Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crown of Vengeance in finals of Pluto Award-Signing in Madison Report

First of all, I am very pleased to announce that I just found out that Crown of Vengeance is now one of the two finalists for the 2010 Pluto Award, narrowing down from the initial field of 6 nominees. The 2010 Pluto Award will be announced on December 18th, so we'll have to see what happens! It is definitely an honor to have Crown of Vengeance be a finalist, something that is extra encouraging on the eve of Dream of Legends being released.

Staying a little warmer today, after a big adventure to Madison, Indiana yesterday for a signing at That Book Place. Madison is a small town right on the border of Kentucky, a very scenic, historic area. It is also known for its success and participating on the sport of hydroplane racing. One day, it is going to be well-known as the town where That Book Place is located.

This store, owned by Frank Hall, is an author-friendly independent bookstore. Frank is definitely one of the good guys in this often-hazardous business that authors have to deal with. I have seen Frank out on the circuit, and he was kind enough to invite me up for a signing.

As luck would have it, snow began to fall in Lexington and the region early on Saturday morning. Leaving town was an adventure, but as I always say, I will make every last effort on behalf of my reader-friends. The trip got out to a rocky start, as just as I was heading out of Lexington, 3 cars ahead of me and mine hit a particularly bad patch of ice. All of us went into slides. I was able to keep calm, go with the direction of the slide and regain control. The car ahead of me avoided collision, but the other two ended up over the curb and on the sidewalk. Fortunately, a police car was on the spot to take care of those two vehicles.

I had to be cautious on the drive up, as the roads were in various conditions depending on whether they had been visited by salt trucks. Drawing closer to Madison, it gets a little more hilly and winding, which made for some dicey stretches.

I got to That Book Place safely, about an hour ahead of the signing time. Frank and Dan, who helps him run the store, and Frank's wife were on hand, and it began what was a very nice visit. A.J. Scudiere, a thriller/science fiction author from Nashville, made it right on time for the signing, after having gone through some adventures herself.

One of the first reader-friends to show up was Anita, who showed me her Kindle, and the copy of The Exodus Gate on it. She told me that she really liked the wolf-creatures in the book (the An-Ki) and wanted me to assure her that they would continue forward in the series and would not be all killed off. She also indicated that while she likes e-Books, she did want print copies of the authors she likes. She picked up The Exodus Gate in print, as well as The Storm Guardians, and also got a copy of Dreams of Steam, which has my steampunk short story "In the Mountain Skies" in it. It was a great start to the signing, and I was really flattered that she thought enough of The Exodus Gate, as an eBook, that she wanted a print version signed and personalized.

A few readers had pre-bought books and left them in the store to be signed and personalized, and there were also a few customers browsing who turned out to be fantasy readers, such as one lady whose boyfriend was a fan of Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time series. She thought he would really enjoy the Fires in Eden series and picked up a Crown of Vengeance for him.

A.J. Scudiere was great to do a signing alongside, and people should check out the audio movie versions of her books as well. Yes, that's movies, where her books are given a soundtrack, sound effects, and a full cast of actors bringing you an audio book like no other. Check her work out!

There were some humorous moments as well. Frank evidently runs an unofficial cat placement service, or so it appears, as a little kitten was dropped off to him, to deliver to a home that he had found. This evidently takes place on a regular basis, and Frank and his wife have no less than 10 cats themselves. I think that the kitten should have been given the job of being the bookstore cat, as it took quickly to Frank, even falling asleep on his shoulder. (as the pic proves). It won't be much longer before Frank will be giving a free cat to every author that signs at his store!

Frank has a really good thing going at That Book Place. Not only is he expanding the store size, but he is also adding a coffee shop soon, and he is founding a new small press publishing company. His brother owns a game store in Madison as well, so I can see Madison becoming a real genre hotbed in the near future!

Authors and readers should really get behind Frank and what he is doing. He's shown himself to be a straight-shooter, and he has a passion for the genre, cares about authors, and I really hope he has tremendous success.

All in all, it was a good day, and one that went much better than it might otherwise have gone given the bad weather.

As a last note, remember that this Wednesday, December 8th, is the last day to pre-order Dream of Legends limited hardcovers (and get an incredible price).

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