The mug didn't break on my hand. Rather, the mug broke its fall on my hand and then physically shattered after I yelped in pain and let the mug hit the floor. Bruising and swelling soon followed, and an ironic mishap with our freezer meant I had no ice or ice packs in the house.
I know what you're thinking--and it's not "Ew." It's: "Thank goodness that wasn't her signing hand." Thank goodness indeed. Because look what I had waiting for me at Powells:
Whoa! Quite a surprise for me to see nearly 200 people there. Since we weren't near a new release (aside from the redesigned Succubus Blues), I hadn't expected such a turnout and wasn't even ready with a reading. Perhaps if I'd seen Powells' awesome advertising, I would have come better prepared. I think this might be my favorite bookstore sign ever (along with the "discreetly modified" one from when a delayed flight made me late in Delaware).
I've said this before, but every region I sign in has its own vibe, and the Pacific Northwest is no exception. Seattle and Portland, being in my home turf, have a special place in my heart, and everyone who came out was really great.
There were a lot of familiar faces that I've seen from other NW signings, like Yvette and the Tri-City Girls (who should form a band), Lea, Morgaine, my near-doppelganger Samantha Mead, and many more. Tons of new faces were there too, some of whom had traveled from far off lands like Australia and New Zealand, and another who had worked the signing into a birthday trip. Here are some ladies from Utah, who came specially to Portland for the signing and brought me a shot glass with Salt Lake City's initials on it: SL,UT. (And if I'm not mistaken, there's an Alchemist gold "tattoo" on the left there).
To make it more of an extravaganza, Arcane Vault donated all sorts of prizes that the store held drawings for, like these molnija shirts.
One of which I marred forever...
The Portland crowd also represented with an astonishing amount of their own homemade T-shirts, which I have many more pictures of than I can post. Naturally, the classics were in attendance:
And every other variation available. The one on the right here says, "True love never dies...it just turns Strigoi."
When the real prizes ran out, Powells decided to also draw for the box the shirts had arrived in. Here's the "lucky" winner, who was sad to learn the coffee stain on the box wasn't mine. I did it autograph it, though.
In one of the more bizarre and funny things I've ever seen, someone came in with a copy of Frostbite that had...a bite taken out of it. Jeannie, its owner, claims to have no knowledge of how it happened. Uh-huh. :) Trivia to make you book collectors weep: it's a first printing.
Along with the readers who came and waited so patiently for 3 hours, the bookstore staff was really key in making this a great time. People don't often think about the logistics of running a large signing, but a good or bad staff makes all the difference. The Beaverton Powells staff is always exceptional, and it's so nice as an author to know I can walk in and have no fears about what's to come. So, thank you to Peter, Miles, and everyone else.
The staff even gifted me with this coffee mug, bringing an ironic end to the day that started out with a mug-induced injury.
As an update about my hand, it hurt like hell yesterday, but today it mostly just looks bad and feels okay (unless I purposely slam it against something). I can't wait to see what the girls in hand therapy will have to say about this tomorrow. They're treating my right hand for repetitive stress and probably not expecting to see my left come in for wacky mishaps!
Anyway, thank you again to everyone who came out last night. Along with Arcane Vault's graciously donated swag, I had gifts flowing in my direction as well. Many thanks to Tim, Irene, Melissa, Marne, Kirsten, Stefanie, Jessica, Andrea, and anyone I'm forgetting. You're all very sweet. Oh, random note: someone's cell phone was taking blurry pictures, so we took a shot with my camera. Only, I don't remember who it is since, in addition to the pictures above, I have 50 or so more shots from last night. So, drop me a line if you remember who you are.
This wraps up book signings for me for a while, meaning it's time to get back to book writing. I have two first drafts to finish by December, and for the sake of my editors who might read this, I won't say how far along I am, just that it's work time. For the rest of you: remember, I'm always working on books nearly a year ahead of when they come out. So breathe easy--I'm not talking about Iron Crowned and Last Sacrifice. Those are about to go into production and are safely locked into their scheduled release dates. :)