La Guerre Du Mein For Your Pocket!
Didier Graffet did the artwork once again.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
La Guerre Du Mein For Your Pocket!
It's always fun to post a new cover treatment. This time, it's for the Pocket edition of Acacia in France. The lovely Benedicte Lombardo recently sent it along to me, along with the announcement that it's scheduled for publication in May!
Didier Graffet did the artwork once again.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Is This For Real?
Forgive me for wondering that. I should just be humbled and awed and right chuffed, but my innate skepticism keeps me stunned instead.
Take a look at the list of the 20 Best Science Fiction Books Of The Decade, as compiled by io9.
See what I mean? The decade? The decade! And what placement! I know it's just alphabetical, but being at the top like that is way awesome. (Note to authors: try to title your books with letters early in the alphabet, like A, for example.)
Honestly, I can't say a thing about whether or not I deserve to be on such a list. I do appreciate it, though, especially as it's a really good list. Shows a lot of thought in its composition.
I will now go forth and be happy...
Friday, October 02, 2009
Portuguese Acacia Books!
I've got a Portuguese deal for Acacia: The War with the Mein and The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2)!
The publisher is Saida de Emergencia. A quick glance at their website shows me that I'm there with authors like George RR Martin, Mervin Peake, Guy Gavriel Kay, Harry Turtledove, Robin Hobb, Dan Simmons and Tim Powers, just to name a few.
I had a different Portuguese publisher for Pride of Carthage, so this will be a new experience. Here's hoping it's a good one (and that it eventually leads to a visit to Portugal or Brazil - I'd love that!).
Very happy about this.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
That would be today.
The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) is finally available, hopefully marching out of stores all around the country. I hope that means readers will be picking it up and falling back into the Known World - or that they'll decide to give Acacia: The War with the Mein a try, knowing that if they like it there are quite a few hundreds of pages now to be read - and that the end is in sight!
It goes without saying that I would very much like you to buy one and/or to spread the word about the book. They make great presents, you know! I know it's no small thing to hope that you'll put down your 20-some dollars for a new hardcover, but there's really only two reasons I hope you do.
One is that I believe there's a lot to be found in the book, and I know I worked very hard to make it surprising and thought provoking and engaging. Two is that I want very much to be able to continue to write books, and to be able to focus more and more of my time on doing so. The only way that happens in our market economy, though, is if people BUY my books. Reading them is what matters to me; them being PURCHASED is what matters to my publishers and the outlets that stand between you and I.
All right, that's the end of my hard sell. Now I'll just try to remember how fortunate I am, and be very pleased my characters and stories are out there yet again.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Praise From a Rock Star
Mega-prolific author Jay Lake just wrote a generous and funny review of Acacia: The War with the Mein and The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2). I'm psyched. Jay is awesome, and it makes me very happy to hear that he likes my work too. Among other things, he wrote:
"Epic fantasy is so well established a genre that it’s always fascinating when someone comes along and tips over my expectations. Durham has done this in a big way."
Of course, there's also a level of pure relief in receiving all of these early responses. Each new reader that gets to the end of the book and gives it the thumbs up is confirmation that I haven't entirely driven the series off a cliff. Yes, all writers have moments of insecurity.
You can check out Jay's response at his website HERE. And it's safe to read. No plot details. Just enthusiasm!
(By the way, isn't that author illustration rock star cool? Snagged it from Jay's website.)
Monday, August 31, 2009
The ACACIA Giveaway Winner!
Good Monday to you. The Durham's held the first drawing/competition and got a winner. This was for the UK paperback of Acacia: The War With The Mein. Herewith I offer photo documentation of the proceedings.
I printed out all the names entered in this category, cut them into little tickets and then put them into a container. My son, Sage, drew... He didn't draw just one winner, though. Instead, he pulled out four finalists.
They were: Jacqueline George, Krieghund, Jennifer Lawrence and Heather Shutler.
Congrats for making it to the final stage!
These names were each attached to their own Frisbee disc for the finale... (Ultimate and Disc Golf have been important parts of the summer this year.)We marked off a quick Frisbee gold course in the backyard, with a particular tree as the goal. Both Maya and Sage took turns throwing...
The winner was to be the one that got nearest that goal. There was some drama right at the start, as it seemed the yellow Frisbee that bore Krieghund aloft might be an early ringer. Sage lofted him near the target with ease. The next two tries couldn't best him.
Between rounds, Maya took a moment out to cuddle with Persy...
And then she threw the final disc in a tremendous effort that landed just beside the goal, a clear winner. It was the Red disc (Leopard), and it bore this name on it...
And there you have it. Heather Shutler, you are the winner! Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know where you'd like the book sent. I'll sign it and pop it in the mail to you.
Thanks to everyone that was in this one! The drawing for The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) will happen soon too. Stay tuned!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Okay. Here it is. My first The Other Lands giveaway. There may be more to come, but this one is purely from my own stash. I'm offering one of the three advanced copies of The The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) that I received from Doubleday, and I'm tossing in a shot at the mass market paperback of the UK edition of Acacia: The War with the Mein. This is them:
You can enter for them separately, and you can enter up to two times. But I'm going to make you work a little bit. So don't enter here. Instead...
You can visit the threads on my Forum HERE. You'll find the threads in the areas for each novel. This does mean you'll have to join, but that's really no hardship. Nothing bad happens. No junk mail or anything like that. Hopefully, once you've joined you might want to visit every now and then. The Forums were once pretty lively, but they've slowed down a lot between books. Perhaps that will pick up again. And you can help.
You can also enter at my Facebook "Fan" page. That's over here.
I'll just keep this open until it seems we've got enough folks entered, and then we'll do our very scientific drawing to pick the winners. Good luck!
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Another Con Day, Another Con Anxiety
Okay. Crunch day behind me now. It all went quite well, I think. No major gaffs at the panels, and lots of laughs. I particularly enjoyed the "We Are the Knights Who Say F***" panel with Guy Gavriel Kay, Patrick Rothfuss, Marc Gascoigne and special guest Ellen Kushner. Smart bunch of folks, those.
I even had it in me to spend some time up on the party floor, at the Brotherhood without Banners (GRRM's fan club) and at a smaller function to celebrate Paolo Bacigalupi's release of The Windup Girl. I spent perhaps too much time eying Mary Robinette Kowal's Campbell Tiara...
