Today I’m celebrating some news from Dreamspinner!
Okay, picture this…
Young Will, maybe thirteen years old, wrote a story that he was proud of. Took it to his father, wanting him to look at it. He took the folder from his hands and said, “What are you wasting your time on this shit for? It’s never going to amount to anything.”
Well, today I got news from Dreamspinner Press telling me that my book, Runner, will be one of the nominees for the amazing Lambda Literary Awards! Yes, that’s right. Runner is up for a national award! It doesn’t matter if I win or not, this proves that my work does amount to something.
Naturally I called home and told Mom. She was tickled pink. I asked her to please make sure she tells the old man, let him know that despite his harsh words for a story he never even looked at, his kid’s writing did amount to something. So HA!
Okay, got that off my chest. I never expected anything like this at all. When I got the mail, I had to write to Lynn West from Dreamspinner to ask her if she was teasing me. She assures me she’s not.
So Matt and Charlie, you’ve hit the big time. Thank you for letting me come along for the ride.
All right, that said, I’ve got people who I owe everything to. Eden Winters, K.C. Wells, Becky Condit, Cate Ashwood. God, the list is never-ending. Most of all, though, I’d like to thank those people who actually read and enjoy my stuff. (Or even if you didn’t enjoy it, but gave me a chance.) With those thoughts in mind, I’m going to leave you with an excerpt from Runner.
“I know this is going to be a little weird, but I need to place another order.”
He didn’t say anything for a moment. “Was something wrong with what we sent you? If something didn’t come out right, you tell me, and we’ll make sure to fix it.”
“No, everything came perfectly, as always.” My stomach tightened. “I’ve got someone staying with me for a while, and I’m going to need extra things.”
“Oh, that’s good,” Mr. Gianetti said. “I worry about you, out there alone. The missus says you need someone. Is he a good man? Does he treat you right? If he doesn’t, you tell me. The boys will have a word with him.”
Mr. Gianetti always made me laugh. He always talked to me with a bad, overemphasized accent, like he was a mafia don or something. When I was a kid, he’d do it and waggle his bushy gray eyebrows.
“No, he’s a good man,” I promised. “So no need to rile the boys right now. Maybe later.”
His chuckle was warm and brought back good memories. “What do you need, Matty?”
“I think I’m going to need to reorder what I got last time.“ I fretted, because I didn’t know how much Charlie ate and wasn’t sure if I’d have enough. “Maybe I should double it.”
Mr. Gianetti clucked his tongue. “You’ll never go through that much food in three months,” he told me. “Best to keep your order light and reorder if you need more.”
That idea wouldn’t work. It took me long enough to deal with getting new things in the house. Plus, if the weather did turn bad, the likelihood of someone reaching us dropped drastically. “I think I need to, sir. If we get snowstorms, it might not be possible to deliver here.”
“We have snowmobiles. I promise, one way or another, we’d get to you, Matty.”
And he probably would. The man would move heaven and earth to do something for his customers, including procuring special items for me. It’s how he kept growing his business in such a small town. Like the hospital, people came from the surrounding counties because of Mr. Gianetti’s willingness to help them. In the town, Mr. Gianetti was the closest thing they had to a true rock star. But the thought of someone coming up this way reminded me of the man sitting on my porch and the accident he’d had.
“I appreciate it, sir, but I think I’d be more comfortable knowing I had it on hand.”
Mr. Gianetti sighed. “Okay, if that’s how you want to handle it. I hope you have enough space for everything.”
Space was one thing I had plenty of. My pantry was huge and would barely be half full after the canning I was doing. There were two large chest freezers where my fish and any other game I took got stored. The house would have been large enough to house a family of three easily, so there was plenty of room.
“I do,” I assured him. “I know this is short notice, so if it takes longer to—”
“The order will be there in two weeks, just like I promised. Sometimes you need to have a little faith, Matty.”
That was something normally in short supply around here. “I’ll try, sir.”
“Now, is there anything else you need?”
“Um… not that I can think of.”
“What about… you know, protection?”
I laughed. “My brother is sheriff. I think I should be okay on that front.”
Mr. Gianetti coughed. “I meant more… personal protection. Something to keep you safe in case….”
Oh. Shit. “Oh, God no.” I could feel fire rising in my face at the thought.
“You have to be safe, Matty. You’re my favorite customer. I need you around.”
“There won’t be any of… that,” I assured him.
He made a hmm sound, then said, “I’ll pack it. If you use it, you can thank me later.”
I just knew those wild eyebrows of his were waggling.”
I hope the rest of you have a day as awesome as I’m having!