Oh my gosh, it's full of nerds (an interview with the Nerdy Book Club)

First of all, we all need to celebrate the fact that there is a thing called the Nerdy Book Club. The characters in Revenge of the Star Survivors would definitely be charter members of the Festus Middle School Chapter. 

Second, we need to celebrate author Kate Hannigan, who alerted me to the existence of the Nerdy Book Club. Kate – whom I knew in her previous life as a journalist – is the award-winning author of The Detective's Assistant, a wonderful book marred only by a complete absence of lasers and spaceships, but the heroine is so cool and smart that you won't really mind. 

And finally, we need to thank Kate for interviewing me for the Nerdy Book Club. Unlike Groucho Marx, I am happy to belong to a club that would have me as a member. This one, at least. 

 

 

 

Michael Merschel
Contact! Intelligent life form responds to signal!

One of the hard things about writing a book is that you have to spend a lot of time alone, wondering whether the story you are dreaming up will ever be read by anybody and, if so, whether they will like it at all. 

One of the nice things I about writing a book is that, after people start reading it, some of them let you know what they think. And sometimes, they are really nice about it.  

(Credit: Mei-chun Jau) 

(Credit: Mei-chun Jau) 

That's a note from my new friend Trinidad. I had worked with his mom a few years ago, but I'd never actually met him. So when she sent me this photo of his letter, I was totally blown away. 

We decided we had to get together. So he stopped by to see me at the building where I work as a journalist. 

(Credit: Mei-chun Jau) 

(Credit: Mei-chun Jau) 

It turns out he is not only a generous critic, he is a sharp-eyed reader as well: He noticed something about the cover that I had not. Which is -- the little astronaut there is wearing actual Moon Boots! 

 

Trinidad and I had a good conversation, wherein we discussed what Moon Boots were -- they apparently have not been worn hereabouts recently -- and other important subjects. 

I don't know whether I will be able to have lunch with every person who writes a nice note about my book -- at the current pace, it would not be a whole lot of lunches, but things could change, you know. But anyone reading this should know that if you've ever wondered whether the people who write your books actually care about what you think, the answer is: Yes. And they appreciate hearing from you.  And they are really happy to hear that you liked what you read. Thanks, Trinidad!
 

(Credit: Mei-chun Jau) 

(Credit: Mei-chun Jau) 

Michael Merschel
A salute to friends of "Star Survivors"

Here is a thing you learn when you write a book: People are really nice. 

(c) Amy Gutierrez

(c) Amy Gutierrez

For example, that most-excellent photo was taken by my friend Amy Guiterrez. She was one of the dozens of extremely kindhearted people who showed up to the first-ever public event for Revenge of the Star Survivors. 
 

Those people not only showed up, they actually bought the book. Sometimes multiple copies. And to my face, they said nice things. 

How did I reward them? Well, I made them listen to me talk for a long time. And then I made them look like dorks in public. Here's the view from where I stood: 

Another thing you learn when you write a book is that when you appear before a crowd of people and tell them to, say, re-enact a moment from the story and have them do a Star Survivors salute -- touch two fingers to your heart and then, thumb extended, hold your right hand up and point toward the stars  -- they will actually do it. 

I think this is awesome. I think they are awesome. Thanks, everyone! I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me. 

Ready to light this candle

I am not actually lighting any candles today. Maybe I should, out of gratitude. A book launch is a lot like a rocket launch, maybe: Everyone sees the guy sitting on top in the funny suit, but it took a whole bunch of hard-working, smart and friendly people to get him there.

Anyhow, here's a series of internet thingees that convey today's mood. (Also, if you are reading this on Friday, and you live in Dallas, come on by the book launch at Barnes & Noble on Northwest Highway at 7 p.m.) 

 

Michael Merschel