I’ve met many authors over the years. Most of them are great. Some have disappeared over the years. Others, well, let’s not speak ill of the others.
I posted some time ago on my YouTube channel about the time I met Neil Gaiman. It was a great meeting and I’d gotten a couple of things signed by him. It was a good time.
I’ve also had many books signed by authors I’m close, personal friends with.
Then there’s another category of author I’ve met, they’re friendly, and I support them either by buying their books, following them on Social Media, or I may even support them on Patreon. One author I support there is Tobias Buckell. If you enjoy short fiction, he puts out a short story a month over there and it’s well worth your support.
I’d met Tobias at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego in 2016 when his book, Arctic Rising came out. I’d enjoyed his Crystal Rain series and figured I’d go meet him, buy his new book, and get a few seconds to say hello. He may not remember me, but I do remember him.
Now, I’d never met Tobias before. I’d never seen a picture of him before. I didn’t know who he was. When I got to the store, as I do, I bought a copy of the book. At the register was a many in the floppy had talking with the person behind the register. They stopped talking. I said I was there to see Tobias and I’d like to buy his book to show my support. The man in the floppy hat said “He really likes it when people buy his books.”
I didn’t know who this person was and didn’t respond. I can be awkward in situations like this when someone is making a joke. I looked at the person trying to ascertain his intent. Decided not to respond. Bought the book and went and took a seat in the store.
It wasn’t until Tobias came to stand in front of the crowd to talk that I realized it was the person in the floppy hat. I’d missed an opportunity to speak personally for more than one minute, with Tobias. When you get something signed, you rarely get more than a few seconds or a minute as they’re there to meet as many people as possible and you don’t want to hold up the line. I took a moment to apologize for not recognizing him at the door and he took it well. We joked, he signed my book. I went home happy.
Fast forward a few years.
When we rearranged the living room the last time, I put several of my autographed books on a shelf in the living room. I’m proud to own those books and having met those authors. Why not put them out instead of putting them into a box in the garage? I’m not collecting these to hide away. Right?
When we took our trip to Florida, Hijo (My Favorite Daughter’s boy) house sat for us. He brought over his puppy, Mya. A Heeler, Sheppard mix. Koda was also here. Koda sleeps when no one is in the house. Mya? She’s on the move 90% of the time. Even at night. She’s inside. She’s outside. She’s getting into trouble. When Hijo was in the house, all was well.
I think you know where this is going.
Mya got herself into trouble a few times when Hijo had to go to work. One time she tore up a small section of carpet. Another time she ate the welcome mat at the back door. One time she took a few books off the shelf and proceeded to reduce them to far smaller sections.
One of those titles was Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell.
Now, I don’t monitor that shelf with any regularity. It did seem there was something missing from that shelf, but we’d rearranged recently and I figured I was missing something. Hijo felt TERRIBLE for signed books getting destroyed and, though he’d told us about all the other mishaps Mya had, he didn’t say anything about the books.
Hijo reached out to the authors to let them know what happened and ask if there was any way he could purchase a replacement copy and have it autographed. Two of the authors I follow on Social Media, but they’ve disappeared some time ago. Another was Neil Gaiman and I doubt a reply will be forthcoming. The last author, if you haven’t guessed, was Tobias Buckell.
One author replied and sent along a signed copy. Hijo had taken a picture of the signature and note in the book, and Tobias signed with the same note.
Thank you Tobias!
Mishaps happen. I’m not angry this happened. I wasn’t angry when a week after we returned, Mya went back to that same shelf and tore the dust jackets off 4 of my GFL novels by Scott Sigler (which Scott and A have generously said they will replace for me. Another awesome author you should be following). Since this happened and given that we’ve a new puppy in the house, we’ve moved things to where the dogs can’t get to them. Though I’m not upset, I’d prefer it not happen again.
Again, Tobias, thank you so much for replacing the book for me. As I said above, you might not remember me, but I do remember you. I wish I’d taken your joke better and spent a few minutes to get to know you. Hopefully there will be another time.
Oh, these two have the right idea. The small one is Koda, our dog. The bigger puppy is Mya. Mya is sleeping, Koda was sleeping. Took this picture a few days ago.
Mya is the one that found the tennis ball with a plant growing out of it.
Spent the morning listening to a Pop-Up course from Dean Wesley Smith. Now I’ve got a story in my head that I must write. Darn it. I’m sure that’ll happen with the other pop-ups as well. This isn’t a bad thing. I want to write, on average, two short stories per month.
