Be nervous when the UPS guy shows up with a hand truck. The UPS guy is bigger than you and knows how to handle heavy boxes. A hand truck means you will either have to call for help getting your package in the door, or you now have a permanent brown-box porch ornament to enjoy every time you leave the house.

It’s honestly getting a little difficult to get to the door these days. And I work out. *

The occasion of my newest porch-art installation was the arrival of not one, not two, but three new books in the Misplaced Adventures world. For the occasion I thought I’d give you a glimpse behind the sausage-making curtain, to see how people make curtains out of sausage.

Books. I meant make books. Not out of sausage. That’s crazy.

You make books out of bacon.

The bacon-books were just for the joke. The eggs are because I love you.

The first book was Last Night at the Jolly Chicken, the anthology where we gathered all the authors who would be writing series for us together, as well as a few distinguished guests to attract some extra attention. It’s not a corrupt cash-grab if you pay them, which I’m almost certain we did. We’re mercenaries, not thieves. Thieves just steal stuff. Mercenaries murder folk for money. It’s good, honest labor.

What were we talking about again?

Another of my favorite aspects to all of this, (I have so many) is that these authors, hired because of their insane talents and even more insane keenness to work on spec, have become my friends. We visit and joke around and commiserate and laugh together every single day. Often on Discord, sometimes by Skype, and occasionally in face-to-face person, we all have something to offer and to give. They are an incredible bunch, despite their willingness to work with me.

Next came Jen Bair’s One Good Eye, a story about Hettie Stormheart, the eldest daughter of the fabled Deep Witch. Hettie must balance the threat of unexplainable and aggressive external forces against a pack of jealous sisters, all while she slowly takes the reins from her mother, who is losing whatever humanity she has left to her own godlike power.

Even Cthulhu had to start his education somewhere.

It’s a ride.

Jen is a great person. She is smart and funny, sarcastic and generous, and a ridiculously prolific writer. Honestly, I kind of hate her for how fast she works without sacrificing any of the quality. Jen, if you are reading this, you are amazing. Go fuck yourself.

One Good Eye is the very first of our expanded world novels and has been quickly followed by Jessica Raney’s A Seed Once Sown, about Magdalena, or Mags, a bounty hunter who runs afoul of a wicked goddess, and then cursed to reap souls by a much more empathic god who was just trying to help. Despite trying to stay aloof from human ties, Mags finds herself forming connections with people in need everywhere she goes, including three foolish kids who try to kill her and end up as her idiot sidekicks.

Jessica’s sardonic wit and unabashed go-for-broke hardcore violence and humor made her a natural fit for our world. Funny murder is what it’s all about, after all. (Well, funny murder and unrelenting friendships, but there’s no reason those two can’t go hand-in-hand.) I already liked her personally and loved her Tooth and Nail novel (among others), and I was delighted when she agreed to join us for this weirdo project.

Okay. This is simply my favorite illustration ever. What more can I add to that?

She writes faster than me, but not as fast as Jen, so I don’t even have to hate her.

We also have a whole pack of editors working with us to keep everything straight. Story editors, development editors, copy editors, and continuity editors who know more about my world than I do. To be completely honest, there is a roughly exact zero-point-zero percent chance that I could keep this whole thing spinning without my publisher, the most accomplished cat wrangler in the world.

I am contractually obligated not to hate her.

That’s what’s going on with me today. If any of you have a hand truck and are built like a UPS driver, would you swing on by and help me get all these fucking boxes inside? I’m sure Jen will bake you thirty raspberry pizzas and a vanilla cream souffle while she’s writing her next dozen novels for your trouble.

She’s probably a great cook, too.

What an asshole.

Strawberry pizza with sugar dusting and reduced berry sauce. Hey! I just figured out where my diabetes came from!

*Well … I do a bunch of stretches and run on a treadmill. Weights are hard.



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