#Zero

By Neil McCormick

A pop star on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Music | Fiction
105% funded
234 supporters
Published

Publication date: April 2019

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book cover
You made #Zero a reality. It's available in all good book stores now.
$35  + shipping
55 pledges

Hardback

A first edition of the hardback plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
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Sold out!

$40  + shipping
34 pledges

Signed

A signed first edition of the hardback plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
$45  + shipping
22 pledges

Dedicated

A signed and dedicated first edition of the hardback plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
$50  + shipping
69 pledges

Early Bird: Rock and Roll Paraphernalia

As a music critic, Neil is the recipient of an apparently unending supply of CDs, records and other promotional material. His office shelves are creaking under the weight of assorted rock and roll paraphernalia, VIP stickers, posters and backstage lanyards. For 50 early bird supporters, Neil will send a pack of ten hand selected promo CDs and one piece of promo memorabilia. Plus (on publication) a signed first edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in back of book.
Only 70 available.
$65  + shipping
8 pledges

Musical Collectible

STRICTLY LIMITED EDITION signed CD soundtrack of original songs from the novel, recorded by Zero & other characters, with original artwork. A signed first edition of the hardback plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
$65  + shipping
22 pledges

Early-Bird: Telling Tales

For early supporters, the opportunity to come and meet Neil for a quiet, convivial drink in a London pub, to hear about the book first hand, listen to uncensored tales from the rock and roll frontline and pop questions about the many legendary stars he has encountered first hand. Plus (on publication) a signed first edition hardback, e-book edition and your name in back of book.
$95  + shipping
3 pledges

Original Artwork Prints

Neil started out as a graphic artist designing magazine and record covers and has been amusing himself creating album artwork for the fictional musical characters in his novel, from one eyed bluesman Honeyboy Burnside to foul mouthed trap rapper EgoPuss, wide eyed pop diva Cadence Butterscotch and nu metal band The Utopia Avalanche. Become the proud owner of strictly limited edition original signed sleeve print from the imaginary album of your choice. Plus the limited edition CD, a signed first edition of the hardback, the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
Only 30 available
$125  + shipping
13 pledges

Launch Party

Neil and musical guests will perform a set of original songs from the book at the launch party in London. Plus limited edition CD & poster, a signed first edition of the hardback, the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
$250  + shipping
4 pledges

Journalism Masterclass

Neil is one of the leading music journalists in the UK, with newspaper and magazine experience going back nearly 4 decades. He is a former features editor at GQ and an experienced broadcaster with his own interview show on Vintage TV. He will lead a one-day masterclass in media journalism at his home in London. Plus 2 tickets to the launch party, limited edition CD & poster, signed 1st edition hardback, e-book edition and your name in the back of the book.
Only 10 available.
$625  + shipping
2 pledges

Killing Bono Package

Signed copy of Killing Bono book and CD, rare Neil McCormick solo album The Ghost Who Walks on CD, signed copy of U2xU2 (ghostwritten by Neil), rare Shook Up! 12” single PLUS one valuable hand-picked item from Neil's treasure trove of U2 memorabilia. Plus limited edition CD & poster, 2 tickets to the launch party, signed first edition of the hardback, ebook and your name in the back of the book.
Only 4 available.
$625  + shipping
4 pledges

Patron

Your name printed with a special thanks in the front of the book, plus two tickets to the launch party and ten signed first edition of the hardback and the ebook.

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Zero is the latest craze. Young, sexy, smart and brilliant, a 24-7 #genius and multi-hyphenated (singer-songwriter-rapper-producer) next level superstar for the digital generation. According to his publicist at least.

He's also an obnoxious, narcissistic, insecure, hyperactive, coke-snorting, pill-popping, loud-mouthed, oversexed, misogynistic, misanthropic maelstrom of contradictions skating over the thin ice of terminal self-loathing. But that is all part of the attraction.

