"Honorable Mention for Best General Fiction"...2015 New York Book Festival
“In the starkly portrayed landscape of the end-of-the-world genre, divine roosters & angry clowns proves to be a colorful burst of comedy and satire.”…Red City Review
"A real addictive page turner. Just when you think the book can’t top itself, it does. This is a laugh out loud book: an overused phrase, but really this is a vivid and hilarious ride.” --- Self-Publishing Review
“divine roosters and angry clowns: an unexpected gathering” is an exceptional and original novel that holds the reader’s fully entertained attention from beginning to end. An impressive and deftly crafted novel populated with memorable characters and unexpected plot twists and turns”--- Midwest Book Review
“I thoroughly enjoyed this goofy, comic novel, and laughed out loud through much of it. The characters are wildly drawn, and the satire is sharp and pointed…The ending is surprising, ironic, and perfect.” --- Readers’ Favorite
An answered prayer from God has led me to permanently cancel the divine roosters & angry clowns book tour.
The Holy intervention came days after I was attacked at a stoplight by a posse of clowns from CAPT, the organization of jokesters who had launched a libel suit against divine roosters and angry clowns over what it considered to be a slanderous attack on its membership.
Even though I managed to avoid the ambush by driving through a red light, the clowns jumped back into their black and white-striped circus car and pursued me onto the freeway where we became engaged in a high speed chase.
Fortunately for me, I was able to lose the furious funnymen after they attempted to get around a slow moving semi by driving their toy car underneath it and became stuck. As for me, I kept on driving until I found a motel in an out-of-the-way place where I could wait for the clown uproar to settle down.
For several days I sat holed up in my motel room, my only link to the outside world my publicist, Art Whistles. Unable to venture outside, save for quick trips across the street to the convenience store for food and gin, I had much time to reflect.
The book tour had been marred by an ever increasing litany of setbacks, which had led me to this flea bag motel in the middle of nowhere. I could only conclude that divine roosters & angry clowns was a cursed book, one that I should have never written. It’s not easy for me to admit but in my troubled state, I began to contemplate dark thoughts.
I don’t want to go into detail as to what I was prepared to do but suffice it to say that I was saved by a knock on the motel room door. When I called out to see who it was, a muffled voice responded that it was housekeeping. So I put down my homemade tattoo gun and removed the stencil drawing of a clown with a teardrop from my neck and opened the door.
To my horror, standing before me was a clown in an orange and black checkered suit which held a large red plastic flower in the lapel. My heart instantly froze, but before I could react, the red squirt flower issued a stream of pepper spray directly into my eyes.
I collapsed to the floor, writhing in pain. Clawing at my eyes, I heard the sounds of many people enter into the room. Then a pair of strong hands pulled me up from the floor and roughly pushed me down into a chair. As the tears streamed down my face, my vision blurred, I felt a pair of handcuffs slapped on me.
When the pain in my eyes receded and my vision became clear, I could see the tiny motel room was filled with clowns, all dressed in a wide variety of colorful costumes.
Most were holding either plastic bowling pins or seltzer bottles. A few carried creams pies that had dangerously hardened to form tough crusts. One particularly menacing clown held a hangman’s noose made of twisted balloons in his beefy hands. A number of them had cigarettes dangling from the corners of their painted lips. Their only unifying characteristic was that they all looked angry.
They were all silent except for the clown who had pepper sprayed me. He introduced himself as Loosy Stools, a clown with irritable bowel syndrome, whose props included bedpans and rectal washout kits. Loosy Stools told me he and his clown buddies had come to take care of unfinished business.
I stared deeply at the assembled group of tough merrymakers and knew they meant business. Yet despite my fears, I vowed to face them with dignity and resolve. So I began to tearfully beg them to spare my life, promising that I would issue a public apology, have divine roosters & angry clowns taken out of print, and complete a clown sensitivity training course.
My generous offer had no effect as it was met with silence. That’s when I knew that only a prayer to God could save me.
Admittedly, the first part of my prayer was an angry, curse-filled harangue over the unfairness of it all. However, I quickly realized that probably wasn’t the best way to win over God’s favor. That’s why I then offered God a promise that if he got me out of this mess I would devote my life from that point forward to doing charitable work.
My heavenly plea had its intended effect as suddenly a downpour of water filled the room. Apparently, the clowns’ cigarette smoke had set off the fire sprinklers, which then shorted out the joy buzzers held in the hands of a few unlucky clowns. The electrocuted clowns dropped to the floor, which caused a mass panic in the room, allowing me to escape amid the confusion.
Now having been granted a second chance in life, I have begun to honor my promise to God and start devoting my life to the less fortunate. My mission however will have to be done in the shadows as I have gone to live in another undisclosed location, ever fearful that these angry clowns will never tire of hunting me down.
