Anatomy of an Unposted Joke

The Bram Stoker Awards preliminary ballot went out this morning. In a non-shocker, none of my 2019 books were on the list. (Okay, maaaaaaaaybe My Pretties could’ve made the cut, but there was certainly no evidence that it was a front runner.)

Clowns Vs. Spiders, despite its delightfully high entertainment value, had no chance in hell. This is not a controversial opinion. Nobody, at any stage of the process, believed that Clowns Vs. Spiders was a viable candidate for the award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. You don’t write a book like Clowns Vs. Spiders thinking it’s going to win awards unless you’re a total dumbass.

Which led to the following thought process after the preliminary ballot was announced:

  1. The idea that it would be funny to do a mock-outraged post about the unconscionable snub of Clowns Vs. Spiders in this year’s Stokers. A fake angry rant about the omission of a book that everybody knows never stood a chance. Comedy gold!
  2. The realization that no matter HOW obviously satirical a post like this might be, somebody will think it’s real. People do very quick skims of their social media feeds. It’s not at all unusual for me to have to say, “Uh, that was a joke!”
  3. The awareness that anytime somebody whines about being passed up for a writing award, at least one person will angrily respond that it’s total bulls**t that they were passed up for that award. I didn’t want people responding to my amusing post with “It’s total bulls**t that Clowns Vs. Spiders isn’t on the list!”
  4. The acceptance that, removed from its original wacky context, it could look like I was being a big fat baby about Clowns Vs. Spiders not being on the list. I’ve seen people be big fat babies about not making the list. I mock them.

And so I decided not to write the post. But at least I got a blog entry out of it.

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