He has touched down in New York with his sycophantic entourage for the simultaneous launch of a new single/album/movie/tour. It is countdown to Year Zero. But the mixed race Irish-Colombian boy (Pedro Ulysses Noone to what's left of his shattered family) at the centre of the media feeding frenzy is cracking up. Inside the echo chamber of his own skull, he isn't sure he deserves all the attention, doesn't even know if he wants it anymore and is being driven half mad by the mysterious absence of the love of his life. His fiancé, legendary singer and actress Penelope Nazareth, is all over the internet canoodling with a co-star on the set of an Aztec epic shooting in the Amazon jungle.

As the crucial hour of Zero's launch approaches the young star cuts and runs, pursued by paparazzi, news reporters, fans, fortune hunters and his Mephistophelian manager Beasley.

He's about to find out that when you have the most famous face in the world, you can run … but you can't hide.

#Zero marks the fiction debut of Daily Telegraph music critic and TV presenter Neil McCormick, author of Killing Bono, a memoir of his own failed musical career (made into a feature film in 2011, starring Ben Barnes as Neil and Martin McCann as Bono). “The best book about trying to make it in the music business I have ever read” according to Sir Elton John. Write about what you know is generally considered sage advice to the budding novelist. Well, up to a point...

#Zero is the story of a lost boy trying to escape from himself in the full glare of modern media. It’s is a pitch black satire of celebrity, a revealing peak behind the velvet curtains of the contemporary music business and a wild, comical, musical odyssey across America, as our modern day Ulysses sets sail for his Penelope, crossing paths with sirens, succubi and an ancient one eyed bluesman named Clarence Honeyboy Blindside. At its dark heart beats a tender story about family, love, loss and sacrifice; a moving meditation on the black hole of emotional need that powers the 21st Century's obsessional lust for fame. Featuring guest appearances by Sting, Sir Elton John and Bono.

Buy

Quick select rewards

$35  + shipping
55 pledges

Hardback

A first edition of the hardback plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
Choose this reward
$50  + shipping
69 pledges

Early Bird: Rock and Roll Paraphernalia

As a music critic, Neil is the recipient of an apparently unending supply of CDs, records and other promotional material. His office shelves are creaking under the weight of assorted rock and roll paraphernalia, VIP stickers, posters and backstage lanyards. For 50 early bird supporters, Neil will send a pack of ten hand selected promo CDs and one piece of promo memorabilia. Plus (on publication) a signed first edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in back of book.
Only 70 available.
  • Neil McCormick avatar

    Neil McCormick

    Neil McCormick is the Daily Telegraph's chief pop and rock music critic. He is an author, radio pundit and television presenter, with his own music weekly interview show Neil McCormick's Needle Time broadcast on Vintage TV. None of this, however, remotely compensates for being a failed rock star, haunted by witnessing his friend Bono rise to global superstardom.

    Neil attended Mount Temple Comprehensive in Dublin with members of U2 and was a singer in several bands, including Frankie Corpse & The Undertakers (1978), The Modulators (1979), Yeah!Yeah! (1980-83) and Shook Up! (1984-89). His musical misadventures are laid out in painful detail in his memoir Killing Bono (originally published by Penguin in 2003 as I Was Bono's Doppelganger). A film of Killing Bono was released by Paramount in 2011. Neil collaborated on U2's autobiography, U2 By U2 (Harper Collins, 2005)

    Neil still occasionally makes music under the alias The Ghost Who Walks and as frontman for Groovy Dad.

  • Here goes nothing.

    Sing, O Muse, of the fall of Zero, of the hollow king who outran his shadow in the last days of the crumbling empire of poop. Spare no details. We've heard the story before and know how it usually ends.

    The Shitty Committee were up before I was, as per fucking usual, rapping a gavel on the inside of my skull. Rat-a-tat-tat, Retard. No order in the house. All speaking out of turn, a cacophony of common complaint. You’re nothing special. You can’t fool us. We want our money back. And a few fresh voices to twist the knife, make it really personal. See that porter you tipped a hundred dollars? He called you a cheap prick behind your back. The chef spat in your food. The waiter pissed in your drink. The coat check girl with the big bazookas you zapped in the cupboard? She faked her orgasm and now she’s telling all her Spacebook fiends you were a lousy lay. It’s all over Blogoslavakia. Top ten on U-Bend. Trending on Splatter. Beaming down the wire to a billion mobiles. Tomorrow it’ll be front page on The Daily Rage. Can’t sing. Can’t dance. Can’t even get it up. Take your punishment. You fake. You loser. You mother …

    “Rise and shine, superstar,” sang a voice, not from my dreams, obviously, it was being far too nice.

