Poisoned Pen, Concealed Carriers, and Crazies

Just got back from a wonderful trip with Larry Correia down to Phoenix. We did 2 signings and hit 23 bookstores in 1.5 days. Our new zipcode map GPS method rocks! Have three interesting things to report.

First, we have a great time at The Poisoned Pen, an independent bookstore in Scottsdale. Lori and the other two guys whose names I forgot (doh!) were wonderful hosts. We talked about our books, fielded questions, and then signed. Had a great time. A lot of laughing and good stories shared. If you’re ever in their area, you should stop by and check out the store.

It was also nice meeting Valerie Moore, a reader I met on Twitter, who makes her own beads. Cool thing is–she’s doing a new design inspired by the book called “The Grove.” Can’t wait to see what it looks like.

I also need to comment on Mysterious Galaxy, the store we went to in San Diego. Patrick and his crew were also wonderful hosts. This is also the first bookstore I’ve been into dedicated to science fiction and fantasy. The folks who showed up were hard core fans. We loved it. I hope I get to go back again and again.

BTW, anyone wanting to pick up signed copies can get them at either place while they last. I believe both stores do a lot of mail business as well.

Another comment along these lines. We noticed a dramatic difference between stores. Larry and I both agreed that the Barnes & Noble (Bookstar, which is a B&N store as well) and the independent stores (Poisoned Pen, Mysterious Galaxy) consistently showed the best customer service. They also consistently showed the most business sense. Kudos to them.  

Second, Larry had a bunch of gun owner friends show up to the signing and then invite us out to dinner the next night. We had a great time. Polite, good-natured, and fun. Of course, a number of them were carrying concealed weapons. And I’ll tell you what–never felt safer in my life.  Now, I know some people are going to say, hey, that’s just an accident waiting to happen and if any bad dudes show up you’re just more likely to get shot or have the gun stolen.



These guys don’t just carry weapons. These guys live and breathe weapons. They customize guns. They shoot them and train with them in competitions. These guys know guns like I know my keyboard. I wish I could have remembered all their names–Chris, Hiram, Mark, the dude with the Hooters wife, and the other dude who drives for an armored truck company (and wears a kilt!), and about five others.

Thanks to Chris for a great dinner at Famous Dave’s!

I wish I could post pictures. I promised myself I take a camera on this trip. Dang it. Denver. I shall document Denver.

Finally,  I have to write about a guy in the Mesa Barnes & Noble where we were holding our informal signing. We were in the cafe. My great sister had brought rum cake muffins and everyone who came was eating them and talking. One of them asked me how I got the idea. So I told them the cow story and about the idea of humans being ranched for their souls. And just after I finished this a guy who had been reading behind us, a B&N customer, stands up and says, “Your book it true! Your book is true!” He had a beard and was all bug-eyed.

At first I thought he was joking.


He said lizard men were ranching humans and I needed to read book xyz by author abc. Later he told my sister that the Bible showed they’ve interbred with humans and are taking our souls.

Lizard men… and all this time I thought it was the socialists that were going to get us.

Larry and I had talked earlier in the day about the demographics of our audiences. His audience was easy–red-state conservatives, military folks, & gun nuts. I expressed my trouble finding an easily identifiable demographic tag for my readers. But now I know–I got the crazies. 😛

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7 Responses to Poisoned Pen, Concealed Carriers, and Crazies

  1. mentatjack says:

    Great to know authors have as much fun on their tours as those of us that go to see them. I LOVE Mysterious Galaxy.

    I’m totally going to have to read this.

  2. valeriebeads says:

    Why thank you John Brown for saying such nice things about me! The Grove is thisclose to being finished, and evokes the people of the Grove well I think, but I’m the artsy-fartsy type and feel things in and through my art/beads. I have to say that it was nice meeting you too @ the Poisoned Pen and I hope you come back to Phoenix again in your next round. ps. I’m a lib dem and not crazy (I don’t think…), but love books like Larry’s. I’m a huge Deathlands, zombie, end of the world fan/reader and devour them like food. Check out Alas Babylon – not many guns but a good post-apocolyptic read, as is Day By Day Armageddon, which has lots of guns.

  3. John Brown says:

    YES!! A sane reader (grin)!!!

    Larry’s stuff is lots of fun. I’ll let him know he’s got a lib dem in the audience. BTW, what’s your favorite part of his story?

  4. Thernlund says:

    I’m the Hooters-wife guy (Terry). It was great to meet you John and I look forward to reading your book.

  5. John Brown says:

    Ha, Terry. I KNEW that. Let’s see if I can’t etch that in my brain this time. It was great hearing your stories, man. And now I’m thinking of getting a concealed carry license. We’ll see what happens.

  6. bonehead-ut says:

    I am glad to be a CRAZY, and equally glad to be a fan.

    Somehow I just was thrown back in time many, many years ago… Picture this:

    Me, as an early teen, walking up to the brick rambler with a brown Ford Pinto in the driveway, and ringing the doorbell. Standing there with the confidence that my friend is home from the rock music blaring from his bedroom, the window of which is open and just a few yards from the front porch. The door is answered by a heavyset man dancing to the music that is now even louder with the door open.

    “Is John home?” I ask, somewhat reciprocally.

    The “No” answer catches me totally off guard and I stammer a question about why his music is on. The response is equally unexpected as Mr. Brown explains that he is the one listening to the music… I think it was Deep Purple.

    Your dad earned lots of ‘cool points’ that day.

  7. John Brown says:

    Ha! Great one. Deep Purple was indeed his. I’ll have to pass that on.