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Portland, OR

Jason Gurley is an author and book cover designer from Portland, Oregon.



Eleanor, Eleanor, Eleanor

Jason Gurley

A bit of an update:

Eleanor is ridiculously close to completion – maybe just eight or ten thousand words, even. After all these years – I've been thinking that it's been fourteen years, but turns out I'm bad at math, and it's only thirteen – I don't really know how to feel about finishing the book. I mean, I suppose I'll know how I feel when I actually finish it, as opposed to right now, when I haven't yet finished it. 

I've promised to send it to my editor by May 1. The dashing and talented David Gatewood, who edits Hugh Howey's novels as well as From the Indie Side and Synchronic, two anthologies I've participated in, will be trying to turn Eleanor from what is likely a muddled mess into a passable book. 

God, what if it really is a muddled mess?

I like it better when I'm writing and publishing in a few months' time. This decade-plus business is for the birds. 

In any case, once I know how much of a muddled mess the book is, I'll set a release date and get the thing up on Amazon and other stores for preorder. But before I do that, I just wanted to share the cover that Eleanor will most likely be launching with:

Lovely, isn't it? It's a bit more hopeful, I think, than the previous cover that I designed, which was wonderfully gloomy and foreboding, and didn't include a hint of our heroine:

And that cover was an improvement over the original trifecta that I designed when I had entertained the idea of publishing Eleanor as a serial:

Frankly, I love them all. But the latest one, I think, provides just the right blend of magic, character, and setting. 

Boy, I hope people like this book. 

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Deep Breath Hold Tight available for preorder

Jason Gurley

So this is a first: one of my new books is available for preorder on AmazonDeep Breath Hold Tight is a collection of short stories about the end of everything. Serious, serious stuff, man. 

Preorder is a nifty tool, and I'm excited to have access to it. Being able to set a publication date, and make the book available for orders, means that readers don't have to work so hard to remember that the book is coming out in the future. They can order it now, and ta-da, the magical Amazon gnomes do the rest. It also means I have a lot of time to spread the word about the book, and a place to point readers to. 

Hope you'll be one of the readers who clicks the button early! 

By the way, here's one of the perks of subscribing to my little newsletter – right after Deep Breath became available for preorder, each and every one of my subscribers got an advance ebook copy of the book for free. No kidding, no strings, just a good book as thanks for supporting indie authors like me. Maybe you should subscribe, too!

Come May 13th, Deep Breath Hold Tight will be available to the rest of the world. Super excited to announce it today, though. I hope you'll pick up a copy, now or then!

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500th subscriber giveaway

Jason Gurley

Amazingly enough, it appears that my newsletter is rapidly approaching 500 subscribers! Seems like just a few weeks ago I was sending a gift to the 400th subscriber. 

For #500, I'm going to do something special – the 500th subscriber will receive a collection of signed paperbacks. They'll get The Man Who Ended the World, The Settlers, The Colonists, The Dark Age (signed by me and by Squish), The Last Rail-Rider, The Caretaker and Wolf Skin, all inscribed to their preference and signed by the author. (That's me!)

So please sign up if you haven't already! And even if you're not #500, being a subscriber is a pretty wonderful affair anyway, if I do say so myself. After all, you get free advance copies of every original new title I publish – before the rest of the world does. (Not that the world at large is paying that much attention to little old me.)

Speaking of which: Deep Breath Hold Tight is coming soon, and I'm making good progress on Eleanor again. Believe it or not, the end is finally in sight!

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The saddle, and being back in it

Jason Gurley

Since Wednesday I've been almost entirely absent from just about everything – from work (took three days off), from the internet (too dislocated to participate), from my loving family (too doped-up and too asleep to contribute). Yep, you guessed it – I was recovering from oral surgery. Enormously fun, as I'm sure you can imagine. I won't go into the details here, but suffice to say the experience involved blood and sutures and things removed and things added, and now I'm basically Robocop. 

Yours truly, on a whole bunch of drugs before my surgery. (This is also my 'Oh, really? Really?' face.)

Yours truly, on a whole bunch of drugs before my surgery. (This is also my 'Oh, really? Really?' face.)

But it's Sunday now, and tomorrow the week begins again, and I've got to jump back into the race. Am I in any condition to do so? Thankfully, the answer is probably 'mostly'. It's been an interesting few days, for sure. 

Some very cool things are happening today, though, and I had to blog through a fog of pain to tell you about it. (Actually, there really is a fog of pain today. There wasn't one yesterday, so back to the drugs!) 

Cool thing the first: 

Yesterday I attempted (and succeeded) at my first public appearance since the surgery last week. It wasn't much, just a lunch date with friends, but if someone in my family was going to have a meltdown, it was probably going to me. (Spoiler: Wasn't me. It was Squish.) This wasn't just any lunch, though – this was a meetup with fellow indie author Ernie Lindsey and his delightful wife Sarah (Sarah with an h, unlike the protagonist of his bestselling novels about Sara without an h) and their rough-and-tumble son, Jack, who is just beginning to walk on his own. Jack has a nickname of his own, as it turns out, so yesterday worlds aligned, and our daughter Squish and their son Squirms were in the same place at the same time. (Superhero adventures definitely on the horizon for these two.) 

