More From my Muse

As you know -- primarily because I haven't shut up about it -- my new Markhat book Brown River Queen  was released last Tuesday.

Response so far has been wonderful. I've gotten a number of emails from readers who liked the book. Sales are brisk. BRQ is poised to emerge as the most popular entry in the series thus far.

Still, I was surprised when my Muse, the plain-spoken Visavarevagsitaga (Ancient Mesopotamian goddess of pointed sticks, argumentative hedgehogs, and minor waterways) added her own missive to the congratulatory emails.

I've posted her letter below.

Date:  Sat, 30 Mar 2013 10:51:23 -0600 [12:51:23 PM EST]
From:  Visavarevagsitaga <>

Dear Whatsyourname,

In accordance with the Statutes, Policies, and Best Practices of the Amalgamated League of Muses, I am sending you this official Letter of Congratulations on the publication of your new novel/play/epic poem/other fictional work (select one), which is entitled (insert title of Work here). 

We wish you every success in this artistic endeavor BLAH BLAH BLAH, we hope our contributions to the creative process were BLAH BLAH BLAH.

There are another two paragraphs of like-minded claptrap but oops I deleted them both.

I did you a favor and picked up a copy of the book (Frown River Cake or whatever it is) but my copy must be defective because nowhere on the cover or in the dedication is the Holy Sacred name of Visavarevagsitaga mentioned as co-author. 

Even more inexplicable is the delay in my first royalty check, which I am QUITE SURE is on the way, because IF IT ISN'T some very agitated Egyptian Nile toads are going to be turning up in some UNEXPECTED PLACES. Hint hint, monkey boy. Need a I send a plague of biting flies to spell it all out?

Just to be clear, I expect no less than 20% of the cover and half of any foreign language sales and half of any future merchandising, praise be to My name and when I say 'biting flies' I mean 'flies easily capable of biting off both ears.' 

So, now that we're friends again -- we ARE friends again, aren't we? -- I have a few comments (three specific observations are required by the Statutes, Policies, and Best Practices of the Amalgamated League of Muses) concerning your work, Drown Shiver Mean.

1) It is a book, written in modern English. Yay you for making that bold stylistic choice. One mandated observation down.
2) The book features dark letters on a light page. Again, way to push the envelope. Moron.
3) Individual chapters are denoted by chapter breaks. That's three. Somebody get me a latte.

This concludes my mandated congratulatory communication. I see you are already working on a new book. If I can talk you out of continuing let me know, otherwise please toil in silent obscurity.


Her High Holiness and Exalted Divinity Visavarevagsitaga, Blessed of All, Goddess of Time and Space, 34th Level Muse (Extended Associate), Amalgamated League of Muses.

PS Stop calling Mama Hog's hair 'wild,' find a thesaurus and use it, idiot.

Judging by her past emails, I take it my Muse is both in an unusually good mood and is warming up to me.

At least I haven't had any frogs show up in my coffee this week.

For any new readers of the Markhat series, let me take a moment here and suggest an order in which the books can be read.

First of all, you've got your early adventures, which are all standalone tales in which order doesn't really make any difference at all. These are:

The Mister Trophy

The Cadaver Client

Dead Man's Rain

All of which were combined in the print-only anthology The Markhat Files.

After the first three, I suggest you read as follows:

Hold the Dark

The Banshee's Walk

The Broken Bell

And finally, the new one, which is of course Brown River Queen.

If you want print versions of Hold the Dark, The Banshee's Walk, or The Broken Bell, no problem, click on the links in this sentence!