Which brings me to today. Today culminates in the Hugo Award Ceremony. I'm really curious to how it plays out for everyone, especially as I have some real favorites in the running. Overshadowing it all, though, is that I remain one of five contenders for that tiara. Somewhere the award plaque exists already, with somebody's name carved in it. But whose? About twelve hours from now, the world (at least as much of it that cares) will know.
Other stuff - Kate Nepveu - with whom I actually just had a panel here at Anticipation - recently posted a review of Acacia: The War with the Mein on Tor.com. She said lovely things about it. You can read it HERE. She's very smart.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wow, I've Been Busy... and Torque Control
Yikes. I've gone about a week without posting. I haven't done that in a long time. Strange to think, really, as this blog thing is such a feature of my life these days. But... I got back from Readercon and then went straight into preparing for the Stonecoast MFA residency. That's where I'm writing from now, and I'm still dead tired. So this will be brief. Really, I just wanted to say hello. So...
Other than that... an awesome, detailed and insightful review of Acacia: The War with the Mein recently appeared from Torque Control.
If you need convincing that the book is worth a read please take a look. Or do the same if you're gearing up for The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) but could use a reminder of what the first volume was all about please check it out.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
In Search Of The Successor...
Monday, May 04, 2009
My trip to France just got a boost. You may know I'm heading to Imaginales in Epinal, France, next week. To that information I'd add that they give their own awards at the conference, the Prix Imaginales. I'd further mention that they have a category for translated novels. And... (you can tell this is leading somewhere, right?) ...I just found out I'm one of the five finalists in that category! Oh my.
And make no mistake, I'm in there with some grown ups...
ROMAN ETRANGER TRADUIT
Steve Cockayne, Legendes du pays, Tome 1 : Vagabonds et insulaires, trad. Michele Charrier, Pygmalion
David Anthony Durham, Acacia, Tome 1 : La guerre du Mein, trad. Thierry Arson, Le Pre au Clerc
Swordspoint, A la pointe de l'epee : un melodrame d'honneur, trad. Patrick Marcel, Calmann-Levy
Ian McDonald, Roi du matin, reine du jour, trad. Jean-Pierre Pugi, Denoel
Terry Pratchett, Les annales du disque monde, Tome 30 : Timbre, trad. Patrick Couton, L'Atalante
Are you kidding me? I'm on a shortlist for anything with Terry Pratchett? With Ian McDonald and Ellen Kushner? Okay, I don't know Steve Cockayne's work yet, but I'll take a look now. Wow... Have I mentioned that I really like France?
Here's the full announcement at ActuSF.
Friday, April 17, 2009
A Little Italian...
I just noticed that Il guerriero del Lago d'Argento (the second half of the English version of Acacia: The War with the Mein) received a review or announcement or just a mention in general at Mondointasca.org. If you can read this wonderful language (Italian) and are curious, take a look here.
Monday, April 13, 2009
How Cool Is This?
I have to start this with my customary cautions. Roll internal monologue in a menagerie of accents... Terribly long shot, old chap. Quite unlikely. Odds against it, don't you know? Are you kidding me? Fat chance! Why should you be so lucky? Hollywood will gut ya, man. Rob you blind, leave you artistically debauched, make you into a cheap one night... Etc.
I could go on, but now that I've again verified that I'm a realist let's get to the wonderfully delusion part...
I recently received a thin printed and bound document that had the words you see to the left her on its simple cover. Michael De Luca. Producer of lots o movies. (Here's his IMDb page.)
What's behind the cover, you might ask? Well, I might flip the page and show you this...
And then I would cackle with glee. Yes, that's the first draft of the screenplay for ACACIA: THE FILM! It's pretty cool to have it in hand, to read through and discover... Oh, you know, I probably shouldn't talk about what's in the pages. Top secret stuff. You may think you know because you read the book, but... Again, I should stop. Let me just say that I found reading it very entertaining and even surprising. This is as it should be, though.
That's about all I can say at the moment. A screenplay exists. High-power producer type folks are calling people, doing lunch and stuff. Relativity Media is overseeing the whole thing. (Here's their IMDb page.) You never know. Maybe, one day...
Monday, March 23, 2009
Amazon Review #50 for Acacia
I'm pleased to say that I just got my 50th reader review for Acacia on Amazon. Half a 100. That seems a respectable number, although I'm hoping that there are more to come...
Thanks to #50. I do appreciate it!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
She Was Hoping for a Curry, I Think...
A couple of weeks ago I came across a mention of my work by another author. It was in an aside, as the post was really about something else - a race-related discussion. Acacia was mentioned, and, though the author (who is white) had kind things to say about it and about me, she expressed some unease about an aspect of it. It wasn't a very specific post, but from what I can gather she didn't much like that I'd created a fantasy world that seemed based around the European colonial template, even if my central power was olive to brown skinned, and even if the rest of the world was multi-racial. She said she expected "better" from a writer of color.
I've thought about this quite a bit since then. My first reaction is to agree that Acacia is a European-feeling (Mediterranean, specifically) colonial power, one that's olive to brown skinned and rules a multi-racial world. Ah... That's what I wrote alright. I feel fairly satisfied with that slight tweaking of the standard model, and I'm happy to say I do have plans for... well, for doing a thing or two to change that model before the series ends. I don't exactly think my choices were groundbreaking. Nor that I'm alone. But I do think one of the most effective ways to work forward thematically is to take established templates and swirl some new variety into them.
That, however, wasn't enough for this writer. She wanted more from me. "Better." What do you think about that?
I have to say that I'm skeptical as to whether it's "better" that she wanted. I'm more inclined to believe she wanted "different" in ways that were directly influenced by her perceptions of my racial identity. I'm being very specific about my words here. I don't mean different because of my race. I mean different because of her perceptions of my race. I am, after all, an African-American. Sure, my blood is plenty mixed, but still. I'm black in the simplistic categorization of this country.
