Monday, April 29, 2013

Another Launch Party Has Come And Gone

We had a fairly good turnout yesterday for the launch of Old Wounds (25 people, we think), though not quite as impressive as for No Brother of Mine last May (33 attendees).  The rain may have kept a few people home, and I've heard from one person already who just plain forgot about it!  I thought I'd overdone it with the reminders, between e-mail, this blog, Facebook and Twitter, but apparently not.  Oh well.

If you pre-ordered a copy and weren't able to make the party, please get in touch and we'll figure out a time and place to do the hand-off.  I'm looking forward to hearing what people think of my latest creation, and have already begun work on the next one.

One of the nicest aspects of the party was hearing so much positive feedback on No Brother of Mine.  It's pretty clear that Mitch and Ray's story struck a chord with a lot of folks, and I can't tell you how gratifying that is to me!  As it stands right now, NBoM is still being outsold by the first AgileMan book, but only by a whisker.  If you want to help push it to the very top of my own personal "best sellers" list, then please consider buying a copy of it to give to a friend or loved one.  It seems to be very well-loved by everyone who's read it.

My thanks go out to all those who showed up yesterday, and to Vicki and Emma for their support and hosting activities.  Maybe we'll do this again in a year or so.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Remembering Dubya

Aka the Great Degrader, as Paul Krugman calls him.  An especially noteworthy recent example of the sort of thing George W. Bush was so in favour of was the exploding fertilizer plant in Texas, which apparently had flouted many of the safeguarding regulations that were intended to prevent just the sort of loss of life and property that occurred.  GWB must be proud as a peacock about how that mindset worked out for the town of West, Texas.

Almost Party Time!

We're now just four hours away from the start of the Launch Party for Old Wounds!  I'm really looking forward to catching up with some old friends and maybe even making some new ones.  Emma's all primed and ready for her hostess duties, so it should be a great time for all. 

See you between 2:00 and 5:00 this afternoon!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Old Wounds Launches On Sunday!

In case you've been living under a rock all month and missed the previous posts about this, my 3rd novel, Old Wounds, is being released this Sunday.  We'll be hosting a launch party at our house, from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, and we hope you'll come join us for the big event.  Snacks and drinks will be provided, and our favourite live-in great-niece, Emma, will be helping out with the hosting duties.  What could possibly top that on a Sunday afternoon?

Paul Krugman Is Right

This article pretty much sums it up.  When the other side of the debate can't even analyze data without screwing it up, there shouldn't even be a debate.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Too Good To Be True?

I've said many times over the past few years that we desperately need a better type of rechargeable battery.  Considering how many devices we all use nowadays, the fact that my iPod and laptop batteries keep losing their ability to hold much of a charge after just a couple years at most is really unacceptable.

Well, now there's news of a breakthrough in this area, and it's extremely promising!  As the article says in its conclusion, "here's hoping."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Alan Moore Cracks Me Up

In an interview about various comic topics, author Alan Moore also mentions his prose novel, Jerusalem, that he's been working on for years now. It sounds like it's going to be quite the daunting challenge to read (never mind writing it!), prompting Moore to say:

"You’ll be probably one of the few people who actually gets all the way through it. I was thinking of having a blurb on the back saying ‘If you only read one book in your life, make it this one, and if you make it this one, you will only read one book in your life.’"

I love it!

Friday, April 19, 2013

And Then There's This

If you haven't seen Patton Oswalt's improvised pitch for Star Wars Episode VII on Parks and Recreation, you have to check it out.  Definitely one of the funniest things I've seen in a while.

A Perfect Moment

I recently came across the following random page from the tenth issue of All Star Superman (2008), the amazing twelve-issue series by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely:

There's just so much to love about this self-contained set of words and pictures:
  • the first panel's vertical drop that makes it abundantly clear what the young girl is planning to do
  • the way that Superman materializes, literally between the 2nd and 3rd panels, and, God-like, already knows what's brought Regan's to the ledge even though they've never met before
  • the fact that Regan's bizarre appearance matters not one bit to the completely non-judgmental Kryptonian
  • the body language of Regan in each panel, as it moves from despondency to commitment to surprise to freak-out and finally to child-like relief that someone actually cared enough to stop her
  • how incredibly few words of dialogue Morrison employs to convey all of the context that the reader needs for the scene
  • the final panel's up-shot, echoing the first panel's POV but now no longer scary because the Man of Steel has once again saved the day
I absolutely adore art that manages to be this perfect.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We've Got Books!

Well, this time the big order took less than a week to arrive, which is pretty impressive.  We now have a nice stash of Old Wounds to find new homes for, starting on the 28th.  I have lots of extra copies beyond what was pre-ordered, so please consider coming to the launch party Sunday after next, between 2:00 and 5:00, whether you pre-ordered a copy or not.

