The last time we left our intrepid hero…

So… Anything new happen since I’ve been away? *Cue laugh track*

I’ll be honest — I always expected my updates to be sporadic, and in that sense, I’m happy to see I’ve been true to form. Living up to my own underwhelming expectations! Truly, the gift that keeps on giving.

Snark aside, a lot has happened in the world in the past few months, and I’ll also be honest in saying that some of it has weighed heavily on yours truly. It’s been tough to sit down and write about myself when there’s so many other things happening way bigger than my quaint, little life. Raindrop in the ocean has never felt a more appropriate comparison.

Look, I’m not here to legislate for anyone’s political views, but for me, it was, uh, interesting to have my worldview more or less completely shattered. Some of that was this unique capacity for naivety I seem to have that I think very few children are capable of, let alone a thirty-something. That said, I retain a singular hope that despite how chaotic things have been, maybe this will end up being a good thing in the long run…

…Or maybe I’ve still got some of this naivety clinging on that I can’t seem to shake off. I’m telling you, it’s like a ketchup stain, man. Shit just doesn’t come out.

In other news, I became a Dad a month ago. Like, literally, one month ago. Jesus, I can’t believe it’s already been a month. But yes, she is precious and wonderful and in spite of an absolutely agonizing labor (which I didn’t even have to actually physically go through, so imagine how my wife feels about it), I couldn’t be more overjoyed to have joined the new parents club. I want to sit down and write something about it, but the time doesn’t feel right. Not yet, anyway.

Book stuff! That’s why some of you are here, I presume. You others must be the masochists here for the sheer pain of reading this nonsense (to wit, you’re very welcome). And so, big book news… Well, there is none. Let this be a lesson about getting your hopes up. I’m hard at work on something a little different than The Ferryman Institute but still related, and I hope that one day it will see the light of day. But that is, quite literally, a story for another time.

Finally, I feel like I’ve more or less adjusted to the concept of having an actual book in the world. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, on the whole, I think. I don’t sob uncontrollably every time I go to my Goodreads page anymore, for example. Does it still sting when someone tags the book on Goodreads with “not-going-to-finish-because-it-suck” [sic] or when a reviewer on Amazon says “I’d give the book zero stars but amazon has a minimum of one”? I mean, I went out of my way to quote those here, so clearly it does. But at this point, I’ve learned to live with it. Que sera, sera. It’s forced me to examine my writing style, which I’ve tried to tighten up, and it’s also made me look at how I treat characters in a different light. So maybe there’ll be some good out of this yet.

See? I found the silver lining. It’s cold and smells vaguely musty and I sort of wish I hadn’t gone looking for it so actively, but hey, I did it.

So that’s it for this adventure of “what’s going on in the life of Colin”. Tune in next time, where I reveal the secret of life*.

* It’s “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine”.

And Breathe

Deep breath. Annnnd… Exhale.

Huh? No, no, that was for me, though you’re more than welcome to as well. In through the nose, out through the mouth, etc etc.

So, where are we? Well, here’s where I think I am:

The book is out. It made it. It’s out there, in the world. You can buy it, with real money, and the store offering the book will actually give you a copy in return. It’s amazing. The wonders of civilization.

Part of me feels like there’s a detailed reflection that needs to happen vis-a-vis me and this blog at some point, but I’m not sure now is the time. I feel like everything has been a whirlwind that I’m still coming to terms with. It’s like little fragments that stick out it my mind. However, I guess some of this depends on your definition of “detailed reflection”.

A little over 3 weeks ago, my wife and I found the first copy out in the wild at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I signed the two copies they had in pink marker. So, if anyone out there has a signed copy of THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE in pink marker, congratulations — you own one of the two original signed copies of the book.

A couple days later, the book came out for real. The response from personal friends and family was unbelievable. My one sincere hope for the book is that it makes them proud. That’s it.

As if getting a B&N Book of the Month nod wasn’t enough, Amazon announced THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE as one of their top SF/F picks of the month.

I had my first, honest-to-God book-signing at New York Comic Con, of all places. New York fucking Comic Con. People actually came. Sure, the book was free (never underestimate the power of “free”), but strangers still showed up, which was great. I don’t remember what I wrote, or if I was charming or fun as people walked up. I tried to be. I have very little practice at this sort of thing. I’m generally behind a computer screen, whether it be writing words or computer code. There’s probably a very good reason for that.

