By Kevin Guilfoile
Anyone who is a good friend of a writer probably likes his friend a little bit less around publication day.
This has to be especially true in the Facebook and Twitter age. We nudge our friends about every good review and mention, pester them with invitations for every appearance and signing. They are so loyal with their likes and kind comments, but in the backs of their minds they are all thinking that we have become a little bit of a pain in the ass.
So consider this an apology.
My second novel, THE THOUSAND, hits bookstore shelves tomorrow (Tuesday). I won't bore you with too many specifics, but the story is set in Chicago and involves a young woman with special mental gifts running afoul of the warring descendants of an 2,500-year-old religious cult. There's more here and also here as well as here.
(See what I mean? This linking to reviews is a disease.)
A few months ago I started a contest. Because my novel is called THE THOUSAND and because I am extremely clever, I thought I would try to see if I could get a thousand Twitter followers before my book came out. I didn't try as hard as I should have, frankly (see everything I just said about annoying my friends) but I almost made it, nevertheless. In the end, The Thousand contest became the Nine Hundred, which is almost a better title anyway. It is exactly three times better than The 300, but not half as good as 2012.
Tomorrow I will announce ten winners of the 900/1000 contest. All ten will win a copy of my new novel, as well as an awesome gift pack from Field Notes.
The grand prize winner will receive an additional item of dubious intrinsic value. A few months back I began transcribing a chapter I had deleted from the final manuscript of THE THOUSAND into a Field Notes notebook, and I added some illustrations, as well. Now I am not any kind of artist (even though I can claim with all modesty that I was the illustrator--and co-author--of the #1 bestseller, MY FIRST PRESIDENTIARY: A SCRAPBOOK BY GEORGE W. BUSH--the truth is my co-author and I were not getting paid very much for that gig and didn't want to split the money with another person, so we lied and told the publisher that I knew how to draw). But a subplot of THE THOUSAND involves an outsider artist--an untrained street person whose artistic work has suddenly turned extraordinary--and so the sketches of an untrained doodler like myself almost seem appropriate. And whatever the dubious artistic merits, it is a one-of-a-kind artifact. I spent a lot of time on it and now I'm about to send it off to a stranger without any idea how much they'll appreciate it or what they'll even do with it. Something about that strikes me as cool.
I'll be announcing the winners tomorrow, so you still have a few hours to win. Just follow me and you'll be entered automatically.
If you live in the Chicago area, I hope you'll make it to my launch event at the Borders in La Grange, Illinois, Tuesday, August 24 (that's tomorrow) at 7 PM. I'll be making many more appearances in the coming month, so even if you can't make that event I hope you'll check out my current tour schedule, especially if you live in the Chicago, Milwaukee, Scottsdale, or Houston areas,. More dates and cities will be surely be added in the coming weeks.
Seriously, are you tired of hearing about this damn book yet? I thought so. But brace yourself for my next self-promotional barrage.