Inkwater Press announces with diabolical glee the publication of Barry Smith’s Only Milo, a twisted and darkly funny thriller about the publishing industry.
All his life, 62-year-old Milo has been overlooked and underestimated, despite the twelve brilliant manuscripts stockpiled in his closet. Fed up with being a nobody, he emerges from his retirement to become an unseen force in the literary world, covertly publishing his novels in another author’s name.
Milo’s illicit ghostwriting leads him down a path fraught with deception, forgery, theft, and murder. In a world of egotistical, no-talent authors and duplicitous, back-stabbing publishers, he becomes determined to get what he deserves.
“Milo was narcissistic and unpleasant with a strong sense of entitlement. That being said, he was so deliciously unstable that I really enjoyed reading his thoughts,” says the book review website Devourer of Books.
With dark, scathing humor, Barry Smith‘s debut novel holds a grim mirror up to authors, publishers, the media, American mass culture, and, ultimately, itself as it delves into the shadowy side of both the publishing industry and human nature.
Smith, a finance professor at Emporia State University in Kansas, says it was the routine bloodbaths he watched on television that inspired him to write Only Milo.
“I have had TiVo for the last couple of years, and I’ve been watching more CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds than ever before. Last fall it really hit me that anyone watching this set of shows witnesses six to ten ‘murders’ every week,” Smith said.
“Watching those shows makes murder seem a fairly normal human activity.”