And that makes me wonder if what happened with this author is that she - in well-intentioned and generously liberal ways - got excited about the addition of a black writer to the genre. Perhaps instead of another Celtic or Anglo influenced epic, I'd deliver an African variant. Cool! And that is cool. There's plenty more room for that, and I love it when authors do just that. My friend Nnedi Okorafor does that, and her work is terrific. But that's Nnedi. She does it because she's particularly inspired to and quite closely linked to writing Africa-based fantasy.
For me the ties aren't so complete. I'm a kid with long-mingled blood, the product of European and African and Eastern roots. My family's ancestry was mixed in Trinidad and Barbados, in the plantations of Virginia - all colonial systems and some of them very European indeed. I've grown up in mainstream America, but I've spent a portion of my life in Europe and I'm married to a European woman. My kids both have two passports: one US, one UK. They always will.
What I'm building toward is this: doesn't it make perfect sense - considering who I am - that my fantasy world would be built on a European colonial template centered around olive to brown skinned people in a multi-cultural world that's in for big changes? For me that's not imitative. It's not a choice meant to win or lose white or black readers. It's just me, and the things that will come in the future books are built on exploding some of the tensions inherent in this - and in me.
As a black writer should I be required to be the antithesis of pre-existing racial bias in the genre? Should I write "black fantasy" to clash with the firmly entrenched "white fantasy"? Does my worth, in this genre, come from how well I do things differently than white writers? And is my work to be measured by how it deconstructs existing norms? I think there's plenty of value in all of that, but it's not the primary way I work. I don't see why it has to be. Certainly, I've always said that I hope my ethnic identity informs my fiction. But even as I said that I was aware that I meant it in ways that might be less than obvious to readers.
I can't help thinking that the author's disappointment that my world wasn't more obviously different is like the disappointment one might feel going to their Indian friend's house hoping to get an "authentic" Indian meal, only to find that the friend made a lovely Eggplant Parmesan instead, served with a spinach and feta side salad and a pretty good Chilean wine from Trader Joe's. It's a good meal. Yummy. You can't quite complain to their face, but... you were really hoping for a curry.
My point? That Indian friend may make you a curry next time. And proudly. But they shouldn't have to make a curry because that's going to suit the needs and expectations of a particular guest.
Nor should I. If you come to my house for dinner you may get the West-Indian curry that my mother first taught me how to make. Or you may find the sushi I learned to make and love when I was a teenager. Or Thai-inspired dishes. You may find a heaping bowl full of Scottish fish pie, or a display of pungent French cheeses, or homemade pizza. You'll likely be a bit amazed at whatever homemade dessert Gudrun whips up. In any event, come with an open mind and I guarantee a good meal, with something on offer that will hit the right spot.
But I'm getting carried away with this food metaphor and making myself hungry. Back to books...
I suppose I do think that the author's sense of unease with aspects of Acacia were the result of expectations she shouldn't have brought with her. Thinking positively, I will take it as a reminder that I do write from a naturally different perspective than most fantasy writers - and I should be mindful of making the most of that. Thing is, I never lost sight of that. I do, in fact, have a plan, and this plan is shaped by who and what I am as an author of color. Yep. It is, and it is in ways that don't need to be obvious to most readers.
Thing is, how this plan manifests and develops is up to me. To me. Not to someone that - even with the best of intentions - wants my writing to be an antidote for illnesses she's identified.
What do you think? I'm not putting this out there with complete certainty. It's more that I'm thinking in writing...
Friday, February 20, 2009
Hurray for Spain!
This is another bit of cool foreign language news. The Spanish publisher of Pride of Carthage (Anibal, el orgullo de Cartago), has just bought the rights to Acacia. I'm thrilled by that. I'd been waiting for a Spanish sale, hoping, dreaming...
I knew Ediciones B did well with Anibal, but they didn't jump immediately at Acacia. It's tough to sell the rights to a series with only one book actually out. I think what happened is that another published did jump, and that prodded Ediciones B to jump a bit higher. Oh, it might have helped that they heard the second book was done, also. So very glad to hear it.
This feels especially nice because several Spanish-language readers of Anibal have asked if there would be a translation of Acacia. I can now happily say that there will be. It could be 18 months before it appears in the world. But it's coming!
Monday, February 09, 2009
Can I Show You Something?
Note to Myself:
Okay, this doesn't really mean anything. I mean, it's just what it is. No more. It doesn't like mean it's happening, or anything. Total long shot. Nothing be a dream, baby. Don't start playing golf or shopping for a sailboat, David. Really. Don't.
But... you may give in to short lived daydreams and flights on fancy. You may bookmark this page and return to it daily, just in case there's some new bit of information added to move it more toward reality...
Go HERE, to the hallowed pages of the Internet Move Database to see what I'm blathering about.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
New Elbakin.net interview.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Le top 10 2008 de la redaction Elbakin.net
I have to say, I'm really pleased by this. I just found out that the good folks at Elbakin.net - a wonderful French language fantasy website - have chosen the French version of Acacia as one of their top titles for last year. Not only one of the top, it looks like Acacia: La guerre du Mein is the top pick! Wow... I'm thrilled.
The French rock, clearly. I've been there before so I know this to be true, and, if things go well, I'll be over there again soon to verify their awesomeness again. More details on that when I know them...
Here is the Elbakin.net Feature.
And here's an Amazon.fr link if you're interested.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
CV Rick's Year in Review
I know the ole blog hasn't exactly received my full attention these last few days. There's celebrating to be done, don't you know, and it's not over yet. Gudrun has just gone off to pick up some new arrivals at the airport, friends of ours who are up to celebrate the new year. Neither of them have been to Shetland before, and one of them is a London lad. He's in for a few shocks.
Anyway, I'm feeling the need to post a link, so he's one I came across recently. I don't know this guy, Rick, but he was kind enough to say nice things about Acacia, and about a few other books I thought were quite good as well. Check it out here. Guy's got taste, that's for sure...
(For that matter, his blog is pretty readable in general, on lots of different topics.)
Saturday, December 27, 2008
So this is a year behind, but for some reason Google just chose to notify me of a rather nice mention I received last year from Nancy Pearl. This one is on the City of Fort Worth's Library website. I didn't know I had friends there, but I'm glad to learn it. Next time I'm in Texas I'll stop in and say hi.
For now, I'll point you to the post, only twelve months late, but new to me! Pearl's Picks.
