About the Book
Author: David E. Sharp
Genre: Fantasy / Science Fiction
Some genres were never meant to cross.
Joe Slade is a detective with a hot lead and a warm gun. He no longer believes in happy-ever-afters, but his faith in plot twists is devout. Good thing.
He is about to discover the biggest twist of all.
Joe Slade is not real.
He is a character in a series of mystery novels. And when he discovers all his pain has been in the name of book sales, there will be hell to pay. Vowing revenge on his author, he will set off for the World Where the Books Are Written. The road will take him through genres foreign and treacherous: High Fantasy, Bodice-Ripping Romance, Intergalactic Sci-Fi, and others even more awful and terrifying.
But what if this new life is about more than just living? And will Joe still come out on top when all the rules have changed?
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“So, I’m a character in a book?”
“Yes,” said Ellodrine from behind him.
“But I’m not in my book anymore. I’m in your book.”
“That is correct, Joe.”
“Because you’ve got a job for me.”
“You’re our specialist,” said Kribble.
“I’ve got some bad news. I’m not your guy.” Joe turned to face her and gestured to the pile of Joe Slade Mysteries on the floor. “You should go into one of these books here. The early ones. You’ll like that guy better. I like that guy better. He was less defeated. Hadn’t been screwed around so hard. Wasn’t all used up like I am. Still thought he could win and have a happy ending. That’s the guy you want. Not me. And while you’re at it, bring Lily too. She would have loved it here. She loved books. And libraries. Place like this would have blown her mind.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible, Joe,” said Ellodrine. Her irises deepened to the color of twilight. “We can’t go into just any book. We can only enter current books. Books that are being written right now. We tried. Once books are finished, they’re in the past.”
“So, what’s the point? Why do you need a specialist?”
“We need somebody who can get into the heads of other people and figure out their next moves before they do. We need somebody who can outwit, who can think on his feet, who can be unpredictable enough to keep our enemies guessing.”
Joe snorted. “That’s your job? You figured out you live in some kind of storyland, and you want me to help you win? Forget it. If you really are characters like you say, then you’re bound to come out on top. You don’t need a specialist. You have an author.”
At the word author, Aelrûn’s eyes narrowed, Kribble spat on the floor and Ellodrine’s irises bore a dull red tint.
“You don’t understand, Joe. Our author is the enemy. He is who we must overcome. He’s got all the information. All the advantages. He stops us at every turn. We need you to help us get an edge.”
She held up the book in her hand, open to the back cover. It displayed a picture of a spindly looking man with deep-set eyes and an awkward smile framed by sunken cheeks. Underneath were the words: Howard Zagny.
David E. Sharp is a noisy librarian. He is fond of theatre and got his start in writing by producing original plays in his hometown. He has also published short stories in various anthologies. David is a member of the Northern Colorado Writers and frequently contributes to their blog. He lives in Greeley, Colorado with his wife and family.
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Lost on a Page won the 2021 Maxy Award for the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Category
Lost on a Page recently received a score of 4.6 on IndieReader.