Monster Hunter Nation

For your Christmas Shopping on Amazon, think of it as a Tip Jar

I was going to do another beginning of the week political blog post, but I avoided the internet all weekend. I even took Facebook off of my phone. I’d reached my sanity quota for how much preening and virtue signalling I could handle for one week.

So today’s blog post is about one of the ways I GET PAID. I thought of this because I was doing Christmas shopping online last night.

See all of those book links over on the right? If you click on them they take you to one of my books on Amazon. The cool part is because I’ve got an Amazon Affiliates advertising account, I get a percentage of that sale for the referral.

(Or click this image: )- Jack

The really cool part is that if you enter Amazon through any of those links, even if you don’t buy the item you clicked on, anything else you buy I get a percentage of that sale for the referral. So if you click on Monster Hunter but you end up buying a pair of cowboy boots while you are there, I just got like 6% of that purchase.

It doesn’t cost you anything extra. The prices are the same. All Amazon cares about is how you got there, so if you entered through that portal, that person advertising it gets paid.

It is pretty nifty.

So basically, if you are planning on doing any shopping, Christmas or otherwise, on Amazon, if you enter through one of my links, I get paid. So think of it as a tip jar for blogging.

I can see a big list of what gets purchased, but I can’t see who purchases what, and I don’t see any of the purchaser’s information.

I use this to pay for things like the MHN upgrade to a dedicated server and hosting (note, no more crashing!) but honestly most of the time the Amazon money is applied toward the purchase of ammunition and miniatures. :)

So if you do that, thanks. It is appreciated.

I don’t know what the rules are like now to get set up with an Amazon Affiliates program, but you need to have a website that gets a lot of traffic, and you need to show them your stats. I don’t know what the cut off is. According to the Alexa ratings somehow my blog is up in the top 50k of all the websites in America (and considering there has to be like 40,000 porn sites ahead of me, that’s pretty good!) so I get a pretty decent amount of traffic. But if you’ve got a blog that gets some traffic, it is really worth looking in to.

Fallout 4, Initial Thoughts

And when I say “initial” I mean like 30 hours of game play. I don’t really review video games on my blog. But I can’t talk about politics right now because everything is too incredibly stupid, and I’ve banned myself from social media for a few days. So video games it is.

Before I start, I’m a console guy. Yes, PC Master Race, spare me from your recruiting drives. To me, being on a computer feels like work. Computers are for typing bestselling novels and insulting people on the internet. Consoles are dumb and easy. (hell, half the time I play while riding the exercise bike) And besides, I know enough of you in real life, and all I ever hear is you bitching about how you need to buy a new graphics card every other week. So inferior console peasantry it is!

Okay, I like Fallout 4. I’m having a lot of fun with it. That said, it has some really wonky stupid crap in it, so when I point these things out it is in hope of a patch, and not out of spite. Overall I love you Fallout, but sometimes you make this relationship more difficult than it needs to be.

The wandering around, shooting super mutants in the face part? Great.

I’ve played a ton of missions, and I probably haven’t even scratched the surface. I’m level 25 and have like 20 missions pending. This is a big game.

The shooting (actual aimed fire, not VATS) is way better than Fallout 3. I can actually kill things that way now.

The atmosphere is great. Unlike many post apocalyptic things, Fallout doesn’t take itself too seriously. So everything has that retro cool, 50s but blown up vibe.

It gets really buggy at times, but better than the last one. This engine is dated, and it shows. Sometimes you kill stuff and it flies up into the air and spins around for a while. Other times a body will get stuck in the wall and vibrate forever. I’ve had a few crashes, freezes, and once I had to unplug and replug in the Xbox to get it to launch. But still better than the last one, and less buggy than Skyrim.

I had to turn on subtitles, because the music has a tendency to get annoyingly loud when people are trying to tell you important things. Then I learned that the subtitles only show up about half the time. So I turned the music way down and the voice volume way up, and even then I miss lots of things my companions are telling me. Damn it, Piper. Speak up. My character has been in like 400 gun fights without hearing protection, so maybe this is just added realism. :)

The Silver Shroud missions are great. They’re better if you stay in ridiculous Shroud character the whole time too.