The biggest take away from Dean’s pop-up, for me, was building the world in small bits. Not trying to do it all in one chapter. That’s something I tried to do with past books and that always failed. Tell the story first, let the world flesh itself out around the story.
The short story I’m going to write will take place in the Of Gnomes And Dwarves universe as the pop-up was for Epic Fantasy. In fact, I think I’ll be doing a number of short stories based around Of Gnomes And Dwarves to help me build up that world and get ready to write those books. Should be interesting.
I had written a short story that was supposed to take place in that world. Kance Encounter. Kance is an assassin/thief character who ends up doing odd jobs for a wizard. I blame Piers Anthony for me wanting to write stories with punny names and punny titles.
At any rate, I’m off to do some reading. I finished I Am The Man by Scott Ian this morning, read a few Tobias Buckell short stories I’ve been collecting from Patreon over the years, and I’m about to dig into something else. Suggestions?
Until Next Time!
Yesterday was a fun day. I got to head over to the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore and buy a new book. What book? So glad you asked.
I don’t frequent book stores as much as I would like. I was never really a fan of the big chains for a couple of reasons. Mainly they sold a lot of books I wasn’t interested in and when I had a question or would look for a suggestion the staff had other interests in books I wanted to purchase. They also sold coffee and being that I don’t like coffee and really don’t care for the smell of coffee, it made my shopping experience less than desirable.
That being said, I love Mysterious Galaxy. I’ve been there a few times and each time the staff is pleasant, funny, and they make the entire experience enjoyable for me. They know their way around speculative fiction and have an amazing selection of book. I even saw a copy of Scott Sigler’s The All Pro on a shelf where I sat. If you live in San Diego, or Redondo Beach then Mysterious Galaxy is where you want to shop. Heck, even go online and you can pick up some signed editions. I’m sure Tobias left a few of Arctic Rising there.
On to Tobias. I’ve seen his picture online. I follow him on facebook, twitter, his blog (I’m not stalking him, really). So I had an idea what he looked like and when I got into the store he was wearing a hat and I didn’t recognize him. I would have greeted him straightaway if I had. I felt a little silly, but hats throw me off.
Tobias filled us in on his writing endeavors and spoke about his health issues setting him back and having trouble getting anything out over the past three years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I loved his first three books (Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose) so I was anxious for a new book from him. Hearing he was going in a new direction was fine with me as I enjoy his writing. He mentioned the Executioness a couple of times. I have this on my tablet, but have not read it yet.
His new book, Arctic Rising is being sold as an Eco Thriller. He talked about how he had been doing research and keeping notes and saving articles to use in a book and when his agent (he talked extensively about his relationship with his agent and the direction of his career) asked if he’d like to try something new, he looked at his research and jumped at the opportunity.
Sadly he got started and his health took a turn. In those three years, much of what he’d been writing about with the book was coming to be. When he was writing the book it was considered New Future Sci Fi. He was pleased in some ways to be right, and leery at the same time. Made me anxious to jump into the book.
I bought the hard cover so I’ll be reading the book at home and I will post a review once I’m done with it. Just in hearing him talk about the book and reading the excerpt, I’m sure I’ll be happy once I dive in.
Enough about Tobias. This is a blog about me, right?
Even though I went to his signing I was still able to hit my word count for yesterday. I’ve made it a personal goal to try and get caught up and average 2000 words during Lent not just hit 2000 words per day. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m finding that I’m good with a challenge. I’m only 3000 words behind that actual goal (probably less) and I’m already seven days ahead of my annual goal (I can take a vacation now WOO WOO)
But in all seriousness, I’m hitting a writing flow these days. I’ve been writing daily since the 1st of January. I haven’t missed a day. It was a bumpy start, but I’ve stuck to blogging daily which has really helped when it comes to sitting down and writing fiction. I just sit, start typing, and in a couple of minutes I’m typing again. It’s also helping me keep up with my typing skills.
I mean, I can touch type, sure. I have a bad habit of looking at my fingers as they’re typing out the words instead of looking at the screen to see what I’m actually typing. A few minutes every day of typing and bang. I’m back to touch typing again. It’s only take two months and it’s like I’ve rediscovered writing.
If you’re a writer, or you want to be a writer, I put this challenge to you. Write every day for two months. No excuse. No requirements. Set a word goal (200,500,1000) something low and obtainable. Don’t overreach. This is like working out. You can’t expect to be running after a couple of days. Build up and keep it going.
Speaking of running, I need to get walking again. My favorite daughter is even bugging me about that. But first, the day job.