One of the coolest things about being a published author is that I occasionally get sneak peaks of books before they’re officially released.
These books are called ARC’s. (Advanced Reading Copies) And publishers send them out to booksellers, reviewers, and authors with the hope of getting promotional blurbs.
This leads to one of the oddest things about being a reasonably popular author: getting asked to blurb books.
As I’ve talked about before on the blog, giving blurbs is something that doesn’t come easily to me. Talking about books is easy. But giving a short, snazzy statement that’s marketable while also being honest…. Well, I often make a mess of it. It’s only recently that I feel as if I have it even halfway figured out.
But in this last year or so, I’ve had to deal with another mind-bending permutation of it all. Getting asked to blurb books by authors I’ve admired my whole life.
Do you know how weird it is to have a promotional blurb on the front of your favorite book?
You know what my original blurb was for this book? The blurb that I had to get out of my system before I could write the civilized one up there?
It went something like this:
Are you fucking kidding me? You want *me* to tell you why this book is good? I’ve been published for, like, five years. This book has been shining like a pure white diamond of divine fire since 1968. It’s one of the cornerstones of modern fantasy. What is wrong with you? Do you need a blurb on a candy bar telling you it’s sugary and delicious? Jesus, Krishna, and Siddhartha, how can you even consider yourself a fantasy reader if you haven’t read The Last Unicorn? Seriously. Read it. Read it or I will kill you….
Yeah. Like I said. I’m not that good at writing promotional stuff.
And things have only gotten weirder. Earlier this year I burbled a reprint of a Terry Brooks novel. Terry Brooks. His books were some of the first serious fantasy I read back in high school.
Then now we come to this….
For those of you that don’t know, Tad Williams’ newest book just hit the shelves about a week ago. Two words: Angel Noir.
And on the back?
I’m up at the top there. Glibly blurbing away. As if I could somehow sum up how I feel about Tad Williams turning his hand to urban fantasy in 30-40 words.
Part of me wonders where this madness will end. Because honestly, this sort of escalation can only go on for so long….
Okay. Back to the point here. Tad’s book.
Here’s the short version: I really enjoyed it. It might be my favorite book of his to date, and that’s saying something.
Here’s the moderate-length version:
Back around Juneish, I went on a bit of a family vacation. I needed it, and I owed it to my family to get away from work for a while.
So went up north with Sarah and Oot to hang out with my dad. I left my work at home, but I did bring the ARC of Tad’s book. Because for it to really be a vacation for me, I have to have something to read.
I start to read it on the drive up into the north woods, and I got pulled into the story. So pulled in that I would rather read the book than sleep. So pulled in that I end up reading the book late, late into the night. So pulled in that I ended up sitting in a stairwell for hours and hours, until 4 AM, effectively hiding from my family, because I didn’t want to wake anyone up by having a light on. And also because I didn’t want my dad to wake up, see that I was still reading, and give me that look that says, “You know, we’ve got stuff to do tomorrow. You should really get to sleep.”
Yeah. So it was pretty much like high school all over again.
If you still need more encouragement than that, you can read the review I wrote over on Goodreads.