Was it necessary for me to shoot Kellog with a Fat Boy? No. Not at all. But did it make me smile? Yes. And that’s where Bethesda games shine.

I’ve heard people talk about lack of choices in the dialog options, but it hasn’t bugged me. But then again, I’m a shooter, not a talker. My charisma was two until I realized I needed that Local Leader perk, so I could share my stupid workshop stuff between settlements rather than carrying 500 gears everywhere.

They added an extensive crafting and settlement building bit. Since I’ve been playing a ton of Minuteman missions, I’ve been doing a lot of that. I’m enjoying it, because there’s this Minecraft element of gathering materials and making things. But it is also a source of petty annoyances.

Okay, you gather junk, and then you can break the junk down into parts, which you can then use to craft other helpful things. Great. Except as far as I can tell, there is no way to break the stuff down inside a menu. You can break down weapons and armor inside an armor or weapon station menu, but not junk at the workshop. So instead go into the workshop, and pick up all the stuff. Then I drop–one by one because there isn’t a drop all option–all the crap on the ground. Then I go into the workshop crafting mode. Then I break down each individual item (after I find the tiny thing on the ground). Then I can build stuff.

EDIT: Just learned in the comments that if you store Junk in the workshop, it will automatically break it down if you try to build something that needs those specific components. Awesome. Thanks, guys! I should have posted this a couple of days ago and it would have saved me some time.

Not that I can ever build the super mandatory things I absolutely need, because apparently there is no oil anywhere. Damn it. Every settlement needs turrets. Turrets need 2 oil. Crystal is the other annoying thing that I never have because you need it to build radio towers to attract settlers.

Settlers are great, except they’re idiots. So I build them a house. Build them a bed. Put automated robot turrets on top to protect them. And then even plant crops for them. Is that enough? Oh no… These settlers are as helpless as a Mizzou college student. You have to hold their hand, and tell them to pick crops. Patriarchy!

Okay, I know that this is 2015 on the fancy new advanced gaming console, but I seem to recall playing building games in the mid 1990s where settlers would automatically go, oh look, there is food, perhaps I should gather it. Not these dopes. They’re all like, I have moved into this nice settlement you built for me and then do nothing but sit on the couch until otherwise directed. Because you’re busy fighting giant scorpions, so surely you know that there is a new arrival just sort of hanging out at your 15th settlement you have no reason to visit.

And it is fun when you get a warning message that Settlement X is UNDER ATTACK! and you rush there. To find them being menaced by a two rad roaches. You’ve got to understand. In this world, rad roaches are food. Bang. Bang. I fast traveled across all of Massachusetts for this? You ungrateful bastards.

But at another time you arrive to find one of your farmers being dog piled by ten ghouls, and you save their life, and then you feel all awesome and it is worth it.

Luckily it looks like if you aren’t into the building game stuff, you can just skip over the creating settlement missions and stick to shooting super mutants in the face. I kind of like that grindy buildy stuff, so I seek those out. Wow… Putting one type of game play as an option rather than absolutely mandatory for the main plot line? Well game companies sure could learn something from that BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT. That’s right, Batman, I’m looking at you, and your super amazing game that I gave up on and rage quit because of your stupid mandatory Batmobile levels.

Up next, my son is bugging me to download Star Wars Battlefront. I think I’m going to get that.

I used to buy every single new Call of Duty as soon as it came out. But that last one sucked so much, with its stupid bouncy bouncy jump jet turbo leg bullshit that rendered all multiplayer into one giant twitch reaction jerk-fest that I think I’m done with them. Unless I hear it is amazing, I’m not going to bother.

And Bioware? I’m sorry. You are dead to me. I got bored and didn’t finish Mass Effect 3. I thought Dragon Age 2 was one of the stupidest games I’ve ever played. And Dragon Age 3 held my attention for about 30 hours, and then I wandered off and never bothered to come back.

Rockstar? Love them. They are a bunch of irreverent bastards, and I can just imagine that they sit around trying to think of new ways to offend people. I played the hell out of all the GTA games. My biggest hindrance there is that I can’t play them in front of my kids.