Less than 2 weeks to go now!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Launch Party Details

For anyone who didn't get the e-mail yesterday: the party on the 28th, held here at our house, will run from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Niece Emma will be helping to host the festivities, making sure that there's lots of food and drink available.  I'll be signing books and chatting with whoever comes my way, and Vicki will be running the show in her usual professional manner.

We're hoping to see you there, whether you pre-ordered a copy of Old Wounds or not.  And for those who asked for an electronic copy, I'll be e-mailing them out shortly after the party wraps up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

And Now The Big Order Has Been Placed

After scrutinizing our print draft copies of Old Wounds for the past 24 hours or so, I made a few minor changes and then processed the big print order for my 3rd novel.   This gives Lulu better than 2 weeks to get the books to me ahead of the Book Launch Party on the 28th, so that seems more than reasonable to me.

If you can't wait to get your hands on this new story of mine, then join the club: I can't wait for that to happen, either!  It's been a long 8 months of working the story out in my head and on my laptop, with very few opportunities to talk to anyone about it.  I'm so looking forward to finally getting that chance with many of you, shortly.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Print Draft Copies Now In Hand

It took slightly longer than usual, but the print draft copies of Old Wounds are now here.  We're looking them over today and tomorrow and then I'll place the big order sometime after that.  I want to give Lulu a full two weeks to fill this order, which means getting it into them this week.  If you haven't pre-ordered your copy of my new book yet, please let me know soon.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Roger Ebert R.I.P.

What a loss to the world of movie criticism...

Also worth a read (from about 18 months ago).

Monday, April 01, 2013

My New Book (For Real, This Time)

Hopefully everyone enjoyed my little April Fool's gag earlier today.

With that silly business out of the way, here's the real deal on my new book, which is called Old Wounds:

What happens when time doesn’t heal all wounds?
When writer Mike Watkins is asked to give the eulogy for his great-uncle after the ninety-year-old war hero dies in his sleep, it seems like a daunting challenge. Mike and his brothers had grown up in the company of Uncle Howard in the family home, but the old man had always steadfastly refused to describe his experiences in World War II.  No matter how many times he was asked about his time in the British Army, Howard Brighton had kept mum, much to his great-nephews’ frustration. 
Thanks to a steady diet of colourful old war movies on their TV, the Watkins boys had built up all kinds of fantasies about the reluctant war hero's activities in the 1940s and how he'd gotten the leg wound that had ended his army stint.  Their theories about Uncle Howard often revolved around stolen Nazi gold and various other criminal enterprises. Now, decades later, Mike sets out to discover the truth behind whatever it was that his great-uncle had refused to speak of for all those years.
While he’s busy digging into family history, however, Mike also seems to have picked up a mysterious female stalker. What secret from his past does she represent, and what plans does she have in mind for Mike?
Only three other people have read Old Wounds so far, but they all seem to have enjoyed it immensely.  I never really feel confident until the new book gets a lot more feedback than that, but it's still nice to start off on a high note.
Here's the lovely cover, as prepared by Gabrielle Scheyen, daughter of Pete (who many of us have had the pleasure to work with in the past):

I'll be sending out a bulk e-mail shortly, soliciting pre-orders for Old Wounds.  If you don't happen to receive the e-mail but would like a copy of the book, just leave a Comment here or send me an e-mail.  As always, I really appreciate when people order ahead of time, as it lets me print a reasonable number of copies right upfront.

There's going to be a Launch Party for Old Wounds, just as we did for No Brother of Mine.  It'll be at our place on Sunday, April 28th.  Please mark that date on your calendar, and I hope you can attend.  I'll provide more details on the party closer to the date.

Unveiling My New Book: The Royals!

I provided a huge hint on Facebook a week or two ago, when I revealed that the title for the new novel would be two words, with the first word being three letters and the second one being six letters.  That seemed like a dead giveaway, so I was a little surprised that no one got it right, although Boneman was very close with The Robots.  Now it's time to finally end the waiting game and share my big news.  Here's the cover, title and description of my next book:

In The Royals, we visit a slightly fictionalized British Empire where a mostly-bionic Queen Lizzie has been ruling with a literal iron fist for fifty years, much to the frustration of her son, Charlie, and her grandsons Willy and Andy.  But now two generations of royals-in-waiting are willing to wait no longer!  Instead, the three of them have joined forces to bring the old lady down, while scheming to take each other out in the process.  Exploding compacts, poisoned caviar, electrified toilet seats and deadly corgi imposters are just the beginning in this farcical romp through the bedchambers of Buckingham Palace, the secret catacombs beneath the Tower of London, and the indescribably dirty Royal Riding Stables!  Will the last prince standing get to Rule Britannia like never before, or will the plucky octogenarian monarch outwit - and outlive - them all?

I must say what a relief it is to finally be able to talk about my Magnum Opus, and to start April off right!