Can I Come Out Now?

This was me last year.

About the Series

The Thirteen Kingdoms of the Misplaced Mercenaries universe create what a standard fantasy world might look like if you pantsed it, set it on fire, and kicked it into a pigpen full of switchblade-armed rattlesnakes.

Mercenaries, sorcerers, and royals butt heads and stab backs in their pursuit of empire and control, or just a simple tankard of ale in a quiet tavern.

Full of snark, fun, and laughs, this book series will keep you entertained and leave you happier for having read it.

Can I Come Out Now? By Kevin Pettway

In the misty before-times of long-ago 2020, a vital young author named me published an amazing book called A Good Running Away. But once he had written the book, how was he to improve the lives of all his potential readers by bringing it to them?

Central to this brilliant writer’s strategy was joining the convention circuit, meeting all of his soon-to-be-fans in person, and dazzling them with his wit and charm.

But things did not turn out this way.

This was me last year.

More books followed. But Chinese bats conspired with pangolins and Hillary Clinton to ruin the writer’s marketing plans by bringing a deadly virus to our shores, via pizza-eating rats in a dodgy New York Italian restaurant, thereby scuttling everyone’s convention fun… and killing a bunch of people too, I guess.*

Fast forward to today.

You can just see the wicked, convention-destroying look in its eyes.

I, that selfsame vital young author, am now an old man. Bitter, beaten, bowed by time and fickle providence, battered by fate and an unstable wall of hoarded toilet paper. Well, I’m not that old. Call me a well-preserved forty-five. Forty-eight. I’m fifty, alright? Fifty-three. But I could be forty-five. You don’t know. My typing is very youthful.

This is what you look like after you’ve seen everything there is to see on Netflix.

And now I, like so many others, have been vaccinated against the bat/pangolin/Clinton/pizza-plague—I can see why people call it Covid for short—and the clouds of quarantine are beginning to lift. New conventions, masked and socially distanced to be sure, are on the horizon.

Oh crap. I need to do panels. What the hell am I going to talk about?


An android, a dragon, and a zombie walk into a convention panel…


I asked my editor, who is my biggest cheerleader, what I was qualified to stand in front of a room and pontificate on.

“First,” she said, “don’t say pontificate. It makes you sound like an ass. Second, talk about humor in fantasy; unlikely heroes; working with a small press. World-building. Series planning. I mean, you’re qualified for a bunch. Make sure to add complimenting your editor on a regular basis as best practices.”

She’s so great.

Oh crap. I need to run a vendor table. How the hell do I do that?


No competition here. NOTHING to be worried about.


*I have now lost count of the number of people who I knew and interacted with personally and in person that have been lost to Covid. Somewhere in the fourteen to sixteen range. Maybe more. It’s not exactly a joking matter, but it’s laugh or cry, and I’m tired of crying.

We Have a Winner!

Jennifer (threerottenkittens) has won the very first Misplaced Mercenaries giveaway. She will soon be receiving the first three (signed) books. Congratulations, Jennifer, and I very much hope you enjoy them… and tell your friends!

Convention Appearances!

Now that I’m all vaccinated and junk, I can finally leave the house and start appearing at conventions! I am scheduled to appear at the Central Florida Comic Con in Lakeland, Florida, on June 12 and 13. I am also going to be at Ancient City Con in the World Golf Village, Florida, September 17-19.

I look forward to seeing you there!