Tag Archives: Valerie

Last minute change of plan! Reading changed to 7pm

Hey there everybody, this is Valerie, Pat’s assistant. If you don’t recognize me, normally I talk like this.

Pat just called me to ask that I post this blog. He left this morning to head to his reading in Petoskey, Michigan. He got on the road later than he intended which would have been ok, but then he realized that Michigan is in a different time zone which means that instead of arriving just in the nick of time at 6pm, he will be arriving at 7pm. So if you’re planning on going, please be aware of this. He is going to make every effort to make it by 7pm, if the roads are a little bad he may be late, but rest assured he will be there. He feels really bad about this and he says: “I’m so sorry. I am a freaking idiot. I will make it up to you at the reading by either singing or not singing, which ever will make people happier.”

On the plus side, you’ll have more time to get dinner before the reading and those of you driving in can avoid speeding tickets.

McLean & Eakin Booksellers
307 E. Lake St
Petoskey, MI

Posted in appearances | By Firebirdblaze14 Responses

Worldbuilders and a T-shirt Update

  • Worldbuilders

Well, Worldbuilders is finished for another year. Or rather, it’s finished for you guys. We here at home base still have a lot of finishing up to do. We’ve got to organize spreadsheets, do some number juggling, contact a handful of winners, and do a whole lot of packaging.

We’ll be doing the official worldbuilders re-cap in just a couple days. But here’s the short version: We are awesome.

The slightly longer version is that we’re awesome because we raised well over a quarter million dollars this year. (Over 285,000 dollars.)  Way better than my best expectations.

  • T-shirts

The main reason for this blog is to let folks know what’s going on with the t-shirts. Both Valerie and I have been getting e-mails about that lately.

For example, last week I got an e-mail from someone who said their shirt took months to arrive.

I responded that I was rather surprised at this, as the shirts had only gone on sale three weeks ago.

I know a lot of you are excited about the shirts, but please keep in mind the true time frame of events here. We started voting on shirts on November 9th. We got all four of them up in the store on Nov 22nd and put in our order with the printer a few days later, after making sure people were actually going to buy them.

Then, ever since the shirts came back from the printers on Dec 10th, we’ve been doing our best to get as many of them shipped out as quickly as possible.

Since the 10th, we’ve shipped out about 600 packages.

As a frame of reference, that’s more packages than we shipped out for all Worldbuilders in 2008:

Plus all the packages shipped out for Worldbuilders 2009:

It is, to put it plainly, a fuckton of packages. And that’s just the t-shirts. It doesn’t even count all the books and posters we’ve been selling out of the store either.

Everything said, we really didn’t know what we were getting into when we decided to do t-shirts this year. Not only did people order WAY more  than we expected. But the whole process has ended up taking a lot more time than we’d anticipated. Do you know how long it takes to fold 1500 t-shirts? And that’s nothing compared to how long it takes to prepare the envelopes and package them.

Then comes the post office. You know how long it takes to go through the line in the post office with 200 packages? Some of them going to England, Spain, Germany, Sweden?

Suffice to say you do not want to get stuck behind us in line.

  • The Complications

Because this was our first time doing t-shirts, we have had a few complications arise. Apparently, the original graphic we had for the Kingkiller design wasn’t high-quality enough to make a good-looking shirt.

The good news is that the lovely folks as Poseur Ink helped us catch the problem *before* we printed several hundred crap shirts. But the bad news is that it took us a while to contact the original designer and get that straightened out. That means the printing on that shirt got delayed.

After some deliberation, we decided to ship out the orders with everything *except* the Kingkiller shirts. That means if you ordered two Eolian shirts and one Kingkiller, we shipped you the two Eolian shirts by themselves (with a little explanatory note inside). Later on we’ll ship you the Kingkiller shirt at our own expense.

Also, it took us a while to track down some bigger sized t-shirts. I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t. That means if you ordered anything bigger than an XXL, your order will take a little longer to fill. We’ve finally gotten them ordered, it will just take a little time.

I’m sorry for the delays. The truth is, we got in a little over our heads with the t-shirts this year and that means some of the packages are going to be getting to you more slowly than I’d like.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if all we were doing this last month was t-shirts. But figuring out all of the mechanics of it in the middle of the fundraiser was hard. Coping with all of the shipping and graphics while launching the store, running the fundraiser and finishing final edits on book two… well… it was just too much for me.

I’m sorry. I expected to sell a couple hundred t-shirts, not more than a thousand. I wasn’t ready for it, and because of that, some of your orders won’t be getting out as quickly as I’d like.

For the next 10 days or so, you shouldn’t expect orders through the store to go out quickly. My lovely assistant Valerie is taking a well-earned vacation, and my equally lovely but somewhat newer assistant will be heading out to spend Christmas with her family soon. (I haven’t asked her yet if it’s okay to put her name in the blog, so for now I think I’ll refer to her as… Pepper Pots. Or maybe Navi.)

