Lunch with Buddha Released by AJAR Contemporaries

Roland Merullo releases sequel to Breakfast with Buddha with his new work, Lunch with Buddha. The book is published by AJAR Contemporaries.

Georgetown, MA, November 03, 2012 --( Roland Merullo’s funny roadtrip novel, Breakfast with Buddha (2007), is in its 13th printing, has sold over 130,000 copies, been optioned for film and translated into Korean and Croa-tian, and was nominated for the prestigious Dublin IMPAC Lit-erary Prize — a success by any measure. However, for the sequel, Lunch with Buddha, Merullo turned down a six-figure advance and chose a very small publishing house owned by a good friend, instead of going with one of the larger houses that have published his novels to wide acclaim since 1991.

Merullo, 59, and publisher Peter Sarno, 58, grew up within a mile and a half of each other in the working-class city of Revere, Massachusetts. They played, at the same time, in different divisions of the city Little League. Their fathers knew each other well. Peter’s mother and Roland’s aunt were best friends, and their acquaintances overlapped in scores of places, but the two men didn’t meet until 2006 when each had moved far from Revere and each other.

During that period, Sarno had returned to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. As part of a course requirement for George Garrett Award winning author and AGNI magazine founder, Askold Melnyczuk, Sarno conducted a craft interview with Merullo based on one of the assigned texts: Revere Beach Elegy, winner of the 2000 Massachusetts Book Award for non fiction. Sarno would later go on to teach literature and writing classes at UMASS. Before the 2011 Spring semester began, he discovered that Elegy, (which had now become one of his own course staples), was no longer available. He contacted Merullo, asking if he could find a way to get it back into print. From that conversation, PFP Publications was born. Sarno proceeded to publish not only five books from Merullo’s backlist, but titles by such notable authors as the aforementioned Melnyczuk, Elizabeth Searle, Craig Nova, Sterling Watson and others.

On November 13th, PFP’s imprint, AJAR Contemporaries, will publish Lunch with Buddha.

The two former Revere kids are doing everything themselves — raising money through an in-ventive IPO program (more than a dozen investors will each receive a one-time 10% return on their money once the book sells its 10,000th copy) and the on-line crowdfunder Kickstarter, hiring a designer and copyeditor (both of whom are nationally known and happen to live within a few miles of each other and the author on Merullo’s country road), finding printers, putting together a book tour, attending conferences, meeting with booksellers and reaching out to re-viewers as well as long time supporters of Merullo’s work.

Lunch with Buddha has some refreshing twists, too. There’s an interview (conducted by the noted author Matthew Quick of The Silver Linings Playbook fame) and a reader’s guide between the covers, as well has several hand-edited pages from Merullo’s working drafts, a recommended reading list, and a list of web sites where photos linked to the text can be seen. In addition to the usual hardcover and paperback editions (published simultaneously), AJAR will put out an eBook that will include embedded photos, taken by Merullo’s professional-photographer wife Amanda, from the Seattle-to-North Dakota road trip on which the story is based, and a signed, numbered, limited-edition hardcover with a slightly different design.

The business partners have already contacted many of the book groups that chose Breakfast with Buddha, put together an extensive book tour, including stops in eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New York State, and in the works are radio and print inter-views, as well as catalogue and on-line advertising via publishing organizations, Book Buzz, Goodreads, and other reader-centric sites.

Print books are already available for pre order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several independent bookstores. eBook versions will be available in Kindle, Nook, Apple iBook and Kobo formats. Merullo plans to create an audio version in the Boston accent he and Sarno have never lost. Join them for the celebratory launch reading at Newtonville Books in Newton, MA, on November 15th, or elsewhere along the road in November, December, and January (For a list of appearances, visit, or, or the Facebook pages of Roland Merullo or Lunch with Buddha.)

Roland Merullo and Peter Sarno thank you in advance for any review attention or off-page coverage you can give to this new adventure, Lunch with Buddha.

To schedule an author interview or event contact: — 978-352-8218
Roland Merullo