The week of the indie whirlwind

Every now and then the bug bites you, and it bites you hard. 

Last Monday, I published a short story called The Last Rail-Rider. A whole bunch of you bought it that first day, and you are all my best friends now. Thank you so much!

On Thursday, I published a short story called The Book of Matthew, which serves as an epilogue to the Greatfall novel I wrote, and that so many very nice people seem to like quite a bit. (Thanks, very nice people!) 

Today I've published another short story, this one called The Caretaker, and I hope you'll find it interesting! This one is quite special to me, as it began two years ago as a comic script. I wrote the script, and my talented illustrator friend Tony D'Amato worked up some beautiful concept art, and we planned on putting it out sometime that year. Well, that didn't quite happen. But I'm really happy now to be sharing it as a short story, and we may have an update coming for the book soon to include some of Tony's wonderful art. (It is gorgeous stuff.)

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I took a short drive up to Seattle to meet my friend Hugh Howey for breakfast. Hugh was in Seattle to promote the launch of his Vonnegut fan-fiction story, Peace in Amber (which is making everybody cry like babies), and to do a Kindle Worlds webinar for Amazon Publishing. (Here's a link to the webinar that I did with J.R. Rain back in December.) 

We ate at a nice little restaurant called Bacco's, but rather than take our time and chat about our hopes and dreams, we scarfed our food down quickly – because the very talented Ted Kosmatka, author and writer for Valve, invited Hugh to come take a tour of the legenday game design firm. Imagine that – Hugh Howey gets a backstage pass to Valve Software, but he's car-less in a strange city. And guess who just happens to be sitting at the breakfast table with him? 

 A famous author and a not-so-famous author, just hanging out with deadly cute weapons.

A famous author and a not-so-famous author, just hanging out with deadly cute weapons.

So we got to tour Valve, and see the real motion-tracking turrets from Team Fortress 2 and Portal, and Hugh had a portal gun battle with Ted, and we saw the motion-capture studio where they record actors for the games, and the prop-guns they use, and all sorts of wonderful things. It was like getting a golden ticket.

And somewhere in there I've managed to design some 11 book covers this week, and some of them are gorgeous! And I can't wait to show you all the killer authors that I'm getting to work with. Most of them are indies – and I can't imagine working with better writers to make something special.

Oh – and I almost completely forgot, but last night was my first official event as an author. I was invited to join five other local authors for an evening of readings at a hole-in-the-wall brewery here in the Portland area. I read about half of The Last Rail-Rider, and afterward, a lovely couple came up to me and said, "No! We were so hooked, you're not allowed to just stop in the middle!" So I gave them a copy of The Man Who Ended the World, and signed it, and it was just a really special, wonderful little evening. My wife came out to support me and the other authors, who included Dan Marshall, Erik Wecks, Diana Lubarsky, Jason Brick and Mattie Bamman. And I have to say, Diana really put us all to shame, and scored two encores with her hilarious tales of old women chatting over breakfast. (You have no idea how absolutely hard I laughed.)

What a week! Thanks for letting me share it with you all.