About That Misprint in DYING IS MY BUSINESS…

So…funny story.

It was recently discovered that a very small portion of Dying Is My Business‘s print run contains a terrible misprint. Pages 309-341 were replaced with pages from a completely different novel! (Carola Dunn’s cozy mystery A Colorful Death, it turns out. No, her book does not contain pages from mine. That’s not how it works.) My novel resumes on page 341, but not where it left off. I’m told this kind of misprint is not all that unusual, and as I said, it affected only a very small portion of the print run, thank goodness.

The bad news is that many of these misprinted copies were shipped out to bookstores. I’ve already heard from a few people who bought misprinted copies, and have seen a few with my own eyes on bookstore shelves.

I’m reminded of the time Tor accidentally printed Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour in Glass without the novel’s first line. Though I imagine she was fuming inside, she found a way to have fun with it. In a way, her situation was worse because the entire print run was affected, if I recall correctly, and not just a small portion. I also learned recently that something similar happened with a Jim Butcher novel. Only, in his case it wasn’t 30 pages replaced by another book’s. It was 30 pages just flat out missing. I suppose I should consider myself in good company!

Anyway, if you bought a copy of Dying Is My Business, please check to make sure you have the proper pages 309-341. You’ll know immediately if the pages are wrong. The font is different, the page number is on the bottom instead of the top, and of course the characters are entirely different. (One is, amusingly, named Nick. Well, it’ll be amusing to me one day. Not so much right now.)

If you have a misprinted copy, it can be exchanged for a proper copy without charge from the store where you bought it. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Please bear in mind that none of this is the fault of the bookstores. It was a production error, something neither they nor I have any control over. Please be patient with them if they can’t accommodate you by replacing your copy immediately.

For those of you who do not want to part with your misprinted copies, St. Martin’s is working on getting the missing pages to me in a file that can be downloaded directly from my website. I don’t have it yet, but I should soon.

Again, I’m deeply sorry for the inconvenience. I wish this misprint hadn’t happened, but everyone, including St. Martin’s, is working hard to make sure everyone with a misprinted copy can exchange it free of charge for a proper replacement.

If you have any questions, just ask!

What’s My Favorite Bit in DYING IS MY BUSINESS?

Today I’ve got a guest post up on Glamourist Histories author Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog as part of her ongoing “My Favorite Bit” series. I love “My Favorite Bit” because it features so many authors I like, all talking about their favorite chapter, scene, moment, character beat, what have you from their latest publication. And now it’s my turn to share! Here’s a snippet:

Mention the words “Renaissance Faire” to any group of people, even fantasy fans, and you’re likely to be greeted with groans and eye rolls. I can’t blame them. Heck, I used to be one of them. But lately I have developed a legitimate love of the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park. In fact, it was a huge influence on my novel, Dying Is My Business.

On a side note, I’ve been friendly with Mary for years now, since the days when she and her husband lived in New York. I remember sitting with her at a Chinese restaurant after a Fantastic Fiction reading at the KGB Bar eons ago and describing to her a book I had just started writing about the last living descendant of St. George. I remember feeling iffy about the book, but Mary liked the idea and that helped me stick with it. That book, Chasing the Dragon, went on to be published by the amazing, award-winning ChiZine Publications and nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award and the International Thriller Writers Award! So, I owe a big thanks to Mary Robinette Kowal for keeping me on track – and for featuring me in “My Favorite Bit”!

Another quick bit of fun news: Dying Is My Business is featured on the Black Gate website. It actually focuses on cover artist Chris McGrath, who deserves every bit of attention he gets, but editor John O’Neill also has some nice things to say about the book. Check it out here.

Can’t. Stop. Watching. This.

I do wish it included actual footage from the 50th anniversary special, but still, it’s pretty damn breathtaking. Makes me all tingly, it does.

Hellbenders

My good friend J.T. Petty’s latest film Hellbenders hits theaters and VOD today! Any new film by J.T. is a reason to celebrate, but I’m especially excited to tell you about this one because I’m in it. Sort of.

Let’s rewind to March 2011, when principal photography on Hellbenders began. Knowing J.T. was filming around New York City, I asked if I could come visit the set as part of a feature article I was pitching. But J.T. did me one better. Not only did he let me visit the set, he put me in the movie as a background actor. I play one of the “acolytes of the demon” in the final, climactic battle!

The pitch didn’t get any bites, unfortunately, and the article never materialized. (My fault, not the movie’s.) But that doesn’t mean I can’t share some photos and memories with you here on my blog!