Two days later, people actually came — of their own free will, mind you — to listen to me and four other authors (who were all fantastic) talk about our books on a panel. At New York fucking Comic Con. Now, I don’t know what the others expected, but I was thinking maybe 50 people would show up. As if to make this dream that much more surreal, we capped our panel. Somehow, we were talking to a completely full room.


Also somehow, I didn’t 1.) faint 2.) vomit on the speaker next to me 3.) do both at the same time. How’d I do? I don’t know. I don’t remember anything I said. Except I said “whiskey” at some point. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

On Monday, I did my first Reddit AMA. As a regular Redditor, that’s always been a fun daydream of mine. It was every bit as fun as I expected. I received some wonderful questions, and I hope my answers were even close to their caliber. I don’t remember anything I said.

Today, I just finished taping my first (and probably last) radio interview. It was the best radio interview I’ve ever given. It was the worst radio interview I’ve ever given. It’s the only radio interview I’ve ever given. Remember: stuck behind a computer screen all day. Good reason for that. In hindsight, there are things I wished I’d touched on or framed better, but I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Or, that’s how I feel, anyway. Unfortunately, I don’t remem—


Where does that leave me? I don’t know. I’m not sure any of this is real. I mean, what the actual fuck is this? Can someone call up the spirit of Freddie Mercury and ask him if this is real life or just fantasy? It all feels surreal, and there’s a part of me that is desperately trying to soak it in, to focus on the positives (not always a strong suit of mine) and try, try, try to hold onto some of this because it’s all so wonderful and I’m afraid I’ll never be here again. I try very hard to be a humble person, so talking about me me me is annoying and frustrating in some ways. I feel very braggadocios of late (thank you, Donald Trump) and I don’t like it. Part of me hates it. But fuck me, I have a friggin’ Speaker’s badge from New York Comic Con and I don’t know what to do about it. I’d never even been to NYCC until earlier this month (verdict: I was definitely missing out).

I’m really not a fan of how talking about the book makes me feel — it feels selfish sometimes. But on the other had, I want this book to succeed on some level so I can try to do this all again. I want to meet more of you, to thank you, to write your name on the cover page with a dorky message. I want to share the things that are kicking around in my head — I want you to enjoy them, to smile at them, to think about them, to make you sad or angry or happy. I want you to feel things through them. I want to be part of sharing that infinite joy you can only find in the pages of a book that you adore, that gets you, that sticks in you.

I don’t know what that makes me. Human, if nothing else, I guess (that’s probably a relief to my family, who for a while was concerned I was a vampire).

And that’s, like all humans, eventually you have to breathe. So…

Deep breath.



Thanks for being a part of the journey, world. Let’s do this again some time.

Where’s Jay Sherman when you need him?

the-critic-season-1-_alt_I am that annoying person who would prefer that everyone like him. You all know somebody like that, and if somehow you don’t, well, now you’ve got me. Hello! Nice to meet you! Please acknowledge and like me!

Now, if you happen to be one of those people as well, and you have a strong desire to fuck with your own head, I highly recommend writing a book.

To borrow a phrase the founding fathers once said, “We hold this shit to be the truth” (or something like that): not everyone is going to like THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE. Fact. I sincerely hope a majority of readers do — if not, that would sort of be the opposite of what I was going for — but at this point, it’s no longer in my hands. The book is written. Que sera, sera. I’ve accepted that not everyone is going to like my writing style, or my dialogue, or my characters, or my poor excuse for plot. And I’m cool with that. We good, homie, no hard feelings, thanks for the opportunity. But I’m new to this — I’m still figuring out where the cafeteria is and everything, so to speak. So it’s the reviews that I think misrepresent the book, or me, for that matter, that are hard to swallow.

Return to the top of this post. Read. Rinse. Repeat.

I’m not sure there’s an officially-branded, author-approved method for dealing with that. Things like vodka, or self-inflicted blunt force trauma. I’ve found writing workshop experience a valuable tool to have here in the tool belt, as workshops force you to learn to constructively take feedback without lashing out at the world, agree or not. Or mine did, anyway. Maybe the WWE are hosting some interesting ones nowadays. There is always that temptation, however — one I suspect is an ingrained human reaction — to want to defend your work. It’s like a gag reflex, and, to stretch the metaphor a bit, I suppose in this analogy writing is a bit like sword-swallowing: if you want to be able to do the latter, you have to learn to suppress the former.