Anyway, my point is that Valerie and Pepper are off having lives right now, which has made me realize that I should probably get back to my life, too. I need to spend some time with Sarah and Oot. I’ve been neglecting them in the last month’s rush, and I need to make up for that.

And I *really* need to start my Christmas shopping. You know how many presents I’ve bought so far? One. Just one. I wonder how everyone in my family would feel if they got t-shirts this year? If nothing else, I’ve gotten pretty good at wrapping them…

Wish me luck…


Posted in Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat82 Responses

More Signed Books

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

A bunch more signed books today. Let’s start off with the ones donated by the authors themselves:

  • A set of The Lighthouse Duet: Flesh and Spirit, Breath and Bone by Carol Berg. Signed by the author.

I’ll admit I’ve never read Carol Berg. But when these books showed up, my assistant Valerie emitted a piercing screel of delight.

So, rather than voice my ignorant opinion, I figure we’ll just ask her what she thinks.

Heya Valerie, you remember what color you are?

A nice mellow green. So your blog readers can happily imagine you have a nice mellow assistant.

Pishaw. You’re way better than mellow. But we can pretend for the readers if you like.

Okay, here we go. Carol Berg. How good is she on a scale of one to Gaiman?

The best way I can describe my appreciation of her writing is in the fact that after I lost my first collection of books and decided to stop buying/collecting books and switched exclusively to libraries, I did re-buy copies of all her books.

Hold on. You don’t collect books?

Well I did drive across six states to come work for you, and I could only fit about six boxes of books in my car. So whenever I covet a book I ask myself if it is worthy of being personally carried around the world with me wherever I go. Final decision: no, I do not collect books and I only have two bookshelves of books in my house.

I can’t believe I didn’t know this about you. I… we… I don’t know if I can talk to you right now. I think I need to put up blurb from someone else while I wrap my head around this.

“Berg brings to life every stone in a peaceful monastery and every nuance in a stratified society, describing the difficult dirty work of ordinary life as beautifully as she conveys the heart-stopping mysticism of holiness just beyond human perception.” – Sharon Shinn

  • A set of The Books of the Rai-kirah: Transformation, Revelation, and Restoration by Carol Berg. Signed by the author.

Okay. I’m over it. Kinda. Pitch this series to me. Why should I read it?

Because, and pardon the giddy fan review, Berg writes worlds of magic and mystery. Her plots are usually grand schemes to change the world itself while the characters are full of very human flaws and failings. Plus I think her writing is classy and elegant. Is that too gushy?

Nah. You didn’t use words like “luminous” or “effulgent” or anything. You’re good.

  • A set of The Bridge of D’Arnath Quartet: Son of Avonar, Guardians of the Keep, The Soul Weaver, and Daughter of Ancients by Carol Berg. Signed by the author.

Okay. One more time. Hit me.

Everything I said before. Plus I want to add that her books aren’t just fantasy fluff. They make me think things I never thought before.

“If you enjoy fantasy with a dark thread… Carol Berg is someone you should try. If you like good characters in an exciting, unpredictable plot, this is also a series for you.” – Colleen Cahill, SFREVU

  • A set of The Twenty Palaces novels: Child of Fire and Game of Cages by Harry Connolly. Signed by the author.

Jim Butcher says Child of Fire “is excellent reading and has a lot of things I love in a book: a truly dark and sinister world, delicious tension and suspense, violence so gritty you’ll get something in your eye just reading it, and a gorgeously flawed protagonist. Take this one to the checkout counter. Seriously.”

Man. That’s a great blurb. Why can’t I get a blurb from Butcher? Every time I see him, he just curses and hucks stones at my head.

  • Five copies of Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk. Signed by the author.

“Masterful storytelling at its finest, be prepared for a late night.” –Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author.

Shadow’s Son is easily one of my favorite books of 2010 and I look forward to seeing what Sprunk can add to this trilogy.” –Fantasy Book Critic

“This collection of 17 stories from Card’s e-zine takes its title from his belief that writers getting readers to suspend disbelief is like old-fashioned medicine-show hawkers convincing customers that their patented elixirs will work. […] Adding value are the authors’ afterwords, which disclose the remarkable diversity of ways writers reach the Web or the page and how Card influences new writers.” – Roland Green, Booklist

From the back of the book: “Adventure . . . danger . . . romance . . . or maybe a good scare? Yearning to read some fantasy . . . science fiction . . . humor . . . urban fantasy . . . horror . . . or even a haunting Civil War tale? We’ve got what you’re looking for! The authors in Gen Con’s Writer’s Symposium have collected 22 of their favorite tales into this volume.”

The Writers of the Future anthology has a warm place in my heart, as I got my start in Volume 18. I always make a point of picking up the new one every year, as I know that these writers really had to beat out some stiff competition.

As Tim Powers says, “[Writers of the Future] is THE place to look for the writers who will be winning Hugos and Nebulas a few years from now.”

