Zen, Mississippi is Now on Amazon

My new novel finally showed up on Amazon this morning.


This means it should be available for general distribution now, so you should be able to walk into any bookstore in the world and ask them to order it. Please do so.

Also, if you have already read the book, please please please post a review on Amazon. I would very much appreciate it and will buy you a drink next time I see you in return.

So it’s officially a book now. Woohoo!


New Book Will Be Out Soon

My new book, a novel titled Zen, Mississippi, should be on sale on or around May 15. Mark your calendars, if you’re the sort of person who marks a calendar when a book comes out. You will be able to pre-order copies from lulu.com even sooner than that, probably within a week or two from now. I’ll keep you posted, of course.

This is my first full-length novel, one that I’ve been working on for, oh, about 20 years now, off and on. I hope that you will buy it, read it, and enjoy it.


Patrick Alexander thinks he’s going crazy. At age 30, he’s frustrated with his life in the small Mississippi town where he grew up, stifled by his unhappy marriage and his soul-crushing pizza-delivery job. But when he drinks, his world becomes populated with the hallucinatory characters he invented as a child, including a Martian and a talking monkey. In the midst of an existential crisis, Patrick leaves his wife and the only home he’s ever known to embark on a spiritual quest where he will find new loves, face his long-missing father, and confront the demigods of his personal mythology.

Blog Name Change Explained

Last week, I decided to change the name of this blog from “There Will Be Blog” to “Zen, Mississippi” in anticipation of my forthcoming second book, which is now in production and due to be published later this year by my own imprint Tritone Media. I also incorporated my other blog, which was dedicated to promoting my first book, into this one. So now all your M. David Hornbuckle news can be found in one location.

The new book, of course, will be titled Zen, Mississippi, and it’s a novel about a man on a spiritual quest, led on by three fantastical characters that he invented as a child and have recently come back to life for him. He isn’t sure what he is looking for at first, but he comes to understand that it is about realizing the ways in which is both similar to and different from his father, who abandoned him when he was ten.

It’s a serious book, but also a humorous book. And I’ll be talking about it much more in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Should I Self-Publish My Next Book?

You all know about my e-book novella, the Salvation of Billy Wayne Carter, which you can buy here. I have another finished novel titled, Zen, Mississippi, which I’ve been trying to get published for about the past year. Every agent that reads it basically says, “I like the writing. You’re a really good writer. I can’t sell this. But definitely send me your next book.”

Well, if they couldn’t sell it then, it seems damn unlikely that anyone could sell it now with the entire mainstream publishing industry essentially facing Armageddon. It was already a difficult business, but this week alone, there were layoffs at Houghton Miffllin and Simon & Schuster, a major shakeup at Random House, and a payment freeze at Penguin. There were also layoffs at Scholastic and Borders recently. So if everything is going to shit anyway, why not take some control and just publish the damn thing myself?


Generally, self-publishing is looked down upon by the ivory tower elites who hold the reigns of power in that business. It’s harder to get reviews. It’s harder to get distribution. And there’s a general stigma that if you are publishing something yourself, you’ve already failed at the more traditional route. I’m not quite willing to concede failure, but it seems like it might be a while before the industry straightens itself out enough to take what I do seriously. By then, I’ll have another book ready for them. I really want to do something with this book RIGHT NOW. Or soon at least. I’m getting impatient, and I’m addicted to instant gratification (among other things).

Moreover, the hurdles of reviews and distribution are much more easily overcome than they used to be with the rise of Print-on-Demand publishing, Amazon, and other resources available on the web. And even if you get a book deal with a major house, there’s a good chance that you will still have to do most of your own publicity. So I don’t know. Anybody have any advice for me?