    “Fucker,” I groaned.

    “Well, that's nice,” tutted the interloper. It was Kailash, known to one and all as Kilo (only not when passing through customs), management lapdog, brown-nosing lickspittle, personal assistant to the talent (that’s me), Mephistopheles’ little helper, can do candy man. I wasn't sure where I was or what time it was but I couldn’t help notice that Kilo had already arranged a neat line of pure white powder on a polished bedside table, mere millimetres from my slowly stirring nostrils, Satan bless his evil soul.

    I hate drugs. OK, so I’m not exactly a poster boy for Just Say No. But when I was sweet sixteen (or was it sour seventeen? I don't know. Might have been twelve) I made a promise to myself that if I was going to amount to more than a hill of Heinz baked beans I had to stay away from bad shit. Mind you, that was probably while the universe was collapsing after a snakebite and hash binge. Or was it the time I gobbled my guitarist's pills before a Zero Sums gig only to lose all control of my limbs, with the sneaky fucker giggling about K-holes? Which is another very good reason why I fucking hate drugs. Really. It's just that sometimes, well, nothing else will do. Like first thing in the morning after a bad dream in a strange bed and your mouth is dry and your head is soggy and nausea is creeping up your gullet and it’s not being helped by your so-called assistant prattling away like it’s the first day of spring and all the chicks are hatching.

    Read more...
  • Neil McCormick has written 2 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    18th April 2019 #Zero Hour is Upon Us

    It is publication time for #Zero.

    If you have supported my book from inception to publication, I hope you shire my pride in it finally hitting the book shelves. It is difficult to express the fullness of my gratitude. I literally could not have done it without you (and literally is not a word to ever be used to lightly).

    I have been getting some good reviews from book bloggers.

    “Absolutely…

    26th February 2019 Zero Hour

    I am approaching Zero Hour …. when I pull the trigger and launch my first novel into the ether.

    I am up to the balls of my eyes right now, getting things ready: preparing artwork, recording music, filling envelopes full of goodies. If you have signed up for a pledge involving drinks, chats, masterclasses and nights out on the rock and roll beat, then expect to hear from me very soon. Most of the…

    14th November 2018 Chasing Bono

    I have been reading through proofs of #Zero today, looking for those last little typos. After a year in the hands of editors and publishers the pace is starting to quicken. Well, as much as the pace in publishing ever quickens. When I handed in the manuscript, I was excited to be told we would get it out in Spring. Until I realised they were talking about Spring 2019. 

    Anyway, I have been a…

    27th October 2018 You can't judge a book by the cover

    They say you can’t judge a book by its cover … but this one looks pretty tempting to me.

    I am very pleased to unveil the cover for #Zero, designed by Mecob.

    It is always fascinating to see how different artists interpret your work. I would never have come up with this image myself. It has moved a long way from my original idea. But I like it. This is a more lateral take on the theme of a…

    22nd December 2017 Season's Greetings

    Thank you to everyone who has supported my novel. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday period and I will be back in the New Year with updates about when #Zero will be published, and when we can start fulfilling pledges. xNeil

    22nd November 2017 "Fiction is just a different way to tell the truth."

    I did an interview with an Irish music website, and blabbed at length about writing #Zero, the U2 generation, working for Hot Press, Telegraph & Vintage TV, my worst interview, my favourite albums, the life of a music journalist & why, at the end of a long day writing for a living, I might choose to stay up all night writing for fun. I didn't expect them to transcribe my every utterance. But here…

    20th October 2017 Frightening, alienating & lethal in high doses. Why fame is killing our idols.

