlines a philosophy/worldview I’ve invented called Theoreticalistic Holism, which lays out new gender roles based on our closest genetic relatives, the Bonobo chimpanzee.

Well, I’m happy to say that the end is in sight. The final typewriter key has been struck, and the carbon copy has been sent off for proofreading. I simply need to write up a few appendixes and maybe a glossary of Norwegian terms. (The final third of the book is written from the perspective of Tim’s maternal great-grandmother. She speaks only Norwegian.)

Then, I’ll begin painting the book cover and deciding on a font for the interior. I was thinking about taking a font-making class, since none of the ones I've seen have really grabbed me. They’re all so serif-y.

All in all, expect a 2014 release date…

You know what? I just realized I never got around to writing who the murderer was. I got distracted by other aspects of the story. Do you think that’ll be important to the fans? Maybe I should call the proofreader to see if I can get it back for a rewrite. Start over from page one…

Check back here for updates.

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