Friday, November 21, 2008
A Reasonable Query...
I got an email recently, responded to it, and thought I might share it with you. (Yes, I verified that the sender had no issues with this - even though I'm not using his name.) Here's what he said...
I enjoyed your book on Hannibal. It was much better than most of the other fiction I have read about that time period. I am tempted to pick up your book Acacia but have a question before I do so.
Lately, fantasy authors have not been fair to their readers. The late Robert Jordan, the once great George RR Martin, even Weis and Hickman with Dragonlance are not being fair to their readers. I mean in the sense of how long should a series go? Jordan's first 3 or 4 books were great, but again how many 1,000 page books should you have to read before a series comes to an end? Lately, Martin's Ice and Fire series is in the same direction... 4 books, with no end in sight.
So, my question, before I pick up your book... will you keep it at three? At some point, will you bring the story to a close in a way that respects the readers time?
And my response...
Thanks for writing. Glad you liked Pride of Carthage, and I totally understand your complaints about never ending fantasy series. I won't comment on what other authors have done (or haven't done), but I will promise that I have every intention of respecting my readers' time and of providing closure by the end of the third book. I should explain a few things, though...
First, I think you'll find (if you do pick it up) that Acacia has a fair amount of closure. All the major plot points and the main struggles of the book come to point of completion by the end. I worked hard to make that happen, especially because when I began the book I couldn't know that I'd get a second chance at fantasy. I was new to the genre and couldn't know how I'd be received. Also, coming from the literary side of things the notion of writing sequels wasn't anything I was particularly used to. I had to take care of business in one book. I'm glad to say that a lot of readers write me to say they're looking forward to the next Acacia book. I'm thrilled by that. There's plenty left to explore, but there are no cliffhangers at the end.
That said, the second book, The Other Lands, is not as self-contained. It concludes with a whole host of new threats and problems arising, all of which I'll hope to pick up and conclude in the third book. The Other Lands is still a six hundred page manuscript, so there's plenty of adventure in those pages; it's just that the overarching conflict is bigger than one book.
Now, I do know exactly where that third book ends, and, as with Acacia, it will lead to another possible stopping point. I don't have specific plans for future Acacia books after that. I may continue to write more in this world, but if I do it'll be because there are other stories to tell. It won't be that I'm dragging out the main story without resolution. Promise.
I don't know if that will convince you, but I hope so.
With respect for your time,
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I'll do something other than just post links to interviews and reviews soon, but I've got another one first. Joseph Mallozzi has kindly featured me on his uber-popular webblog. Acacia was the November fantasy book club pick. They discussed it. (I looked away - just in case.) But afterwards the participants sent me some questions. I happily answered them, sent them back and Joe just published them.
You can read them here.
He's got an old photo of me and friend from the Netherlands on there as well...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friend Mouse on Acacia
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Akacien: Hotet Fran Norr
Tomorrow I'll post about World Fantasy. I promise. Takes a while after such things to get your feet back under you, especially when the four freaky con days are followed by a national election of particular interest.
For today, I'd like to just point toward a new arrival in the Durham household - the Swedish edition of Acacia. It's published by Norstedts, and it's actually pretty cool looking. Here tis...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Book Group Buzz and Reads Like a Lawyer
Yes, yes, I'm working hard. But one needs to take a break every now and then and self-promote. Hence, this post on a couple of tidbits I noticed recently... (After which I promise to get back to the novel.)
Neil Hollands has a list of books up on the Booklist Online site. It's a short-list with selected titles from different sub-categories of fantasy. Nice to see that Acacia gets a mention in the "Realistic" Epic Fantasy category, along with George R. R. Martin and K. J. Parker. Good company, and interesting categories. I sometimes suspect that readers don't acknowledge enough how very different fantasy works can be. The differences within the genre can be rather huge, and there's no real reason why somebody that likes books in one category will necessarily be a fit for books in other regions...
Anyway, Neil's list is here: Many Faces of Fantasy.
Dustin Kenall has written a piece on Acacia and on the changing expectations placed on the "Epic Quest Genre" - which I guess is "Epic Fantasy" made slightly more specific. Dustin clearly brings an informed perspective to it. He's written reviews for the sfsite.com and the Agony Column and Blogcritics, etc, though this piece is on his personal site.
I must say, while I'm very pleased at the fine company he places me in, he makes it sound like I'm somewhat more solidly established than I feel. Me? I'm sweating, man. I literally have to finish off The Other Lands in two days! I've got all sorts of anxiety about it. Been getting up early and going to bed late. Butterflies constantly. Writing. Writing. Writing. Checking the clock. Occasionally confident, usually scared. It's funny, really, how ongoing all the trials and tribulations of a writer are. I've got four novels out in the world. All successful in their way. But still, it's the words I have yet to write that seem to matter most.
Anyway, Dustin's very kind essay/review is here on his blog: Reads Like a Lawyer.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Kronik Video 11
Lookie here. I came across what appears to be a rather nice video endorsement of Acacia from a bookseller in France. Fortunately, I have some fluent French speakers in my European family. They've verified that all is well, and that the gentleman says very complimentary things about the book. Phew...
Take a look and listen here.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Akarans Invade France? (I'm Hoping.)
A wonderful thing just showed up in the mail today. Le pre aux clercs edition of Acacia! The timing is perfect - both because I just asked yesterday where my copies were and because the book goes on sale today! (Thanks, Carola.)
Okay, this is me taking a moment to enjoy a milestone. This is me talking to myself... "Deep breath. Acknowledge the goodness. Note the sense of accomplishment. Remember that your first published novel was written in France. Remember that I've hoped for a French publication ever sense. Now, four books in, nine years later, I'm holding that publication in my hand. Acknowledge that this feels good. Okay? Got it, David? Now... go finish The Other Lands you slacker! You've only to two weeks until you said you'd deliver it to Doubleday! Get back to work!"
