I’m sorry, guys, I’m exhausted. I don’t even have pictures of the signings, because they’re on Dan’s phone.
Though P. Wendell attended, and I finally got to throw fish at a bunch of you IN PERSON. (YAY, go me.)
Just tired. Sorry. I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out what to put on the blog, and I haven’t managed it. So this is what you get:
It was fun. There were a bunch of you there, but more at Colorado Springs. We signed a ton of books. There was Wendell and Moose and Squirrel and David sang (very well) and Larry talked and (particularly last night) I blathered. Greebo came up (as a topic. I did not bring him up. I could see Havey loving it, but not Greebo. He’s an introvert.)
I’ll post pictures when Dan gets home from work.
Right now I’m going to shower and write.
Oh, this is what I’m working on right now (for those who say this on Facebook Diner:yes, his last name changed, because I just wasn’t relating to him. Which is a weird reason to change a character’s name, but it’s part of how I work. Took me forever to get Kyrie’s name right, for ex, and couldn’t write her till it was. Seamus McDonald would do fine for a short story, but not for a novel.) :
Sarah A. Hoyt
Many people have told me to go to hell. Happens to all PIs I guess. And being a PI named Seamus – Seamus Magis, at your service — it was inevitable.
But I never thought I’d have to go. Certainly not in pursuit of a case.
How it started was like this: My friend Rod Rando is the manager for a lot of metal bands. Well known properties, like Goat Eternity and Bestial Cadaver and Edge of Skulls.
He’d done great out of it. Like, he’d married a bunch of models, one after the other, and his alimony bills were epic, but with all that he still had his offices in the penthouse of this steel and glass high rise downtown, a place so clean you could lick the floor and probably emerge in better health and so classy that if you put Marx inside it, he’d have melted to a little puddle of goo on the floor.
Honest, I felt out of place just going in, in my jeans and T-shirt.
Oh, sure, Rando also wore jeans and t-shirts, but his were DESIGNER, carefully torn and scuffed. I mean, someone had made six figures just figuring out where to rip that denim, or where to put the stain on his shirt so it looked like someone had stepped on it.
He’d called me in because starting about two years ago he’d noticed some of his bands, the ones who had been the most serious about their satanic symbols and altars and rituals and what not… changing style.
Look, it wasn’t so much that they changed, though sure, that would be bad enough. When you’re administering a multi-million dollar talent, you get a little scared by change. Who knows if the fans will like it?
And this change was really weird. Suddenly these supposedly dark, satanic artists were wearing all pink, their music sounded disturbingly like K-Pop, and instead of the horns, they made heart signs with their hands. And one of them, the Filthy Blood Whores had changed their name to Pink Fluffy Kittens and wore pink cat ear headbands.
Their fans had no idea what to make of it, but my friend did. “Someone is giving them drugs,” he said. “And it must be some good shit, because it’s spreading from band to band.”
“I mean, when Satan’s Handmaidens sang Pretty Pink Bubbles at their concert, the fans stormed the stage in fury and put them in the hospital. It’s that bad. And yet it keeps spreading. Even though the new style bands are tanking, others keep changing to imitate them. And then they also don’t sell for shit. I can’t afford this.”
He raked his hand backward across his unkempt, thinning but long hair. It was like the less hair he had on top, the more he let it grow, till now the stringy ends brushed the middle of his back.
“Leb, I need help.”
Sigh. Okay, okay. So my name is Seamus Lebanon Magis. Are you happy? Stop laughing. I was named after my mom. I should just be grateful they hadn’t given me her full name: Cedar of Lebanon Magis. Rod is one of the few people who even knows my full name, and… other things, so of course I said, “I’ll help if I can. I just don’t see what I can do.”
“It has to be drugs.”
“You mean they weren’t on drugs before?” I asked. If I sounded skeptical, it was because I’d heard some of their acts.
“Oh, hell no. I don’t mean that. I mean, actually mostly they prefer alcohol, but sometimes, you know, some uppers, some downers, some ayahuasca… Thing is, I get those drugs and pass them to the guys, to make sure they’re clean. I monitor the alcohol they get, too. I make sure it’s nothing that will fry their brains.”
“I didn’t just hear that.”
“Whatever. You can’t let your bread and butter go to seed. But this shit… whatever it is… This is some crazy shit. I mean, hell, I didn’t even know Choke Slave could sing falsetto.” He dropped onto his custom made ergonomic chair and put his feet on his blue glass desk big enough and probably sturdy enough to park a mac truck on. “I want you to find the people responsible and stop this shit.”
That was obviously my cue.
Which is how I found myself in the apartment of on Albert Schneider, Aka Thrall of Darkness, Aka Pink Plush Sorbet on a hungover Saturday morning.
Okay, so, just so you get the problem, his apartment looked like a Disney princess had exploded all over it. Nah, make that a set of Disney princesses. There had to be a lot of them for all that pink, glitter, frills and lace to have gone everywhere. Like, there was glitter on the ceiling.
And then there were stuffed animals. Kittens and puppies, mostly, with big, round glass eyes.
In a corner, a figure of Hello Kitty had pink scented candles lit in front of it. If it weren’t for the sheer oddity, I’d think it was an altar.
Albert was on the wrong side of thirty, and I’d bet if he hadn’t dyed his hair flat black, he’d have been mostly white haired. He was long haired, long bearded, with braided beard, and incongruous fake glittery-pink eyelashes. He wore a sort of pink jumpsuit thing, with a silver glitter belt. For some reason it just made his mean, hard eyes look harder and meaner. He glared at me. “What the hell do you mean am I gay?”
I looked around the apartment.
He made a suggestion that would require my breaking my spine, or possibly bilocating.
“Fuck man,” He added. “I’m just what I’ve always been. A servant of the dark.”
“The dark …. pink?” I asked.
He shook his head. The glare was hard enough to cut but there was something else behind it, something stark and cold. Fear? “New management, man. New management.”
“What do you mean new management? Rando has said–”
He looked at me as though I were too stupid to live. “Not Rando. Rando is… nobody in this. Oh, sure,” he waved it all away. “He’s an okay agent, okay? But this is The Management,” he said. “Down below.”
From somewhere – I’ll swear – came the sound of tut-tut uttered in a girlish voice, and Schneider shook and went pale. “I’ve already said too much, man. The new management is ruthless. They ain’t got no sense of humor. None whatsoever.”
I was about to tell him devils never had any humor, when it occurred to me this grown man wearing bright pink, and lighting candles to Hello Kitty was dead serious. He really thought that something or someone would punish him for talking out of turn. Which means he really had thought he was serving Satan or something. “Are you for real?” I asked. “Do you mean to tell me that Sat—”
“Peggy,” he said. Fear flared behind his eyes like neon. “Just call him Peggy.”
His voice had a note of hysteria. I couldn’t get him to make any more sense and was starting to incline to the “weird drug hypothesis.”
But the next morning Albert Schneider, Aka Thrall of Darkness, Aka Pink Plush Sorbet was found in his apartment with his throat cut and something carved on his forehead that looked suspiciously like cat ears.