But the game that I’ve been playing nonstop for two years now? Good old, free to play World of Tanks. :D That is the one that I just keep coming back to. I don’t know what it is about WoT, but it just never gets old.

Thoughts on Paris

I’ve not blogged much since getting back from tour. I’m still playing catch up. There has been a ton of things to comment on, so in brief:

Paris. Coming soon to a location near you. Mumbai, Beslan, and a thousand others, we’ve seen this before, and we’ll see it again.

On the personal, local level, this is another example of why you should carry a gun. No, we don’t expect every permit holder to be a Navy SEAL, just a speed bump. The best way to stop a mass shooter is an immediate violent response. At best, you drop them before they can hurt too many people. At worst, congratulations you were a distraction, but even distractions can save lives or derail plans.

Running is great. I’ll never fault somebody who chooses to run or hide when bad things happen. Every one of us has a different level of training, knowledge, and commitment, and what is the right answer for you, isn’t the right answer for your grandma. If you are the kind of person to get involved, you need to have a clue. However, since the only constant of gunfights is that they suck for somebody, you can do everything right and still die. On the bright side you at least bought everybody else some time.

For the pacifistic anti-gun dumb asses on the internet who always crop up in the aftermath of any violent event, bitching about imaginary crossfires, or how fighting back would just make things worse. Just shut up already. You’re children, with a child’s grasp of the subject. When people are being mass butchered, barring tossing hand grenades at the bad guy, it is pretty damned hard to make it worse.

Then I see the idiots claiming that they’re only worried about the quality of the regular people with guns… Liars. But okay, thought experiment time. Say there was a proposed law for a federal “super permit”, where if a regular person could pass a rigorous background check and, oh say, the same firearms qualification as an FBI agent, that individual would then be allowed to carry a gun anywhere in the fifty states a federal agent could, and ignore things like idiotic gun free zones, or could carry a gun in states where concealed carry is banned.

This doesn’t replace state laws. Heck, make the federal super permit really hard to get. Have it require a really high level of proficiency, a big knowledge of use of force laws, and one hell of a tough qualification. Make the applicant foot the bill for everything. And you know what? I bet you within a week we could still provide a million of my people as defense in depth, worst case scenario interrupters, spread all over America, for when bad things happen.

Would these people so worried about our level of training be in favor of this? Of course they wouldn’t. They’d find some other reason to bleat. And murderous assholes will continue to target disarmed populations.  Besides, this is just wishful thinking, because any federal program which would empower the general populace would be designed to suck and fail from the get go. Ask any pilot who went through the armed pilot training post 9-11 how easy the feds made that simple,obvious, no brainer program.

Other than learning to shoot, learn first aid. The main things to remember about gunshot wounds is direct pressure. For most of them there’s not much else you can do. Learn how to apply a tourniquet.

That’s all personal stuff that could actually help. You want to argue about putting a French flag over your profile pic, I don’t care if you do or not. Whatever makes you feel better. I’ve seen some people saying that if you want to actually make a difference you need to join the military. That’s great, but missing the point. We don’t have a lack of warriors problem, we have a lack of leadership problem.

Now, big picture. Militant Islamist Wahhibi douchebags want to kill you. Period. Don’t make excuses for them. Don’t try to explain them away. They literally want you to submit or die. This isn’t rocket science. Just ask them. They’ll tell you.

In our current stupid society, you can’t talk about this topic without being accused of racism. That’s just idiotic, since a religious philosophy isn’t a race. But these same idiots like to bitch about Christians being awful and look under every rock for an imagined slight to rail against. Only Christians aren’t blowing people up. But libs love to throw out the racism card to automatically shut down all dissent, because most cons are nice people, who don’t like being accused of being vile, repugnant things. So they shut up.

Like if you say, hey, maybe taking in tens of thousands of completely unvetted refugees from a war torn third world nation that is a hotbed of the philosophy that wants to saw our heads off is a bad idea… They scream racist.

