August 7th, 2009

The Red Tree

"I will brush off all the dirt, and I will pretend it didn't hurt."

This afternoon, I just need to get this blog entry done, and then send corrections to an editor ("Houses Under the Sea" for Lovecraft Unbound), and answer a few emails, and then the day is mine, all mine. Half a day off before I try to write two issues of Sirenia Digest in what remains of August. This is called attempting to get a little breathing room. September will be consumed by the next new novel, getting it up and off the ground, and October is all Mars. This is my plan, though I am reminded that a plan is just a list of things that never happens. Was that Elmore Leonard? I think it was.

I am trying very, very hard not to obsessively watch the Amazon.com sales rank for The Red Tree. I'm trying to step back, get all Doris Day, and accept that what will be, will be. Last night's signing heralded the end of seven weeks of hardcore promotion, during which I got little else done. I shall continue, of course, to add additional "evidence" to the website, and Spooky's begun editing the book "trailer," but that's about all I have time to do. There's too much else to get done, and I won't get it done if I sit here and obsess and post a new link to Facebook and Twitter every time the book's Amazon numbers dip. I have sent it out into the world. I have done the best by it I was able, with the time and resources allotted. Are you listening, Kiernan?

Sure, sure. I hear me.....

Last night's signing in Boston (well, Cambridge, actually), at Pandemonium Books and Games, went well. Good crowd, and many books were sold. I do have to admit it was not the best reading I ever gave. I was hoarse from reading aloud all day (working on "Houses Under the Sea"), and there was ambient noise I hadn't expected, so I had trouble hearing myself. I find I cannot read well if I cannot hear myself reading. But, my thanks to all who came, and to Tyler Stewart and everyone else at Pandemonium for a great night. I read most of Chapter One, which, in retrospect, was a poor choice. I should have gone with Chapter Four or Chapter Two.

The weirdest moment of the evening was opening an old copy of Silk (first edition, first printing, 1998), to sign it for someone, and discovering that it was already signed. Sadly, it wasn't dated. I was surprised to see it, and far more surprised to find it already signed. No idea how it wound up mixed in with the mountain of new stuff. But there you go. So, yes, good reading. I don't think I got out of the store until about 9 p.m.. Oh, and I scored a set of Elvish 20-sided dice. Also, as it turns out, that was my first in-store signing in seven years, not eleven. I'd forgotten about an in-store signing I did in Chicago in early 2002. Also, be advised that I signed all the Pandemonium stock that didn't sell last night, so there are signed copies of The Red Tree available at Pandemonium Books and Games (4 Pleasant St., Cambridge, Mass.; 617-547-3721). Also, there's a signed copy of A is for Alien, and signed copies of Silk, Threshold, Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, and the trade paperback edition of Alabaster. Don't know how long they'll last.

Spooky just renewed the website for another two years, so I suppose I won't be retiring next week, after all. I think I've had that domain since 1997.

Today, I'll try to get around to picking a winner from all the tree photographs and artwork that were sent to me over the last three weeks or so, and the winner will get a free signed copy of The Red Tree, as promised. But I think I have about 200 images to sift through, so bear with me.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts, so we can take the afternoon off, the platypus and I, the dodo and Spooky. Downtime will be good, even if it's brief.

Here are photos from yesterday:

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