Thompson cronies sign book deal | AspenTimes.com

Thompson cronies sign book deal

John Colson

As the enduring legend of Hunter S. Thompson’s life and reactions to his death continue to reverberate around the world, two of the late writer’s close friends have signed a deal to write a book of reminiscences based on their memories and those of others in the Aspen area.Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis and local artist Michael Cleverly have reached an agreement with the Harper Entertainment/William Morrow publishing firm for a book titled “The Kitchen Readings – Hunter Thompson in Woody Creek,” to be published in 2007.According to a blurb on the “Deals” page of publishersweekly.com, “This isn’t the first deal related to Hunter S. Thompson since his suicide in February, but it is the first book that promises to bring readers right into Thompson’s living room – or kitchen, as it were. [Braudis and Cleverly], two close Thompson buddies who logged many hours in the kitchen of Owl Farm, will reveal several decades’ worth of up-close-and-personal anecdotes …”Cleverly, reached at his home just a mile or so above Owl Farm on Woody Creek Road, said the book is the brainchild of both him and Braudis.”Bob and I have been joking for years about writing a book when Hunter was gone. We were joking because we were dead certain he was going to outlive both of us,” Cleverly said.But after Thompson shot and killed himself in February, Cleverly said, the topic of a collaboration on a book took a more serious turn.The two “cranked out a few sample chapters” and sent them to 20 publishers, receiving 19 rejections before the proposal was accepted, a deal was made with a publisher and a cash advance was promised.Cleverly called the cash advance “niggardly” but declined to give a specific dollar amount.”If you take what I was hoping for and slash a zero off the end, there you have it,” Cleverly said.He said he and Braudis will be sharing the proceeds from the deal, including a percentage of the ultimate sales.Braudis said the proceeds from the book would not allow him to quit his day job. “I’m going to be writing at night and on the weekends. It’ll be a sidelight, and it’ll be fun … this’ll be a growth experience.”With no experience at writing beyond “college papers and police reports, and a few magazine articles,” Braudis said he is counting on Cleverly’s abilities, both as a writer and as an artist and thus better used to selling creative products to corporate buyers.”I believe Cleverly (who is a regular columnist for the Aspen Times Weekly) has a command of the language equal to most writers,” Braudis said.Braudis said he wanted to be a part of the project “because I have a lot of stories about Hunter and considered him a very good friend and in many ways a political genius.”The two said they will be including their own reminiscences along with the outcomes of interviews with some of the Good Doctor’s friends in the Aspen area and farther afield.”It’s about friendship, as far as I’m concerned,” Cleverly said of the underlying theme of the book.The book is due out in 2007, and Cleverly said he hopes to have the final draft of the work finished in “about six months after signing the contract,” which is expected to happen in a month or more.The contract, according to both writers, calls for a book that is 75,000 words in length.And since the two sent in about 15,000 words in their sample chapters, Cleverly said with confidence, “the thing is about one-fifth done already.”John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com