Associated News…. Clowns Are People Too (CAPT), a national organization of clowning professionals, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the author of divine roosters & angry clowns over what it describes as a slanderous attack on the group’s membership.
According to the head of CAPT, Binky the Clown, divine roosters & angry clowns is nothing more than a “literary hate crime.” Binky made his highly charged accusation in a prepared statement given at the National Press Club in Washington DC. “Most people have an almost pathological fear of clowns as being scarier than shit, a misconception that our organization has spent years trying to correct. Now, all our work promoting our members as masters of frivolity has been undercut by some yahoo writer eager to make a buck.”
When pressed by reporters to provide specific examples of “hate clown speech” in the book, Binky was vague, saying all he had read was the book’s title. “Look, a number of us tried to read the book but quite frankly, it’s a tough read. Besides, the title says it all. When I first saw it, I felt like I was sucker punched right in my big red bulbous nose.”
Binky’s’ view seemed to be shared by many in the 50-year-old advocacy group. That feeling was best articulated by one furious clown, Jolly the Undertaker, whose pantomimed clown skit is centered on embalming, burying and cremating stuffed animals. “I’ve been fighting clown prejudice my entire adult life. For years I’ve been going to countless kids’ parties only to be confronted by the terrified shrieks of some sniveling brat wetting his pants at the sight of me. Now, I’ve got to contend with some ignorant wannabe writer fanning those unfounded fears.”
While CAPT’s primary focus is on its pending litigation, local chapters of CAPT nationwide have begun organizing their own response, which has included a letter writing campaign to lawmakers and holding candlelight vigils outside novelty toy shops.
Even though most of the activities have been peaceful, violence has found its way into some of the protests. In New York City at a sit-in outside the publishing offices of divine roosters & angry clowns, a riot broke out when police tried to break up the demonstration. In the ensuing melee several officers were injured after the unhappy clowns pelted police with oversized shoes and sprayed seltzer water in their eyes.
Frank Crimi, the author of divine roosters & angry clowns, has been unavailable to speak with reporters about the lawsuit as days after the suit was filed, he was attacked by angry members of CAPT. According to eyewitness accounts, Mr. Crimi was stopped at a traffic light when a tiny, toy-sized car pulled up alongside him and out jumped twenty furious clowns armed with cream pies. Mr. Crimi reacted by driving through the stop light, sideswiping a bus before disappearing from view. He hasn’t been heard from since.
Despite Mr. Crimi’s absence, his publicist, Art Whistles, was available to speak to reporters. Standing in line at the cashier’s window at an off track betting room at Pala Indian casino, Mr. Whistles angrily denied the charges. “This lawsuit is just a fishing expedition launched by a small group of whiners in pancake makeup hoping to gin up some free publicity. Frank has the utmost respect for clowns. In fact, some of his best friends are clowns. The truth is that divine roosters & angry clowns is a book that goes out of its way to extol the clowning profession.”
When Mr. Whistles was asked to provide some specific examples from the book to prove his point, he confessed that he hadn’t read divine roosters & angry clowns. “I tried a couple of times but it’s really pretty long. And the truth is I just don’t get Frank’s humor.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Whistles promised that both he and Mr. Crimi would wage a full throttled campaign to refute the charges of CAPT, emphatically stating that “we’re not going to be intimidated by a group of thugs wearing baggy pants.”
The legal action taken by CAPT is just the latest in a series of setbacks delivered to divine roosters & angry clowns, whose promotional book tour has been plagued from the outset by a bevy of interview cancellations, arrests, hospitalizations and near overdoses.
Those difficulties promise to continue as news of CAPT’s lawsuit has prompted other aggrieved groups to join in the protests against divine roosters & angry clowns. The most recent group to join the anti-divine rosters & angry clowns bandwagon is Keep the Others Out (KOO), an interfaith coalition of religious leaders joined together to promote religious harmony.
According to KOO’s Executive Director, Rabbi Harold Bernard, the deification of roosters in the book is troubling. “We find elevating farm animals to deity status an affront to mainstream religious belief. It’s bad enough we have the Hindus worshiping cows, but now we’ve got to deal with some lunatic writer promoting the worship of a rooster. C’mon. Enough’s enough.”
Despite his coalition’s anger, Rabbi Bernard was unable to provide specific instances of poultry worship in divine roosters & angry clowns. “I haven’t read the book yet. I just saw the title. I mean, I tried to read it a few times but kept falling asleep.”
While there has been some talk of all the protesting groups joining together to offer a more unified fight against divine roosters & angry clowns, that appears for now to be unlikely given their inability to find common ground among each other.
According to KOO Spokesman, Reverend Morris Grant. “Personally, I don’t get what’s got these clowns so worked up. Most of them are terrifying. I don’t know about you, but they truly scare the holy water out of me.”
