Book Review

“The Last Stitch Goes Through The Nose, a novella: How I Self-Published Quickly and Simply”

The door flew open, in he ran,
The great, long, red-legged Scissor-man.
Oh children, see, the tailor’s come
And caught out little Suck-a-Thumb.”
Der Struwwelpeter, Heinrich Hoffmann



*** UPDATE: Paperbacks are now available for purchase!

After letting it sit and simmer and perhaps even cobweb a bit, I finally bit the bullet and got my book published. This is the longest of a few finished works I have just sitting around, and it’s now available through Amazon!

Three things you can look out for in the very near future, then:

  • The launch of the paperback version!
  • A special limited time offer of signed copies of the book for existing and new patrons on Patreon!
  • A public AMA (Ask Me Anything) event where I’d love to talk about the self-publishing process and the book, of course!

The Last Stitch Goes Through The Nose is a book I wrote quickly out of an experience I had when working in the restaurant industry and seeing a lot of homeless come in, but the story underwent several revisions before it was completed about five years ago. Today, I described the book thusly: “It’s an ordinary fantasy which follows a young boy’s fascination with a local outcast around whom myths and folktales have developed to scare children. Thematically, it takes a hard look at the way we treat the homeless.”

It’s a story which I’ve had a hard time categorizing. Even thinking about genres recently, I knew it wasn’t normative fantasy or high fantasy, not quite magic realism, not quite allegory or myth. No, it’s not a thriller or a horror story, despite what the cover may look like! I ended up settling on literary fantasy, and I intend to use that description as unpretentiously as I can! I tried to write it with three things in mind: it’s seen through the eyes of a child; it pulls from traditions and folktales for a simpler narrative; it is more thematically dense.

Here’s the official description:

Who is the Scissor-man? Nobody cares, nobody sees, except for one little boy. This debut literary fantasy novella takes a hard look at society and its outcasts through the eyes of innocent youth.

In a world where death is ignored, Orasi becomes fascinated with the Scissor-man, the village mortician. After he finds a black thread in the snow, Orasi begins to unravel the legends surrounding this horrifying figure, and his journey of discovery brings him closer than ever to the father he barely knew. But the world is a place that has already decided its rules. His is just one beating heart among millions who are already dead, and Orasi may not like what he finds in the end…

The Last Stitch Goes Through The Nose tests its characters to see if they are still breathing, and it might reach out to see if you are, too. The Last Stitch is perfect for the Young Adult reader who isn’t too grown up yet, or the reader who suspects they can still see through the eyes of a child.

If you’ve read it, I really want to say THANK YOU! If you’re inclined, I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on the book’s themes and you can leave me a customer review on Amazon, too!

I am really delighted to thank the folks who helped make my dream of becoming a published author a reality:

To my mom and dad, Liz and Chuck, thank you for believing that I could write.

To my wife and graphic designer, Blythe, thank you for always being there and for helping to put the cover art together! We completed the cover from photographs we took ourselves and she worked her graphic design magic. If you have a graphics project or book cover idea you’d like to get a free quote for, feel free to email Blythe at

To my brother, Nathaniel, thanks for putting the fire under my butt to get me to publish this thing, haha!

To the beta readers who helped me shape the book into its ultimate form, thank you: Blythe Norton, Nathaniel Norton, Vanessa Andrus, Armando Garcia, Kirsty Williams (geez I hope that’s everyone… like I said, it’s been five years).

To Amazon KDP, thanks for being helpful and clear for the self-publishing process.

Thank you to everyone who’s been part of the massive outpouring of support, well-wishes, and encouragement, and thank you to everyone who bought a copy!

Check it out and let me know what you might think. I’m mostly just glad to be published, at last. Long after I’m gone, I can still talk with people through these words.



Excitedly yours,
-The Well-Red Mage


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