For the people saying the refugees are vetted… How? The Syrian Bureau of Criminal Identification?  I’ve seen some people quoting the plaque from the Statue of Liberty. Really? Did you miss the point of what Ellis Island was for?

Do I feel bad for the actual refugees? Yep. The decent people are running from the same scumbags we’re worried about. However, that doesn’t mean the western world has to commit suicide in order to save everybody. It sucks. There’s evil in the world. Not having it on your doorstep makes it easier to treat it elsewhere. When you’ve got a disease you quarantine it. You don’t purposefully spread it everywhere. We’re in the position to help other countries only because ours isn’t currently on fire.

Some of you are under the mistaken impression that there is a good answer.

Another thing that I keep seeing are two opposing, equally idiotic schools of thought. The immediate knee jerk reaction of liberals flipping out about potential retaliatory hate crimes that almost never happen, but will eventually. Because push someone far enough, and they will inevitably lose their shit. Europeans are good at that.

And the other is the they’re all guilty, kill 1/6th of the world’s population, let God sort them out rage posters. Not getting into morality at all, that’s dumb just from a logistical and target selection stand point. That’s just good business. You’ve got a particular problem, focus on that specific rather than the overwhelming whole. Of course we aren’t fighting all Muslims. If we were fighting a billion people, you would know it. However, we are fighting millions. This isn’t some tiny, violent splinter group. This is a fairly wide spread, violent, jihadist, idealized imaginary history, philosophical movement, and they are motivated and think they can win.

The problem is that this murderous faction has taken over large swaths of everything, all over the world, and it has been going on for a long time. I’m not talking physically taking over either, but they’re in the mosques, in the leadership, and in the money. Yes, there are plenty of moderate Muslims who fight these people. That’s why the nut jobs spend most of their energy blowing up people who are supposedly of the same religion. There are bombings and shootings daily across the third world that barely make a blip in our media because they’re business as usual.

For the vast majority of the moderates however, what do we expect them to do? You can ally with the west, where you can fight against the death cultists, but the minute a progressive gets elected, you are going to get sold out and left to die. So why ally with us? Because the death cultists aren’t going anywhere. Those fuckers are committed.

Look at what happened to Iraq and Afghanistan. Why would any leader side with us now? America will come in, kick ass with the greatest fighting force ever… Oh, wait. MSNBC is upset. Buh bye. We’re out. Everybody who helped us get massacred. A year later, if they’re lucky they might get a hashtag on twitter, because that’s how America shows it cares.

Boko Haram, ISIS, and Hamas are all different groups, but they all share that idealistic, death cult, militant, asshole philosophy.

Barack Obama has two signature achievements. No seriously, check google. That’s all they can come up with.  Two. Obamacare and pulling out of Iraq. Obamacare is an expensive train wreck, that didn’t solve the problems it was supposed to, which raised everybody else’s costs, and now for the handful of the population it did help, all of the exchanges are imploding like everybody who can do math said they would. Brilliant. But back to Muslim extremists, we pulled out of Iraq, and Daesh rolled right in. Yay.

Meanwhile, the rest of the middle east fell apart. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry showed us the brilliance we’ve come to expect from democrat presidential candidates and did… shit. I can’t tell. Our administration totally sucked it up to the point that the western world was literally cheering Putin getting involved. How badly do you have to fuck up that your allies are happy the Russians moved in instead?

Mostly it looks like our State Department yelled at the one little country in the region who isn’t trying to blow us up, for being too mean to the philosophical allies of the people trying to blow us up, or for trying to stop the biggest country that wants to blow them up from getting a nuke, even though they get the population adjusted equivalent of a Paris attack all the freaking time.

Liberalism is a suicidal political philosophy that focuses on non-problems and ignores real problems. We’ve got an actual death cult massacring people? Well, we’d better crack down on regular Americans civil liberties. Hey, there’s a conservative organization in rural Nebraska that has absolutely nothing to do with militant Islam, better tap their phones and sick the IRS on them. We do security theater at the airports, while having a foreign policy that makes zero sense and no border. Bad guys are massacring people with machine guns they smuggled into a country with incredibly strict gun control? Well, we’d better double down on gun free zones to minimize the number of people who could effectively fight back. DHS leadership is issuing warnings about American veterans, while the actual guys fighting terrorists are stymied with rules that make absolutely no sense.

