Okay, it’s not quite like that. It’s EVEN BETTER. I’m currently the author of the world’s HIGHEST SELLING (free) ‘unicorn sharehousing comedy fantasy story featuring a protagonist called Stanley’, and don’t even try telling me that hasn’t been your dream since childhood.
All right, all right. Amazon slices and dices the genre categories a bit, but not quite that thinly. But thanks to some enthusiastic downloading, Problems With a Girl and a Unicorn is currently sitting at #13 in the US Kindle rankings for (free) contemporary fantasy.
This is the time for all Australians to don the green and gold, download like bandits and make it infiltrate the top ten while the Americans are sleeping.
Who knows what they’re expecting when they download it? As was pointed out to me earlier, most of the people downloading it in the US seem to be scooping up every unicorn story they can point their Kindles at. Yet my story is a reasonably grubby 90s sharehousing story, that happens to feature a unicorn housemate. It can’t possibly be what they’re expecting. All the more reason I want it on their Kindles.
The story came about because, after John Birmingham had come out of the blocks with the definitive Australian work on sharehousing (He Died With a Felafel in His Hand) and then followed it up with another hit or two (Tassie Babes, for instance), it seemed like loads of people were trying to get some buttock purchase on his bandwagon. We were deluged with sharehouse stories, some of which started to look, dare I say it, a little derivative.
So I decided, as my own private way of commenting on that, to suggest that a writer would have to go to extraordinary lengths to write a sharehouse story with anything new in it at all. And I decided I’d do that by setting out to write the same story everyone seemed to be trying to write, but I would people it with a guy, a girl and … a unicorn. A sharehouse that no one had seen before.
I played around with it for a while, but it didn’t go too far. Then I was suddenly struck by how it might end, and I knew I had myself a story. It was published in my collection Headgames and has twice been turned into a short film. It’s also been optioned for claymation by someone who worked on the Wallace & Gromit movie. I want to see that.
For now, though, it’s at least fully resuscitated as a story, and free for another day or so for Kindle and the Kindle app. Please download one here. I’d like to see how far and wide I can make it go.