Jack Saunders is a man who writes a book a month, and posts them, as he writes them, on The Daily Bulletin.
Now of course 'book' is a relative term, and some of Jack's books are 10,000 words long. But even so, the industry is impressive.
Whatever else Jack may be, I don't think you could call him egocentric, because you have to work hard to find his name anywhere on the front page of The Daily Bulletin. All you can see at first is the work. However, if you want to know more, you can find his c.v. set out in the format used by Contemporary Authors:a volume from which he is, he tells us, excluded.
Jack and I are pretty much the same age. He is now retired and fills his day with writing. As, modest cough, do I. I really like the c.v. though. 'Publishers, rejected by: most of the larger ones.... Literary agencies, declined representation by: all I have enquired of.....Jack Saunders has been writing for 33½ years, without selling a word to New York or Hollywood, winning a grant, a writer-in-residence position, or a literary prize. He is working on a 40-year roman-feuilleton, or saga-novel, that is too large for small presses to publish and too outspoken, freewheeling, and vulgar for the mainstream commercial houses.' And all like that.
I like such people. It's eccentric of me, I know. But hell, I'm English. Goes with the territory. I may not like or admire everything that such people do, but that's not the point.
I gather that Jack is working on an anthology of underground writing. This will include 'not just writers I have known and worked with for 30-some years in the small press, mail art, zine, ezine, and blogger scene, but also folk artists, roots musicians, indy film makers, and repertory theater people who produce their own work and sell it through nontraditional distribution channels (hand-to-hand and word-of-mouth).'
I look forward to it.
The conclusion of the anthology is already completed and Jack kindly sent me a draft of it because it contains a reference to On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile. Entitled 'Disintermediate Now!' this is as striking a defence of the status of the amateur-professional, independent/self-published writer, as I have ever read, or am likely to read. Bold, passionate stuff, and I couldn't put it better myself.
'Disintermediate now,' says Jack. 'Don’t wait for permission. Start from where you are. Get better by doing it. By and by, a cult will form around you. You’ll be respected by your peers. You’ll be known in the narrow world of what you do as a mensch. A stand-up guy. A soldier.'
In the meantime, if you prefer to hold something in your hand, you can nip over to Amazon.com and buy Jack's Bukowski Never Did This: A Year in the Life of an Underground Writer & His Family. Or you can buy it cheaper, direct from the publisher.