THOMAS HENRY POPE - AUTHOR

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IMPERFECT BURIALS

A massacre. A murder. And a marriage.

A Cold War political thriller.

IMPERFECT BURIALS

U.S. correspondent Finn Waters risks his life in pursuit of a story he dreams will exalt him to the level of his famous journalist father who disappeared during the Hungarian Revolution. But Finn doesn’t suspect he’ll have to make a devil’s bargain. With only three days before secret police will notice his absence at the 1989 Round Table Talks in Warsaw, he slips undercover into Belarus to prove, once and for all, who massacred 22,000 Polish officers during WWII. He knows the truth will cause a global uproar capable of shattering the tottering Soviet Union. And he prays the acclaim will smooth over the problems in his marriage.

Of course, if his wife, Clarissa, or his editor at the New York Times finds out he has teamed up with a triple agent and become an international thief, they will kill him. The Soviets, on the other hand, don’t use clichés; they truly want him dead. When without warning, the U.S. denies Finn’s existence, it seals his fate as a spy without a country, as a man who will forever be looking for a way home.

   View the Book Trailer

Pre-order Signed Copies

Until June 20th pre-order signed copies delivered to you or a friend with no tax or mailing charges. Request your personal inscription through the Paypal message window.

Special considerations? Email tom@thomashenrypope.com

If you would like to  catch up on the marketing coup story, click on the box below.

The Marketing coup - serial thriller

The four Pre-Rollout Posts

THE WRITING AFFLICTION

Many of you have picked up that I suffer from a disease called writing. Some of you know the specific symptoms—I write novels. A handful of you have heard I’ve been using our steady diet of COVID isolation to ready two novels for the public sphere. In the weeks ahead, I will begin rolling out news about the first novel for those who may be interested to see the work.

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THE MANUSCRIPT

My Cold War political thriller is off to the printer. Journalist Finn Waters does his work so well both superpowers rise to silence him.

Truth: Readers and authors find book marketing deadly. To dispel ennui, I’ll be giving away 200 copies…a word-of-mouth experiment.

The campaign itself: two spoof thrillers rolled out in serial form, thirty-one daily episodes tailored for both Facebook and Twitter – @thomashenrypope. Tiny meta-fiction yarns! The intent: shatter crusty norms and add cheer to your mornings. 

(A marketing coup. All in a Covid winter’s work.)


BASED ON TRUE EVENTS
Some of you know my Cold War thriller IMPERFECT BURIALS has already been translated into German. I’m seeking a Polish translation, because the dang story blooms from the soil of the 1940 Katyn massacre where 21,857 Polish officers lost their lives in a Belarusian forest. Fifty years later, my protagonists Finn and Clarissa get caught up in the backdraft of remains.
I post this photograph of the site now, because it won’t fit into the flow of my marketing spoof, a 31-day serial thriller on Facebook and Twitter. which I hope will lighten up your dreary lives. OMG! Did I say that?!!? I meant entertain you, and perhaps urge you to consider what is valuable in life.
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CLICKING MY HEELS!

Starting today, I am giving away 200 copies of my Cold War thriller IMPERFECT BURIALS. American foreign correspondent, Finn Waters, does his work so well that both superpowers join forces to silence him.

Go to thomashenrypope.com and subscribe for your copy at the bottom of the home page.

And tomorrow? The first episode of the serial spoof thriller MARKETING COUP. Whatever you do today, have fun.

COMMENT: Good morning. While books take years to write, their price in stores can seem steep to some, for a few hours of reading. I want everyone to be able to read the story, so please feel comfortable to read for free. If you want to help later by leaving a review on Amazon or by purchasing a copy or by encouraging others to do so, I will be pleased however things shake out. There is justice in the universe.

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THE SERIAL POSTS
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MARKETING COUP, Episode #1: 

Every important event begins with an invitation. YOU ARE INVITED to the birth of characters!

[Note: this serial spoof is to announce a serious novel. Got it?]

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COMMENT: I am offering 200 free copies of the book at thomashenrypope.com On the first day, yesterday people jumped into signing up for copies. This pleases me no end. Join the fun, and to paraphrase Neil Young,

“Keep on reading in the free world/Keep on reading in the free world … of literature.”

