Ask most people their favorite holiday, and I venture few would say Thanksgiving. I'm torn on if it's my favorite, (heyo Halloween and NYE) but Thanksgiving is in the conversation. I will say that wasn't the case until the wife and I moved to California, pushing us out of familiar holiday territory.
For anyone who doesn't live out here, most of us in/around L.A. are transplants. We all come from various states and countries trying to make it in this crazy biz, so it's really a hodgepodge of 'Guess where I'm originally from?'
To me, it's made everything more interesting.
For example, I considered homemade noodles a Thanksgiving staple. Never in my life have I celebrated a Turkey Day without noodles. Yet I learned on our first California Thanksgiving that my Chicago buddy had never heard of such a tradition. Ditto my Wisconsin friends.
You people are crazy. I thought. Guess I'll have to educate them on the deliciousness of noodles over mashed potatoes.
That's also the year I first learned how much work goes into preparing a Thanksgiving meal and cooking up the same noodles I'd enjoyed all those years back home.
That's how long it's been since the release of Salted. I swear Karen thought I was insane when I promised her and everyone I would have the sequel, Taken With A Grain of Salt, finished in time for Christmas.
Yes, I drove my wife nuts. Nights and weekends locked away in the office, listening to Garrett's requests that I write faster so he could learn about this new world. Meanwhile, Lenny was always in my head, yelling.
"Come on, Galv. Can't ya write any fasta, ya big lug?"
Turns out I could.
It's been a wild ride with these characters, and I truly cannot wait to learn what you all think of where this story is headed. Hope you enjoy the read as much as I did writing it.
Now, for the fun part...book tour!
Yes, I realize that I already did a blog post today.
But between talking with middle school students this past Wednesday, seeing pre-orders come in for signed copies of Taken, and a story I'm about to share with you, I feel like it's a Happy Friday kind of a day.
The kind that makes me feel like giving something...say, a free ebook of Taken With A Grain of Salt a full ten days before anyone else can get it?
So...how do ya like them apples? ;)
I'm a night owl.
I suppose it's because everything is quiet. No phone calls to pick up. No new emails or updated articles to read. The kiddo's in bed. The wife's in bed.
Everything is quiet.
Except my mind.
Karen has become so accustomed to this routine she'll say, "Get up and go write. All the thinking you're doing is keeping me awake."
I'm writing this around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday night. Probably won't post until tomorrow morning. All day long I've been reliving the few hours I spent yesterday speaking with students at a middle school in Orange County. Truthfully, I've been reliving it since I left.
Earlier today, I wrote the beginnings of a blog post on how I feel like the 'fun Uncle' when speaking with students. Teachers and librarians, like parents, have the hard job. I just swoop in for a few hours to rile the kids up, make them laugh, and hope they'll remember the writing tips I gave and not just the impressions and accents I did.
I deleted that blog post to write this one.
This past year has been an amazing learning experience and I daresay that I took more away from yesterday's presentation than the students did. This might seem surprising, but the main conversation I keep thinking on is not those I had with students.
It's one I had with their amazing librarian.
Some of my favorite memories are of listening to grandfathers on both sides of my family tell stories about their experiences in the world wars. My grandfather who served in the army told me of a time he and another couple soldiers were charged with delivering information to a superior. They had heard reports of Germans in the area and when they came to a crossroads, Grandpa and his fellows opted to split up to increase their odds that one group might make it through. A little later down the road, Grandpa said he heard gunfire from the opposite direction. He never saw either of his friends again.
As I imagine most other young boys do, I often wondered what it would be like to go to war. How would it change me and what things might I see? I grew up believing each generation had its war and questioned where and when mine would be.
I received the answer to that on September 11, 2001.
I should probably parcel these goodies out since I often have trouble finding topics to blog about, but I'm too excited. The print proof of Taken With A Grain of Salt arrived today!
As promised, here's your video reveal.
The cover is intentionally darker since the Killer Whale is at a lower depth than the Sea Lion in Salted, but Greg and I plan to lighten it up a little bit since it ran a bit darker than we wanted, (a trend we've noticed with Createspace specs). We'll adjust it for the final batch so it looks nice and pretty on your shelves next to Salted.
Also, I realized after ending the video that me showing the appendix was a bit of a tease. But since Valerie Bellamy did such an amazing job with the appendix design, and because I'm stoked for its inclusion, here's a better shot for you.
Some of you will think I'm crazy for this, but I want to list the ebook version of Salted for free on Amazon. Figure it'll be a nice little way to pump everyone up for the release of Taken With A Grain of Salt, Book 2 in the Salt series. Plus, you know, the holidays are coming. What's the Christmas season without a little giving. :)
There is a bit of a catch.
Amazon won't allow me to list the book for free, but smarter folks than I learned a way around it. If you'd like to see Salted available for free, follow this link to my Amazon page. Once there, scroll on down to just above the customer reviews section where you'll see a little sentence underlined in blue that says: tell us about a lower price?
Author. Actor. Rascal.