Time for another update. In case you couldn’t guess from the title – it’s my birthday! Well, almost. July 28. So I’m posting this a couple days early, but… meh, close enough.
This will mark 51 revolutions around the sun for me. That’s a long time. Realistically, I’m probably much closer to the end of my life than the beginning. Ugh. But I’m not here to dwell on my own mortality. Because this birthday will mark a very special occasion for me: my 30th anniversary of going to Las Vegas!
The summer I turned 21 my wife and I hopped in my Dodge Shadow and drove from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada down to Las Vegas: just a shade under 1,500 miles. It took us 2 days, and we arrived right on my birthday. The temperature was north of 115, and you could hear the metal on the car groaning from the heat as we pulled into the parking garage of the Excalibur hotel.
Back then, the Excalibur was still the HOT NEW THING on the Vegas strip. An animatronic wizard fought a fire-breathing dragon in the moat outside the main entrance at 15 minutes past the hour, every hour. Inside the hotel jesters, jugglers, magicians, and wandering minstrels amused the patrons milling about. Beneath the hotel was a jousting ring, where knights in full armor engaged in a glorious battle-royal every evening. And, to top it all off, there was a brand new shiny casino!
I was absolutely blown away. I had been to casinos before: the gambling age in Canada was 18, so I already knew how to play blackjack and a few other games. But this was something different. The Excalibur was more than a casino – it was a palace of wonder! And right across the street was the Luxor – a hotel shaped like an actual Egyptian pyramid! Walk another block, and suddenly you were in the streets of Manhattan at the New York, New York!
By the time we left, I realized Vegas was more than just a city in the desert – it was a literal oasis. A place where the drudgery of real life was swept away by glittering lights and the adrenaline rush of that next big win, always hovering just out of reach. And I knew I’d found my second home.
That was 30 years ago. I’m older now. Supposedly wiser. But Vegas still has its hooks in me. I keep coming back, over and over. And not just once in a while. I typically go four or five times a year. Every year. For the last 30 years. Because I love this city. There’s nowhere else like it in the world.
And that’s why I wrote Time Kings of Las Vegas. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – this book is my sci-fi love letter to Sin City. When I released it on Kickstarter a few weeks ago, all I was hoping was to get enough support to make self-publishing this book a reality. But my expectations were blown away! The project fully funded in only 5 days, and Time Kings has now raised over $17,000 in pledges!
As much as I love Vegas – and as much as I think Time Kings is a great story – I know a lot of the support is coming from fans of my Star Wars and Mass Effect novels who want to get autographed copies of their favorite books for their collections. And I’m perfectly okay with that. If I’ve learned anything from Vegas, it’s to give the people what they want!
So thank you to everyone who has signed up for a copy of my new novel. Thank you to everyone who is getting my Mass Effect and Star Wars packages. Extra thanks to everyone who is supporting my Chaos Born fantasy series, or getting my Super Fan package and grabbing copies of all my books!
And for those of you who have signed up for the Vegas VIP experience, I promise we’re going to have a great time in December. Because this is my town – my home away from home.
Thank you – all of you – for taking a gamble on Time Kings of Las Vegas!