Just a short post, to point you to an article I wrote that’s appearing today on the Shimmer Magazine site. It’s for new writers, and it’s called Writing at Gunpoint. Enjoy.
Yes, I will continue to use the “Gerund Stony Mayhall” titles. It’s either that or zombie puns. What’s that you say? Gerunds are fine? Okay then.
Today Raising Stony Mayhall reaches book stores near you. Hopefully. Given the state of book stores, that’s not a given. Support those local shops, people! (And then leave comments on Amazon for your favorite authors.)
Getting Stony Mayhall (for free)
But if you’re cheap like me and always on the lookout for free books, here’s your chance. The wonderful Mindy Klasky let me write a guest post on her blog today, as part of her Inside Track series. My post is about “the undead elephant in the room” — why the world doesn’t need another zombie novel, and why I felt I had to write one anyway.Anyone who comments is entered in a drawing to win a free copy of Stony.
Reviewing Stony…. oh, you get the idea
A quick note about some reviews. I already blogged about the Publishers Weekly review, but a couple more reviews came in recently that were not only positive, but perceptive, what you’d call the Good Good Review. (There are also good bad reviews, in which the critic doesn’t like the book, but the review is well reasoned, and bad bad reviews, in which the critic hates the book for the wrong reasons, and its cousin, the good bad review, in which the reviewer likes it for the wrong reasons. I forget the name of the author which articulated this reviewing matrix, but it’s handy to keep in mind.)
Gary K. Wolfe in Locus Magazine had a nicely written piece in which he points out several things that I was hoping people would get from the novel, and he ends his review with this:
Despite some notably grotesque touches, such as a zombie philosopher named The Lump who survives with only a fragment of a body, Raising Stony Mayhall is almost restrained in is lack of splatter mayhem and movie-quote set pieces. Instead, what Gregory has written is an odd kind of heroic family romance, in which the occasional limb may fall off, but the love is convincing real.
And Christopher Shearer over at HorrorWorld, had this to say:
Like his award-winning previous novels, Pandemonium and The Devil’s Alphabet, Raising Stony Mayhall is a simply written yet complex novel that is sure to linger in the thoughts of its readers long after the book is finished and set aside. And sure to garner Gregory a slew of new readers, win him some more awards, and raise the bar for all zombie and speculative literature to come. Full review.
Well, tomorrow’s launch day for Raising Stony Mayhall. My thanks to everyone who pre-ordered and told me about it — your signed bookplates are in the mail.If you ordered from Amazon, I heard from several people that they shipped yesterday — on my birthday. Did I mention it was my birthday, yesterday? I’m 46. I am not dismayed by this number, because I believe you are only as old as the person you feel — so go out there and feel a younger person today!
Wait, that didn’t come out right.
Moving on, this week is all about the PR. Suvudu.com, the site run by Del Rey Spectra, has the first 50 pages of Stony up, with a few paragraphs of intro by me, talking about my new favorite word: Zombildungsroman. It also has a quick trivia questionnaire, called Take Five, where I spill the beans on a few behind-the-scenes items that went into the book.
I’m also doing a little guest-blogging–basically, barging into friends’ blogs and messing up the joint. First up this week, fantasy author and old pal Joshua Palmatier let me into his LiveJournal page to talk about A History of Zombie Violence. I link to more of those as they go live.
Oh, and if you didn’t get to pre-order, here are some places to do that in alphabetical order:
Well, I’m back from the Clockwork Retreat. There was boating. There was talking. There was eating and drinking and the telling of terrible, terrible jokes. There was even a little writing.
We finished the week by doing a signing at the wonderful comics shop, Austin Books. I say “we”, even though the crowd was 90% Bill Willingham fans, and Bill had to sign a metric Jesus ton of stock. Still, Evil Matt Sturges (completely different from regular Matt Sturges, because Evil Matt has a goatee) signed a lot of Dr. Who and Jack of Fables and House of Mystery, and Mark Finn was there signing Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #2 with his El Borak story in it. I even managed to sell a few ape and Dracula comics.
Speaking of which, we’re in the home stretch with ol’ Drac. Dracula: The Company of Monsters #11 is on sale now, and there’s a free preview on FearNet. It’s the big vampire fight we’ve all been waiting for. (Well, at least I have, and I know the artist, Scott Godlewski, was aching to draw more than people arguing in board rooms.) Evan, our previously waffling protagonist, implements the plan he’s been working on for the past 4 issues, and Drac brings out a few friends from the old country. I’m just so happy that people are getting to see what we’ve been building toward. #12 will be the final issue, and we complete Evan’s story.
Also on sale starting tomorrow, Planet of the Apes #3. There’s a free preview on Comic Book Resources, where you can see all three variant covers. We reveal a major secret in this issue. I hope you dig it.
On Saturday moning, June 11, I shall disappear. I am highly confident of this. I have received this revelation in the form of plane tickets, and the date upon those tickets is clear. I will miss you, but I will think of you often from my place in the Afterlife–Austin, Texas.
You see, next week I will be on retreat with a bunch of other writers from the Clockwork Storybook crew: Chris Roberson, Matt Sturges, Bill Willingham, Mark Finn, Bill Williams, and special guests Dave Justus and Paul Tobin. I drop their names not only to increase hits to this blog (hey there, Fables fans! Nothing to see here), but to make you jealous.
You see, the Afterlife is full of good writers who talk about interesting things. The whole point of such a retreat is to (a) gas up the metaphorical tanks, (b) talk about careers, (c) commiserate, and most importantly, (d) drink. I mean Write. Write Like Hell. And I have a lot of writing to get done.
According the rental office, the Afterlife’s connection to the internet is feeble to non-existent. This is a good thing for productivity, but not so good for keeping in touch with friends, especially as a book is about to come out. However, if you use your Ouija board, I may answer simple questions, such as, Will you return to this vale of tears? Alas, I already know the answer, as it is written on this return plane ticket. I’ll see you mortals in about a week.
My third novel, Raising Stony Mayhall, will be out in stores on June 28. The book is my skewed take on the zombie genre, featuring a kid who thinks he’s the last living dead boy in the world. Publisher’s Weekly just gave it a starred review and named it their Pick of the Week — which is nice. You can also read the prologue and the first chapter at http://www.darylgregory.com/stony/
If you pre-order Stony, I’ like to thank you by sending you a signed bookplate. (Which is just a fancy sticker with my actual, not-scanned, handwritten signature and a nice thank-you message that you can paste into your book.) And if you do so right away, I’ll throw in these lovely Ginsu knives. Okay, that last part’s a lie. Sorry about that.
How to do it
Just pre-order from anywhere (some possible links below), then, before June 28, send me an email with your mailing address. That’s it. No proof of purchase necessary, though if you send me box tops from your favorite cereal, that’s cool.
I’ll mail you the bookplate, with of course an inscription. Make sure to let me know if you’d like me to mention something specific–like, say, that this a gift for your beloved spouse, ex-girlfriend, or dog. However, I will not participate in gifts for beloved ex-dogs.
The best place to order is your local bookstore — support those people! But you can also order from any of these fine places, listed in alphabetical order:
Barnes & Noble
Flights of Fantasy Books (great indie bookstore)
Feel free to pass this link around. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.
How to keep your favorite authors around
If you have a writer you love (you know, besides me), pre-ordering their books really helps them out. Bookstores are increasingly deciding on what to stock on their shelves based on the number of pre-orders. So if you already know you’re going to buy the book, buy it early. And if you love it, make sure to leave a review online–those reader reviews sometimes have more of an impact than magazine reviews.