Look What Came in the Mail

ARC

Advance reading copies of Dying Is My Business! Books don’t always get full-color covers when they’re in ARC form, so I’m extra excited about it!

Click on the picture for a bigger version.

(And yes, that is my extremely cluttered home office behind me.)

Another Belated Birthday Haul

I recently received an Amazon gift certificate as a belated birthday present from my aunt-in-law and decided to expand my home video collection once again. Here’s what I bought myself:

 Possibly my favorite of the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad movies. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I love them all so much!

 One of the few horror movies that actually scares me, even after seeing it a hundred times already. I don’t care if it deviates significantly from the novel. I think the film is a masterpiece of mood and atmosphere.

 Bava’s gothic masterpiece. Barbara Steele. That mask. ‘Nuff said.

Archer Live

ArcherLive

 

Alexa and I had such a great time at Archer Live last night! A good portion of the cast was there: H. Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer), Amber Nash (Pam), Chris Parnell (Cyril), Aisha Tyler (Lana), Lucky Yates (Dr. Krieger), and in an unexpected appearance, the great Jessica Walter (Malory Archer). Led by producer Matt Thompson and playing to a sold-out crowd, the cast did a live reading of certain classic scenes (often with help from audience members), shared new material, showed little-seen videos (my favorite was Dr. Krieger’s tentacle porn homage to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video), and invited a drunk attendee who was about to be escorted out by security onto the stage to dance for them instead. Which he did. To “Danger Zone.”

We heard the song “Danger Zone” a lot last night. A lot. Sorry, Kenny Loggins, but you and I might need to take a break for a while.

The whole thing was great, if not exactly a well oiled machine. There was a lot of horsing around and ragging on each other, but that was half the fun. I even got to ask a question! I asked if any of the cast was ever tempted to own an ocelot in real life. They didn’t really answer the question, as they were too busy improvising a song they made up about me: “Moustache Nick.” (Just FYI, in case you were wondering, there are very few nice words that rhyme with Nick.)

So if a character shows up in season 5 named Moustache Nick, now you know where that came from.

Archer Live is must-see for fans of the show. Catch it if it comes to your town!

Dying Is My Business: Two Steps Closer

In the hopes that it might be of interest to some of you, I promised a while back that I would use this blog to detail the journey my novel, Dying Is My Business, takes from manuscript to finished book. Well, to that end, today I’ve got two new and exciting developments to share with you.

First, a month or so back my editor contacted me with a “dummy” of the proposed interior design of the book (complete with everyone’s favorite lorem ipsum placeholder text). My editor, my agent, and I tweaked it just a tad before coming to consensus pretty quickly — which was easy to do because the proposed design is amazing! I’m not just talking about what font or text size they’re using, though that’s an important part of book design, too. No, one of the things I’m really coming to love about working with St. Martin’s Press is how they go the extra mile. In terms of design, that extra mile includes an actual, recurring image motif. And it’s a doozy! (No spoilers here. You’ll see it when the novel hits shelves on October 8!)

Next, I received a mysterious and unexpected package from St. Martin’s a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was the copyedited manuscript being returned to me because they didn’t need it anymore. Thoughts began racing through my head about a reader giveaway or a charitable auction — you know, all the things much bigger and more popular authors than me think about doing with these things — but when I opened the package it was something else entirely: the typeset manuscript, incorporating that same amazing interior design. (Can you still say manuscript when it’s typeset? I’m going to go with yes.)

Along with the typeset manuscript (see?) came the instructions to correct any typos or grammatical errors I find within. But I was deeply focused on finishing the next book, and frankly, I’d already read Dying Is My Business so many times and in so many different versions that I no longer thought I could trust myself to focus on finding errors and not, instead, add whole new conversations between characters because wouldn’t it be cool if… Luckily, my darling wife offered to proofread the typeset manuscript for me. I knew it would be in good hands because part of her job is to proofread all her company’s public magazines, brochures, and emails. And indeed she found a small amount of typos left over from the copyedits. Only four or five, though, which is a pittance in a novel that’s nearly 400 pages long.

Alas, there’s no such thing as a perfect book, as much as we wish there were, so it’s possible typos will still slip into the finished book. Just know that we all did everything we could to make sure the novel offered as clean a reading experience as possible. Believe me, I know nothing can pull the reader right out of a story faster than a glaring typo! But yeah, no matter what we do, they’re still going to happen. You can pretty much count on it.

 

 

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