I'm hoping that a few folks in France buy the book, but I can't deny the appeal of giveaways. So I'm happy to mention that Elbakin.net is doing a contest! If you're a French reader (or just love the idea of having a French copy of the book) you can enter here. You'll have to answer a few questions in French, but I'm of the opinion that everybody should have to answer a few questions in French every now and then. It's good for you.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I came across what I think is a rather nice review of Acacia in French, on the site Journal de bord d'un libraire. It seems like quite an active blog, with many reviews of all sorts of fantasy and sci-fi stuff. Guess that's why my publisher got them an early copy of Acacia. Guess that's why they got to see the book before me! Where's my copy, Carola? ;)
Anyway, Big Luna had nice things to say like, "Je suis intimement persuade qu'il sera effectivement l'evenement fantasy de cette fin d'annee." Nice, huh?
If you read the French feel free to check it out here.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Le Site Acacia la Nouvelle Trilogie Fantasy Epique!
Guess who this rather striking young woman is? If you're curious, you can check out the newly launched French-language website for Acacia: La guerre du Mein. It's up. I'm now officially on the scene in France!
The book comes out there in about a week, and so far the build-up looks awesome. I've already done several interviews, and I've seen mention of the book on lots of French sci-fi blogs, and my publisher is doing lots of cool things - like this website.
What does it offer? Well, visuals of the Akaran siblings for one thing. Very curious as to what you think about that. From my standpoint, they're never going to look like what I see in my head. I start with that as a premise, and then I'm curious as to what other folks see in their heads. If you check out the website you'll get at least one artist's version.
There's also a written interview with me and another video one. At the moment, the video one is pretty short, but I think they'll add more bits to it. Actually, I spoke to the interviewer via Skype for the better part of an hour, so they should have stuff to work with. There's a map, if you're curious as to what the Known World looks like in French. There's also little video announcing the book, la bande annoce.
Anyway, it's all available HERE.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Grasping For the Wind Reviews
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Spontaneous on Beginnings
Over at Spontaneous Derivation, Arachne Jericho has come up with a post about the beginnings of novels, looking at why the ones that work for her worked. Strangely enough, Acacia is on the list...
Glad to hear my "assassin on a mortal mission" beginning got the hooks in some folks. I'm aware, though, that I'm not a quick-grab sort of writer. I don't think I ever will be. Sure, I want readers to be intrigued by the beginning enough to keep going, but really it's not until about halfway through that I'm confident the different narrative threads I've been building are getting sufficiently tight and compelling. That's my hope at least, that readers are increasingly engaged as the book progresses. Certainly, I'd rather that be the case than that I hook them early and disappoint them later, which happens often enough.
Anyway, the Spontaneous Derivation piece is here.
What works for you all with a beginning? For me, one of the main things is just the quality of the writing. I felt that the first time I read A Game of Thrones. I'd started and then put down a few other fantasies prior to coming to Martin's, but from the first few lines I was, "Whoa, this guy's a pro." It was easy to read on just because of that, and I wasn't let down.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The Folks at Word Candy like Acacia. That's nice, only thing is they're not shy about pushing the author around a bit. They want a sequel, and they don't mind who knows it!
"We suggest that Mr. Durham take a nine-books-per-decade author like Dan Simmons as his model, and get cracking on those sequels, pronto."
I will say in my defense that as the sole breadwinner in my family I'm a bit strapped for time, essentially doing two different full time jobs, with a part-time job thrown in as well, you know? But I won't ask for sympathy. And I won't argue with em. Instead, I just promise I'll do better with the third book. It carries right on from The Other Lands, so I won't even need to take a break in between...
Here's the full review.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Pat Rothfuss Fans Should Thank Me
Yesterday Patrick Rothfuss, author of the hugely successful The Name of the Wind (and I do mean HUGELY successful), was kind enough to blog about me. Seems he had some misconceptions about ole' Dave at the start, but was pleasantly surprised by the real thing...
If you want to know why his fans owe me a debt of gratitude, take a look. Here's the post. He's a funny guy. Be ready to chuckle.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Day After Launch Day...
... feels a lot like launch day, which felt a lot like the day before...
Anyway, I'm about to head off to "teach". Before I do, I can't help mentioning that the excellent John Scalzi was kind enough to mention Acacia over at Whatever, in his Book Haul post. I'm sure we all know that Mr. Scalzi is a highly intelligent man, with refined tastes. See here, for example, his comments on Acacia:
"Durham's very excellent fantasy debut, now in convenient paperback form. I'm a big fan of this book, so check it out if you haven't done so already."
Oh, he mentions some other books also... ;)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Another Launch Day
So, this is it. August 26th. Acacia, the paperback, will pop up like a fungus on bookshelves across the nation. At least, I'm hoping it will. (And anchor is hoping it will, since they printed enough copies of the thing to cause considerable contamination.)
So, you may be wondering, what changes for David on this momentous day? Well, I may answer, not much. Naw. Pretty much a regular day. I taught my first session of one class last night. I'll be getting ready for the first of my other class meetings on Wednesday. Also writing a bit of The Other Lands, spending a little time online. I've got a doctor's appointment in there somewhere. Need to take some dvds back to Blockbuster and a few books back to the library. I'll have to throw something together for dinner for the family, probably watch a bit of the Democratic Convention later. Read before bed, and then get up and do most of it over again.
Yes, I will check Amazon a few times as well. I probably won't get out to Borders or B&N today, though. I did that on the day that Gabriel's Story came out back in 2001. It was a surprisingly muted experience. Yes, my book was there on the new release shelf, but damn, there were so many other books in that place! Needle in a haystack, it felt like, and I was there hoping people were going to get pricked. That was, of course, a first novel. Things are different now. In some ways. Just the same in others. But still, my life goes on quite normally. Things to do. Books to write. Donuts to make. This is a good thing, really.
On another note, Fantasy Book Critic is doing a giveaway. He's got five copies of the paperback to doll out to folks. Click over and sign up for one. (And if you win one, please consider buying another copy, just to like balance the karmic scales and all that.)
Monday, August 25, 2008
Apparently, Facebook deleted Vintage-related pages recently. So it's look likes anyone that joined my Facebook, um... fan page... is no longer a, well... a fan.
So, if you're interested in reaffirming your fandom, please visit again! All sorts of good things will come from it, I'm sure. Not sure what sort of things, but I have faith.
I think this link will take you to right place.