    In the George Michael documentary Freedom, recently broadcast by Channel 4, the late superstar discusses a particular aspect of 1980s pop where “this handful of massive celebrities were constantly battling in the charts.” The musicians he had in mind were Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince and, ultimately, George Michael himself, who went “full gusto” into creating a “new character” to stand alongside…

    14th October 2017 There Are Too Many Books

    I love bookshops. New and secondhand, specialist and generalised. Walking into a bookshop is like walking into church for me, the sacred space where literature in all its forms is revered. Yet they can also be overwhelming and spiritually enervating. The initial euphoria I experience upon entering these cathedrals of the written word can turn to a kind of cultural vertigo, a dizzying sense of…

    11th October 2017 "Pain is what we salve with art"

    I did an interview with the @u2 podcast about the genesis of my book, the toxicity of fame, the perils of crowdfunding, the state of publishing & why I keep a death mask on my bookshelf. You can listen here: https://goodstuff.fm/atu2/68 

    8th October 2017 "The problem is my imagination ran riot ..."

    I did an interview with Harry Kantas at U2songs.com about the writing of #Zero. Read on to find the unlikely connection between Homer's Odyssey, James Joyce's Ulysses and my fictional character; what made Ellie Goulding scream in my face and how to add ten million dollars to a film budget with the stroke of a pen.

    http://www.u2songs.com/news/zero_a_look_at_neil_mccormicks_new_book

    4th October 2017 Becoming #Zero. How a rock star changed my title.

     

    This was a doodle I did for a possible cover for my book. Let me tell the story of how it came to be called #Zero.

    I’ve been dreaming this book up for a long time, pretty much since I finished Killing Bono. As you may know, it was originally published as I Was Bono’s Doppelganger, which had a cheesy B-movie drama that I liked. But after Bono read the manuscript, he pointed out that it was…

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  • Marc Rocheleau
    Marc Rocheleau asked:

    Do you have any idea if the e-book will be accessible for people who are blind and use screen reading software?

    Neil McCormick
    Neil McCormick replied:

    Thanks for the question. I will get one of the boffins at Unbound to answer this. It has never previously occurred to me that e-books present new challenges (and, I suppose, opportunities) for the visually impaired. I certainly hope the answer is yes.

    Donna Springer
    Donna Springer asked:

    Hi Neil - Will the items included with my Rock and Roll Paraphernalia pledge come seperately or with the book?

    Neil McCormick
    Neil McCormick replied:

    Separately and, indeed, before. My intention is to send out the paraphernalia packages as soon as we have fully funded the book. (There will also be a raffle this week for all subscribers. Keep up with that on twitter: @neil_mccormick)

    Maddy Fry
    Maddy Fry asked:

    Hi, is the 'Telling Tales' offer of hearing stories in a London pub still on for those who donate £50 or more?

    Neil McCormick
    Neil McCormick replied:

    Absolutely. I'll be arranging a few sessions to suit supporters, and we can start setting them up as soon as book is fully funded. So jump in!

    Jil Runkel
    Jil Runkel asked:

    Hello Neil... Do you know already when you will start arranging the meet ups etc? Greetings Jil

    Neil McCormick
    Neil McCormick replied:

    Hi Jil ... Publishing is a bit of a snail's pace industry, I'm afraid. I thought it would all happen this year ... but those who know better advise me that we are looking at a Spring 2019 publication ... Sorry and thanks for your patience ...

    Donna Springer
    Donna Springer asked:

    Hi Neil - Just wondering if you might have time to give us a quick update on how things are coming along with the book. Also, any idea when I should start watching out for the items included with my Rock and Roll Paraphernalia pledge? Looking forward to both! Thanks

    Neil McCormick
    Neil McCormick replied:

    Hi Donna Thank you for your patience! Publishing is a snails pace industry, it seems. Looking at Spring 2019 for publication but in the meantime I will start putting some love and attention back into this very soon and updating you on progress.

    Marco Prehn
    Marco Prehn asked:

    Hi Neil, in one of the previous Questions you stated that the items from Rock and Roll Paraphernalia will be shipped before the book, now I got the message that the book has been shipped however so far I did not receive the other items, will they be shipped together or after the book?

    Neil McCormick
    Neil McCormick replied:

    Hi Marco. They have been shipped simultaneously. Sorry for the confusion. It was down to my inexperience in the ways of Unbound publishing. Hope you enjoy your package of paraphernalia!