BACKMASK & Lockdown Laureate by O F Cieri

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Here are two books one of our Adafruit team members have coming out this year!

Both are on independent presses; Malarkey books has been around for four years, but this is Castaigne Publishing’s first year. Castaigne is based out of Ashland, Kentucky’s only independent bookstore, Conquest Books, and Malarkey is working towards the goal of becoming an author-run press.

Lockdown Laureate is a 22 short story collection with 22 illustrations by Soren Häxan and Rachel Lilim. It was written in lockdown as a loose record of how I was occupying my time. Some people started windowsill gardens or crocheted rolls of toilet paper, and some wrote. Lockdown Laureate was published in February of this year.

“One could think of a short story collection as a Commonplace book. One of those old manuscripts which compiled a variety of writing pieces giving a cross-section of a person’s thoughts and life at a particular point in history.”

-Peter Onolio, reviewing for The Aither Network

Technically Backmask was also written in lockdown, but as it stemmed from ideas I was toying with before lockdown I don’t consider it borne from the same circumstances.

BACKMASK is written in the style of 60s horror pulp. Taking inspiration from the lives of Joe Meek, Phil Spector, and Timothy Leary, BACKMASK is a speculative look at hidden messages in pop music.

Nicholas Hush, 1960s record producer, is tired of missing all the big trends. Instead he decides to induce prophetic dreams to stay three steps ahead of the trends. His secretary, Valerie Chill, is tasked with finding consultants and funding while he crafts the perfect album. Quickly their project becomes entangled in other, larger machinations, and two teenage pop acts become responsible for international intrigue.

O F Cieri

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