We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: congratulations to Mark Savage and Fictional Film Club on being a finalist for the 2021 Oregon Book Awards! Just one week ago today the finalists were announced. To see Mark listed alongside such writing talents as Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Bieker, Genevieve Hudson, and Vanessa Veselka, and Deep Overstock next to bigger publishers, is incredible.
We were lucky to have Mark approach us about publishing his book in 2019. At that point we had only published a handful of the Deep Overstock journals and Midnight Mistress Muse, but he trusted us as both coworkers and as professionals to handle his novel with care. I read through the entire manuscript in one sitting. Its use of film essays, biography, a story between the lines and in footnotes, encompasses what we then created Deep Overstock Publishing for: to publish “overstocked” works that are different than most other books out there.
There was little work we had to do on the manuscript itself. If you have been fortunate enough to attend a Mind-Meld co-hosted by the Legendary Mark Peter Savage, you’ll know just how creative and intelligent Mark and everyone he’s involved with is. (Just check out his music at https://marksavage.bandcamp.com/. Time Thief is fittingly one of my go-to shelving soundtracks at work.) We couldn’t have asked for a better first novel or author to have worked with.
Of course, that isn’t to say there weren’t mistakes made–on my part. Perhaps egotistically, on the back cover instead of a book summary or review quotes, I decided to do an image of a cassette created from the words “Fictional Film Club by Mark Savage Reviews of Movies that Don’t Exist” repeated over and over. Does it look cool? Debatable. Does it help to sell what’s inside the book? No, not at all. “Reviews of movies that don’t exist” doesn’t even get to the heart of what this book truly is. Fortunately I don’t think the judges consider the covers in their decisions.
After a release party hosted by Mother Foucault’s in Portland (see below), the book went on to be stocked at Powell’s and most notably made it to the Fiction Bestsellers display there. We knew we had something special on our hands since the moment we got ahold of the manuscript and now it is getting well-deserved attention.
If you haven’t had the chance to read FFC you can get a preview with the excerpted essay “Mensch versus Mittwoch (Man versus Wednesday) F.G. Hoch, 1930” published in Deep Overstock #7: Horror. And then buy yourself (or a friend, a book club, or a film club) a copy on the DO Store or Powell’s. If you have read it, please leave a review on any and all platforms to help other readers find Mark’s work.