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I'm a business journalist and a fiction author. My novel Mute is available now from Silver Leaf Books.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Fool’s and Viral Pranks Rule - my novel’s coming soon

I’ll be straight up with you this April Fool’s Day, I love a good prank.

I’m not saying that I dupe my co-workers or friends. That ceases being cute at a certain age and strays into jerk territory. I love viral pranks, the endless reel of YouTube slapstick featuring such classics as shackling the sleeping drunk, the shove into the pool, and the paintball gun ambush.

While enjoying all this hilarity I wonder, what is possessing these kids (and immature adults) to universally declare themselves assholes by starting in these prank videos? Would any decent employer hire them after this?

The thing is, it doesn’t matter. Not to them. Posting their pranks online is their validation. All the clicks, likes, retweets and comments fill the void that seeks acceptance. When I was a kid, I did stupid things to get attention in class because I didn't know how to socialize like a normal person. This was before everyone had an outlet to reach billions of eyeballs.

That leads me to my new book, which - and this is no joke - is coming out soon. Famous After Death will be released by Silver Leaf Books by June 1.

What happens when a viral prank goes too far? In Famous After Death, three Miami teenagers hang a blowup doll off an overpass hoping to film cars slamming into it. They didn’t think a police office would fall for their trap with disastrous results. The opportunity to post the video online is too tantalizing for them to pass up.

Famous After Death explores what motives the teenagers to seek viral fame with increasingly violent pranks. The difference between these teens and most online pranksters is they are clever enough to stay off camera and post anonymously.

You can see the Famous After Death page at Silver Leaf Books now. The cover isn’t quite finalized, but the image you see there is the one I’m going with, thanks to El Cesana.

I’m shifting into publicity mode, so stay tuned for some articles, events and, just maybe, another offering on YouTube. I’ll try not to hurt anyone.