I’ve got a ton of fans who are feds. Oh, the horror stories I hear from these guys. So many plots have been foiled, so many bad guys have been caught, and the stuff they are worried that is coming next is frankly terrifying… I mean, we’ve not seen anything yet. There are some nightmare scenarios out there that I won’t talk about on the internet. But don’t worry, our administration’s greatest concern is climate change. They’re all over that.

Seriously, this bunch of fuck ups will go down in history as the most clueless administration we’ve had. ISIS is the JV team! They’re contained. We spent like half a billion dollars on a training program that produced, what? A squad? But even if we’d turned out an actual Syrian fighting force, because of stupid campaign promises to Code Pink, heaven forbid we let our SF guys do their freaking job, and actual lead or help, because that would be “boots on the ground”, and that is so much worse than having hundreds of thousands of refugees overwhelming the western world a year later.

The other day on book tour I was stuck in an airport watching CNN. I swear airports are the only place that play CNN anymore (and before anybody bitches at me about bias, I’m not a FOX news guy either. I cancelled cable years ago). I caught Obama’s speech about the Keystone Pipeline, and it was just asinine. The whole thing was bullshit. He talked about the lowered energy costs, as if that was his doing, and not because of North Dakota, and Saudi Arabia going all bargain basement to try and stop them. Hang on… Isn’t this the same administration that is always bitching about the evils of fracking. Yeah, heaven forbid we be energy independent. Because if you think things suck now, just wait until the house of Saud collapses, and the same militant asshole extremist JV team that we’ve contained so well rolls in there. But don’t worry, before that we’ve got a nuclear deal with Iran that will surely result in Peace in Our Time.

But that’s us. Europe has been following the liberal, progressive, pseudo-socialist path a lot longer than we have. Instead of doing little things that make sense all along, they’ll let the problem get really big and stupid, and then it is guillotines, gulags, and cattle cars. There’s a lot of really pissed off Europeans right now, and over the centuries we’ve got plenty of examples of what masses of pissed off Europeans do when pushed.

The death cultists are totally cool with that, because they truly believe they’re going to win the apocalypse. The only long term problems liberals can fixate on are imaginary ones that allow them to make the government more intrusive for regular law abiding citizens. So I expect everything to get far stupider from here on out.

For the super isolationist types of the Perhaps if We’re Nice They’ll Go Away school of foreign diplomacy, too late now. We’re dealing with a group of people who literally think they’re helping bring about the apocalypse, and that’s a good thing. Our leadership is made up of petulant children more worried about poop swastikas that may or may not have existed, than actual killers who believe in real oppression.

Solution? Beats the hell out of me. It certainly isn’t whatever it is we’ve been doing. The ball is now in Europe’s court. America’s bipolar leadership has abdicated responsibility. Europe can either decide it is in it to win it, and fight like their survival is at stake, or keep doing their thing. The extremists are happy to die, and they consider everybody on their side expendable.

My guess? Retaliation. Our warriors will do what they’re awesome at, and kill a whole bunch of assholes. Depending on how hard and fast we, or in this case the French, do it, that will stop a whole bunch of other attacks. However, innocent people will die as has happened in every war in human history, which will cause liberals to flip out, which will cause the west to go all half-hearted and stupidly forward. So nothing will get fixed. The west will go back to the next imaginary issue that allows liberals to be control freaks. The security apparatus will then go back to being an ever tightening ratchet against the wrong people. We’ll repeat this cycle until the west collapses, or one particular brand of religious philosophy is utterly annihilated forever.


The 2015 Still Not a Real Writer Book Tour Recap


I got back from book tour a few days ago. Thanks to the release of Fallout 4 and a marathon day of radioactive looting and shooting super mutants in the face, I’m just now getting caught up with emails and blogging. I get a lot of emails. It is funny what happens when you don’t read any of them for three weeks.