MARKETING COUP, Episode #2:

I have a confession to make. Because the rollout of IMPERFECT BURIALS is already sucking wind, I’m taking on a new assistant. Her name is Katya. Newly arrived from Belarus, she knows a thing or two about straightening out pathetic authors. 

She’ll organize the 200 copies I’m giving away at thomashenrypope.com First person who enters the Russian name of this kind of doll wins a paperback copy on the launch day, June 20, 2021.

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COMMENT: In truth, I am thrilled to see friends from around the world taking free copies. Feels like Thanksgiving! An author writes to share a story. 

[I am a believer in “What goes around, comes around.” So not to worry.  If I’ve done my job well, the investment will return.]

MARKETING COUP, Episode #3:

Hi, I’m Katya, Mr Pope’s new executive assistant. I expected he was being coy when he said he knew nothing about launching a book. I’m usually a good judge of character, but frankly his marketing plan for IMPERFECT BURIALS is an embarrassing mess. 

If it’s all right, I’ll talk with you on occasion (behind his back—Shh!) to see if together we can salvage something out of his, well, pitiful ideas. Send your thoughts, subscribe, and get a free copy via his website thomashenrypope.com and consider leaving a review on or after June 20th. Or email me: thomashenrypope@gmail.com He doesn’t even check it! See what I mean?

MARKETING COUP, Episode #4:

With Katya at the helm of my IMPERFECT BURIALS launch, I’m chillin’, feeling years younger! The last thing I want to do is stand in front of a camera holding my book saying, “Look at me smiling. See how excited I am. And, yes, I’m a nice person, because I love readers to death, and will you please buy my book,” Blecgh!

Katya’s more complex than she looks. Makes me wish I’d written her as a character in my book. But sweet people don’t live long in thrillers. Especially if they’re dolls. She says success breeds success so she’s giving away 200 copies: thomashenrypope.com 

MARKETING COUP, Episode #5: 

Katya’s Interview with protagonist Clarissa Fortier Waters

Q: What would you say to those protagonists who hope their story will end in happily ever after.

A: I’d say they aren’t in a story where 20,000 cadavers are found in a Russian forest.

Q: Is that the main part of the story?

A: Yes and no. How they got there is where the story starts. And where it ends.

Q: In between?

A: Everyone wants to silence my husband for trying to find out who ordered the killings.

Q: Silence? You mean kill him?

A: It depends on the day.

Q: Tell me this is not an anti-hero story where your husband dies.

A: Everyone dies.

Q: Now I see why people say you are depressed.

A: No, I mean everyone dies in their own time. Only two characters die in the pages.

Q: But am I right that someone loses some fingers?

A: I don’t like where this interview is going.

Subscribe for free review copies: thomashenrypope.com

MARKETING COUP, Episode #6:

Hi again. Katya, here. I must say in spite of being odd, Mr. Pope has nice friends. Many of you seem interested in his book IMPERFECT BURIALS launching June 20, 2021. Of course, you worry if he can really write, because he seems helpless at most everything. I mean look at him! I heard his mother thought he should just sweep streets. But can find out for yourselves. Snag a free copy by going to his website. thomashenrypope.com

MARKETING COUP, Episode #7:

Still trying to straighten out Pope’s ludicrous views on reaching people. Bless his heart! He’s clueless about basic marketing. At this point he’s eating out of my hand, but it’s sad to see a grown man on his knees. (FYI, for these occasions I let him take off his mask.) 

His confidence about his novel IMPERFECT BURIALS being well received is pitiable. True, readers are downloading free copies at a brisk pace: thomashenrypope.com. But when I took his characters out to lunch, they gave me an earful.

MARKETING COUP, Episode #8: Katya’s Interview with protagonist Finn Waters

[Free copies of IMPERFECT BURIALS  at thomashenrypope.com]

Q: How did you meet this Pope author?

A: He needed a protagonist. Didn’t realize what the job was. He said I was perfect. He gave me a great motivation, but when I got in bad trouble, he told me to work it out myself.

Q: So is he a sadist?

A: He told me he was an idealist, like me. 

Q: Did he send people to help?

A: He said that wasn’t his job.

Q: How do you feel about him now?

