Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amber Ware Is Here!

Back in 2007, I launched my first Young Adult novel (mercifully out of print) at the Miami Book Fair. As you can see in the photo below, we had printed special Amber Book Company T-Shirts to draw attention to our booth. It worked too well: nearly everyone drawn to the booth inquired about buying the demo shirts and few were interested in the actual books (on the display table, below the shirts). If everyone who tried, unsuccessfully, to buy the Amber logo T-shirts had purchased my novel, it would have been a best-seller.

We've worn the shirts at various events, and over the years created some prototypes for internal use: a great tote-bag with the Amber logo on one side and all of our books on the reverse, and a super-sized coffee mug adorned with Amber's smiling face. Sometimes, we've given away promotional items (like the refrigerator magnets with the cover of Randoms) at book signings but, most of the time, I have to tell fans the promo items are not available for sale. (Then, I hint the books, however, are, lol).

Yet, I keep getting asked for Amber T-shirts and other merchandise so, through affiliation with the good folks at Cafe Press, I'm pleased to announce a new line of "Amber Ware". If we had limited it to clothing, we'd have named it "Amber Wear", but we've added some really cool wares besides shirts. As I type this, I'm sipping out of my Amber Coffee Mug and staring at my Amber Totebag, which I never leave home without. Seriously, the totebag is incredibly durable and holds a lot of books! (It's even been to the beach!) I'm easily spotted on airplanes because the versatile Amber Totebag is always one of my carry-ons.

You can see the entire line of Amber Ware (and we'll be adding to it regularly) at the Amber CafePress store or by clicking the Amber Ware tab at the top of my blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just Published: SHARDS!

Tales of Cutting Edge Speculative Fiction!
Softcover edition. 542 pages.

Finally! Shards was published in August, on schedule, however Amazon has only now gotten around to listing it for sale on its site. So far, Barnes and Noble is still running behind, so the only place to buy it online is from Amazon. Clicking the cover will take you to the Amazon page. Shards is available only in softcover - it will not be available in hardcover or e-book formats.

Shards is the ultimate short story collection, clocking in at 542 pages. By my count, it comes to 150,693 words comprising 61 short stories. Here's the blurb:

Keith B. Darrell traverses multiple genres and dimensions, guiding the reader to a wondrous universe of speculative fiction in which he has loosed the gremlins of his imagination. Leading the reader through realms of fantasy, horror, science fiction, satire, nostalgia, urban fiction, and other genres, he has tapped into the zeitgeist, chronicling the exploits of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. His tales hold a funhouse mirror up to society and force us to recognize ourselves in the reflection. Filled with pathos, they cross all genres and are alternately poignant, nostalgic, humorous, cautionary, and even terrifying. Keith B. Darrell’s stories flow effortlessly. Do not be deceived. They are raw. They are politically incorrect. And they will take you from your comfort zone into a modern day Twilight Zone.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Do Blogs Die?

The previous post got me thinking: What happens to our Web pages after we die? Who "turns off" our Facebook profiles or writes "fin" on our blogs? Do they outlive us indefinitely, becoming Flying Dutchmen of the Web, forever roaming the Internet? As blogs and social network profiles proliferate, how many will outlive their creators, leaving the Internet populated by both the living and ghosts from the past?

In five or ten years, when you notice someone on your Facebook profile you haven't heard from in ages, maybe you should "poke" them... just to see if they move.