The reviews for Son of the Black Sword are really positive. I’ve got to say that the fans are really seeming to like this one. It’s always hard to talk about the new book on tour, because most of the people in the audience haven’t read it yet, but everybody I spoke with loved it.

The numbers are still coming in, but right now it looks like Son of the Black Sword has had a great release. My guess is that it will be a Grimnoir sized release, not Monster Hunter sized. Don’t get me wrong, both are good, but Nemesis was ridiculous. Nemesis was pay off the mortgage twenty five years early numbers. This was a new genre for me, so I wasn’t sure how that was going to translate in sales, but looking good so far.

Where SotBS really shined was on Audible. The only thing that beat me in sci-fi and fantasy was the Martian (though as we’ve seen before, there is a big gap between properties with a new movie/TV tie and everybody else). I got the numbers for the release week on Audible, and damn… Really good.

I listened to the audiobook on various airplane rides and while driving from city to city. I finished it while driving around somewhere out west. Tim Gerrard Reynolds did a fantastic job. Even though I knew what was going to happen next, I still got sucked in.

Speaking of the SotBS audiobook, I’m really glad I brought it with me, because I could have subtitled this tour The Still Not a Real Author Tour: Larry Gets Stuck in Traffic. No wonder big city liberals hate cars. That’s because when you do drive it is a miserable experience, and all you do is park on the freeway. In Boston, you pay tolls in order to have the privilege of being stuck in traffic. Hell, your traffic is so bad it takes the shuttle forty five minutes to make it from the rental car drop off to the airport terminal. How the hell can you get stuck in traffic at the airport? That’s why you guys all want robot cars.

One fun thing about what I do, I get to try out a lot of rental cars… Pro tip. The Chrysler 200 is a death trap. It is an example of what happens when the government manages a car company. Lots of useless widgets, gadgets, and flashy buttons, with a giant rear view mirror that goes blocks 30% of your windshield for tall drivers. Oh, I’ve got a start button and shift with a pin wheel, but tall drivers can’t lower the seat enough to actually see anything on the right side of your car. Brilliant. If you are given one of these, give it back. Unless you really want to squish pedestrians.

The last couple of weeks have been really hectic. I was signing in a different city nearly every day. There were a few stops where I flew in, and only had enough time to pick up my luggage, rental car, and check into my hotel to shower, and then go to the night’s signing, only to get up the next morning and do it again.

The Tactical Melon Baller has a paracord grip and tac light for all your anti moose needs.

The Tactical Melon Baller has a paracord grip and tac light for all your anti moose needs.

It was great to meet so many fans, or see people again who I’d met on tour before. Of course since the entire Monster Hunter Nation is a bunch of comedians I was given lots of presents, and I now have more melon ballers than I know what to do with. Modern Manhood. Achieved.


I wasn’t the only author who had a good book signing during this tour. Part way through somebody asked if I’d sign Mike Kupari’s new novel. I was happy to.

tour 2015 Kupari autograph
After that got posted, Mike sold out at every single place I stopped at. :)  This is genius. If all Baen authors do this, Toni can sell twice as many books and only have to send half of us on tour!

He asked for Scot with one T. :)

He asked for Scot with one T. :)


New Hampshire

New Hampshire

I got so many presents and swag that by the end I was getting overweight charges on my luggage. Because most of my San Diego signing was military (and a surprising number of feds), I got a pile of coins from various units and ships. I love those.  

I'm going to put it next to my prestigious LaMancha Award.

I’m going to put it next to my prestigious LaMancha Award.


I got hats, minis, books, bottle openers, fan art, and all sorts of weird stuff.

I think it makes me look cunning.

I think it makes me look cunning.

Most events they’ll have me in an area where I can shoot the bull for an hour, and then sign after. For the people who show up, they know I’m pretty enthusiastic about this stuff. We hang out, joke around, I tell everybody what is coming up (including some stuff I don’t talk about on the internet yet), and then I answer questions. Very few of my events ever finish in the expected time frame, and we end up closing down a lot of stores. You folks are just hard core like that.

Agent Franks tat.

Agent Franks tat.

