Welcome to Smugglivus 2009!
Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2009, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2010.
Today, on our first official day of Smugglivus 2009, we kickoff the festivities with our first guest, Joel Sutherland.
Who: Joel Sutherland, author of speculative fiction and horror. Joel was the very first author to contact us with a review query when we started the blog back in 2008 (the book was the wonderful horror anthology he co-edited, Fried! Fast Food, Slow Deaths) and one of the very first authors we ever had the pleasure of interviewing. Last year, we thought it was only fitting to have Joel open Smugglivus 2008 – and now it’s become something of a tradition!
Recent Work: Frozen Blood (an awesome psychological horror novel that was nominated for a Stoker – Superior Achievement in a First Novel – this year). Reviewed here by Thea.
Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for Joel!
This is easily my favourite time of year.
First, I’m a Christmas junkie. The magic of the season never fails to make me feel like a 3-year-old again. Of course, my wife likes to remind me throughout the year that I always act like a 3-year-old, but I like to think that I act like a very mature 3-year-old.
Second, my birthday is December 1—just enough time before the 25th that I was never shortchanged when it came to receiving gifts or having parties. I know that makes me sound a tad greedy and self-centred, but ‘tis the season.
Third, this is the time of year when most of the biggest movies and novels are released, and being a serious ‘phile’ of the cinema and ‘aholic’ of books, I’m as happy as a pig in you-know-what every time December rolls around.
But there’s a fourth reason to look forward to December now: Smugglivus. Last year, when I was asked to write a piece to kick off the first ever Smugglivus, I had no idea that it would become as big a deal as it has, or that it would be an annual tradition as pervasive as decorating a tree, leaving milk and cookies out for the Big Guy In Red, or watching It’s a Wonderful Life twenty-five times in twenty-five days. I know I’m not alone in my child-like joy when I first heard Ana and Thea plan on running Smugglivus every year for, well, as long as they’re smuggling books, I suppose. And knowing the two of them, I have no doubt that will be a very long time indeed. So remember, as you’re giving thanks this year for family and friends, food, presents, and either Edward’s well-coifed hair or Jacob’s chiseled abs (depending on which team you’re on), don’t forget to give thanks for The Book Smugglers, as well.
There’s a lot for me to give thanks for this year. My wife and I moved into our first house together and are now expecting our first child. (I can’t believe I resisted the urge to end that sentence with an exclamation point or two or three!!!) I got a promotion at work. And on the literary front, my first novel, Frozen Blood, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and Scholastic purchased my proposal for a children’s non-fiction book (Become a Writing Wizard: Fun and Games for Creative Kids, coming out in August, 2010—watch for it!). My wife and I traveled in June to sunny Los Angeles (it was colder than Toronto) for the Bram Stoker Award banquet, and although I didn’t win, the weekend was packed with incredible highlights. Among the people I met were Richard Matheson (author of I Am Legend, he sat behind me at the awards dinner), Heather Graham (author of The Death Dealer, a quote from her appears on the cover of Frozen Blood), and Duke Henry the Red (a.k.a. actor Richard Grove, who should need no other introduction other than to say he played Duke Henry the Red in Army of Darkness).
High on that list of exciting people to meet was Thea, who came to the kickoff signing at Dark Delicacies Bookstore in Burbank. What a cool cat that Thea is, driving all the way to meet me (I learned that weekend that wherever you want to go in L.A., it’s a long way away) and to buy a copy of my book—even though she had already read an electronic version for review! If only all reviewers were so generous…
Karma is a wonderful thing, and Thea ended up winning a prize in a contest I ran this past summer for anyone who purchased/reviewed Frozen Blood. Her prize was to have her name appear in my next published novel (most likely a children’s horror book—with any luck I’ll have more info on that for next year’s Smugglivus!) as either a hero or a villain. I’m sure all you fellow Book Smugglers fanatics out there can guess which option she chose.
Guest blogger aside: Whenever I’m in your neck of the woods, Ana, we’ve got to meet for a photo op. And then I’ll be able to report on your cool cattitude to the blogosphere, too! End of aside.
When asked to be the first guest author for Smugglivus again this year, after all the hooting and the hollering and the gushing and the blushing (when complimented, my face takes on a nice shade of tomato), I decided that it was time for another contest. One that’s open to everyone and anyone who loves The Book Smugglers as much as I do.
It’s real simple: post a comment to this blog entry, and three winners will be selected at random by Thea and Ana. I’ll email each winner a free e-book version of Frozen Blood, and I’ll even create characters for all three—yes, all three—to appear in my next novel along with Thea. The choice to be a good guy or a baddie is yours (insert gentlemanly guffaw or evil laughter here; again, your choice).
I’d like to close as I did last year (it doesn’t count as plagiarism if you plagiarize from yourself, does it?):
From this Bosmad* to you, Merry Smugglivus to all, and to all a dark and stormy night!
*Dictionary definition of ‘Bosmad’:
-noun, plural -s
1. a Book Smuggler Addict.
2. esp. a completely obsessed, sad, sick addict when it comes to books, who loves a blog written by two self-described completely obsessed, sad, sick addicts when it comes to books.
3. often seen wearing upper torso apparel emblazoned with the numeric code ‘4 8 15 16 23 42’, or some other geektastic insignia.
2008-9; prob. var. of bahsmied, novelomaniac, from Middle Low German.
Thank you, Joel!
All right folks, you heard the man! Joel is graciously providing THREE lucky readers with an e-copy of his Stoker Nominated (and really damn good) horror novel, Frozen Blood, PLUS each winner will become a character (either good or evil, based on your preference) in Joel’s upcoming book. The contest is open to EVERYONE and will run until Saturday, December 5 at 11:59pm (PST). To enter, simply leave a comment here. ONE entry per person, please! Duplicate and/or multiple entries will be disqualified. Good Luck!