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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My visit to the real world 6-30-15


After months of little more in life than writing and book marketing, I emerged today to mow the lawn, buy new bookshelves, and do a few mundane tasks that needed doing.

Elizabeth Aisling Flygare was nice enough to buy me dinner and introduce me to mocha shakes at Arby’s. We looked for bookcases at Furniture Row, but they were oversized or priced far beyond my meagre budget. We did find a five shelf bookcase at Target for only $26.99 that I’ll need to assemble myself. I bought that, plus a ton of cat food. I also bought a container of Liquid Plumber drain restorer for my kitchen sink. The drain opener set off an alarm at checkout causing the clerk to need to scan my driver’s license. It seems that drain opener is now treated as a controlled substance, not unlike pseudoephedrine. Misguided youths are using liquid drain cleaner to get high. Stores are required by law to keep a copy of my driver’s license for 2 years each time I purchase pseudoephedrine allergy medications or liquid drain opener. If I try to buy more than the normal amount in a 2 year period, I will be declared a potential drug dealer and investigated.

And then, when I bought a Fiskars hardened steel saw that I intended to use to trim unwanted elm trees sprouting in my yard, the alarm sounded again. This time I already knew why. It’s the kind of bone saw serial killers in my Instruments of Death novels use to dismember human bodies. Heh heh. Honest, officer. I was only planning to use that saw on trees. Heh heh.

The killer of the evening, though, was a visit to the local Barnes and Noble store at Cherry Vale Mall where the fiction section was being reduced to make room for displays of toys, graphic novels, and games. None of my novels were displayed on store shelves. The customer service desk said they would be happy to order single copies to send directly to my home, but they did not stock my titles. My books were listed in their online catalog, but the titles were not part of the local store’s inventory. Neither were Andrew Vachss’ novels, nor Joe Lansdale’s, nor Alaya Dawn Johnson’s. They did carry Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Leger series and I found all of James Patterson, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Jo Nesbo.

Elizabeth asked me on the way home if I were depressed because today was the official release day for Darkness and no store had it available. It is still on pre-order at Amazon and B&N.com. I wasn’t depressed. But I was disappointed.

So now I am ensconced back at my keyboard after a brief visit to the real world. I think I will hide here for awhile until it’s safe to venture out again.

Maybe by then my titles will be in the stores where customers’ drivers licenses will be scanned and saved for two years because my books are considered dangerous when consumed in quantity.

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