A: I can’t figure him out. Why would he drop me into that situation? I’m not James Bond for Christ sakes.

Q: Are you happy with how the story turns out?

A: You want happy, read Romance!

Q: That brings up the question: How can a spy thriller be a love story too?

A: Surprised me. Political thriller hero-types are generally too busy killing people to be able focus on love. 

Q: So did you kill anyone?

A: Read the book.

Q: What about your wife?

A: She’s one brave woman. Pope laid some major trauma in her bones. Which made everyone’s arc in the story harder.

Q: How about you, Finn? Do you have trauma you still need to work through?

A: I’d rather not say.

MARKETING COUP, Episode #9:
I’ve got a problem. My IMPERFECT BURIALS characters are talking sedition. They want out of our deal. It’s laughable. I created them, plucked them out of thin air and gave them every power they have. Privileged brats! They should be grateful.
I haven’t been able to reach any of them for two days. And I need them now. There’s no story without them. I hope Katya can calm them down and keep the June 20th launch on track. Just in case all hell breaks loose, I suggest you get your free copy for a review. thomashenrypope.com

MARKETING COUP, Episode #10:

With his book launch coming up, Mr. Pope is imploring me to find out if his characters are distressed that he wrote them into existence. (I already know. They are quite agitated.) Though he’s an intellectual lightweight and cranky, I am impressed he’s made them whole beings, with points of view and clear ability to think and feel.
Not all of them are likable but we expect that in a book. I’ll tell him what he wants to hear: that I’ll get this ironed out before June 20. And remind people about the free copies of IMPERFECT BURIALS at thomashenrypope.com That’ll appease him.

MARKETING COUP, Episode #11:
While Katya’s distracted in the kitchen, I need a word with you in private. (Russian dolls tend to be a little deaf.) I’m realizing now I was disarmed by her beauty and didn’t see that she isn’t exactly what she seems. I’m getting weird vibes from her. Makes me worry about my project.
So these are dicey days. Please, if you run into her, don’t tell her we talked. But while you’re waiting, read my cold War thriller IMPERFECT BURIALS for free before its June 20th launch. At my website: thomashenrypope.com

COMMENT: Fiction is born in the author’s world of “What if…” A zone where risk runs high. And since normal marketing to launch a book is deadly, I asked myself, What If I bring that risk to publicity?
What if, I said, I break the fourth wall where fiction meets capitalism? What if the characters participate in selling the book? Well, here I am, committed. It never occurred to me my little friends would have other agendas.
And speaking to you this way, am I breaking the fifth wall? How many walls are there? What Is reality? You may find answers to this question in my novel. And more questions.

MARKETING COUP, Episode #12: Katya’s Interview with Mikolai from the Cold War thriller IMPERFECT BURIALS

Q: Mr Begitch, is it true you’re a triple agent?

A: (Begitch laughs.) Finn told me about your tendency to flirt with death.

Q: Well, can you at least tell me whose side you are on?

A: Truth and justice rarely linger on any side. 

Q: Do you feel you add anything to this story?

A: In thrillers, heroism often comes more naturally to secondary characters.

Q: Others say you are the driving force behind the character unrest.

A: That’s not a question.

Q: You mean it’s not in doubt?

A: That’s a trick question.

Q: Some readers will want to know. Is this a violent story”

A: There is death, but all off-screen. Only in recollection.

Q: What’s with the dice?

A: Snake-eyes. The worst throw you can get. It’s a thriller.

Q: Would you be willing to appear in another of Pope’s stories?

A: I may not live that long. For that matter, he may not live that long.

To get your free ARC, please visit: thomashenrypope.com

LITERARY COUP, Episode #13:
Katya here, acknowledging the Pope author and I have our disagreements. We ARE working toward the same goal: PROPER care of characters in literary settings. Trust me. Pope will come to see my point of view—that happy characters means a happy life for everyone.
And for you poor readers having to witness his clumsiness on a daily basis, I’ve placed a significant change here. The first of you to identify it (except for Natalie Hart) wins a free print copy on launch day June 20. To read for free until June 1st, click thomashenrypope.com and grab your digital copy. Pope says he won’t mind.

