Will Hartzell-Baird – The Taste of Cashews
I’m Will Hartzell-Baird, an indie author from Indianapolis. I write sci-fi comedies in the same vein as Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. My second novel, the Taste of Cashews, came out in mid-2015, and tells the story of a man on the run from an authoritarian government.
THE TASTE OF CASHEWS-
Wesley Harden was an ordinary history teacher, until he was accused of leading a rebellion that doesn’t exist and stealing a weapon that no one understands. Now, if he wants to survive, he’ll have to outrun a devious bounty hunter, a tyrannical Empire, and a local dictator who, on the whole, would rather have been an accountant. But along the way, Wes just might learn that some things are more important than surviving. And, while he’s at it, he might even prevent a cashew-flavored apocalypse.
W. T. Fallon – Fail to the Chief
W. T. Fallon believes if you can’t say something nice, you should say something funny and totally true. She has few marketable skills, but is highly talented in the areas of sarcasm, satire, and snark. For the past several years, she has written for the local Gridiron Show, and this year she started a blog called Sharable Sarcasm. The 2016 election provided so many opportunities for humor that she decided to write her first novel, a political satire called Fail to the Chief, which will be released in September. She was recently published on The Satirist, and has been writing for Humor Outcasts since September of 2016.
Fallon drew on her extensive experience at being underemployed, unemployable, and dealing with compulsive liars when she wrote Fail to the Chief, a book about politicians competing in the ultimate reality show. She wrote it in a month after getting fired from the only job she’d ever had that paid like she was the two-time college graduate she is and not a kindergarten dropout. Paying too much for a college diploma that loses value every day—only to be underemployed in multiple retail jobs—was just one of the many issues she wanted to address in her first book. Because she believes if you can’t say something nice, you should say something sarcastic and totally on point, she dedicated herself to writing a comedy about the world’s biggest circus, er, caucus, otherwise known as the presidential election.
FAIL TO THE CHIEF-
After years of emceeing insipid singing competitions, TV personality Bryan Seafoam can’t wait to host “American President,” the world’s first reality show to elect a president of the United States. Finally, an opportunity to be a real journalist, digging up dirt and playing hardball with the top ten candidates.
But it doesn’t take long for the contestants to start slinging mud at Bryan – literally, when billionaire candidate Ronald Chump is challenged to dig his proposed moat along the Mexican-American border himself. Forced to work in a fast food restaurant, an anti-minimum-wage-hike candidate learns his coworkers are struggling to survive with multiple jobs and claims to have solved the unemployment problem in his state-leaving Bryan to duck ketchup bombs from customers. To make matters worse, Bryan’s producer pressures him to be nicer to the candidates, and his former crush, now an experienced political correspondent, shows up-and shows him up at every turn.
When a cheating scandal rocks the show, Bryan begins to suspect it’s just the tip of a very underhanded iceberg. Will trying to expose a plot to wreck the most hysterical, er, historic election in history cost Bryan his career-and his personal life?
Bryan tapped the tablet again. “Here are the suggestions. Number one comes from Avery L. on Facebook, and it says, and I quote, ‘We spent almost ten million in taxpayer money last year for upkeep on the White House, including half a million on flowers alone, and almost three million on annual holiday decorations. Is all that really necessary? I mean, how many flowers do you really need in a ginormous mansion? Couldn’t you cut that spending down to five million?’”
“That sounds like the fiscally responsible thing to do.” Morganstern straightened his tie and turned to face the nearest camera. “When I was the head of Cheatham Bank, the largest banking group in the country, we didn’t waste money on unimportant things like decorations, or paid vacations for employees. I even limited the amount of money we spent on toilet paper each month. If the employees ran out, they just had to find another solution.”
“Actually, according to an exposé into your inhumane HR practices, it just caused them to use more expensive printer paper for, ah, alternative purposes.” Haverty stepped between Morganstern and the camera. “I understand some also used the widely-distributed company newsletter with your picture on every cover.”
“Yes, and I installed security cameras to catch every employee who took that newsletter to the bathroom, and I fired every last one of them.”
“Perhaps now would be a good time to hear your plan for job creation,” Haverty shot back.
Bob Fuller stopped twisting his hemp necklace around his fingers long enough to groan. “I hope you at least printed that newsletter on recycled paper.”
Morganstern made a sound that was somewhere between a grunt and a chuckle. “Hmmph. Of course not, recycled paper costs twice as much, and it’s used.”
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