N.A.Q.: Never Asked Questions

               You know, I feel like the FAQ posts, while undeniably useful, are also a bit played out. I mean, sure, answering questions that multiple people keep asking is helpful, but is it fun? The way I do it, yes, but I still decided it was time to shake things up a bit. That’s why this week, I am doing NAQ: Never Asked Questions. Every question I’m about to be answering is 100% guaranteed to have never been asked by anyone other than the brain spiders that dwell in my cranium and eat my sleep. I can’t sincerely imagine you need more lead-in than that, so let’s watch this trail start derailing!

Q: When it comes to fighting dolphins bare-handed, I find my punches just don’t do as much damage as I’d like. What combat style to you recommend?

A: Great question! As everyone knows, dolphins are protected by water, slick skin, and a cocoon of intangible evil that renders them impervious to most unarmed strikes. Luckily, the power of whiskey can help negate that aura, so be sure to soak your fists thoroughly in it before the battle. And obviously, the best method for that is by consuming whole bottles of it, as that soaks the blood, which pumps through the fists. Boom, perfect dolphin-fighting readiness.

Q: In pictures I’ve noticed your dark, spiky hair, and was wondering how to get mine more like it?

A: Robot semen. Look, it isn’t a pretty answer, but you (didn’t) ask, so there it is. Technically, I don’t think most people are supposed to know that there are sentient robots, let alone that there’s semen to be extracted from them, but if you black out enough times eventually you’ll wake up inside a top-secret government facility. No idea how I busted in there, but anyway, that’s where the robots are held. Might want to hurry though, they keep talking about some “singularity” or whatever and how it will change everything. No idea how that will impact the availability of… product.

Q: Why in God’s name are you doing a blog this ridiculous? (I’m sure someone would have asked this, were time-travel possible, but ain’t, so they didn’t.)

A: I’ve basically been writing nonstop all month as I tried to finish Forging Hephaestus, attend a con, fix two separate site-breaking issues ( on my other sites), and get Split the Party prepped in time to have copies at my Austin signing (October 8th at Malvern Books). Occasionally I need a silly break from time to time, and this seemed like fun.

Q: Is it?

A: So far!

Q: With the holidays approaching, I’m nervous about seeing my family. They tend to throw around words like “Intervention” and “Get your life together”. Do you have any advice for how to slip through the holidays without ending up with an earful of guilt?

A: Robot semen. Kidding, there’s only so much of that to go around, and you’ll want to save the majority of it for styling your hair. For a delicate situation like this, I’d recommend going with a tried and true method to help with difficult human interaction: Lying!

Family worried about your dead-end job? Say you got promoted! They think you’re drinking too much? Guess who’s on the wagon! Wondering when you’ll settle down? Yeah… you might have to just cope with that one, lying about relationships gets into wacky sitcom territory and generally ends badly. Should all else fail, remember: if you’re so drunk you can’t understand words, then you can’t hear their criticism.

Q: Tell Me More About Your Dog!

A: Okay! His name is Dr. Winston and he’s a Welsh-Corgie mutt, though I don’t know the exact mix since rescues don’t come with full genetic backgrounds. He is lazy as can be, but very snuggly and-

Edit: The original version of this was so long that Squarespace couldn’t handle it as a blog post, so sadly it’s whittled down to just what you see for functionality.

Q: After your post about barely resisting the urge to swear in front of impressionable youths, I want to have you come speak at my event! How can you be booked?

A: You must swim to the bottom of a lake known only to the most enlightened of beings, pull from it a snow white stone of perfect roundness, and bring it to the top of the highest mountain where nightshade blooms. There, you will meet a man with a hood. Give him the stone, but do not meet his eyes, for in them you will see more than a mortal was meant to bear. He will whisper to you a single word, and with it, you can approach the guardian statues and gain entrance to the labyrinth. Solve the maze before the monsters devour you, and I shall be waiting at its center.

Or e-mail. We have e-mail in the labyrinth too. Sidenote: Never look at a Minotaur’s browser history.

Q: You, uh, you’ve been using the term “brain-spiders” more and more lately. Is… is everything okay?


Q: Enough of this superhero/fantasy stuff! When are you going to get down to the nitty gritty and tackle the true art of literature: non-fiction books about boats and boat-wars?

A: Hard as I work to hone my craft, it has not yet reached the level where I feel comfortable following in the footsteps of such greats as Theodore Roosevelt. This is also why I don’t work as a cattle rancher, police commissioner, or president, despite the almost hourly requests flooding my inbox. Too soon, much too soon for me to walk in the shadows of such giants.

Q: Are you going to do any more of these? Please let the answer be no.

A: Well, given my tendency to overcommit and a personal refusal to miss deadlines, it sure seems likely that I’ll need a nice break from cohesive thought somewhere in the future. Hopefully not for a while though. "Hope," being the key word there.