February 21st, 2010

The Bleeding Edge signing

I've been writing just long enough now to have done my fair share of signings...but I think I can safely say I've never seen one quite like yesterday's signing for The Bleeding Edge.

You know about The Bleeding Edge, right? The new anthology edited by William F. Nolan and Jason Brock that includes previously unpublished work from Ray Bradbury, Mr. Nolan, Earl Hamner, Jr., Norman Corwin, George Clayton Johnson, John Tomerlin...and (inexplicably, given that line-up!) me.

Well, all of those gentlemen were on hand yesterday for the signing at Glendale's Mystery and Imagination Bookshop, and the place was, as you can well imagine, an utter madhouse. The older gentlemen were placed near the front of the store, while the rest of us waited upstairs near the back. Numbers were passed out. Lines formed on the sidewalk. Getting through the front of the store was virtually impossible.

The madness went on for nearly 3 solid hours. I had no idea they even printed that many copies of The Bleeding Edge! Fortunately, I had the great pleasure of being seated between -

- the vastly entertaining and impeccably attired Cody Goodfellow, and this fine gentleman -

- and the book's co-editor, William F. Nolan. Bill was beyond complimentary about my story, "Silk City", and we chatted about everything from the first Dark Delicacies anthology to the astonishing number of books and short stories (185!) Bill has written to his recent Lifetime Achievement Award from HWA.

I also met Earl Hamner, Jr. for the first time, and was completely charmed. He patiently endured person after person asking him about some "Waltons" reference in a Geico commercial, and seemed tirelessly good-natured. Here's Mr. Hamner with the book's two editors:

The event also drew some fabulous guests from L.A.'s horror community, including this man -

- the effervescent John Skipp, here suggesting that signings simply aren't attended by enough gorillas. We also ribbed Dennis Etchison about his new Stoker nomination ("sometimes they just give these things to writers because they're old!"), and I got to jabber a bit with my pal Pete Atkins, who I don't get to see nearly enough of.

Lastly, here's a look at the real celebrities at work:

Seated from left to right: Ray Bradbury, Norman Corwin, George Clayton Johnson, and John Shirley.

By the time I left around six I was completely exhausted. I can only imagine how tired Malcolm and Christine, the store's wonderful owners, must have been. I think I'm glad Iliad doesn't host signings, but I certainly am happy that stores like Mystery and Imagination do, and I'm very happy to have been a part of this amazing signing in particular.