I had my sense of shame surgically removed in my youth, so I have no fear of getting a little egg on my face. Accordingly, I want to let you in on a little wager I made and enlist your help, if you’re willing.
As you know my next Forgotten Realms novel, The Godborn, releases in under a month, on October 1st. See the counter over there to the right? You already knew this though, yes? YES? DEAR GOD, TELL ME YOU ALREADY KNEW THIS?
Anyway, a few weeks ago, after sniffing glue, eating handfuls of paste, and downing an entire six pack of Mello Yello citrus soda, I said to my editor:
“Editor, how are we looking with the laydown for The Godborn? Think we can hit the NY Times List?”
Replied he: “We look good and the book’s going to do well, but I don’t think it will hit the List.”
Said I, spattering the phone with Mello Yello and rage: “You, sir, are a rogue!”
Said he: “No, no, it’s going to do well. It’s just that the competition is too tough that time of year. And–”
Said I: “BLASPHEMER! Your father was a hamster and your mother smelled of elderberries!”
Said he: “Dafuq? Oh, I get it. Monty Python. But–”
Said I: “SILENCE, INFIDEL! I find your lack of faith…disturbing.”
Him: “Vader now? Really?”
Me, after failing at a long distance Force Choke: “Yes, REALLY. And further: I, the Paulman, think it WILL hit at least the expanded list (out to #25) and feel so strongly about this that I will wager a fine bottle of scotch. Put your whiskey on the table, sir, lest you suffer the wrath of the Paulman!”
Said he: “Are you speaking of yourself in the third person?”
Said I: “DO NOT QUESTION THE WAYS OF THE PAULMAN, FOOLISH MORTAL! ANSWER NOW! DO YOU ACCEPT MY WAGER?”
Him: “Uh, sure. You’re on. And I hope I lose this bet.”
Said me: “WHAT? Oh. Yes…well…ahem…all right then.”
Since then I have eyeballed the List each week and yea, verily, the competition is indeed stiff. Yet I persevere in my belief that Riven will back stab his way onto the List.
And this, gentle readers, is where you can help (pausing to note that my sales numbers and whether the book hits the bestseller list is entirely my issue, so feel free to ignore this). How can you help? This way — If you plan to buy the book, please either pre-order it or buy it the week of the release, preferably that Tuesday. And that’s it!
I’ve been on the List a few times, so I’m pretty certain that the laydown for the book is good enough to hit it (the laydown is one of the factors the Times considers, as I understand things), but it’s going to need to move a lot of copies that first week to actually climb into the top 25.
My taste buds, which enjoy a fine single malt, thank you in advance.