Monday, April 10, 2017

New Book is Out: Scrubbing His Record Clean

My second e-book, Scrubbing His Record Clean: From Manager to Office Cleaner, is finally available from Amazon and Smashwords. I would like to thank Robyn Hoode for providing the editing, as well as for generating a few excellent ideas that made it to the book. While they have very different settings, you'll notice that this story has a lot of themes in common with Her Most Remarkable Performance - namely, social and cultural drop, de-education, new identity, trading places and role swap.

When David’s wife leaves him, it sets off a chain of events that allows the young manager to fulfil his long-harboured fantasy to descend the social ladder and experience life as Sylvia, a simple cleaner, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with no education and no future. Things gradually spiral out of control once Nicole, a girl from work, manipulates him into accepting deeper and more profound changes to his life than he ever wanted – or thought possible – making his dream a reality he’d find impossible to escape. 

Amazon link.
Smashwords link.

Please leave a review if you like the book and don't hesitate to contact me directly or leave a comment here.



13 comments:

  1. |||SPOILERS|||
    |||SPOILERS|||
    |||SPOILERS|||

    The ending is really abrupt and anticlimactic. It's over right when Sylvia has to start living paycheck-to-paycheck. I wanted to hear about how she deals with being a low-level wage slave for real and not pretend. It seems like that event should have been the catalyst to get us moving toward the climax and not the conclusion.

    A big part of the reason it didn't work for me is that her romance with Vincent was way too short. We barely got to know him so the emotional impact of the grand finale fell completely flat. It was so ordinary, I was expecting chapter 21 and instead got the epilogue.

    You reference Sylvia running into Danielle as a sort of bookend to the story, but I think the last time we saw her was in the courtroom. You really shouldn't have ripped that sequence out, stuck it at the very beginning and then expected the reader to remember it as vividly as she does. That was 40,000 words ago.

    That's not to say that I didn't like Scrubbing His Record Clean. I did, but it feels unfinished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughful review. There is always scope for improvement and it always helps to get a dose of negativity even if you don't fully agree with all the comments. However, I am still learning and your feedback will definetely help me improve my writing in future books.

      Delete
    2. The "de-education" aspect was kind of dumb. It had very little bearing on the story and comes off as cringy when the person is self-aware. To give a real life example, here's a Daily Mail article where a wannabe Bimbo talks about hypnotizing herself into becoming less intelligent.

      http://dailym.ai/1bLu6kf

      "I've had 20 session and I'm already starting to feel ditzy and confused all the time."

      Do you see how stupid and disingenuous that sounds? Talking about your supposed mental impairment like that is the fastest way to prove that you aren't mentally impaired.

      "I was just a simple girl in a complicated world."

      You are never going to convince anyone that she actually is simple with a line like that. Sylvia has the same level of education as David and pretending that she doesn’t is just embarrassing. Try having him huff toxic fumes out of a paper bag next time, it'll be more believable than MTV and pop music. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but I’ve seen this trope in other genres and it’s rarely done well.

      Delete
    3. You are entitled to your opinion but I think you are largely missing the point. Part of the appeal of this scenario is precisely the fact that the main character is not really dumb or simple, he's just pretending because he thinks that is what's expected of him given his role. It wasn't about becoming mentally impaired. It was about accepting "low culture" as normal because it fits one's new station in life. And yes, it's largely (very self-aware) roleplaying and autosuggestion, just like in the Daily Mail article you linked. Obviously exposure to pop music or reading celebrity tabloids doesn't make one dumb, but that is an important element of living the cleaner's life that the protagonist finds so enticing.

      Delete
    4. The lowering of one's mental faculties works best from the perspective of an observer rather than the subject.

      From Vincent's point of view, Sylvia may genuinely appear to be uneducated. But from Sylvia's point of view, we know for certain that she isn't and the entire exercise is silly.

      Delete
    5. I would have thought the so-called 'bookend' was the change of status between Nicole and Sylvia/David when Nicole photographs the cleaner just as David's photography started his descent. Danielle doesn't appear again after the divorce is completed, although the opening sequence takes place not long before the actual end.

      I don't think the Daily Mail story (which I think I've seen before) is really relevant. David doesn't become dumb when he becomes Sylvia because the whole fantasy depends on his appearing to be stupid and he needs his intelligence to appreciate his downfall and the inescapable trap he's laid for himself.

      It's always difficult to know where to end these stories because readers always want to know more but perhaps it's better to leave them like that :) However, Like Camille I appreciate another view and critique. I read the story several times during the editing process and it's easy to miss things even then. Comments like yours are helpful and help to improve future writing and may encourage me, as an editor, to be firmer with my clients :)

      Robi

      Delete
  2. An Appreciative ReaderApril 11, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Good luck with the book - I am afraid transgender isn't for me (I have enough other buttons to push!) but I wish you all the best with it; from the snippets I have seen it seems to have your usual high standards of writing so can recommend it as a good read :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that. The next one will do a better job of pushing you buttons I hope. At least it definetely won't be TG!

      Delete
    2. An Appreciative ReaderApril 12, 2017 at 9:36 AM

      Lol. Well you can't please all the people all of the time... But you are a talented writer who has to write what YOU want, and we're all grateful you maintain such an excellent blog :)

      Delete
  3. As someone who checks this blog daily... I bought the book because I get a great deal of enjoyment out of this blog anyways. I look forward to reading it and I hope you make a few bucks through your effort!

    Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I hope you like it! I will spend the big bucks responsibly.

      Delete