“The anthology stood out for one reason to me–each story captured some of the magic and uniqueness that can only be found if you live in a city.  Amid the constant lights, streams of traffic, and seeming sleeplessness, a city holds a powerful magnetism for ordinary and paranormal folks alike.  This collection spotlighted the best of those feelings.” – BSC Reviews

  • A set of the As You Wish series: How Not to Make a Wish, When Good Wishes Go Bad, and To Wish or Not To Wish by Mindy Klasky. Signed by the author.

“Fresh and often hysterically funny, this story also has a solid emotional core. Heroine Kira’s fire-person perspective keeps it all real for the reader…” – Romantic Times.

  • Two copies of The Fall of Ossard by Colin Taber. Signed by the author.

“Brave… Innovative… Bold…” – Stefen Brazulaitis, reviewer and columnist, Australian Bookseller and Publisher.

“I stayed up all night!” – Sara Douglass

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. The pages turn at a rapid pace and I loved the ending. This is not your expected fantasy-type book. I can’t wait for the next of the series.” – Rebecca’s Book Blogspot.

Kat Howard will always have a warm place in my heart, as she invited me to one of my first conventions as a professional writer.

I didn’t find out until much later that she’s a hell of a writer, as evidenced by the story she’s got in Gaiman’s new Anthology.

Robert J. Wiersema wrote in the National Post: “There’s not a single misstep, not a single story that can, or should, be skipped: Stories is a winner from cover to cover. […] Kat Howard’s A Life in Fictions, for example, is a strangely powerful account of what happens to a writer’s muse in both good times (when she is becoming different characters, taking on their traits and quirks) and bad (as when her world freezes, the writer suffering from writer’s block).”

*     *     *

In the two years I’ve been running Worldbuilders, I’ve hit up authors and publishers for books. It’s worked out petty well, and I’ve been really impressed at how generous people have been.

This year, just to see what would happen, I threw the doors open wider, inviting anyone to donate books. Amazingly, a lot of fans and readers have been willing to donate some really lovely stuff to the cause. All of the following are signed.

  • A copy of Odd and The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman. Signed by the author.

On a scale of one to Gaiman, this book unsurprisingly ranks in at a full Gaiman.

“Gaiman does it again…this sweet, wistful, slyly funny novella…succeeds both as a delightful children’s book and an adult collectible. Children will enjoy Odd’s quiet heroism and the simple adventure; adults will love the squabbling gods and the strong women. All in all, another winner.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A hardcover copy of Hyddenworld: Spring by William Horwood. Signed by the author.

“This is the first installment in a new series that builds on the fantasy genre, taking in elements from historical fiction, folk tales and legends. The real hook, though, is the characters: each is introduced with such care that the reader really gets to know them and is genuinely concerned about their story.” – Waterstones Books Quarterly.

  • A hardcover first edition copy of Nocturnes by John Connolly. Signed by the author.

“Connolly creates those rarest of books – literate and beautifully written page-turners.” – Mark Billingham, Daily Mail.

  • A copy of Redemption Falls by Joseph O’Connor. Signed by the author.

Redemption Falls…is told with extraordinary ingenuity, the tone a mixture of the playful and the grave, at times fast-moving, smart, and very clever, and then full of beautiful writing and heartbreaking sequences. The cadences of the competing voices in the book combine to produce a dazzling narrative.” – Colm Tóibín, author of The Master, winner of the 2006 Dublin International IMPAC Award

  • A hardcover signed numbered limited edition of The Corpse King by Tim Curran. Signed by the author.

“Horror finds its roots in many places […] Often overlooked, however, but perhaps even more potent are the pages of history. We didn’t always live in such a sanitized, advanced, progressive world.  For all but a few, especially those who lived in crowded urban areas, life was often a miserable, filthy, degrading experience that offered little hope for the future, and in this sewer-bound world very real, tangible horrors, inescapable abounded.” — Kevin Lucia, Shroud Magazine

  • A hardcover copy of Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja. Signed by the author.

“This book made me drunk. Koja’s language is at its poetic best, and the epic drama had me digging my nails into my palms. It’s like a Tom Waits hurdy-gurdy loser’s lament come to life, as sinister as a dark circus.” — Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

This book is a serious treasure. Not only is it a massive collection filled with a lot of hard-to-find Ellison stories, but it’s signed by Ellison AND Dowling. I covet it.

I was seriously considering selling this one in an auction this year, but I’ve decided to leave it in the general lottery instead. Why? Because I like having some rarer stuff in the lottery, that way, everyone gets a shot at it, not just collectors or folks with a ton of money to spend.

I also hope things like this in the mix will help to nudge people to donate a little more. Because you never know, you might get lucky…

“Ellison has never fit comfortably in any category. Instead, he’s tackled them all (or so it seems) and more often than not has come out on top. Considering the often insular tastes of genre readers, that alone is reason enough to place this book at the top of every recommended reading list.” – Jayme Lynn Blaschke SF Site

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice too.

Don’t forget, Worldbuilders is matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

If you want to go back to the main page for Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

Posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Neil Gaiman, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat33 Responses
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