Yesterday was the holiday party at Mysterious Galaxy BookStore in San Diego! And apparently they let just about anyone in there. Look! Here’s some silly sci-fi writer peddling his wares...
Surprise! It’s me.
Many many thanks to everyone who came out, including some very awesome friends and family. Not to mention the dozen or so other authors signing books, mingling, and likely ingesting copious amounts of holiday sugar. Here’s just a small handful of folks in attendance...
Shared a table with these funny guys.
La familia. (Aunt and cousin)
Behind every creative dork is his mom cheering him on.
Even had a few hoodlums from the old day job show up!
I think we all wanted to take that insane tentacle tree home.
Somewhere there is video of me rambling into a microphone for a couple minutes. Perhaps I’ll share that around later. Huge thanks to Mary Elizabeth, David, Kelly and the rest of the Mysterious Galaxy staff for inviting me to join their little shindig. It was super fun, and I’m looking forward to partnering up with them again, hopefully in the near future. (Plans are a-brewin’...)
And finally, a massive thanks to my wife Meg. She not only cooked up a storm and entertained everyone at our Christmas party at home Friday night, but then worked a short shift the next morning, came home, and journeyed down with me to San Diego to support me at the book event. All on little-to-no sleep and fighting a nasty cold. She’s amazing, and probably reading this now, shaking her head at the disgusting levels of exploitative cheesiness. (Them’s the breaks. She knows who she married.) 😁
ONE LAST THING! (There’s always one last thing) Just another reminder that I’ve got a handful of these books left to sell directly to the world. I know I’ve been encouraging everyone to buy from the stores, but if you want to grab a copy from me, I’ll have it personally signed and in the mail for you before Christmas! Drop me a line at email@example.com.
"The clock strikes," The White-Haired Woman says with her back turned to you. "Do you hear it?"
You are unsure of how to answer, but thankfully she is not looking for one. She tosses a copy of The Wolf in the Woods, the only one in existence, out of the airlock. You are protected from the vacuum by a simple space suit. The White-Haired Woman wears nothing over her usual brown pantsuit, but she seems un-vexed. Giant lenses rise from the white soil of the moon; they concentrate the sun’s cold light into hot beams that incinerate the book in a flash. You wonder how this is possible without atmosphere.
The White-Haired Woman does not turn toward you, she never does, but she does shift her posture slightly to indicate that she is turning her attention back to you.
"The campaign is over," she says to you. "They’ll be getting their refunds over the next few days."
The White-Haired Woman’s demeanor darkens in a way only you can sense. "And the judges?" she asks you. You wince, remembering what happened the last time judges were mentioned.
"It’s not an official announcement, but Inkshares did send an email out a few days ago explaining that another book from the Horror contest would be published. It did not reference the competition or the judges directly, and there’s nothing specific in the rules about choosing only one book, but we feel confident that this is the end and that an official announcement is imminent. The Wolf in the Woods is dead."
The White-Haired Woman’s torso turns toward you like any normal person’s would, except that her head does not turn with it. Regardless, you get the sense that she is smiling.
In a blink, she is close to you, and pushes you backward. A metal door with a small window at eye level slams shut in front of you, and you realize you are in a sophisticated coffin-shaped box.
"We are terminating your contract, effective immediately," she says. "I, personally, want to convey to you that it has nothing to do with your job performance. In fact, you were an excellent hire and, if you weren’t an Unevent, I would tell you to put me as a reference on your resume."
The coffin suddenly launches toward Earth, hurtling at an impossible speed. It breaches the atmosphere and descends on a familiar area-- your home. You see yourself on the ground, looking up at you with wide eyes that are just beginning to process what is happening. Moments before smashing into your own body, moments before waking up in your bed as you do every morning, you hear The White-Haired Woman say her final parting words.
"The Department of Funerals thanks you for your service."
(P.S. you all raised over $200 for Room to Read! Good for you!)
And please, pick up a copy of Far Flung while you can! You’ll be making the coming year a great one for me and you, my readers!