I Have Never Signed So Many Books

By | April 28, 2010 | 15 Comments

At least not with real live people requesting me to. Sure, I’ve sat alone in my room, weeping, signing my own books for hours – what author hasn’t? – but last night at the Crimes by Moonlight launch I was part of a child-laboresque conga line of signing authors and I think I signed 100 books by the end of the night, between the ones for folks buying the book and the ones the store wanted for stock. MY GOD, the hand cramps.

I had a blast. I got to sit next to the amazing Dana Cameron (who shares my agent, and who is up for the Best Short Story Edgar for her tale “Femme Sole” in Boston Noir) and the uproarious Toni L.P. Kelner, and we were, I think, the raucous end of the table, hatching plots to disrupt the evening and keeping each other laughing. Of course, there had to be a moment of Jeff Somers incompetence; otherwise it just wouldn’t have that Somers flair, you know? So of course, there were multiple instances of incompetence. And that doesn’t even count the fact that everyone I was introduced to asked me why I was wearing pants. That isn’t a joke: Every person I met asked me this. I think perhaps I’ve taken that theme a bit too far.

Incompetence #1: My wife decided she would give a copy of the anthology, signed by all authors, to her mother as part of her Mother’s Day gift. So she hands me a copy and says sign it, and so I proceed to inscribe a delicate love letter to my wife in the book, which, when presented to her mother, might have caused some confusion. The Duchess, amused, made fun of me for the rest of the night.

Incompetence #2: When I sat down at the signing table, Dana Cameron immediately pulled out these beautiful and practical bookmarks to stick in everyone’s book as she signed them. I stared at them, thinking, gosh, that’s a pretty good idea. I did not have pretty bookmarks, but I did have a stack of horrible business cards I’d printed myself a few years ago, so I put that grubby pile on the table and slipped them into the books as I signed. Every now and then I’d glance at Dana’s bookmarks and a wash of shame would flow through me.

But that’s okay – I had a great time and the evening was a success, though The Duchess and I begged off dinner and drinks afterwards due to weariness, gaining some black looks from my agent. Earlier in the day the Uber Agent and I did share a drink in her office, though, contemplating the rather disturbing covers of the German editions of The Electric Church and the rather stunning covers to the audio CDs of The Electric Church. Here’s the latter in all its glory:

The Electric Church Tantor Cover

Purty, ain’t it? Although I must discover who chose that horrible picture of me for the back, and assault them. I HAVE A BLURRY PHOTO FOR A REASON, DAMMIT.

Categories: BAM!, More Shit I Gotta Do

15 Comments

  • SeanFerrell says:

    Now that I can see your author’s photo on the back of the audio CD cover, I have to ask: WHO THE HELL HAVE I BEEN HAVING DRINKS WITH THE MAN I HAVE BEEN MEETING LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THAT OH MY GOD THE THINGS I ALLOWED TO HAVE DONE TO ME BY SOMEONE CLAIMING TO BE YOU.

    Glad you had such a good time at the signing!

  • jsomers says:

    Sean: Don’t worry. That was my Personal Assistant, Hans. he handles a lot of my social commitments when I’m overbooked. He’s well-trained and very clean.

  • DK says:

    Is Hans one of those helper monkeys you’re always going on about? If so, he IS remarkably clean.

    Also, can you think of any good sci-fi/genre journals that pay, off the top of your head? I’ve got some work to send out, but I only know of a few journals that won’t laugh at genre material and they’ve already rejected me zillions of times.

  • jsomers says:

    Hey Dan, There’s Red Stone (http://redstonesciencefiction.com/guidelines/), Fantasy & Science Fiction (http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/). And many others, of course: Check out Ralan’s web page (http://www.ralan.com/m.pro.php/) for an updated listing of paying markets.

  • Dan Krokos says:

    Wow. I LOVE that audio cover.

  • Great post. Hilarious about the pants. Your pants are become a name. (Tennyson)

    Come to Maryland and sign books. Do it!

  • Aileen says:

    Did you notice that the title of the German edition of TEC (Der elektronische Mönch)is almost identical to the German title of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Der elektrische Mönch)? They just made your monks electronic instead of electric.
    (I’m considering buying the German edition too, even though I already have the English version, mostly because I’m curious how your “23 new ways to use the word fuck as an adverb” have been translated) :)

  • Smedley says:

    I still don’t have a signed copy =(

    Just saying…

  • BlueMan says:

    If you add a thought bubble that says, “I’m not wearing any pants, motherfuckers!”, your photo’s perfect!

  • jsomers says:

    Elisabeth, I ‘d love to come to Maryland to sign books. I assume I can sleep on your floor, drink all your liquor, stop up your toilet, and force you to replace three couches and a carpet due to my stay? Say yes!

  • jsomers says:

    Aileen, Since Douglas Adams’ book indirectly *inspired* TEC, that’s an amazing observation. I will now go sit and stare into space, congtemplating it.

  • jsomers says:

    Smedley, Send me books, will sign and send back.

  • jsomers says:

    Blueman, I *should* add thought balloons to all my photos, shouldn’t I? Damn, where were you when I had those photos taken. I need a manager with that kind of moxy.

  • Hi Jeff,

    Here is the link to my blog post about our Crimes by Moonlight signing. It contains a special note to you.

    http://www.womenofmystery.net/2010/05/mtm-crimes-by-moonlight-at-mysterious.html

    Terrie

  • Jeff's Pants says:

    that’s not a photo of you Jeff.

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