The full Twenty Palaces trailer is now live

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Previously, I’d posted a teaser trailer for my Twenty Palaces books, but we’re finally ready to share the whole thing. This version includes all the special effects, characters and short scenes from Circle of Enemies (not spoilery), Catherine Little, Charles Hammer, the ghost knife…

And of course, Annalise doing some damage.

Here you go:

Full Twenty Palaces Trailer from Harry Connolly on Vimeo.

Swear to god, the guys at Wyrd did a fantastic job on this. Above and beyond, really. If you follow that link to their site, you can find out more about their award-winning genre documentaries, including H.P. LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN.

Hey, if you like the video, please do let other people know about it. Almost forgot: if I can work out the formatting, I’ll post the original trailer script tomorrow, so folks can see the differences and how things change.

Today is our neighborhood festival

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There’s a huge slide set up around the corner and ponies are eating the grass of the baseball field. The art exhibit and other stalls are all set up, and there’s a beer garden, too. Bounce houses? didn’t see them on my way over but I can’t imagine they won’t be set up later.

I know my wife and son will be dropping by later to have their fun. I hope I can still be here to meet them.

Why make a book trailer?

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As promised, here’s a quick note about why I made the trailer, (Vimeo | YouTube) then I’ll let it lie for a bit. But first!

A big “thank you” to everyone who helped spread the word about the 99 cent promo price for Child of Fire. Yesterday was pretty great, and the book climbed to #159 on the Paid Kindle list, was #16 in Fantasy overall and made it to #3 in Contemporary Fantasy. In fact, it’s still #3 as I write this even as the main Kindle List sales ranking has slipped back. Now it’s up to word of mouth and momentum.

Anyway, I’m tremendously grateful, to the point that I’m a little befuddled by it all. It’s always difficult for me to ask favors, and now I find myself full of gratitude, and… that’s difficult. I don’t want to gush. I don’t want to be standoffish or brusque. Maybe if I’d been more in the habit of asking favors I’d have worked this out by now.

Trailer! Here’s the thing: Trailers are terrible for promoting books. Seriously, I have never bought a book because of a trailer, and I’ll bet you haven’t either. So why make one? Most importantly, why spend just shy of five grand on it?

Well, it’s not for the promotion, clearly.

But what if you knew someone who was an amazing painter, and you wanted to hang their work in your home? What if your friends were accomplished musicians and you wanted to commission a song? Wouldn’t it be cool to let them run with it?

Well, my friends are filmmakers–good ones, too. Everyone who’s seen LOVECRAFT, FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN knows that. So when I got a little unexpected money (French and German foreign sales) I thought Why buy a car? This will last longer and won’t make me fat(ter).

At first I considered asking them to make a short film–pick a scene from one of the books, dramatize it, the whole deal. But when I sat down to think about it, I was paralyzed with options. Which scene would be doable? How would we deal with stunts? How do we handle exposition?

I could have done the opening to Child of Fire, but there was some stuff there that wouldn’t translate well to film. So I decided to ask them for a book trailer.

And of course I’m treating it as though it’s a book promotion; that makes it tax deductible. Still, to me, it’s about hiring my friends to make something cool for me, about them showcasing what they can do (and maybe get some work out of it), about seeing Ray and Annalise onscreen, and sharing that with all of you guys.

Because you know what? A lot about this industry is changing, and people who think they know everything about it or think they can predict what is the right /wrong move to make are kidding themselves. It seems to me that the best thing to do is whatever seems cool. That’s what I take away from the way others have found success: they had their interests and obsessions, and they didn’t “promote” so much as create stuff they thought was cool.

Okay, I think I’m done talking about the teaser trailer for a while. Back to the usual natter later.

While I’m thinking about it: a message to smokers

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Hey, smokers, if I could have your attention for a moment, I’ll keep this brief.

Cigarette butts? Those are trash. Litter. Seriously, you shouldn’t be just throwing them anywhere. They should be actually thrown out, after being put out. You wouldn’t toss a candy wrapper or banana peel on the sidewalk, would you? (I hope not)

Many years ago when I first moved to Seattle, I had a joe job that required me to sweep up the sidewalks out front every day. At one point I had a discussion with my co-workers while they were on a smoke break, and I told them: “You know how those butts you drop are magically gone the next day? Well, it ain’t magic.”

So! Let’s keep in mind that butts are trash and should be disposed of like trash. Thanks!

I am in New York

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Actually I’m in a Starbucks on the upper west side, near the American Museum of Natural History. My wife and son are meeting me here and then we’re going to see some dinosaur bones and maybe some of the guys who hassled Ben Stiller that time. Starbucks! Ubiquitous meeting place of the phoneless.

We’ve been here less than 24 hours and already my son is asking about rent in the city. I think it’s safe to say that he likes it, although it requires a little more walking than he’s used to.

My wife is absolutely stunned by how clean and nice the city is. We’re staying downtown, where her old stomping grounds were, and she just keeps saying “It’s changed so much! My god, I’m old aren’t I?”

Me, I just had lunch with my agent at (checks card) the dici–a place that loves big knives and lower case letters. My food was really good, even though the humidity took the edge off my appetite. But omg rare beef with sweet peppers! I’m happy. We talked about a lot of interesting things and I have a ton of thinking to do. More on that later, maybe.

Still haven’t had pizza yet. (See first paragraph about >24 hours) There’s a little place near our hotel that looks like it would be nice to try, so we can sample some Real New York Pizza(tm). What’s the name of it? Sbarro’s, I think. Can’t wait!

(Just kidding, New Yorkers, I swear. I know Sbarro’s is airport pizza.)

Anyway, this morning we did the tourist thing and went to the top of the Empire State Building. It was a challenge for my wife to have been a New Yorker for so many years and now play tourist (and that place is highly concentrated tourist time) but I eased her through the experience by exclaiming things like “So many tall buildings!” and “The trains run under the ground!” and other things sure to make locals think we’re cool.

We’ve ridden the subway several times; as I’ve told my son, the sights and sounds are soooo recognizable from a million movies and TV shows. Just about anyone in the developed world knows the NY Subway sound. That weird metallic EEEeeeEEEeeEEEEE! we always hear.

My family has joined us, so I’m logging off. Hope you guys are enjoying your week.

Bedbugs in NYC

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How bad is the bedbug infestation in New York City at the moment? We’re trying to plan a 4-day trip to Manhattan for the summer (after watching the Ric Burns documentary, my son is anxious for the trip) but only for a few days. We’re looking at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for our stay, but I need to be able to tell the fam something reassuring about being bitten in our sleep.

Also, other hotel options would be welcome.