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Gag is Available Now!

Gag

Gag

Published by Trees and Squids Publishing



Stephen Schwegler's experimental fictional memoir, Gag, is about one man's struggles with anxiety and panic attacks; the author's. Blending stark realism and bizarro tendencies, Schwegler shows us just how devastating and unpredictable anxiety can be through this new storytelling method.

“Amazing, stupendous, and a whole host of other positive adjectives. Gag is an engrossing and cathartic ride, all too familiar to anyone who’s been too close to the edge.”
- Eirik Gumeny (Exponential Apocalypse series)

“Raw, funny, and just plain weird, Gag is a fictional memoir from a unique thinker and immensely talented writer. Schwegler’s doing honest work, showing readers what it’s really like to live with mental illness.”
 - Chris Rhatigan (The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other)

“This man put together a bunch of words. Those words made sentences. Those sentences formed chapters and those chapters told a story. And then those chapters got drunk and told the story again. And then those chapters got sober and told the story about how they accidently told that first story twice. There are moments of real emotional rawness in here, though they are stitched together by scenes painted in absurd colors. The repetition of the story is actually rather effective, showing how the same scenes, presented in various orders, can strike an unexpected chord of sincerity. Or levity. Or insanity. Perhaps that’s the real take-away here. Anxiety makes life unpredictable, even when you’re treading somewhere as familiar as your own house. As you’re walking through the living room of this book for the third time, you suddenly realize you’re still unsure of how it will all unfold. The furniture keeps getting rearranged. You keep tripping over ottomans like the opening credits to the Dick Van Dyke Show.”
- Danger Slater (DangerRAMA)

From the Desk Inside the Mind of the Author

So, here’s the thing. This book is actually set up as three smaller stories. Hold on, don’t go anywhere. I’m not done yet. Each one tells the same general story, but with different chapter sequencing and mood. This is why there are no chapter numbers, only titles.

The reasoning behind naming this book Gag was due to “gag” being a palindrome and homonym.  “What does that have to do with anything?” you might be saying. Let me explain.

You can think of the first version out of the three as being a palindrome. I’ve titled this one “Despair.”

The next is “Dependence,” which is actually the previous version in reverse chapter order, hence the palindrome connection.

The last one, “Desire,” is a jumbled up one. If you refer to “Despair” you will see that this third version essentially reads as chapter 1, 9, 2, 8, 3, 7, 4, 6, 5.

The homonym connection comes from each chapter title also being one.

Gag is an extremely personal tale of my own panic attacks and anxiety. A lot of it is based on real events. And a lot of it is completely made up.

Chapter Breakdown
I. Despair
    - Recess
    - Reel
    - Whip
    - Zest
    - Balance
    - Fray
    - Whip
    - Faint
    - Rash

II. Dependence
    - Rash
    - Faint
    - Whip
    - Fray
    - Balance
    - Zest
    - Whip
    - Reel
    - Recess

III. Desire
    - Recess
    - Rash
    - Reel
    - Faint
    - Whip
    - Whip
    - Zest
    - Fray
    - Balance
OUT NOW