Fool for Books #Giveaway + a very strange chat with author Daniel Clausen

Happy April Fool's! I've always been a fool for good books. Maybe I was just a sucker for this *hunky* author too :)  Ok, so I agree to host Daniel Clausen, author of The Ghosts of Nagasaki, and this is what happens ... (Cue Twilight Zone music). By the way, make sure to read to the end because 3 paperbacks are up for grabs (US/Can only)! 
The Ghosts of Nagasaki by Daniel Clausen Kindle Edition

We meet at some obscure bar out in cyberspace. He says he doesn’t like the big social media sites. “Too commercial,” he says. "No chats on Facebook either. They don't let me in that place anymore." I think he is going to be some wrinkled old fellow, some lost hippie from the 60s who thought he’d try his hand at novel-writing as a part of his own revolution against the system.

But when I see him at the cyber-bar, he’s not wearing a Bob Marley or Che Guevara T-shirt; instead, I see Richard Branson’s face on the front of his grimy T-shirt. Later, as he makes his way to the restroom, I see that he has the words “not a novelist” tattooed on his neck. In some ways, the T-shirt, the tattoo, all these things make him more like some cheap caricature of a novelist, not less. Now, I have to dig past these things and find the real person.

“I see you haven’t returned my Google plus request.”

He shrugs. He’s not committing to an answer.

“You know, it’s rude not to return an invitation request for social media friendship.”

He looks up from his cyber-beer. “And I suppose you’re the expert on social media etiquette, huh?”

I don’t respond to this last remark. We’re only a few sentences in and I’m already disgusted by this guy.

“Shall we begin the interview?”

He shrugs again, turns slightly, and makes sure his “not a novelist” tattoo is clearly visible. “It’s your siesta.”

I start with the most obvious. “So, your book is about a troubled main character in his early twenties who travels to Nagasaki to take a teaching position. There he finds ghosts who try to help him overcome trauma in his life. What motivated you to write this book?”


“You mean love?” I say helpfully.


“You mean love of the craft?”


“You had to put this story down on paper for posterity.”


“Okay, greed then?”

“Money and self-preservation.”


He leans over close to me, as close as two people can get in cyberspace. He whispers in my cyber-ear: “Semicolon mafia.”

I whisper back, “Semicolon mafia?”

“You ever wonder why you don’t see a lot of semicolons in American writing? Do ya?”

I nod my head in the affirmative.

“You have to ask permission before you use one in the US. Semi-colon mafia owns that piece of hardware, and every time you use one, proper or not, they want their cut. You wanna know what I did?”

I respond without thinking, “You used a semicolon without giving them their cut.”

“Bingo, hoss. Well, you’re not such a dull blade after all.”

He finishes off his cyber-beer in one big gulp. Then he gets up to leave. “Well, I’ll be seeing you, kid.”

“Wait, you’re leaving! But we just started the interview.”

“We sure did. But they’ll be coming for you soon.”


“You know who. Check your interview so far. Paragraph 2, sentence 1. I’m guessing you didn’t have their permission when you posted that. Okay now, settle down. No need to get so teary-eyed. When they’re pulling out your cyber-toenails, remember to tell them this:

One, my book, The Ghosts of Nagasaki, is a scrappy little SOB, sturdy as heck and made from the finest Chinese bamboo.

Two, make sure to tell them it has a website (

Three, tell them that each book can be purchased directly from me at ghostsofnagasaki [at] for 15 dollars a pop.

Lastly, if the semi-colon mafia asks, tell them I have something extra for them. An exclamation mark aimed right at them for what they did to my cyber-dog. Oh, I got their money. But you tell them I also got that little extra if they come around. You tell them all that. And when you’re bleeding out from your digital toes, try not to show any fear. That only encourages them.”

As he gets up to leave, I notice the rest of the bar. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

* Happy April Fools! This is a guest post by Daniel Clausen. I did not write a word beyond the italicized intro at the beginning. 

errrr ... 
About Daniel Clausen

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Daniel Clausen has been writing short stories, novels, and essays since he was in elementary school. His short stories have been published in Slipstream MagazineSpindrift, Leading Edge, and Zygote in my Coffee, among other venues.

