Jason Gurley

By day, I'm a user experience designer; by evenings/weekends, I write novels from my home in Scappoose, Ore. My newest is Awake in the World, published February 2019 by Roaring Brook Press; my previous novel, Eleanor, was published by Crown in 2016 and has since been translated into German, Portuguese, and Turkish. I’m currently working on a new project.

Advance copies and appendectomies

The beautiful US ARC from Crown Publishing

The beautiful US ARC from Crown Publishing

Over the past month or so, I've given away a number of Crown Publishing's advance reader copies of Eleanor, both on Facebook and Twitter, and to subscribers of my newsletter. Many of you have asked if there are still more copies to win. Some of you have even offered to buy them from me; for shame, how dare!

Crown gave away twenty-five copies on Goodreads once before, and now I'm happy to say that they're doing it again. So if you missed out on a copy, this is your next best chance to win one. There are about 24 days left in the giveaway, so be sure to enter!

Meanwhile, across the pond, HarperVoyager, my UK publisher, shared a photo of their own advance reader copy, fresh off the presses: 

My lovely UK ARC. (Photo borrowed from  @HarperVoyagerUK )

My lovely UK ARC. (Photo borrowed from @HarperVoyagerUK)

Tell me this: how fortunate am I that Eleanor will be graced with two gorgeous book covers? And these are just for my U.S. and U.K. publishers' editions; since we've also sold rights in a few other countries, there are likely to be more variations on the book's cover to come!

Not exactly how I expected my Friday to go.

Not exactly how I expected my Friday to go.

Just a few hours after I shared that image, I found myself in the hospital with severe abdominal pains (which, I must assure my publisher and all concerned, are unrelated to the ARC cover design). I was convinced I'd eaten something that disagreed with me, at least until the pain nearly caused me to pass out. A CAT scan confirmed that it was early appendicitis. 

The doctors—there were so many of them—moved me into a surgical room that was nicer than most of the hotel rooms I've been in recently, and certainly larger. I waited there with my wife and with my folks, who drove down to keep us company and take embarrassing photos of me, until about two a.m., when they wheeled me back for the operation. 

Appendectomy date night!

Appendectomy date night!

This was my first surgery. I almost made it to forty without any major hospitalizations! I'd been in for injuries now and then: a fractured wrist as a teenager; a few broken ribs and a torn ligament as an adult. I was fairly apprehensive of the entire thing, but I was surrounded by reassuring family and by very kind nurses and surgeons who treated me like a worried toddler, and put me right at ease. The surgery was over by four a.m. We checked out of the hotel late Saturday evening, and I'm home now with the good drugs, sleeping like a bear in winter and planning to take a couple of days to fully recover before cautiously reentering the real world. 

Weirdest bit of trivia about appendectomies: afterward, they are very concerned with farts. Specifically, with your first one. During the surgery, they effectively inflated me like a balloon. Afterward, all of that extra gas lingers in your system, moving around your body and causing aches and pains. So the sooner you can fart, the sooner you can start feeling better. And let me tell you, when it finally happens, it has never felt so euphoric. 

Okay, moving on. Aside from sleeping, here's how I'm spending my recovery time:

Mr. Robot. I'm slowly working my way through the first season of this show, which I hadn't seen before. It's a curiously somber technothriller, one that feels as if I'm watching it through the haze of a dream. That might be due to my medications, but it also might be due to the main character's own detachment from reality. Either way, it works for me. 

Kitchens of the Great MidwestA magnificent debut novel from J. Ryan Stradal about Eva Thorvald, a midwestern girl whose talent for the culinary arts seems to run in her blood. The book just radiates warmth, and to top it off, it has one of my favorite covers in recent years

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainOne of the most bizarre video game experiences I've ever had, I think. If it were only a tactical military game, its forays into Soviet-occupied 1980s Afghanistan would be some of the best battle simulations I've seen. But it's not just that, since every now and than the very down-to-earth story is interrupted by flying flamethrower girls and stomping flame demons. 

But mostly I'm sleeping. And farting. 

This has been a very strange blog post, I think. Sorry about that. 

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