Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fangs, teens and the caffeine stimulus plan

(pic: Tim Broderick watching out for tigers as I sell books in the background - chris V pic)

"There they are," my publisher Karen grinned as she pointed to four boxes of books sitting next to a larger stack.

With caffeinated alacrity, I slithered my way around and over other boxes, chairs, packing and other authors who were busily unpacking their books and setting up their displays in the Echelon Press tent at Printers Row. I know at least two grabbed at my butt as I went by ... kidding... I grabbed their butts ... kidding again ... or am I? You'll never know.

Fortunately, Karen must know about my propensity for paper cuts, because the tape had been conveniently removed from the boxes - there would be no bleeding today.

So like a kid on Christmas, one hand's eager trembling fingers fumbled through the packing paper - meanwhile the other balanced a full cup of Starbucks white chocolate mocha ... no cream, please ... and then ...

...there it was ...

Fang Face

Finally, woo-hoo!

Almost exactly a year after signing my contract, months of writes, re-writes, agonizing over title, cover art, blurbs, last minute prep to get the book ready three months before publication for Printers Row Lit Fest ... then sweating the next day delivery as the books were shipped to Chicago-land author Mary Welk's house ... and now, finally, it's in my hand.

As I beheld the slick book in my hands, I could hear heavenly angel's music ... actually an ambulance's siren on Congress Pkwy ... and I marveled at how similar it was to what I'd seen on my laptop for so many months, except it was more, way more. Three D perfection, except...

"Uh, Karen?"

Karen was busily setting up the cash register, "Huh?"

Then she saw what I was looking at. The font for best selling author James Rollin's blurb on the cover made it next to impossible to read. Yes, I said 'best selling author.' Three of them actually blurbed Fang Face.

"Oh, don't worry about that. It looked great when we set it up, but we'll fix it before the book actually comes out. These will be collector items."

Yeah, I like that ... a lot. I like the fact that there are a limited number that will be done one way because it truly does make them more unique.

I got busy and started setting up my area. I had a generous three feet of counter space for my books on the long table I would be sharing with mystery novelist Mary Welk, children's writer Christine Verstraete (thanks to Chris for the pics) and graphic novelist Tim Broderick.

So I fluffed up my feng shui and pulled out my displays, postcards and my Adventures of Guy books, which Karen had graciously offered to sell, especially considering they were products of my previous publisher.

There's so much that I could say about the two day event at Printers Row ... and this would be a long, long post if I discussed everyone I met, or hung with, but I'll mention a few.

Raymond Benson dropped by to say 'hi'. I couldn't wait to give him a copy of Fang Face in thanks for his having taken the time from his schedule to read the arc, and then think enough about it to write how much he enjoyed it. I'll send copies to Shane Gericke and James Rollins.

Tim Broderick was a selling maniac. Once he was done pitching someone on his book, he would guide them to me. I wish I had done as well of a job of cross-promoting as him and some of the other Echelon authors. I'll get better at it.

Rob Walker swung by, visiting from the deep south. He has over forty books, and before I'd ever published a book he and I had gone out to lunch a couple times to discuss writing, publishing and stuff.

Joe Konrath rushed by and threw, "Great book" over his shoulder. I think he was talking about mine. I ran into some other friends at the Mystery Writers tent, including Michael Black and Julie Hyzy.

Echelon's tent, besides those mentioned above included Bob Goldsborough, Marc Vun Kannon and son James, Luisa Buehler, Ophelia Julien, Margot Justes, Barb DeShong, Teresa Burrell (T's cool, even though she's an attorney), Sam Morton, Allan Ansorge, Martin Bartloff, an Amy Alessio sighting and... crap, am I forgetting anyone? If so, sorry.

When it came to selling the book, here's what's great:

(hold on a sec, need more coffee)

(okay, I'm back. what was I saying)

Oh, yeah, teens.

Fang Face was written for them. Vampire with none of the romantic angst of "Twilight" but with all of the humor of my Adventures of Guy series. And way more fangs.

And if you're an adult, no problem, Fang Face is like a Disney Pixar film. Fun for young and older alike.

If you'd like to check it out, and now you're kicking yourself for not driving, flying, biking all the way to Printers Row, I'm gonna tell ya' how you can get your hands on a pre-release, autographed, limited edition copy of Fang Face.

Just come visit me at www.fangface.homestead.com. I have to set up the PayPal page, but I'm hoping it will be ready today, if not in a day or two.

Meanwhile, get your 2010 calendar out, and mark "Printers Row" for June. No, I don't know the date, just block out the entire month so you don't miss it. And I'll see you there.

(more coffee)



  1. I got so excited reading YOUR excitement, Fang Face could've been MY book!!

    Great post, and congrats on the release and the success at PR. Hope to see you there next year.


  2. Congratulations on your new book! Hope you sell a zillion copies!

    aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David

  3. Great post, Norm and congrats. (But he really should have used the other pic of him showing his "true colors." See my blog post on Printer's Row. haa!)
    Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature
    Art Mystery -
    Christine Verstraete

  4. Congrats on the hardcopies! Sorry I couldn't make it to Printer's Row, school and family and all that jazz... Completely envy your white chocolate mocha! Lol!

    Glad ya had fun,

  5. Great post...I have to agree Printer's Row was the bomb! It was a real pleasure meeting you, Norm. (See, I can say something nice.)