HITTING SHELVES #50: Sip by Brian Allen Carr

Sip by Brian Allen Carr comes out today! It’s a debut novel about a trio of survivors in a post-apocalyptic Texas where “shadow addicts” can get high by drinking their own shadow. We’ve been waiting for Brian Allen Carr to drop a novel for a long time, so we asked him how he’s celebrating the book’s release.

Putting out a book is both a relief and a burden. On the one hand you get to see years of work pay off in some concrete sense, on the other hand you are essentially asking the world of readers, writers, critics, and such to pass judgment on a significant chunk of your life’s efforts. Some people liken it to having a child. That’s horse dookie. It would only be like having a kid if the sole reason to have children was so society could inspect said child in order to determine the worth of its parents. Publishing a book is an excuse for the world to tell you how great or insignificant you are. We’ll see.

In that regard, I’m not sure that the endeavor warrants celebration.

The day Sip drops, I’ll get up at 6:00 AM and get my kids ready for school. That’ll be a Tuesday, so I’m not dropping anyone off. I’ll get to work at 7:30. I’ll teach until 2:42. During down time, I’ll refresh my Amazon Author Central page. I’ll go home and do dishes.

That night, Tiffany Phillips at Wild Geese Bookshop in Franklin, Indiana will be hosting me for a reading. I’ll go read. I’ll sell some books. I’ll head home and check my Amazon Author Central page. I’ll Google myself. I’ll have a hard time sleeping. Who knows.

I started writing Sip in December of 2013. It will have been almost four years from start to publication, so my assumption is I’ll feel a deep sense of depression. The metaphorical Christmas will have come and gone. I’ll stare at things and talk to myself, and I’ll walk out into the evening with my hat pulled down over my eyes.

With any luck, some kind of cold front will come through, and I’ll have my hands in my pockets and maybe someone will pull up beside me and ask for directions. I’ll speak into their rolled-down passenger window, their face will be lit by radio clock light. They’ll thank me when we’re done, and I’ll stroll out into the moonlight, and I’ll try to separate myself from time.

I’ll contemplate vast swaths of the heavens, twinkling with stars.

I might puke in some random person’s bushes.

This will be my seventh time to put out a book. If seven is a lucky number, we’ll have to wait and see.

At midnight, I’ll sacrifice a chicken in my back yard. I’ll get naked and sit cross-legged in the grass and streak myself with the things blood and scratch my scalp with its beak.

I’ll practice holding my breath, and I’ll try to move things with my mind.

I’ll fold space and time and become a crystal.

I’ll seek truths.

I’ll glisten like eternity.

Brian Allen Carr splits his time between Indiana and Texas. He is the winner of a Wonderland Book Award and Texas Observer Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in Ninth LetterHobartBoulevard and others publications. Sip is his first novel.

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