By the way, did I mention that Acacia goes on sale in paper tomorrow? Well, it does!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Just An Update
Hi, folks. I've not been blogging a ton the last couple of weeks. Had a lot going on. Some of it was some family stuff that's taken a good deal of time and energy. I've also been preparing - mostly mentally, really - for beginning of the new academic year. I'll be teaching two classes, an undergrad Beginning Fiction Writing course and a Graduate Writing Workshop. Not a bad schedule, really, but it's a readjustment.
Oh, the third thing that's been taking up a lot of my time, of course, is The Other Lands. I was trying to get as much of it done before the school year began as I could. I didn't make it all the way to the end, but I'm pretty happy with where I ended up. Not done yet, but the end is in sight. I've got all the story before me. I know all the scenes that are yet to be written. I know exactly how each narrative thread ends. (Suspect cliffhangers. It is a middle volume, you know.)
It's one of the funny things about writing novels that the process often requires living with uncertainty for years. I've had that with this one, as I've had it with each of my longer books. For example, even up until a few days ago there were... um... "problems" ahead of me in this book. Spaces that were blank. Storylines that seemed to dead end. Plot moves that I knew I had to make but wasn't sure how I was going to make them. It's kinda crazy if you think about it too much. Like - "David, you've been working on this book for how long? How could you not know by now how you were going to handle what happens when $%^& finds out about *(&)%? That's crazy!"
But that's part of the process. Those plot elements and connections and character growth and the surprises can't all by mapped out ahead of time. Some of them have to be lived - by the author as well as by the characters.
What I'm saying, though, is a good thing. The end of The Other Lands is firmly in my sights. I have to work toward it while I'm also doing some other stuff, (You know - LIFE!) but I will be at the end soon. I will get this to my publisher and (barring something unforeseen - like my editor hating how I finished) I'm confident this book can make the pub date that we've had in mind for a while now, which essentially is a year from now. And, just so you know, I'll be at work on the third book immediately, no delay in getting the engine revving between two and three. This is mainly because the narrative really does flow right into the next book. I'd like to say I'm finished with The Other Lands one day and start work on &%^$# the next day. So that's my plan.
BTW, don't forget that Acacia: The War With the Mein hits in paperback form in two days! August 26th is the release date. It's mass market, you know, perfectly priced for these difficult economic times...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Interview with Dave Brendon is Up
Monday, August 18, 2008
davebrendon's fantasy & SciFi Weblog
Dave Brendon, a bookseller and blogger from South Africa, has posted a lovely review of Acacia on his blog. He's the SciFi and Fantasy specialist at Fascination Books, which appears to be a chain with stores all over South Africa. Cool. Also very nice that he liked the book so much!
Dave has been in contact with me, actually, and I'll be answering a few interview questions for him shortly. Great to think I'm getting some attention way down south in Africa.
If you have any desire to buy your books in Rands, now you know where to go!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Zauberspiegel - Das Online Fanzine
I had the pleasure recently of doing an interview with Zauberspiegel, an up and coming German review site. Thanks to Bettina Meister for her time and attention to the book and to translating the interview!
The English Version is HERE.
The German Version is HERE.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Soon To Be On Airport Shelves All Across The Country
Hey, so I've had a busy week. Yesterday I got another box in the mail, this one with the mass market paperbacks of Acacia in them! Again, I'm very happy with it. It's chunky, but Anchor still pushed for a quality feel to it. The lettering is all shiny and cool, and I like the way they slapped the John W Campbell Award Finalist Emblem on it. I'm imagining this one on airport bookshelves all over the country...
The scary thing (for me) is that this is the last page of the book...
You'll note that in the lower right hand corner there's a projected pub date. It's says "Summer 2...." Oops, I guess I blocked that part accidentally. Anyway...
This book (the first one) will definitely be on shelves at the end of August, the 26th to be exact.
Friday, August 01, 2008
A Little Italian Action
Will it get annoying if I keep mentioning nice things that are happening to me? I don't want to overdo it, so let me know if I start to get on your nerves. I'll keep it to myself then. (Or give you a bit more info on the things that AREN'T going right. There's plenty of that, too! It's just not quite as much fun to talk about.)
Anyway, my heart is a twitter today because I just received my copies of the Italian version of Acacia - I Ribelli del Mondo Oscuro! I think it's kinda lovely. It's very different than the other covers. Kinda brooding, not a person or strange beast or scraggly tree to be seen. What do you think?
It appears that this version has actually rolled out in that lovely country. I know this mainly because I've started to get Google alerts about it in Italian!
I got two in the last few days, for example. One of them took me
The other one was here: FantasyMagazine. Nice as well, although they used the photo of me from last year's World Fantasy. Overdressed and overheated and too smiley... Oh, well, though, that's me.
I noticed that there was a comment up already. Scanning it I noticed the word "tortura". Uhoh... Might this mean someone found the book a "torture"?
"Ce l'ho ma ancora non l'ho letto! Aspetterò l'uscita del secondo volume, altrimenti - se la storia mi cattura - sarà una tortura aspettare!"
And with an exclamation point, no less! Although, there's also something in there about the "secondo volume"... Okay, time to call of free internet translation technology... Babel Fish made a complete mess of it, but SDL came up with this...
"There I have it but still I did not read it! I will wait for the exit of the second volume, otherwise - if the story captures myself - will be a torture to wait for!"
Ah, okay. That I like. It's a reminder that the book was split in two for the Italian publication. This kind person, it seems, has picked up the first volume but is waiting for the second to come out before he starts reading. Nice of him. Makes me hope the story does capture him and is worth the wait. Also makes me very curious about how this first volume will be received. For those of you that have read the book, imagine if it stopped right in the middle, while Aliver was still with his rock-shaped friends in the Far South. Hmm... There's an awful lot left to go...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
More About This Movie Stuff
I do know that it's very hard to get films made, and that we're still in the very early stages of the process with Acacia, but I am pretty excited about this one. What I find most encouraging is not just that the book has been optioned and announced; it's that the players involved so far are top notch.
My first contact was Zach Schiff-Abrams at Michael De Luca Productions. I remember the first time we talked. I was in Tahoe at a friend's house and he was home with his new baby. He said all the right things about the book, of course, but many of those right things showed that he got it with specificity. He wasn't just interested because the Entertainment Weekly review had been so good and studios were looking for another Lord of the Rings. Zach gave me the time and talked things through thoroughly. He's clearly a good businessman, but I read him as sincere also.
