Recently I read a terrific book written by someone I know. Sometimes this can be a little nerve-wracking: what if you don't like the book even though you love the friend? What will you say next time you see each other? Awkward!
Larry Correia recently described Variant as a "sci-fi Lord of the Flies," and I think that's a great logline--except there is hope and romance and intrigue aplenty to be found within its pages as well--something for everyone. Interesting, believable characters? Yes. Vivid setting? You bet. Byzantine plot that will keep you guessing? Check. It's a suspenseful carnival ride of a read, and it will surely make my Top Ten Books list this year--so I would unreservedly recommend it to you no matter what.
Besides being a great writer, Rob is also a terrific guy. A few years ago, he founded the Whitney Awards to help raise the level of writing produced by LDS novelists. He constantly and cheerfully gives of his time and knowledge to help less experienced writers. He's super funny, too. Here's a post he co-wrote with his equally talented and amusing brother, Dan Wells (a writer whose work I've recommended to you before).
But here's the thing. Rob Wells recently and inexplicably developed a severe panic disorder--one that doctors have not yet been able to treat effectively. Rob has faith that he will find a solution, but in the meantime, he is debilitated by this disease. How much so? Last week, he got laid off from his job. We're not storming the workplace; Rob maintains that his employers did everything they could for him. But in this economic climate--well, you know how brutal it is out there.
Christmas is coming. Rob and his wife have little kids. And here's the thing you may not know about writers. Even when they hit the national market in hardcover, they usually can't quit their day jobs until they have several books out--and oftentimes, not even then. Writing is a labor of love. Very, very few novelists make a living wage doing it, let alone get rich. And while I hope that Rob has a long and illustrious writing career, he has only taken a few steps on that road.
Larry Correia came up with a way to help Rob. He is using his considerable influence to convince everyone he knows to set a Book Bomb--buy one or more copies of Variant on Amazon on Thursday, 10 November--which is tomorrow, as I write. He hopes that with that combined purchasing power, Variant will soar to the top of Amazon's bestseller list and give the book the exposure it so richly deserves.
I'm in. Here's how I'm helping that Bomb explode. Tomorrow, I'll buy three more copies of Variant, one to donate to each of my two local libraries and one for our school. Then I'll go through my Christmas list and count up how many fortunate people will be getting a copy of Variant under their tree from me--that will be several more copies.
But I'm not stopping there. I'm hereby hosting a one-day contest. I will award a $50 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky person who meets the contest requirements below--and just to sweeten the pot, two other almost-as-lucky people will win signed copies of my cookbook, Comfortably Yum. (Give it as a gift if you already own it.) Here's how to win:
1) Buy one or more copies of Variant--hardcover or Kindle edition. For each copy you buy, you get an entry in the contest.
2) Tweet and/or post on Facebook about this contest. For each tweet/post, you get an entry in the contest. (If you don't use social media, worry not. Just buy the book, and you're in at least once.)
3) How will I know what you've done? Total up how many entries you have earned, come back here, and leave me your report in a comment. I'm not going to ask you to forward me your receipt or link to your posts; I know I don't need to remind any of my regular readers that you're on the honor system.
4) Friday morning, 11/11/11, at 9:00 a.m., I'll number all the entries and use a random number generator to choose the three winners. I'll post the results right here on Kashkawan.
This is a win-win-win! You get a great book. You help out a great guy. And you may win a great prize. Get to it!