I don’t know how many book store managers I had to try and explain the various inside jokes to, like why I had to keep drawing manatees in people’s books or members of the audience would randomly shout HOOOOOOON.



Basically my fans are amazing. I love you guys. I wouldn’t trade my fan base for anyone else’s. You’re just that hard core.

Grimnoir tat

Grimnoir tat

There were a few days where I had enough free time to squeeze in some fun. When I was in Minnesota I went and hung out with the JP Enterprises crew and toured their place. If you aren’t familiar with them, they make really super nice, high end, custom rifles. JP owns competition shooting for a reason.

Yep, I'm not wearing ears. .300 subsonic with can. This thing was ridiculously quiet.

Yep, I’m not wearing ears. .300 subsonic with can. This thing was ridiculously quiet.

I’ll be posting more stuff about JP Enterprises later. It was a pretty cool visit, and it looks like I’ll be doing a book signing at SHOT Show with them this January.

This thing was like five pounds. Light weight bolt carrier, and zero bobble even in rapid fire.

This thing was like five pounds. Light weight bolt carrier, and zero bobble even in rapid fire.

I am a food nut. I love food. So when I go on book tour I always eat really well. Whatever it is that the locals eat, I’m in. I only eat boring chain restaurant stuff when I’m too tired to drive somewhere else or that’s all that’s still open. I love seafood, but I live a thousand miles from the ocean six thousand feet about sea level, so when I’m on tour by the ocean, I’m stuffing myself with fish. Minnesota? African food. North east? Portuguese food. Yay! In Seattle, Michael Rothman took me to Ruth’s Chris where the steaks come from magic happy cows, who’ve lived care free lives, and their meat is extra tender because the cow gets daily full body massages, and virgins play soothing music to them on flutes. Basically, I love to eat well, and book tour is perfect for that.  It helps that at character creation I got triple sixes in Constitution.

The only real hard spot this trip was when I got food poisoning my last night in the Boston area. After years of book tour adventure eating, my iron gut finally failed me. I’m pretty sure it was from a Boston Cream Pie. I got it for lunch, couldn’t finish it, and put it in a to go box. I left it in the rental car, and ended up staying at the signing far longer than expected. I should have thrown the pie away, but I thought, what the heck? It is probably still good. It wasn’t hot today… So I made a very bad decision and ate it when I got back to the hotel. It still tasted great, up until when it tried to kill me. I started getting violently ill about midnight. I had to get up at four the next morning to catch my flight to Seattle. I thought I was going to croak. I didn’t bother to sleep. Normally I get fatter on book tour, but not this year! This year I paid my stupid tax.

We averaged about 30-40 people at most of the stops. By far my smallest signing was in Cambridge, but it was on Halloween. San Diego and Phoenix were the biggest, with over fifty people each, and my home town signing was even bigger. But this does bring up a funny story that became this tour’s running gag for the fans, and the source of the official Still Not a Real Writer Tour name.

San Diego

San Diego

One stop was at Powell’s in Beaverton. It is a great store, and I had a great time with a good crowd. But I saw later on Twitter somebody had apparently seen me there, and taken to Twitter to talk about my pathetic showing, and how nobody was there at the lamest book signing ever, and hashtag something about how I was the saddest puppy of all.

That struck me as odd, since we had over forty people show up, which by most author’s reckonings is great, and we filled the signing area to the side. But then I realized what he’d probably seen (mistakenly thinking that a Puppy Kicker was honest and not just lying about me on Twitter, silly me). I’d gotten there almost an hour early, and had killed time just hanging out in the audience with the seven or eight people who’d shown up really early too. I figured that was what he’d seen, because by seven o’clock we had filled the chairs, and more people kept coming in the whole time.  So being my usual diplomatic self, I responded and told him that the “big hand goes on the seven, doofus”. Luckily, some of the fans had taken pictures of the crowd too, and since you guys are so super helpful, you posted the photographic evidence to the dude.

