Back in the before-days, I always did enjoy me a book launch – particularly if it was one of my own, but I also dug book launches of dear friends and colleagues. We’d get together at a bar or a bookstore, or a bar and a bookstore, or sometimes a public library – and there’d be a stack of books and something to eat or drink… and from the author, a reading of some mercifully brief passage with a bit of action and a clever metaphor or two for the cheap seats.
Then everyone would line up at a table with all of the books on it and buy one, then line up again where the author was sitting, and they would sign them.
When it was me at the signing table, I always tried to do a little something extra. A nice note, and a doodle.
In my first book the Claus Effect (co-written with Karl Schroeder) I would doodle a little drawing of a deranged Santa Claus next to “Merry Christmas You Ungrateful Bastards,” because that was a line from the book and Santa Claus figured prominently. With Monstrous Affections, a story collection, I’d draw a cyclops coming in for a hug – because in this book there lurks a very handsy Polyphemus. Rasputin’s Bastards, it was a Russian doll with a gun and a scowl that was ,like the book’s title, entirely figurative.
When Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism came out, I did this:
And when the sequel Volk: A Novel of Radiant Abomination came out, this is what I did:
Well, it’s 2020 and as much as I’d like to, with the pandemic it is very difficult and potentially deadly to do another autographing session in person. But there are new books out: dead-tree editions of Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism and Volk: A Novel of Radiant Abomination, out from Open Road Media. And while the books aren’t brand new, the packages are, and I would like to sign some of them with a drawing, just like I always did.
It might seem hopeless here in the Plague Year, but for the Internet – and the endless gulf of time before us.
So here’s the deal.*
The Eutopia and Volk Relaunch Book-Signing Party starts now. I will be signing books until … well, until it gets unfeasible, in this way. If you buy the book, just post a picture of it on Twitter and tag me (@bydavidnickle) in the post, or do the same thing on Instagram (david_nickle), or Facebook (davidnickleauthor). And I will reply promptly, with a signature sheet that looks a bit like this one.
The doodle will be the same little Fiji-Mermaid-type baby Juke in a jar. But yours will not be made out to August Derleth with a stupid dad joke play on his name. Yours will be made out to you, with a stupid dad joke play on your name. Or with whatever else strikes my fancy, because you never can tell with me.
It is properly sized to be printed out and attached inside the front of either Eutopia or Volk (or both!). Alas, I cannot figure out how to get you any booze or food at this launch, and I have yet to post a reading (although that may well come!), but we take what we can get here in the Plague Year of 2020.
* You can find out ways to purchase hard copies of Eutopia and Volk at their book pages here at the Devil’s Exercise Yard.