my last week unpublished

I have been waiting so long for this that now it doesn’t even feel real.  In just shy of a week, my book Coming of Mage will hit the proverbial shelves.  Actually, I kinda hope they’re real shelves.

In less than a week, I will be a published author.

Seven years ago, this was a sure thing in my cocky, post-graduate brain.  Five years ago, in the midst of bad breakups and scooping ice cream, I didn’t see it happening.  Two years ago, there were whisperings of a possibility so delicate that to even say them audibly was to shatter the whole deal.  Can you imagine that? A two-year balancing act between Don’t Get Your Hopes Up and Pop the Santana DVX.

feels like this actually

The Office – “The Ultimatum” – Michael sprays Erin with champagne from Greg Bauer on Vimeo.

But now it’s here.  We’re in the thick of it.  Mage will be released in 5 short days.

So what have I been doing?

Well, truthfully, most of the same kind of rabble-rousing I’d be doing anyway.  For starters, I’ve been pushing–ad nauseum–my Indiegogo fundraiser campaign.  If you follow me on any kind of social media outlet, you’re probably sick of seeing that little short link on everything.

8 mile
The infamous “8 Days Left” meme that never got published. Just for you, Gretch!

But I only had a month!  Gimme a break!  But I”m proud–and a little emotional, frankly–to say, I hit my fundraising goal.  And then some!

A lot of people have congratulated me on this, or said it’s really cool.  But I promise you that’s only a fraction of how freaking amazingly awesome that is.  Can’t stress it enough–or give enough thanks.  In movies–and my wildest dreams–a guy writes a book and BOOM! he’s Dean Koontz overnight.  In reality, most writers have to climb the ladder like all the others.  My contract required me to purchase some copies upfront. It’s not a raw deal; it guarantees my book sells at least some copies.  In a way, it keeps the author invested–not just financially–in the process to have this ‘book buy’ floating over their head.  You’d be surprised how many authors finish a book, get a contract, and tell their publisher, “Okay, sell it while I go to Maui.  Peace!”  And then their book sits in a box under their mattress because they engaged nobody.

Well, that was not going to be me.  No, sir!  Social media and drawing attention to myself are two of my biggest passions, so I hit the ground running.

And it worked.  My upfront copies are sold and the budget for a summer of fun/creative marketing stuff is no longer stuck at $0.

So, thanks, to all those friends and followers that still are, and still do.  Uncountable campaigns go unfunded and you guys had me covered almost the first week out of the gate.  Unbelievable.

Outside of the eWorld, I’ve been striking up conversations with shop-0wners around town, seeing if they want to carry my book, if they’re interested in book signings, if they have any events of which I could be apart–oh, and they do.  Trust me.  My finger tips are becoming calloused from personalizing emails to various authors, indie book reviewers, newspapers, etc,  asking them to give me a blurb or a quote or an interview–anything–just trying to blip on their radar.

I did land an awesome interview a couple weeks ago thanks to an author I met through Twitter of all places (Ha!  Told you guys!)  Perhaps the most humbling, most awesome thing to come out of my keyboarding crusade was that Mage will have a blurb from one of my all-time favorite authors, Matt Forbeck.

blurb

A couple years ago–right around the time I was penning Mage–I picked up a copy of Vegas Knights and was blown away.  It was nothing short of inspirational, as well as a fun read, and really reminded me that we can write what we want.  At a time when I was painfully pouring over every word in my sentence trying to write a bestseller, Knights just sort of elbowed me in the shoulder and said, Hey, man, be as quirky as you want, just make it good.  Exactly what I needed to hear.

And now to have those names on my book?  Surreal, to say the least.

So, yeah, I’ve been pretty busy with author-y type stuff.  But that’s not all.  Work has started up for the summer.  In a few weeks, I’ll be in the throng of filling endless kid cups with apple juice and bringing cheeseburgers and mini pizzas by the armful to large-family tables at my restaurant.  Glamorous, right?

I’ve also thrown my hat into the podcasting ring.

ep 0

When my cousin, Wally, told me we were starting a podcast I was honestly looking for a fifth back burner to put the project on.  But now that we’ve done a couple episodes of 2 Dudes in the Woods, I’ve found it to be, well, kind of fun.  Wally and I have some pretty good conversations and we’re just arrogant enough to think people will want to listen to us.  And, tedious as it is, it’s been a lot of fun to learn a new skill in audio recording an editing.  Definitely didn’t think I could do it.

Give it a listen.  If it sucks, we’ll shut up.

And on top of that, I’m still trying to pump out that dragon manuscript in time for the Strange Chemistry‘s Open Submission opportunity.  You think one book would be enough, right?  Sheesh!  But I just can’t give up.  I’ll stay on target for Coming of Mage, but I’m gonna be kicking myself if I don’t try for this one too.

For funsies, I’ve been enjoying the perks of living right smack dab in the middle of Grand Marais–aka, the night life.

harbor
The Harbor

Cannot describe how much I missed being able to walk up to the Tavern for a nightcap, or hoof it over to My Sister’s Place for a burger and a glass of wine, or even to just hike out to Artists’ Point on a whim. This new apartment with my girlfriend has been a dream come true–and Kate’s been a trooper through all this.

Oh, yeah, and I got back on the Netflix train.  Like I was going to miss Season 4 of Arrested Development.  Come on!  Plus, did you know there’s about a billion episodes of Supernatural!  It’s heaven!  Well, sort of.

So, that’s me in a nutshell these days.  Pretty typical, right?  I’ve got a busy week ahead, so this might be my last post for awhile.  But this blog has always been like a time capsule, and this is a moment I want to remember as is.  Those last few moments before everything changes.  In a week, people–actual multiple human beings–are going to have read my first real novel.  Who knows what comes next?  Accolades?  Backlash?  Movie deal?!

Obviously, I’m keeping myself grounded in reality.

We’ll see.  Anyway, I “tore out” the first couple of pages of Mage to give you a sneak peek.  Hope you enjoy, and hope you keep reading.

And, again, thanks so much for your support in all this.  It ain’t easy, and a lot of times it feels like I’m shouting into an empty cavern.  But you guys are listening, you’ve proved that.  Means the world.

pg 1

pg 2

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