This week has been a very encouraging and exciting one for Ol' Ron, career-wise.
There has been alot of cool stuff happening. Two stories accepted for various anthologies. A new story out in the recently-released Shivers 5 and another story to appear in print next week. The Sick Stuff placing #3 on the Horror Mall Pre-Order Best Seller list and TSS being carried by yet another big book distributor. A highly-respected small press publisher calling to ask me to submit work for three seperate projects.
And then there's the book I now hold in my hand.
I knew it was coming. The publisher emailed me and told me they were sending it to my doorstep. And that's where I found it last night, left by my friendly UPS driver. I'd been out and about all day; first to Nashville to talk to an eye surgeon (more about that in a blog later) and then to get my taxes done. When we pulled into the driveway around eight o'clock and the headlights splashed across the side porch and that brown box leaning against the door, Joyce and the kids started screaming excitedly. I was more restrained than they were... on the outside that was. On the inside, my heart was pounding wildly and I felt a little lighthead, almost like I was going to pass out. You see, I've been waiting for this particular book for a long, long time. It has been a dream of mine since way back yonder... during my first career in horror writing.
I look at it now, hold it in my hands, even breathe in that delicious book smell, and still it's hard to believe that it's finally here. It's the first copy printed -- a test copy sent to the publisher by the printer for final approval -- but it is, in every way, the book that the reading public will soon be holding in their own hands. It's a fine piece of work, beautiful in design, inside and out. The dust jacket rendered by one of the genre's leading artists, the book itself with its Smyth-sewn binding, the embossed true cover... all are first rate. Oh, I've had work appear in hardcover before, but only as one of many contributors in several anthologies back in the early 90's. This one is different. It has my name and my name alone on it. On the cover, the spine, the title page, in the righthand margin of each page. Every sentence and word, every comma, period, and semi-colon are distinctly Ron Kelly. Powerful stuff, seeing your name on a book like that. Both humbling and ego-stoking at the same time. A nice, comfortable balance, if you ask me.
And it's a big 'un, too. A hoss of a book with a whopping 424 pages. You could flatten someone's skull with the thing, it's so hefty. But it's what is inside that truly counts... to myself and, hopefully, to my fans, old and new.
Lordy Mercy! I can't believe it's really here in the flesh... so to speak. Or did I say that already?
Which book am I talking about? I've had several in production for quite a while. Well now, I ain't gonna tell you that. It's a surprise. You'll find out its identity within the next two weeks when the publisher makes the official announcement. Until then, I'll cradle this beautiful hardcover tome like a father holding his baby... which, in a way, it truly is.
A creepy, horrifying baby with a nasty bite to it... but my baby just the same.