My involvement didn’t get off to a great start. I was late to arrive at holding — located at the aptly named Most Precious Blood church in the equally aptly named Gravesend, Brooklyn — due to a subway problem. Still, I should have allowed extra time. Every New Yorker knows if you need to be somewhere by a certain time, the subway will do its best to prevent it. Anyway, as soon as I arrived, I saw Clancy Brown having a cigarette outside the church and knew I was in the right place. Inside, Soren Miltich, the key second assistant director, told me the background actors had already left for the location. Luckily, I got a ride to set from stunt actor Chazz Menendez and his fellow stunt actors, all of whom were very friendly.

The location was a field right by the water near Coney Island. The first thing I saw when I got there was the makeup tent. I walked right in and told them, “Fuck me up.” And they did. Boy did they ever!

Nick makeup 1

That’s me covered in what’s supposed to be ash and blood. Fuck yeah! (I actually had no idea just how messed up I looked until later, when we broke for “lunch” around midnight and caught my reflection in a mirror at the church!)

I’d barely left the makeup tent when J.T. called me over to help practice a fight scene with Clancy Brown. I got to grapple with the Kurgan! Is J.T. a great friend or what? Anyway, I don’t know if they ever filmed that particular fight. If they did, it wasn’t with me, which is probably for the best since I’m not an actual stunt actor. But I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to rehearse something with Clancy Brown!

What I remember most about my time on set was it being fucking freezing. It was a twelve-hour, overnight shoot with most of my scenes being shot between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Much of my on-camera time was spent lying on the ground and pretending to be dead, but my body was shivering so hard I was sure the camera, several yards away, would pick it up. The ground was cold, wet, and covered in goose shit. The things we do for our friends! My other on-camera duties included running around in the background with a big stick during the climactic fight, getting up off the ground and stumbling away as though I were injured, and shuffling around a fake bonfire. Covered in so much gross makeup, I kind of went into an automatic zombie impersonation, lurching stiffly as if I’d just risen from the grave.  This resulted in what I believe to be the greatest directorial comment in the history of cinema, as J.T. stopped filming at one point and said, “Nick — less zombie, more homeless!”

The other thing I remember most is a lot of waiting around. Filmmaking, I discovered, involves a whole lot more setting up than actual filming. A thirty-second scene in a film can take hours to get right. Luckily, there was a heated tent where the background actors got to hang out while we waited for Alex Scricco, the very friendly and patient set production assistant, to come wrangle us. It turned out my fellow background actors all knew each other from other sets. Many of them had worked just the week before on Gary Marshall’s New Year’s Eve and were sharing stories about their experiences on that film. They also passed the time trading star-struck tales of celebrity encounters, or funny stories about other background actors they knew who were hams. There was a real sense of camaraderie among them. It reminded me of old friends getting together and picking up where they left off, as if no time had passed at all. I took a few pictures of them with, unfortunately, my then-crappy cell phone camera:

extras 5

These two took me under their wing immediately and showed me the ropes of being a background actor. They were very, very nice.

Extras 6

These two I remember being very funny. When you’re waiting for long periods of time with nothing to do, it helps to be surrounded by interesting people.

Extras 2

This young woman was like my background actor buddy. We hung out a lot. She was nervous because she was slated to perform topless for the very first time that night. I did my best to help keep her calm and distracted from her worries.

Other fun memories from that night are mostly celebrity-based. I remember sitting in the warming van with Andre Royo and getting the chance to tell him how amazing he was as Bubbles on The Wire. I remember another scene where I was supposed to run directly at the camera but nearly ran right into Balls of Fury‘s Dan Fogler instead. And of course, every second with Clancy Brown!

When filming was finished around 7 a.m., we went back to holding to wash off our makeup. By the time I got to the sink, though, there were no paper towels left. So I rode home on the subway in pretty much full makeup — during morning rush hour! I got a lot of looks and had to explain to my fellow commuters that I’d just come from filming a movie and it was makeup. “Oh, thank God!” one man said. “I’m an EMT and thought you’d been hit by a car!” Another man said I looked like I’d “just crawled out of the tunnels.” As soon as I got home, I took a picture of what I looked like:

how I looked on the subway home

Yikes! Anyway, I hopped in the shower and went right to bed. Unfortunately, I was covered with so much makeup that a shower just wasn’t enough. That night, Alexa had to clean makeup out of my ears with a Q-Tip!

The whole thing was an amazing, if exhausting, experience. I was so happy to be a part of J.T.’s movie! I don’t know how much of my “performance” made it into the final cut. I haven’t had the chance to see it yet. I did see a rough cut a while back, though, and saw myself running around in the background in one scene. In another, the back of my head is quite visible as I get up off the ground and stumble away, I’m sure much too zombielike. Hopefully, I made it to the final cut, too. But even if I didn’t, I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.

So go see Hellbenders now that it’s in theaters and on VOD! Maybe you’ll see me in the background and maybe you won’t, but I guarantee you’ll have a good time. The New York Times called it “a charming throwback to 1980s films, like ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Police Academy!'” How can you go wrong with that?

 

 

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