Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On The First Day of Launchmas...

All right, y'all: as of today, we are officially one week from launch.  That is pretty dang exciting (or else this giddy, queasy feeling in my gut has a decidedly more sinister chicken-salad origin.)  From today until the book launch party on August 2nd, my intent is to do a daily blog post, with fun tidbits from the book itself, as well as from around the web.

So here to get us started is my terrific buddy Daniel Bensen, who not only rules the Kingdoms of Evil with an iron fist, but has also recorded my enthusiastic rantings with the studious patience of Jane Goodall.  Check out part 1 of our podcast here - it's twelve magical minutes of deep discussion on Euro-centric history, Howdy Doody, the Gondwana supercontinent, and the delicate art of creating fantasy cultures without being an imperialist butthead.

But I can't be all "look at me, look at me, look at me now!" without giving you something to look AT, right?  Preposterous!  Here to solve that problem is my cartographer-in-crime, the watercolor wizard called Gillis Björk, of Lingonberry Maps notoriety.  He's not only created the map you'll find inside the book, but has spent weeks working on a full-color poster-style map that I TOTALLY can't wait to show y'all. 

This was how it began: as a clumsy hand-drawn diagram that I sent to him and said, "please, can you make this not suck?"

Happily, the answer was "yes."  More on that next time! 

For now, I'll close with a snippet from Sixes: just a cowboy, his hat, and a majestically feminine set of nostril-hairs.

Elim squatted on the ground in front of the gate, the morning sun already warm on his back, and chewed oats while he waited.

He liked waiting, though. There was a holiness to it. Waiting was admitting that yes, you had done everything in your humble power - ate, dressed, packed, fed, raked, tied, bridled, and saddled - and entrusting the rest to God.

The dull thump of hooves in the dirt behind him ended with a wet blast of heat down the back of his neck. Elim looked up into the moist and cavernous nostrils of one Molly Boone.

"I know," he said, "but it ain't going to hurry him along any faster, is it?"

Even so, Elim pulled his hat off before it could tempt any nibbles and leaned his head back against the gate planks, at peace amidst the smell of old leather and new manure.

It was the horses that did it to him. It was altogether difficult to get worked up about anything when you had the sun warm on your face, a pair of hairy lips browsing your forehead for salt, and a herd at your back whose greatest concern was the flicking of an occasional blow-fly.

Even if you hadn't sold them like you were supposed to.

Even if your partner was a willful wild-minded yearling with a dirty mouth and a head full of arrant balderdash.

Boy, Elim reminded himself. He was just a boy.


  1. Launchmas, eh? I love it!

    Must say, ever since hearing a snippet from Sixes at DFWcon, I have been eagerly awaiting your book. Lemme know if you do any in-person launch events in north Texas.

    Congrats to you!

    1. Thanks, Tui - I think it's safe to say that I'm excited that you're excited! Definitely come to the launch on Saturday if you can - DFWWW has all the details - and I'll certainly hope to see you again before the next conference, regardless!