Of course, I knew of his boss, Michael De Luca, who has been involved in tons of movies. You can see his IMDb page: HERE. He's helped bring to the screen movies like...
21, A Man Apart, John Q, Blow, Thirteen Days, Magnolia, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, American History X, Pleasantville, Blade (I & II) and Boogie Nights.
His credits also include The Love Guru and Ghost Rider, but so it goes... None of those sound exactly like Acacia? Well, good, that means it's about time for a bit of epic fantasy on his list!
Zach and Michael took the idea to Relativity Media, though, because - as you may have heard - these film things cost a lot of money to make. Relativity is a financing and production company. I think that means they do a lot of things, and that some of what they do crosses the normal barriers for these things. They produce movies, yes, but they also finance them. They have deep pockets and are willing to take on all or some of the financial risks to make films happen. That's good news, and I think it increases the chances Acacia will move forward. They've certainly made a lot of films in a pretty short few years. You can see a list of all of them on their IMDb page, but they've been involved in some capacity with films like...
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Hancock, Wanted, Baby Mama, The Forbidden Kingdom, Charlie Wilson's War, American Gangster, Atonement, 3:10 to Yuma, The Pursuit of Happyness…
They also had a hand in Evan Almighty and Ghost Rider, but so it goes… Coming up they have Mary Queen of Scots, The Tale of Despereaux, Brothers, and many more. No doubt. These folks make movies! They make some good ones. Some not so good ones. Big ones. Smaller ones. Purely commercial ones and Academy Award contenders. It's all of this together that has me excited.
Here's their IMDb page.
Their deal with Universal Pictures.
This actually happened a while back, but before announcing it Relativity wanted to have another piece in place: a writer. Enter Andrew Grant. I can't say a lot about Andrew Grant's films because I don't know that a big credit has reached the cinemas yet for him. I do know that he's sold a script to Tom Cruise, and that he's very well regarded in the business. Zach was interested in him early on. I believe they worked together on something else. Anyway, part of what's cool about Andrew signing on is that he also didn't jump at the chance just because it was a epic fantasy project. He read the book when Zach asked him to. He liked it, thought about it, and... then got excited about making it into a screenplay. (That, at least, is the way I understand it. Correct me if I'm mistaken, Andrew.) That sounds like the way it should be, but perhaps isn't always.
So that's the basic info. There might not be much more news on this front for a while. And it is possible that this will be the highpoint of the entire endeavor. I'm hoping, though, that things will go a lot higher yet...
Wanna get involved? How about putting in your two cents re casting the movie? There's been a thread up about it at my Forum for a while. It's been quiet for a while over there, but maybe now is a good time to take up the subject again. Check it out: HERE.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Acacia: The Film? Yeah, baby. (Well, You Know, Maybe... But, Yeah, Baby!)
OMG. Right, so... Yeah... Am I making sense yet? OK. Um... lemme start again.
Right, so... A year ago I had a Hollywood experience. At last year's ComicCon I hung out with Zach Schiff-Abrams (a movie producer-type with Michael DeLuca Productions). We ate many shrimp, mussels, watched young women dance beside flaming torches, drank lovely booze (am I mixing metaphors?), went up to roof top parties (before other people, you know - jumping the queue, etc.), didn't talk to Sean Young (although we could have), listened to silliness, learned to love silliness, just missed a personal intro to Ridley Scott, did see that guy who directed 300 riding in a... golf cart or something... (memory fails, but geeze his girlfriend was... Wait, I'm off topic) um... (Wait. Note to self: never move to LA.) ... but anyway...
... and we talked about making Acacia into a film. Zach was well into it. He knew the book. He got it. He believed he could be part of making a major film from it. He convinced Relativity Media that this was a good idea. They bought. Yahoo! (Not trademarked.) Fast forward, um... well, twelve months. (During which time I was told NOT to talk about it.)
And here we are. I'll say more about this soon, but for tonight let me point you toward...
The Hollywood Reporter.
And, yikes, news travels fast about such things. I got an email from a German friend asking me about this before this even posted, and now, a few hours in Elbakin has it too, as does movieplayer.it and lots of other film watching sources worldwide. Wow...
Yes, I still know the chances are it will never happen. But still... Yahoo!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Jon Armstrong Exclusive Interview With... Me
Yep, it's my turn on If You're Just Joining Us. Jon has been interviewing all the Campbell Award Nominees. We had a talk a couple weeks back. I quite enjoyed it. We talked for over an hour, I think, but don't worry - the interview is cut down to about 20 minutes. (Ah, one might wonder what tidbits were cut out...)
Thing to remember with Jon is that he doesn't like to ask the standard writerly-type questions. He wants us thinking out of the box a bit, responding to some random promptings like, "I understand you spent four days fasting naked in the Arizona desert... was that by choice?"
Click here to have a listen.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Acacia French Style!
Okay, it's official. I've got the cover for the French version of Acacia: La guerre du Mein. Let me know what you think. Oh, and below the cover there's some other promotional info. I particularly like the last image. I've never had one of those stand up display units for any publication anywhere. Very cool...
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Some French Acacia Material - Glimpse Of The Cover?...
Like I've said before, the author is often the last to get a glimpse of anything. You know, I've still never held a copy of the Russian edition of Pride of Carthage, and that was published a couple years ago. (At least I think it was.) The newest incarnation of this dynamic is that I've just learned that French reviewers/bloggers are receiving arcs (advanced reading copies) of Acacia! Lucky for them, I guess, but no such luck for me. My friend Emmanuel at Elbakin.net clued me in, and he sent me a scan of some of the promotional material that came with it... (Tis' clickable.)
Emmanuel assures me that not many books get arcs in France (especially in fantasy), so it's another good sign my publisher, Le Pré aux Clercs, is behind the book. But will the French readership get behind it as well?
By the way, is that a glimpse of the cover I see in the upper left corner? I guess so, but I also know that they were rethinking whatever their early ideas on the cover was, so I won't swear it's going to look anything like that. We'll see..
Thursday, June 19, 2008
French Acacia Release Date and Acacia Recommended by... Orson Scott Card - in French?
