A failed suicide, a failed writer, and a failed husband, Ches is tragically depressed–that is, until he finds his muse in punk rocker/ militia-marketer/ free-spirited Thalia. Ches is haunted by Thalia’s ghost–or perhaps a hallucination–and grows obsessed with writing her story…but due to his increasingly erratic behavior, he is quickly self-destructing. The pressures of public school IT work, a middle school revolution, an ex-wife, a crazed father, and an emotional crime spree culminate in a fantastic meta twist, creating a surprising end to this fabulously witty dark comedy.
PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR IS DEAD
Those who have attempted something artistic, only to find themselves tempted by a sea of impulsive despair over the eternal-seeming war between art and commerce, will identify head-over-heels with the tragicomic sojourn of Ches Smith’s metafictional protagonist. — Mark Dostert, author of Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago’s Other Side, a Houston Chronicle Best Books of 2014″
The Author is Dead is a deliciously metafictional romp that weds ennui and action to tell a gripping story. Definitely a horse of a different color, read it to believe it. — David S. Atkinson, author of Apocalypse All the Time and the forthcoming Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep.
Ches Smith is an intelligent, gifted writer who makes the aberrant and bizarre seem not just possible, but reasonable. His ability to script twists and turns and the slightly askew, obsessed personality he gives the protagonist both lend themselves well to metafiction. There is a risk an author can run of the story becoming an exercise in narcissism, the protagonist being too self-absorbed when the main character is in his head much of the time. No problem here. The author deftly counteracts that with intriguing secondary characters, a well-integrated plot, and unexpected action. The Author is Dead is a disquieting, engrossing read, making you wonder how much of it is fact and how much is fiction. Ches Smith definitely has the writing chops to keep you reading while you try to figure it out. — Colorado Book Review
About the Author
Ches Smith is a former seminary student turned atheist with a degree in Bible and a minor in philosophy. Upon realizing there isn’t much an atheist can do with that degree and there isn’t much anyone can do with that minor, he took up writing so he could say things from a safe distance that would otherwise get him burned at the stake. His first novel, Under the Suns, was self-published in 2014 and his second novel, The Author Is Dead, was released on October 1st, 2018 by Literary Wanderlust, a Denver-based independent publishing house.