It is here! We made it! (Actually, we made it four days ago, but it's taken me this long to get my act together.) Here's the wrap-up:
1. The #OneNightIn contest has a winner!
I did a random drawing of all the entries posted before midnight CST on Saturday, and here is the winning tweet:
(And my god, if ice cream isn't a reason to blow the speedometer, I am sure I don't know what is.) Big congrats to Helen, and a big thanks to everyone who entered!
2. I continue to plaster myself all over the Internet.
...and today, Upcoming4me is kind enough to post my entry in their "The Story Behind" series. Not going to lie, you guys: The Story Behind "One Night in Sixes" was a tough one to write.
Even now, I am still just desperately anxious for random people on the Internet to like me, and I feel like the more I write about the tough subjects - especially the historical and more racialicious aspects of the book - the more opportunity I'm giving random people on the Internet to decide that I am Not Very Good - perhaps Actually Quite Terrible.
Then again, the intellect and judgment that's gone into these posts are the same as what I used to write the book itself, so it's a fair free sample, regardless.
3. You have 12 hours left to win a free copy of the book!
Kristin over at MyBookishWays is still running an (international!) drawing for not one, but three copies of the book - and there are less than a hundred entries so far! I assume most of you are not hurting for copies of the text (fabulous die-hard supporters that you are), but if you know anyone who could use a handy 100% discount, tell them to scroll to the bottom of this interview and enter before midnight (CST) tonight!
In the meantime, our map is just about done (bar those one or two little fixes, which we'll correct in post-production), and legendary cartographer Gillis Björk deserves all praise and adulation, not only for his phenomenal artistry, but also for his superhuman patience in corresponding with me over the last few months.
We'll close out the book-previews with one more little snippet: Elim is pretty sure that going out after dark is a terrible idea, but he's absolutely certain that that red-lit house at the end of the road has Sil somewhere inside - and it's not going to give him back without a fight.
Elim made his tracks quickly, hat down and eyes forward in accordance with the errand-boy's creed: you were less likely to catch a hassling if you conducted yourself as if someone important was expecting you directly. He did not stop to look at the fire-lit festivities up on the roof of the eastern promenade, or listen to the shouting and laughing of the people up there, or smell the rich cedar-sweet aromas of their cooking.
But he couldn't avoid the boarding-house at the end of the road. Stately and sinister and old, the two front windows glowed luminous and alive with red light, its double set of sharp-curving porch steps dug like claws into the foundation, and high up above, lording over the upper story and even over the town itself, the twisted rails of the balcony exalted the house with a black-iron crown.
It was an evil thing, and not only because of its business hours. You could forgive people the need to do their sinning sociably — shoot, you could hardly expect them to make any less of a congregation in dirtying their souls than they did in cleaning them afterwards. No, what made Elim's hairs stand up was that the boarding-house was still here, unburnt and unbastardized, having apparently either out-fouled the conquering native powers, or else struck them one hell of a deal.
And now it had gotten hold of Sil.
That thought alone pushed Elim forward as he climbed the steps and knocked at the mouth of hell.