Monday, September 14, 2009

The Saga of the Gimmick Ends ... or does it?

A few weeks ago I posted about the interesting ways people are going about publishing and promoting their work and making the distribution as much about art and creativity as much as the novel is. Here we have an update from Mike Heppner:

Mike Heppner announces the winner of the Man Talking contest: Dan Pope!

Dan Pope of Hartford, CT, has won the Man Talking contest by correctly identifying the secret phrase from Heppner's two novels, The Egg Code and Pike's Folly. As the winner, Dan will receive a single-copy handwritten edition of the final section of the Man Talking Project, "Talking," plus signed copies of the other three sections, "Talking Man," "Man," and "Man Talking." A short documentary of Mike meeting Dan for the first time and awarding him the prize will be shot in the weeks to come and posted at Go to to see the secret phrase revealed.

Mike Heppner's Man Talking Project, an original series of three novellas and a coda, has been written about in the New Yorker on-line, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, Conversational Reading, AdFreak, Maud Newton, Media Bistro, the Millions and HTMLGiant. Clare Dudman (98 Reasons for Being) calls the project "...a brilliant piece of writing... innovative, interesting, and absorbing..." and Neil Peart (Road Show) raves " artful examination of modern life, and modern love, with perfect dialogue, wry humor, (and) psychological insight." An essay about the history of the project appeared in the Sept/Oct '09 issue of Poets & Writers.

The four sections were written between 2007 and 2009. One cannot find all of them in a single location, however it is possible to collect and read the project in its entirety.

Part One, Talking Man, was published in September 2008 by Small Anchor Press. Small Anchor Press is a Brooklyn-based independent press specializing in finely crafted handmade books. Talking Man can be purchased exclusively at SA's website, A second printing came out in February 2009.

Part Two, Man, was released in December 2008. Five hundred photocopies have been left in random locations across the United States for readers to find and comment on. Some of those comments can be read here.

Part Three, Man Talking, the third in the series (but the first to be made available), can be read for free at Over seven thousand readers have visited since Man Talking went on-line in April 2008.

Part Four, Talking, was a contest that ran from March to September 2009. One winner received a single-copy edition of Talking, entirely handwritten by Mike Heppner, plus signed copies of Talking Man, Man, and Man Talking. The winner was the first person to correctly guess the secret phrase found in one of Heppner's two full-length novels, The Egg Code and Pike's Folly. Dan Pope of Hartford, CT, won the contest in September 2009.

Highly Recommended