I've just learned that the release date for the French version of Acacia will be October 16th. I'm really looking forward to that. One can never know how a book is going to do at home or abroad, but so far my French publisher has expressed much enthusiasm for the book. As I understand it, Acacia is the fall book on the list, the one that'll be getting the biggest push. Love that. Here's hoping it works. I'd love to be big in France...
Getting that news put me in "killing a few hours in the French Fantasy blogosphere Mode". Over at Ebalkin.net, I came across a search that turned up an interview with Orson Scott Card. I promptly began scanning, and what do you know? I'm in there! Here's the question and the relevant part of the answer:
Avez-vous des livres à recommander à nos lecteurs, en fantasy ou autre ?Card : Je ne sais pas exactement ce qui a été traduit, mais il y a de très bons nouveaux romans : The Name of the Wind de Patrick Rothfuss, Acacia de David Anthony Durham, et Mistborn et Elantris de Brandon Sanderson.
Ah! Translation, translation... Babel Fish to the rescue...
Do you have books to recommend to our readers, in fantasy or other?
Card: I do not know exactly what was translated, but there are very good new novels: The Name off the Wind of Patrick Rothfuss, Acacia of David Anthony Durham, and Mistborn and Elantris of Brandon Sanderson.
So, yes, that's a "recommendation". What do you folks think of that? I'll admit to being pleased that such an amazingly popular author (one whose work I have enjoyed) chose to mention my work, but I can't go too far with that positive response before I start to ruminate on the other side of Mr. Card: all that political stuff.
There are some significant and fundamental things that I disagree with him 100% on. There are occasional moments when he thoroughly surprises me by coming to conclusions that I do agree with. And a lot of the time when reading his essays I'm a bit knotted up by his labyrinthine logic - which I'm sure he doesn't feel is labyrinthine at all.
For a basic introduction this article in School Library Journal isn't bad. If you don't know what his politics are you could check out his posts on World Watch - The Ornery American. He is very public in his views (even on Star Wars), and a Google search about his politics provides both his own words and plenty of responses to them. (Check out this essay by John Kessel, for example.) Oh, and the folks at Elbakin.net just sent me a link the the entire OSC interview in English.
But what should any of that mean to me in reference to his recommending my work? They asked him for fantasy recommendations; he mentioned me. Any thing wrong with that?
Monday, June 09, 2008
The Times - You Mean the London Times?
I know I just posted some UK review news about SFX, but apparently last weekend was a doubleheader... I got an email from my British publicist this morning alerting me to "a rather good review" of Acacia in the Times. It was immediately like, "You mean, THE Times?" The answer, I believe, is "Yes, The Times."
I'm the second half of a review that begins with the latest Arthur C. Clarke novel, Firstborn. Rather heady company. The reviewer says some very nice things, including...
"David Anthony Durham has won acclaim for his historical novels, and brings his knowledge of the past and other cultures to create a rich and compelling world on his first foray into fantasy. His skilful storytelling, depth of characterisation, and an ability to unsettle reader expectations is reminiscent of George R.R. Martin, but his is a distinctive new voice."
Wow. I'm all goose pimply... Here's the whole thing.
Addendum: June 14th. I just realized something that makes me even more chuffed about this review. I was so focused on the London Times side of things that I forgot to pay attention to who the reviewer was. It's Lisa Tuttle, sci-fi/fantasy/horror writer of lots of books! That's cool to me for several reasons. One is that she's an American writer that lives in Scotland. I was once an American writer that lived in Scotland - and I hope to be again eventually. I'd noted that we had that in common a few weeks ago and actually looked her up, making a note to seek her out if we were ever at a convention together. I'd also noted that she was a Campbell Award Winner - something which I don't yet have in common with her but, you know... I think about the pending award thing every now and then. And the third thing - I'd knew that she'd written a book with George RR Martin! The book is Windhaven. It's cool to know that the person comparing me to GRRM actually knows him so well that they've authored a book together.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
The "Earth's Greatest SF and Fantasy Magazine" (that's a quote but I don't doubt it) has given Acacia a rather lovely positive nod. The UK based SFX had nice things to say, including "This could be the arrival of a fantasy classic". But that's not even the best of it...
You can check it out here.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
The Final Winner - After the ReDo!
So you'll have to trust me on this (which is nothing new - you've had to trust me on all of it - I'm worthy of your trust, by the way), but the new, official winner was selected after an evening session of diving. I won't make you wait too long. You should know that Padme went up against the Wookie Tarful and the Gungin General Tarpals.
It was a close competition, but a definitive winner did arise. Said winner is seen in the this photo... Not being nearly as reserved as I expected, Tarful began working the crowd.
It's possible that the time spent down under caused some damage. I'm not sure. But he did get rather wild... Still, Tarfuls pulled it off. That, I believe, means that the Dynastic Queen is our official winner. All hail the Queen! And... least anyone doubt it, this is yet more evidence that good relations with the Wookies it is advantageous to have.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
A Review For German Readers...
Just in case you've found your way here because of the German edition of Acacia: Macht un Verrat, I thought I'd post a link to an online review I came across recently. I know, this is a little risky considering that I don't speak German, but my online translator makes the review sound pretty good. And the reviewer gave me 9 out of 10 stars! Very nice, and each good foreign review is relief. I mean, hey, I can have my own opinion about the English version. I can't always know how it's held up in translation, though...
Here's the review if you Sprechen Sie Deutsch.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Acacia UK Trade Paper Giveaway!
Hi Folks! I know we just wrapped up a giveaway a few days ago, but I think I'll go ahead and do another one...
The UK edition of Acacia: The War with the Mein just arrived! I only got two at this preliminary stage, but if you want one it can be yours. Kinda nice cover. Some heft to it. For US folks there's the cool factor of having the foreign edition, one with squiggly pound signs beside the price, etc. And there's the knowledge that you'll be getting one of the two very first copies of this book that I ever saw. One goes on my bookshelf; perhaps its twin goes on yours. (You can have the one on the right...)
The routine is the same as before. Just go over to the Forum and toss your name in the hat. They're are no downsides, and it's not like there are millions of people entering these things. You've actually got a shot at it! Ask Scott, our last winner. I've actually just mailed his book off this morning. So it's on the way, Scott.