April 24

Next update May 15

Back from Star Wars Celebration, and it’s time for another update!

Wow – it’s been a busy stretch for me. The NBA playoffs opened with a bang as the Spurs try to defend their title; I’m actually going to the game tonight. I also snuck in a quick Vegas trip, then I was off to Anaheim to meet up with 50,000 other Star Wars fans… so lots to talk about!

But first, an update on A Minor Malevolent Spirit and Other Tales, my upcoming short story collection. (Click the link to get a peek at the cover art!) We finally have a publication date – May 15! As I’ve said before, it will be available in both digital and paperback formats; it’s already available for pre-order on Kindle.

I’ve set the price at $3.99 for ebook and $7.99 for print. I know that might seem high for the print copy, especially since the book is only about 100 pages or so. But when you self publish you discover that printing books is expensive, and even at this price point I’m only breaking even. To be honest, I considered going e-book only, but I know some readers (including me) still prefer an actual book we can hold in our hands or put on the shelf. So if you want to buy the paperback, consider this as a “boutique” title, or a limited edition. Hell, you could even buy it, then send it to me to get signed and make it into some kind of collector’s item.

Before I get into a recap of my past few weeks, I also want to announce my next public appearance. I’ll be heading down to San Antonio on May 16 for Star Wars Reads Day, where I’ll meet with fans, answer some questions and do a signing. Here are the details:

Saturday, May 16, 2015
2:30-3:30 pm
Igo Library
13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy

Okay, that’s it for what’s coming up. Now for a recap of all my doings since my last update. It started out with one of my many Vegas trips, and let’s just say it didn’t go great. I lost money, but that’s to be expected. But it was the little things that wore me out. The TSA stuck somebody else’s padlock on my golf clubs when they inspected them; I didn’t notice until I got up to my hotel room. In the end I had to call hotel maintenance to come with bolt cutters and get them off. Then I discovered that the baggage handlers had managed to snap my 3-wood in half. Great start to the trip, right? Things never really turned around after that, and the casino feasted on my bankroll. But I still had fun, so it wasn’t a total waste of time.

Unfortunately I returned home with a nasty cold. (Vegas trashes my immune system now; I’m not the young buck I used to be!) I only had a few days to get healthy before I headed off to Anaheim for Star Wars Celebration, so I put myself in voluntary quarantine and started pounding cold medicine. Thankfully, I was feeling much better by the time we flew out to California.

Once I got to Star Wars Celebration, everything went great! I did two book signings while I was there – one on Friday and one on Saturday. Fans who lined up received free copies of Revan and Children of Fire. I’m pretty stoked that the Del Rey folks decided to give out copies of both books; the Star Wars title makes sense – it was a Star Wars convention. And hopefully those folks who were lucky enough to get a free copy of Children of Fire give it a read, too. I know some of my fans read everything I write, but it’s always surprising how many people only read Star Wars novels – they just don’t want to try anything else. The same can be said for my Mass Effect novels, too; a lot of readers just don’t want to move outside their comfort zone. Of course, when they do read something else – like my Chaos Born trilogy - they usually love it. The trick is getting them to take that first step.

Over the two days I signed somewhere around 500 books. My only regret is I didn’t get to spend more time chatting with the folks who lined up for my autograph. The crowds at Anaheim were crazy, and the lines were long. I usually love meeting fans, but we had so many people waiting that I had to rush people through. So if you were at one of my signings, I’m sorry I couldn’t spend a little more time with you.  But hey – free books, right?

I also gave a talk on writing villains and the nature of the dark side while I was in Anaheim. At least, that’s what it started out as. The room seated about 150 people, and it was FULL! They were even turning people away at the door. So after about 20 minutes of me rambling on about my craft, I just decided to start taking questions from the floor. I find that’s usually more interesting for the audience, and I’m always interested in what my fans have to say. Feels a lot more interactive than me lecturing you like we’re back in school. If you attended my talk, I hope you enjoyed it. If you couldn’t get to Celebration, or were turned away at the doors of my talk, then I hope you get in next time. :)

I also did a podcast while I was at Celebration with Star Wars Bookworms. Just click on the link to listen in. My appearance on the show comes right at the beginning, but lots of other celebrity guests were there, including Dan Wallace - an author who specializes in writing the Essential Guides to the Star Wars universe. Many thanks to Teresa and Aaron and everyone else at SW Bookworms for inviting me!

I did a handful of other interviews while I was there, but so far they haven’t been posted online. As they go live I’ll be posting links on my Twitter account. And I also got to meet up with some good friends who live in the area, and we went to a cool restaurant called the Playground. If you visit LA, I suggest you check it out!

Okay, I guess that’s it for this update. Back in a few weeks… the same day A Minor Malevolent Spirit and Other Tales officially goes on sale! 

Go, Spurs, Go!

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