I think I’m intelligent enough (HA! Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes) to know that this too, will pass as they say. In the immortal words of Public Enemy, “Don’t let a win get to your head or a loss to your heart.” Learn what you can from the feedback, grow, and move on. At least, that’s the strategy I’m trying to adopt. If you find me on Instagram with a picture of my head through a wall, well, we’ll know how that worked out. Still, as Carly reminded me the other day, it’s important not to lose sight of how far it’s come. And that, on days like today, is the absolute truth.

Plus, this happened, so, you know. Bigger picture.

Curious about the THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE? You can check it out here. Or, if you feel like riding the roller coaster with me, check out its Goodreads page and play along at home. There are wonderful prizes (legal disclaimer: there are no wonderful prizes. Colin is a liar).

Brushing Aside Tumbleweeds + Book Thoughts

So remember that time I started a blog and then was all like Knowing me, I probably won’t post very frequently ha ha ha and then almost four months went by without me posting again? I’d like to say I did that on purpose, but, uh… Yeah…

In my defense, a.) things have been a little busy on the home front and b.) no one is reading this as of yet, anyway, so I don’t feel as if I’ve put very many people off (that’s for down the road, obviously). Also, talking about me is not something I generally enjoy, so working up the required energy to overcome the slightly higher inertia for this sort of thing takes a bit more time. Well, it takes time, period — that rare and precious commodity that I think was the resource they were after in the movie Avatar — but you can see where I’m going with this.

In personal news, I recently turned 30, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. However, I also always assumed that’s when they whisked you away to the nursing home kicking and screaming, so for any soon to be thirty-ites, your mileage may vary on that. In addition to a truly wonderful surprise party courtesy of my wife, I received a pretty special belated present:


Yes, that’s my book. It is currently slated for release on September 27th, 2016 (that’s a Tuesday, for those keeping track). It has characters, and dialogue, and occasionally, really, really lousy jokes. There might be a plot in there — I’m not sure, to be perfectly honest. Oh, and there are words! Lots of them. Some even arranged in ways that make sense (usually not, though).

I, personally, have never held a book with my name on the cover (well, aside from the one I did in 4th grade called “Will You Help Me With My Homework?”, when I had to use those tiny sticker letters for the cover that were impossible to pull off the sheet without some kind of neurosurgical training… *shudder*) and, honestly, it’s a strange feeling. I’m also a strange person, so that might be an easy explanation — Occam’s razor and all that. My agent Hannah asked me about a year ago, after we’d just sold it, if the reality of being an author had started to set in yet, and to be honest, it hadn’t. I think there’s a certain shock element to it — the “I can’t believe this is actually happening” effect, commonly abbreviated in medical speak as WTF — but it still felt like a distant, surreal thing. Fast forward to now, and once I flipped the pages for the first time — pages that had, to that point, been almost exclusively digital — things suddenly started to feel exponentially more real. People are actually going to read this (maybe more people than just my parents and wife) and that is simultaneously exhilarating and unbelievably terrifying.

Complete strangers are going to judge this book, as they should because life is subjective. I can already tell you that my writing style (a generous term for it, I think. I prefer “word vomiting”) isn’t for everyone. And that’s cool. I can live with that. Out of the gate, I think being able to disassociate book criticism from personal criticism is going to be tough for me because — and many people have already touched on this — sharing any creative work invariably means that you’re sharing a part of you. But that very idea that people I’ve never met before, who I probably never will, are going to form opinions about it, be they good or bad…

Exhilarating and unbelievably terrifying.

For me, if you asked me right now what I hoped for from this endeavor, I’d say a book that readers enjoy. I don’t need to set the literary world on fire (though I’ve got my book of matches ready, just in case). I’m just hoping to tell a good story, maybe earn a laugh or two along the way, and hopefully get the chance to do it again in the future. I’m not being falsely modest when I say that sometimes I wonder how I even got here. But whatever happens, I’m proud to call this book my own. I think, at the end of the day, that’s all I could have asked for.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about the book in the weeks and months ahead, I’m sure, as there’s still some time until its release. If you’d like to pre-order it, you can find some handy links to some common booksellers on the book’s S&S page. If you prefer to support your local bookstore, the IndieBound link here can hook you up to your local shop (like the ever-awesome Word) or if you’d like to skip that and go right to the online corporate book goliath (are we still calling them that?), you can pre-order it on Amazon here.

Finally, two quick notes: first, a huge thank you to Tottenham Hotspurs, for bringing some joy to an otherwise dour Arsenal season, and second, Uncharted 4 is really, really good. If you want to study a masterclass in dialogue in any medium, look no further.

That about wraps that up. See you again in… Oh, four or five months.