High Strangeness: September 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Meet the New UFO Author on the Block

Yesterday afternoon I drove down to beautiful Williams Bay, Wisconsin, on the shores of beautiful Lake Geneva, to the site of the beautiful Yerkes Observatory, to have some "author's head shots" taken for my book. Along for the ride was my friend Lxxx, who is a very talented photographer, and my one and only choice for this photo shoot.

I chose the site because this is where Dr. Hynek did his graduate work on the spectra of F-type stars in the early 1930's, and so the place is of immense significance to the Hynek story. Yerkes has been owned and operated by the University of Chicago for well over a hundred years, and it's an impressive place. Lxxx just kept gasping in awe as we walked around the building, looking for places to set up, and I have to admit that I felt a little bit of pride showing the place off...

We ended up with a whole slew of pictures, and here are a few of my faves. I think Lxxx has captured a mysterious something in me...

Will my editor Mxxxxxx agree with my top picks? I'll let you know...

The Truth is Out There
I Want to Believe
My natural state

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Speculation Over Hynek UFO Book Finally Ends!

Is this man smiling because he's read my book?

The suspense is over.

It took my editor at Dey Street Books longer than expected to get through my manuscript (apparently he's working on other books??), but it was worth the wait, because he came through today with some great news:

Hi, Mark:
What can I say…You’ve delivered a tremendously accurate, substantial, and riveting book, which has exceeded expectations that were very high to begin with. I was enthralled by the amount of research you put into the draft, and despite your lack of a first-person voice I was able to sense that you (author, critic, historian, Hynekian) had so much fun with this. That made it all the better to read.

Considering that this is coming from a guy who came into this knowing nothing about UFO history and culture, it feels like pretty high praise, and I'm on Cloud 9. 

More news soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Happy 50th, Star Trek!

A sampling of my "Star Trek" work
First of all. Happy 50th Birthday, Star Trek! I feel honored to be just a small part of the show's history and success, and I hope ST continues to live long and prosper.

Second of all, I'm really loving the next phase of getting my book, "The Close Encounters Man," ready for publication! Right now my editor and I are talking about who to get to write blurbs for the book cover, and I'm having a blast thinking of favorite writers whom we can approach.

In the course of doing interviews for the book, I lined up one offer to write a cover blurb from a pretty unexpected source. As excited as I am about that, though, one blurb is not enough. So we've been going back and forth all day coming up with ideas for writers we think we can approach to give us a read and a write-up. It's unbelievably fun coming up with names, and even more fun to think that my book may be getting read and reviewed by some of my favorite writers!

We're also talking about an online platform from which to reveal the book cover when it's finalized. I didn't know this was part of the process, but apparently it's a pretty bog deal. My editor is looking for a popular blog from which to launch the cover, and for some reason it can't be mine! Go figure.

Also, I need to get a new head shot done for the book jacket. Which probably means I'll have to buy a new shirt! The work just never ends...

Anyway, there will be lots of news and announcements in the coming months, and a few surprises here and there (although I'm saving the best of those for the book).

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I Sold a Book!

This is getting real.

I met with my editor Matthew at Dey Street Books -- at HarperCollins global HQ in Manhattan -- and learned that my Hynek bio, "The Close Encounters Man," is already available for pre-order on Amazon! Even better, as of our meeting Thursday afternoon one copy had already been sold!

Whoever you are, THANK YOU!

I solemnly pledge here and now not to disappoint you.

The book comes out on May 9, 2017!

Next project for me: Writing my Author's Notes explaining how the book came to be, and describing everything that went into it... That should be fun, but... where to start??