Now, a smart person would say, whoops, my bad. But not a Puppy Kicker. They have that whole narrative about how anybody who disagrees with TRUFAN is irreparably damaging their career, so of course he doubled down. Oh no. He was there at 7:05! And he saw my 40! And that was still horrible garbage failure of suck, because that bookstore ROUTINELY gets 500(!) people at a book signing…

This of course came as a surprise to the people who work there, and my more famous author friends who sell ten times as many books as I do, who only got around 200 there. Basically, you can count the number of mega superstar authors who routinely get five hundred people at a book signing on your hands, and have fingers left over. Puppy kickers are harsh, man. I think the average book signing in America is like five to seven people.

But I don’t make the rules. Five hundred it is! Anything less is shameful garbage.

Last week's Amazon author rankings. Let this be a warning to you authors. This is what happens to your career when you defy SJWs!

Last week’s shameful Amazon author rankings. Let this be a warning to you authors. This is what happens to your career when you defy SJWs!

Of course that running gag led to my fans being super helpful the rest of the tour. You guys are full of all sorts of comfort. Rounding up the local homeless to pose in the group shots was a brilliant idea. Utah tried to rally the troops so I’d finally qualify as a Real Writer, with over sixty people attending. If we counted small children and service animals, we had 79. Sadly, 77 humans and 2 dogs still falls far short of the minimum requirement. But maybe someday I’ll be a real writer, and finally satisfy the… Oh hey, look another six figure royalty check came in the mail while I was gone. Sweet. What was I talking about again? :)

Arizona: Pretty good, but if it ain't 500, it's crap!

Arizona: Pretty good, but if it ain’t 500, it’s crap!

(for the record, I have had over 500, but only at conventions where I’ve been in a booth, stretched over a few days. I’ve probably broken that number at DragonCon, and I know for sure I’ve done it at Salt Lake City ComicCon and New York City ComicCon… but shhhhh… If I go spreading that around, they’ll declare a thousand to be common, and anything less is crap!)

Inquisitor masks from SotBS. It looks like we're about to go out and start looting.

Inquisitor masks from SotBS. It looks like we’re about to go out and start looting.

I’m about traveled out now. Luckily I don’t have any other events for a while. I’ll be at Chattacon in January in Chattanooga. I’ll be at SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January also. I’ll be at LTUE in February. Other than that I believe I’m clear until April, when I’m doing my first ever European book tour. I’ll be signing in England, France, and Germany. I’m taking the lovely Mrs. Correia with me for the Europe trip.

Now I’ve got to get back to work. I’ve got to do some editing on the Tom Stranger project (shockingly enough, I was able to get away with probably 80% of the MHN inside jokes!). In order to refresh for the deluge of upcoming MHI projects I need to reread the five books. Then I’ve got to work on Monster Hunter Grunge, and I owe Sarah Hoyt a whole bunch of outlines… Right after I play just a teensy bit more Fallout 4. :)

Series II Challenge Coins: Update #4

Hey all- Jack Wylder here with the promised update #4. (I said I’d post when I had news to share and so I am.)
As of yesterday evening I finally have all of the coins- (yay!) UPS ‘misplaced’ 2 of the boxes and it took some time to find them, but now all is good. Still waiting on the Zippos, but that’s a whole different story. Short version; should be early next week. So I now have all of the coins- what does that mean for you? Well I have coins, but precious little time right now. The amazing new job takes up about 12 hours a day (with travel time and such) and of course there’s the whole sleep thing, having a cub scout in the family (a rather time consuming thing), occasionally seeing the wife, etc etc etc… So time is at a premium. I have over 600 orders still to fill; that’s almost a full time job’s week worth of work needing to be done. I’m doing what I can and fulfilling what I can as time permits but it is slow going. I do have a plan, though- my wife knows a lot of stay at home mamas who can always use a bit of extra cash so we’re going to put them to work and try to knock these out as quickly as we can. Understand, Larry and I don’t get paid until these are done and I can’t get started on the next special project until this is over- there’s a good possibility I want you to get your coins even more than you do! You’ve been patient and we appreciate it very much. They’re slowly shipping now and the big push is coming soon. Beyond that, I’ll keep you posted here when there’s anything new to say. Thanks again to all- the CorreiaTech fulfillment center is working on it as best we can. :)