There was a secondary motive for the lunch, though – I had a stack of copies of From the Indie Side that needed signing. 

Cool thing the second: 

The previous weekend – prior to the Surgery of Doom – Felicia and Squish and I met up with the immensely talented Australian indie author treasure, Peter Cawdron. He was touring the U.S. for top-secret purposes, and swung by Portland just to meet us. Well, that and to also sign From the Indie Side. Peter charmed Squish with a kangaroo hand puppet (which she won't go anyplace without, btw), and asked me to sign his novels Xenophobia, Little Green Men and Feedback, each of which I designed the cover for. (These were a gift for his editor, Ellen.) He also brought chocolate and a koala calendar. We're true Aussies now. 

Cool thing the third:

David Gatewood, who has become quite the high-demand indie editor lately, is working with Michael Bunker (the unstoppable author of Pennsylvania – have you seen how big that series is becoming?) on a new anthology, Synchronic: Twelve Tales of Time Travel. I've designed the cover and am also contributing my short story The Dark Age. A few days ago Gatewood sent me a marvelous note about the story, which I'm going to share without his permission, because that's the kind of friend I am:

I read The Dark Age a couple of weeks ago when you sent it over, and had a similar reaction. I think it may be the best short story I have ever read. (You can put that on the cover. I mean it sincerely.) And yet, as with The Road, I never wanted to have to live through The Dark Age again. From beginning to end, it hurts. So I've kind of been procrastinating about editing it.

But, finally, I buckled down. And when I got to the end, I cried. Again.

This is a special story.

I've been waiting to work with David for a very long time on my novel-that-won't-end, Eleanor, so it's been a real pleasure to be a part of his two anthologies. He's a nuanced and skilled editor, and he's only made my work better. 

Cool thing the fourth:

I should end this blog post soon. But I can't, not without telling you that today, for the second time this year, Greatfall is an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal. Today is a special case, though – my book, along with three other Wool fanfiction novels (Peter Cawdron's Shadows, Carol Davis's Rebel State and Daniel Gage's Silo 7), are piggybacking on the Kindle Daily Deal for Hugh Howey's Sand omnibus. And my Veronica Mars fanfiction story, Neptune Confidential, is a Kindle Select 25 title this week. 

And to top all of that off, I received a small gift in the mail from my friends at Kindle Worlds this weekend. They found a top-rated restaurant near our home, and bought a night out for Felicia and me. As parents of a toddler, this isn't something we get to do all that often. Getting to work with the wonderful folks at Amazon – and especially those who have made Kindle Worlds what it is today – has been one of the greatest pleasures of the last year. They've shown nothing but love and support for my work, and are champions of indie authors everywhere, and I'm happy know each and every one of them.

And now I'm out of cool things to tell you about, at least until tomorrow or so. 

Happy weekend, all!

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A Greatfall giveaway, and some other stuff

Jason Gurley

The ridiculously generous and lovely folks at Amazon are way, way too good to me. Barely a month after selecting Greatfall as a Kindle Daily Deal, they're now running a contest to give away free copies of my book. The deadline to enter is April 1 – I'd give you more details here, but they've summarized everything quite nicely in this Kindle Worlds blog post. Head over there to learn how to enter!

If you subscribe to my newsletter – and goodness knows you should, I practically give away books like candy to subscribers – then you already know this... but if you don't: Amazon also commissioned me to write the first piece of fan fiction for their recently opened Veronica Mars world! Felicia and I are big fans of the show, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to write a story about some of our favorite characters. I took a shot in the dark that there were more people out there just like me, people who wanted to see some of the show's secondary characters get their turn in the spotlight, so instead of writing a story about Veronica, I wrote a story about Vinnie Van Lowe, morally bankrupt private eye extraordinaire. The story – oh, it's called Neptune Confidential, btw, keeping with the show's storied tradition of winking at other popular culture in its episode names – debuted in Kindle Worlds's top ten, and is still hanging out there now, rubbing shoulders with Greatfall.

And finally, after having written a number of short stories this year, I've decided to gather them all up into a collection. The book will be called Deep Breath Hold Tight. After studying the stories that I wanted to include – everything from Wolf Skin to The Caretaker – it became very clear that they all shared one strong theme: in one way or another, they're each stories about how humans face endings. The end of love, the end of the world, the end of life. They're also, now and then, about beginnings, but nobody wants to see that on a book cover. So: Deep Breath Hold Tight: Stories About the End of Everything is the official title. 

Some other fun stuff going on:

  • The extremely awesome John Joseph Adams, anthologist of the stars, has invited me to be a last-second addition to his Kickstarter anthology, Help Fund My Robot Army!!! The book is sure to be jam-packed with mad scientists and psychotic robots... so naturally I'm going to write a sad tale of woe. (I also designed the cover.) The book is going to include stories by everyone from Chuck Wendig to Daniel H. Wilson to Scott Sigler to Seanan McGuire. I definitely don't know what I'm doing here!
  • The Man Who Ended the World is two reviews away from 100! 
  • Win Johnson wrote a lovely review of The Dark Age for Big Al's Books and Pals this week. This little story just keeps right on connecting with people in such wonderful ways. (It's also going to appear in a time travel anthology later this year, the better to find even more readers.)

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