He has published two other books: The Sage and the Scarecrow (a novel) and The Lexical Funk (a short story collection/ word bonanza). The Ghosts of Nagasaki is his third book and is loosely based on his experiences living in Nagasaki, Japan.

The Ghosts of Nagasaki by Daniel Clausen Kindle Edition
Synopsis: One night a foreign business analyst in Tokyo sits down in his spacious high rise apartment and begins typing something. The words pour out and exhaust him. He soon realizes that the words appearing on his laptop are memories of his first days in Nagasaki four years ago. Nagasaki was a place full of spirits, a garrulous Welsh roommate, and a lingering mystery. Somehow he must finish the story of four years ago--a story that involves a young Japanese girl, the ghost of a dead Japanese writer, and a mysterious island. He must solve this mystery while maneuvering the hazards of middle management, a cruel Japanese samurai, and his own knowledge that if he doesn't solve this mystery soon his heart will transform into a ball of steel, crushing his soul forever. Though he wants to give up his writing, though he wants to let the past rest, within his compulsive writing lies the key to his salvation.

Giveaway Time!
3 paperbacks, US/Can only, ends April 7

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Don't forget to check out the other lovely fools eeerrrr stops in this hop! 


  1. I never got pranked before but I have a good one in mind:) I want to put this hair dye called "Splash hair dye" and the thing about this hair dye is that it stains easily in various colorful colors. So I want to add that with hand lotion and give it to my guy friends so their hands are pink all day long!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. My husband Apriled fooled me several years back really good...
    We live in the country and turkeys showed up on our property, they would come up to me gobbling and stretching their necks... because I am short they almost came to eye level and I have always been afraid of birds pecking eyes and did not like the turkeys around.... So my husband catches the turkeys and hauls them off...way off....on Aprils fools day he is looking out our bedroom window that morning and says... I can't believe it!!! Those turkeys have found there way back ! Like a "fool" I go to the window and say...Oh my gosh ! Only to be told April Fools ! I really believed him.
    Then one year our son who at the time was 5 years old came running to me on AprilFools day early before school and said...Mommy theres a hummingbird on the back porch looking in the door window... I was like... yeah right... april Fool's...Low and behold there really was a hummingbird trapped on the backporch ! My husband had to catch it ...we all got to see the marvel and beauty of it before releasing it....

    1. If it's any consolation, I don't like turkeys either :)

  3. I haven't really had any jokes played on me that I can remember but here's a joke lol: what's the difference between a cat and a comma?

    A cat has claws at the end of its paws and a comma has pause at the end of it's clause! lol
    happy april fools! and thanks for the giveaway :)

  4. This was the joke my son told me today. Why is six afraid of seven? ... Because seven eight(ate) nine. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. What's the best day for monkey business? The first of Ape-ril! Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

  6. haven't played any jokes

  7. Lol some of the above reviews are very cute, my only april fools joke was a mess and that ended it for me, put plastic on toilet rim when my boys were littel, it was a mess and I had to clean it up....Nevery again...

  8. I really don't like practical jokes and April Fool's day, I am to gullible and trusting. But thanks for the giveaway!

  9. My parents put a fake spider on the toilet seat once. Like a tarantual. I swore and then realized that it was fake.

    mestith at gmail dot com

  10. On Monday my husband came home and told our kids that he had heard a story on the radio that may upset them. He told them that PETA was protesting all the harmful images that appear in POKEMON and because of this, they were no longer making anymore episodes, movies or character toys. Both kids, who are huge fans, were devastated and completely believed him. They were still in shock when he revealed his April Fool's joke was indeed, not true. They were relieved.
    Both my husband and I had a good laugh - I wish we would have gotten it on camera.

  11. i think the worst april's fool joke that i heard this year was lindsay lohan saying she is pregnant!

  12. No one plays jokes on me. I wonder why. Maybe I am too old for them. Or they think I might get mad.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  13. I don't know any jokes and people don't play them on me. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Saran wrap under the toilet seat!


© guiltless readingMaira Gall