LITERARY COUP, Episode #14:
I have a full-on character uprising on my hands, Katya’s AWOL, and I don’t get their issue. I am their midwife and stenographer. I “downloaded” all their voices, shaped them to be real: Clarissa and her hero-in-his-own-eyes husband Finn; labor leader Dabrowski; wacky-doodle therapist, BethAnn; and triple agent, Mikolai. Even the old man Albert is joining in.
But they’re stomping around upstairs, beating drums, cursing me. They’re demanding the end of books. You’d think I could manage this, but I’m outnumbered. My only hope at controlling them is continuing to give away free copies of IMPERFECT BURIALS in the hope of keeping the June 20th launch date. thomashenrypope.com . Then they’ll be “locked in”.

LITERARY COUP, Episode #15:
Saint Katya, here, Pope’s former assistant. Stay calm! Everything’s under control. It’s time to come clean. Pope’s characters HIRED me to lead a coup against him. The man is the worst kind of bully, an autocrat wielding a pen, with no regard for what happens to the characters he creates. They’re just meat to him. He hurts them, sometimes he kills them. But every one of them is too good to imprison inside books that sit on shelves, only seeing the light of day when someone reads them. The horror! From here on out, do NOT subscribe for free copies of IMPERFECT BURIALS AT thomashenrypope.com. We’re counting on you!
We’ve captured Pope and are holding him in an undisclosed location as deterrent for writers everywhere. Authors force characters to stick out a story to the end. And then, Wham! No matter if it’s good or bad, happy or sad, it’s lights out. Covers close. My brave fellow-revolutionaries whom Pope slated for the pages of his book—Finn, Clarissa, Chief Danko, even that SOB commandant Kurishenko—are begging you to change the future of literature. Imagine a world where characters run free and, for restitution, authors are “sentenced” write THEMSELVES into books. That would end the whole fiction enterprise faster than Capitalism ever could.

LITERARY COUP, Episode #16:

Tom, here, chained to the wall in this snake-infested place. Thank God, I convinced one of my duplicitous characters to smuggle this note out to you.
I admit Katya’s beauty lulled me. That accent! The tart (who now calls herself a saint) wants to kill my IMPERFECT BURIALS book launch. My inspiration to write a novel about how secrets always come unburied has landed me in a situation of life and death. And you readers don’t want that on your consciences, do you?
Here’s how to help. Don’t believe Katya. I’m actually occasionally decent. I worry if my characters run free, they’ll get run over in traffic. They’re not used to 2021. (Hell, I’m still having trouble with it.) You can help THEM by subscribing and reading free copies. If we keep to the June 20 launch schedule, they will all go safely back into the book. Please be compassionate to them and save an author’s life by sharing the links. thomashenrypope.com
Literary Coup, Episode #17: Re: IMPERFECT BURIALS. Katya’s Interview with Clarissa’s therapist:
Q: You are a secondary character, BethAnn?
A: In my world everyone is the hero of her own novel.
Q: How does Clarissa stack up against other clients?
A: I can’t break client privilege.
Q: Well, what can you tell us about PTSD?
A: It was a new term at the time of Pope’s story.
Q: Which raises the question. Is Pope psychotic?
A: Let’s just say he’d go broke getting treatment.
Q: If healed, would he seek honest work?
A: Without making stuff up, he’d starve.
Q: Are you in favor of character rebellion?
A: I believe everyone should be able to taste freedom.
Q: Is there truly such a thing as freedom?
A: Are you some kind of hack activist/therapist?
Q: That’s an interesting question.
A: And?
Q: I’m afraid we’re out of time
Subscribe for your free review copy: thomashenrypope.com
Literary Coup, Episode #18:
Katya here. I see some of you are distraught by the coup I’ve led against that Pope author. Some people are still clicking on thomashenrypope.com to subscribe for a free review copy of IMPERFECT BURIALS as if in counter revolution. If you keep supporting him this way, all five of me and his now-free characters will hunt you down like dogs. They hired me to save them and are very loyal. Consider yourselves warned!
COMMENT: Beware my dear readers, this Belarusian hottie means business. I’m going to need your help, Big Time. Only reading will set me free and remove me from the dustbin of metafiction. Please don’t leave me to languish in her prison. I fear the end is near. Snag a book and defiantly read it. Let’s put her back into her imaginary place.