From the October 1, 2014, issue of Waste of Paper…
Waste of Paper, a literary journal dedicated to highlighting the works of below-to-middling writers, was fortunate to spend a few minutes with Frank Crimi, author of the newly available novel, divine roosters & angry clowns.
WP caught up with Mr. Crimi at his home where he is recuperating from a serious accident he suffered during a promotional appearance for divine roosters & angry clowns.
WP: Can you let us know what happened to you?
FC: No, I’d rather not.
WP: It’s just that I’m sure our readers would like to know about…
FC: Look, I don’t want to sound rude or anything, but I’m really unable to speak about that day. I mean I’m still undergoing therapy for it, and there’s also the matter of the unsettled lawsuits.
WP: Ok. As you know, Waste of Paper is dedicated to promoting aspiring authors, so can you tell us what inspired you to become a writer?
FC: I would have to say the revelation came to me when I was nearing fifty and tragically discovered after being laid off that I had no employable skill set. Believe me, it was a real eye opener.
WP: That’s right. You documented your transformation to becoming a writer in your first book, raining frogs & heart attacks: changing my life midstream. Did that book turn out the way you imagined?
FC: You mean a commercial and critical failure?
WP: Uh, is that what happened?
FC: Are you trying to be funny with me?
WP: No. That wasn’t my intent.
FC: Well, it sure the hell sounds that way.
WP: Why don’t we move on. Raining frogs & heart attacks was an autobiographical collection of essays. What made you decide to now write a novel?
FC: I had always gotten compliments over how well written my twitter tweets and facebook postings were, so I naturally assumed it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to write a novel.
WP: Now having finished your debut novel, can you tell us where you got the idea for divine roosters & angry clowns, a story about a group of very quirky strangers — some might even say severely demented — who are thrown together after a calamitous solar storm hits the Earth.
FC: The idea behind divine roosters & angry clowns took root when I was shopping in Costco one Saturday and the power in the store went out. Standing in the crowded warehouse, I started to think how a group of strangers would react if thrown together during an apocalyptic event. In my case, thinking the power outage signaled we were under a terrorist attack, I started screaming “we’re all going to die”, which unfortunately set off a large, storewide panicked rush to the exits. After the lights came back on five minutes later and I was forcibly removed from the store — my Costco membership terminated — I raced back home to begin work on the book.
WP: How long did it take you to write divine roosters & angry clowns?
FC: After over a year laying out a detailed outline, setting the scene, developing characters, resolving conflicts, and determining points of view, I had almost finished the first chapter. Needless to say I was gripped with a severe case of writer’s block.
WP: How were you able to resolve it?
FC: I tried a number of creative techniques, like freewriting and listening to rap music. I also examined what outside forces were contributing to my inability to write, such as fear of failure or lack of desire.
WP: What technique ended up working out?
FC: I would have to say it was my wife letting me know that if I didn’t write something soon, she was going to kick me out of the house. For some reason that was enough to unlock my muse, and thus the book was finished in short order.
WP: Selling books in a crowded marketplace is a never ending challenge for authors. What are you doing to gain readership?
FC: The first thing I did was employ an organically grown marketing strategy that begins with creating a strong foundation by first connecting with family and friends. Then through them I build up links to a wider, greater audience.
WP: You’re talking about a social media platform.
FC: Exactly. I have a very strong, extensive, and interconnected social media platform. That’s why I have my own website, Writing Without a Net, as well as a links to Twitter, Facebook, Google, Tumblr and Linkedin. I mean, you can’t swing a dead cat and not find me somewhere on social media.
WP: Has it worked?
WP: Have you been able to pinpoint why your marketing efforts haven’t been a success?
FC: I have no family or friends.
WP: I’m sure that’s not the case.
FC: Really? I spend all my time searching the internet in vain for some kind of human contact. I’m like a social media leper.
WP: Well, to be fair, not everyone spends their time on social…
FC: Please. I see them posting or tweeting all the time about every aspect of their daily lives, everything from their discovery of fungus in the shower to what television show they’re currently watching to their feelings about ham. Besides, it’s not like I’m asking them to donate a kidney. Hey, just one click on a post or something. Like my page. Throw me a bone for god’s sake. I mean, it’s important for me to know that if I post something, they like it. Was it worthy of a share or perhaps even a more heartfelt re-tweet?
WP: Maybe if you approach them in a …
FC: And it’s not like I don’t know who’s ignoring me. I know. That’s why I’ve begun construction of a list to track those who have either directly or indirectly rejected my requests to become connected and then I will…
WP: You sound like a very bitter man.
FC: Oh. I’m sorry. Was I speaking out loud? … No. I mean everything’s going good.
Editor’s Note: At this point, the interview with Mr. Crimi was cut short when he went into hysterics after he saw his mother had stopped following him on Twitter.