Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Who Needs Pants Anyway?

As I'm sure you're aware by now, the new Markhat book will be released Tuesday (the 28th).

In case you're one of the remaining six Amazon hunters who somehow escaped my one-man media blitz, here's the link to Amazon"


And I promise that's the last bit of self-promotion I'll indulge in today.

Which is a relief to you and, perhaps surprisingly, a relief to me as well.

I'm not comfortable hawking my books over and over. I feel obligated to, but it's not a part of the job I enjoy. My preferred method of marketing is to write the book and (hopefully) sell it to a publisher and then start writing another book, with occasional glances at the sales numbers followed by bouts of inconsolable weeping.

But of course that flies in the face of conventional publishing wisdom, which states 'FLOG THAT BOOK SON FLOG IT OVER AND OVER AND THEN SOME MORE AND WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING?"

But I'm tired of that. First, because I'm not sure self-promotion does anything but annoy people, and second, because I'm quite sure self-promo bloody well annoys me.

I'll probably post a gentle reminder when the book actually goes live on the various markets, and of course when the print version hits the stands, but that's all.

It's the noise. Last time I checked, Amazon along adds something like 30,000 new fiction titles to their catalog every month. Thirty thousand new books.

Thirty thousand new books each being held aloft by another desperate author, each trying, it seems, to out-shout the other 29,999 bellowing hopefuls.

Everyone's words are lost in the cacaphony. It;s just a dull roar now, like distant thunder. "Buymybookbuymybook."

Thunder is loud, and it can wake you from a deep sleep, but as a marketing vehicle it's useless.

If you do buy the book, I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

And that's my marketing pitch for the day, the week, the month, and the year.


I have decided to bring back hats.


Because, as the good Doctor once noted, hats are cool.

To me, hats evoke a bygone era in which people got dressed. Not just for special occasions, but because it mattered how you presented yourself to the world. A gentleman, even a working man, had standards. Not just for dress, but for decorum as well. I miss those days. And yes, I am about three months from the day I begin to shake my fist and yell "You kids get off my lawn!"

I have a John Bull top hat. But you, gentle readers, get to help me decide which style of hat I get next, by voting on the comments section. Here are your choices:

1) The Fedora.

Why a fedora? Because it's a fedora. Markhat wears a fedora. Sam Spade wore a fedora. It's a timeless classic, which debuted much earlier than the 1930s it has come to symbolize.

2) The Derby.

If you were suddenly transported to the frontier Wild West, you'd see the cowboys wearing derby hats, because the ten-gallon cowboy hat is largely a Hollywood invention. I still think they're cool, and they go with everything from modern styles to full-on steampunk cosplay.

3) The Ivy Cap.

Less formal than either of the hats above, this is a good autumn cap. I just like it, I have no idea why.

So, those are the choices! Vote below, and pretty soon I'll post pics of the winning hat being worn on my very own Standard Default head.

Take care, everyone!


  1. I have 2 ivy caps, one in leather and one checked cloth. I also have a fedora. I wear the ivy caps (one or the other) daily. The fedora is for special dress-up occasions. So, my recommendation is the fedora for special events, a bowler if you are doing steampunk cosplay, and an ivy cap (what my wife called a mofo hat) for daily wear. Or, you could join the Masons, get into the Scottish Rite, the Shrine, the Grotto, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, and other appendent bodies, each of which have fancy headgear (she calls them funny hats).

  2. I actually did NOT know that Markhat book 9 was coming out this week. I have NOW added it to my wishlist. As soon as my next check comes in, I will buy that puppy! I deeply enjoy the Markhat books -- KUDOS to you !

  3. My vote is for the fedora all the way. Fedora's are cool and I love them. I didn't realize The Darker Carnival was so close to release. I look forward to reading it. :D

  4. Ivy cap. There's something rakish and cool about them.

  5. Fedoras are just flat-out sexy. Trust me, I grew up in the era when my dad (a carpenter, just so you don't think I'm from some high-falutin' banking family or something) wore them daily. Rowr. He looked like Boston Blackie. Does that date me or what??? Anyway - all the guys should wear fedoras. Like, I believe many men think women should always wear those nylons with the seam up the back.

  6. The Ivy is totally you.

    And cowboy hats were actually worn. My dad is a cowboy and usually wore one. The main features were the straw construction--let's the air flow and the larger, all-around coverage from the sun. I can't speak to the 10 gallon type thing because he never wore one of those. For Sundays and church, he always wore his dress cowboy hat, which varied from felt to leather and even a nicely decorated straw hat. My grandfather, also a rancher, wore a cowboy hat as well. Beat-up old thing, but he almost always had one. He started out raising pigs and actually RODE a pig to herd the other pigs. I'm really not sure there is a hat to help that situation, but a man's got to do, what a man has to do.