Monday, February 25, 2008

Guest Blogger: Mark Henry, author and man-whore

Saturday was the best day ever. Right up there with the Friday when I got an offer of representation and the Thursday when we sold the book. But Saturday. Oh...sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it was awesome.

Awesome (this one must be sung in your girliest falsetto)!

It started out normal enough, book release anxiety knifing into my sleep and plopping me onto the couch at the butt-crack of dawn, followed by the shuffling around a dark kitchen trying to make coffee in a machine designed for NASA scientists. This is normally accompanied by a gut wrenching stress-induced diarrhea that warbles through me bowels like bad opera. Grumbling. Curses. F-bombs.

Caroline slept in, dreading, as I was, a semi-formal charity auction that would eat away our evening. She would be at the salon for three hours and since I'd seen the book (Happy Hour of the Damned: zombies, smut, cocktails, what else do you need to know?) popping up on people's blogs and knew I'd be dwelling on that all day, I got a friend to ride along to a couple of book stores.

The first one, not so much, and I wasn't holding up a whole lot of hope about the second. So when we arrived I scanned the new trade tables and not seeing anything wandered toward the shelves. When...

"It's right here!" friend yelled.

And they weren't lying. A whole stack of 'em, sitting right next door to Lisa Lutz's THE SPELLMAN FILES--which is this totally adorable mystery, we've been reading for our book club. And there was Happy Hour, right next to hers. I got a little weak in the knees.

It wasn't like it was the first time I'd seen the book. My editor is a gracious guy and as I write this guest blog, I'm surrounded by 80 copies (which is insane, what am I doing with them?). The first time was oddly anti-climactic. I checked it over to see that the changes were made from the ARC, but that was pretty much it.

I'm certain, it's because books were meant to be seen in their natural habitat, because I was like a new father in a nursery. Even to the point of being completely flushed. I walked over to the information gal (it was a Borders so they had one of those freestanding desk areas) and told her that I kinda had a book over on the tables and I could sign them if she wanted.

I was so surprised that she actually got excited. Even enlisted the help of another book guy to gather all the books (I know, plural, can you believe that shit). They had like ten of them. I might as well have snorted a line of coke. I was high. Signing wildly. My friend taking pictures on her camera phone and sending them off. It was insane.

Then they asked me to come back to do an "Event". What? Are you kidding? What?

It was awesome. Pure and simple.

I'm almost ashamed to tell you that after the charity auction thing, a group of us stopped by another Borders and did it again.


MARK HENRY was a psychotherapist before he did a 180 to torture minds with his fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, three furry monsters that think they're children, and a waterboard, in case Goody Jeri comes a-calling. His debut novel, HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED, is a zombie comedy in urban fantasy clothing. Visit him at his website at


Bernita said...

Got excited? Do an EVENT?
Writer heaven...

Demon Hunter said...

Mark, I'm so happy and excited for you. i knwo that seeinf your work in the store gave you a rush! Awesomeness! :*) My TBR is growing larger and I'll be glad to add yours...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I need to read titles before I read posts. I almost squeed in my chair thinking DQ signed a NY deal and an agent.

Congrats Mark! Sounds like a blast. I'd have a total perma-grin too.

Robyn said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad to read someone is isn't too hip to squee a little bit.

Mark said...

Bernita - absolutely dreamy.

Demon - Here you are again, I'm glad you hang out at December's, too. You're in good hands.

Seeley - thanks. Perma-grin is totally the word.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on a such an awesome day and best wishes for the book.

Isn't it FUN to see your book in the store?

My local Borders is always great about keeping anything I'm in (anthologies, collections, etc) in stock and having me sign stock every time I come in. I love Bookstore people!

Mark said...

Devon - It's the best. My wife said the guy helping me at the last store was covered in tattoos yet looked to be about seventeen. I swear I couldn't tell you what he looked like, except for the glowing halo and wings.

Sarai said...

Congrats! It must be wonderful to see all that hard work staring you back in the face and to know that we all want to read it. Now which Boarders and how far do I have to drive to get a signed copy???

Mark said...

Sarai - You don't have to drive at all. Email your address and I'll send you a signed bookplate.

Or, if you must. Olympia and Tacoma Borders.

Charles Gramlich said...

congrats to Mark. Hilarious post here. I'll have to check out his work.

It's a great feeling to see your book on the shelves, or on a table next to the shelves where others can see it more easily.

Mark said...

Hi Charles - No doubt about the table thing. Kensington really surprised me by forking out the cash for a table spot.

Sarai said...

Okay Mark this makes me sounds stupid but outlook doesn't work and after 15 minutes of digging I was unable to come up with an email account. Is there anyway you could post it and I will send you an email. I would love a signed cover!
Thanks so much

Bernita said...

Pardon me for my dimness, but what is a "man whore?"