Release day is here! Burrito Avenger is out in the wild, now for sale on Amazon.
Writing this book has been an incredible process. Today we’re gonna peek behind the curtain and talk about what it took to bring this insane story idea to life.
Where did this idea come from?
The first question I usually get is, how did you come up with such a weird story concept?
Quite by accident and while on the verge of sleep.
I’d been watching some manly action shows with my wife (that’s our form of romantic date night: the more gunfights the better) and got an itch to write my own action story. I’d watched John Wick just the day before, so the revenge aspect was fresh in my mind, but I knew I’d quickly lose interest if it were just a straight-laced, overly serious affair, so I cast about for inspiration on how to add a humorous running gag. I grabbed hold of an episode of the show How I Met Your Mother where the gang is dragging around one of their members who is starving for a hamburger. She keeps getting burgers dangled in front of her face but they all jump up and drag her away every time she’s about to eat. I knew I had my hook but wanted to change it, and burritos were the next best food I could think of. To add an extra level of hilarity, the character would not just be dragged away but would have burritos shot out of his hand, blocked by gunfire, exploded by grenades, etc.
Then I started laughing. An action story about a man seeking revenge for his burrito? It was just too absurd to even think about. I drafted a tweet about it and posted it to Twitter, thinking other people would get a kick out of the goofy idea.
When I woke up the next morning, the tweet had exploded. People were writing to me in public and in private encouraging me not to let this idea go. One person had even promised to name their first-born child after me if I wrote the book.
My father always told me that when the public wants to buy something from you, you shut up and give it to them.
The fans hold a large chunk of the credit for this book being made. Without that surge of interest I may have laughed off this book idea and moved on to something else.
The Writing and the Campaign
I only get one day per week to write. This book took me less than 9 weeks from start to finish, from the beginning of September until partway through November. Some weeks I didn’t work, some I worked 2 days instead of 1. I’d estimate that this book took me about 10 days of actual work to write. That sounds strange to some folks, but as I posted in my article about my outlining process, words flow like water when you know where you’re going and how to get there.
I had an absolute blast writing this book. It was the first time I just cut loose and threw every crazy idea I had into the story in an insane, escalating, feverish pace. I hope my passion and crazed joy bleeds through in the prose.
Once the writing was done, it was time for the Kickstarter.
I was blown away at the support I received from all corners of the online community. Men from the masculinity sphere came charging out with guns blazing and got the word out. Friends who’d followed me from five years ago when I did a storytelling podcast were right there with cash in hand to make my book come to life. Family and friends came out in droves to support the craziest story idea I’d ever had.
This book is published today because of all these generous people. Without the Kickstarter, I’d still be scraping and saving to pay for an editor and cover art.
As most of my readers already know, during the final week of the Kickstarter campaign my family experienced a tragedy. One of our immediate family members committed suicide. The abrupt shock halted everything in our lives, including any final-push marketing on the campaign. Because of the hard work the fans had done supporting the book in the first 3 weeks, I was able to grieve with my family and still succeed on funding the project. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all who helped us during that dark time and still made it possible for work to continue even when we could do nothing.
Editing and Polishing
The editing process started in mid-December when I shipped the book to Brian Niemeier. He worked hard at the manuscript for 3 weeks and sent it back with over 3,600 corrections and suggestions.
I got the manuscript back in early January and immediately dove in. Two chapters needed to be added from scratch, a secondary character’s personality and dialogue needed to be reworked from the ground up, and just about every single sentence had suggestions for improvements to make the flow more engaging. No part of the book was left untouched.
After the editing came proofreading. Five times I read this book back-to-back, scouring the text for typos. I believe in putting forth the best possible product and I despise works rushed to the marketplace without regard for quality.
Marketing, Art, and Audiobook
I worked with two fantastic artists on this project: Ashion for marketing and Ivan Tao for the cover. Ashion is also doing the covers and internal illustrations for my Savage Hunters series of books. Both were a delight to work with and absorbed my nitpicking critiques and bizarre concept directions with gracious patience.
Marketing has been a breeze. I tell someone the concept of the story and it sells the book on the spot. People on social media have been enormously helpful in spreading the word. When you create something genuinely fun, people love to support it.
The audiobook is finished and ready to be uploaded today. JD Ledford has brought the story to life with her typical whimsy and powerful characterization.
And that’s the behind-the-scenes story of Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger. What started as a goofy idea scraped up from the edges of sleep is now a purchasable product on Amazon.
Several people have asked about a possible sequel. I’ve definitely got an idea ready to go. Let’s see how the first book sells. If the public demands a second helping, who am I to deny them?
Get your copy today and experience the new action sensation!