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!


Zen, Mississippi is Available for Pre-Sale on Lulu.com

You can buy Zen, Mississippi right now on lulu.com and have a copy in a week or so.

Buy it here: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/zen-mississippi/8076267

I’m calling this a “pre-sale” because it will be another 6-8 weeks before it will be available for general distribution. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find it on the shelf in your local bookstore, though I’ll do what I can. What it DOES mean is that you will be able to go in your local bookstore and ask them to order it, and they should be able to easily get it for you. It will also be listed on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and possibly other websites where books are sold.

Even then, I make a couple of dollars more if you buy it directly from lulu.com, but I’m not concerned about how much money I make. I’m concerned about the easiest way to get this book in peoples’ hands, and if ordering it from Amazon is what’s easiest for you, then that is just fine with me.

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.

Road Trip Days 8-10

Oxford, MS is Mecca, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s been far too long since my last pilgrimage there. Naturally, my first stop was Square Books, where, I’m quite thrilled to announce, my book is now on the shelf. It was a shitty rainy day, though, so I hunkered down at High Point Coffee to take advantage of the wi-fi and get a little work done.

Eventually, I satisfied my obligation to “the man” and spent the next 2.5 days hanging out and catching up with old friends Melanie Thomas Dobbs and Parrish Baker. On the second night, I played a couple of sets at Parrish’s bar, during which Parrish challenged me to play songs that he expected I hadn’t played since high school. Needless to say, perhaps, I met and exceeded this challenge.

And of course, I paid my respects to Mr. Faulkner at Rowan Oak. Because if Oxford is my Mecca, Rowan Oak is my Ka’bah.

To top it off, I had what I can only describe as a mighty fine plate of catfish, friend okra, and cheese grits at Ajax Diner.

Next stop, Birmingham, AL where I’ll crash with my parents for a few days.

New Work: The Boy Who Cried Wolves

The new issue of Fogged Clarity just came out, and it features a short story of mine called “The Boy Who Cried Wolves.”

This issue also features an interview with author Benjamin Percy, fiction by Harvey Havel, and a bunch of other multimedia coolness. This is one of the nicest looking literary/arts magaizines on the web, IMO, so please check it out.

Also, check out the highly pretentious “Statement of Intent” that I submitted to them along with the story (one of their requirements for submission).

One of the things I’ve been interested in exploring with my fiction is the way that a new story can be affected by a an old one that is already deeply imbedded in our consciousness. In this case, only the title is a play on words from a traditional fable, and the rest of the idea flowed from the slight change in the wording. But because of that small wordplay, the reader’s experience is colored through the association with the traditional story even though the two actual stories are actually quite different.

What It Is to Be a Human Being

That’s what David Foster Wallace once said he wanted his writing to convey, and hey struggled to meet that impossible ambition throughout his all-too-brief career. I suspect that writers have struggled with it for as long as there have been writers, and Wallace probably came closer than anyone to acheiving just the right alchemical equation. I just finished reading the article about Wallace’s struggle in the latest issue of The New Yorker, and it made me once again sad, impassioned, jealous. I wondered if I had such a clear goal with my writing, or if Wallace just hit upon the words–as usual–that I wished I’d thought of.

Aside from that , what do I hope my own writing achieves? Is there a single, quotable element that ties it all together? I don’t know if I can answer that right now. I’m still reeling a bit from that article. What I think about a lot is escapism. Some people try to use literature as a form of escapism, but I prefer a literature that challenges you to stare into the gaping maw of each living moment because to me that IS what it is to be a human being. Perhaps that’s because I myself have an irrational fear of any given present moment, and I’m constantly fighting the urge to escape into the past or future. Facing and fighting that fear is what I do always, whether I’m being “a writer” or just getting through the day. I don’t know how much  my writing does that or conveys that or has anything to do with that, but I look at Wallace’s example, and I see possibility.

New Work: "The Year of Myself" in Kora Journal

Poet Zachary C. Bush started an online literary magazine earlier this year, Kora Journal. The focus is primarily on quality experimental poetry, prose poetry, and flash fiction. The second issue, which went online today, features my newest story, “The Year of Myself.” This issue also has new work from JA Tyler, Eric Beeny, Louis E. Bourgeois, and Howie Good–all of whom are excellent writers. Also, in case you missed it in an earlier post, you can see a video of me reading an early draft of “The Year of Myself” here.