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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book 11 Ships This Week!

Okay, so here's the surprise. I am promised by clandestine and reputable sources (my publisher) that the book is actually arriving at the Covenant Communications warehouse on Wed or Thurs of this week. Oddly enough, I believe 'em. This means that for all those who have pre-ordered Tennis Shoes Vol. 11: Sorcerers and Seers directly from me, we will begin the process of shipping all packages this week. The wait is almost over. The eagle has almost landed. The rubber is about to hit the road. The monkey is about to swallow the wrench. (Not sure what that last one means, but...I like it.)

Not too late to be part of the first wave of pre-orders. Go to: Link

Or, you can always just call me directly at 801-495-0555. If I'm not home, just leave a number. Much Grass! (Spanish, I think.)

Chris Heimerdinger

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heimerdinger at BMAF Conference and Updated Signing Event Schedule

Okay, so here's an updated signing schedule. I know, I know. My publisher went hog wild with the Costco promotions. This schedule is only for the month of Sept. I expect a BYU-Provo to slip in there as well, but as of yet it's not finalized. In October I will try to go to BYU-Idaho and the Costco (yup, 'nother Costco) in Pocatello. I've never signed at any Costco before, so I hope it goes well. As of now, Cosco is not carrying the audio book, but if the first signings are successful and enough people mention it, we hope they'll expand their repertoire by the second or third signing. But for now:

Sept. 9 - 11-3 pm, Sandy Costco
Sept. 9 - 4-7 pm, West Bountiful Costco
Sept. 11 - 11-3 pm, Orem Costco
Sept. 11 - 4-6 pm, Sandy Costco
Sept. 14 - Noon-2pm, Sandy Costco
Sept. 15 - Noon-3 pm, Salt Lake City Costco
Sept. 16 - Noon-3pm, Orem Costco
Sept. 17 - 1-4 pm, Lehi Costco
Sept. 17 - 5-7 pm, Sandy Costco
Sept. 18 - 11-3pm, Orem Costco
Sept. 21 - 3-6 pm, Sandy Costco
Sept. 22 - 3-6 pm, Murray Costco
Sept. 23 - 3-6 pm. Murray Costco
Sept. 24 - 5-7 pm, Lehi Costco
Sept. 25 - 4-6 pm, Sandy Costco

I might as well announce now that I am scheduled as one of the speakers/presenters at this year's BMAF (Book of Mormon Archeological Foundation) Conference that takes place in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 23rd from 9 am to 5 pm. I extend a personal invitation to all readers and participants of the Frost Cave Blog.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Richard Bushman, acclaimed historian and author of Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling. Another presenter is Dr. Ugo Perego, a world-renowned DNA expert who will present a scientific explanation to questions being asked by many on the subject: "DNA Evidence--Can it Prove the Location of Book of Mormon Lands?"

There's a luncheon where an award will be presented honoring Dr. Hugh Nibley's 100th birthday. Sister Phyllis Nibley will accept the award for her late husband for their enduring contributions to the study of the Book of Mormon.

Other presentations include "Metals and Gold Plates in Mesoamerica" by Daniel Johnson; "The Heartland Model vs the Mesoamerican Model" by Ted Dee Stoddard; "The Olmec, the Jaredites, and Origins of Quetzalcoatl" by Douglas Christensen. And also little 'ol me with the presentation, "American Nationalism and Book of Mormon Geography," which (I hope) will offer insight into a rather disturbing trend with some Latter-day Saints who preach that only lands inside the actual borders of the United States qualify as "Promised Land" territories of the Book of Mormon.
The Conference is to be held at the Sheraton Hotel at 150 W 500 S, Salt Lake City. The fee for the day, including lunch, is $35 in advance or $40 at the door. You can pre-register online at www.bmaf.org and a name tag will be waiting for you.

I know this event is two months away, but room at the hotel may be limited, so I'm hoping that readers and fans of me or this blog who wish to attend can get a jump ahead.

JUST A LITTLE OVER ONE WEEK remains before Tennis Shoes 11: Sorcerers and Seers is released. There's a link to pre-order an autographed copy in the post below this post, but if you want to avoid the hassle of ordering online, just call me and I'll input the information directly into my merchant account: 801-495-0555. 

I can't believe the 5-year wait is almost over. Trust me, it's been no less suspenseful for me as it has been for readers.

Stay Close to the Lord

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let the Autograph Parties Begin!--and Other Philosophies

Just two weeks left! Hard to believe this book is so close to release. And hey, I just finished the opening chapter for the sequel to Passage to Zarahemla this week! This book's working title is Escape From Zarahemla. That's a first for me--working hard on another book before the currently completed book is released. I don't think I've ever done that before. Too busy with promotional stuff. So I hope that's a positive sign that the break between products will be short and that I'll flood the market with new adventures at a faster pace.

For those who would still like to pre-order Tennis Shoes 11: Sorcerers and Seers, go here: Link

Okay, so, below is a partial list of some of the autograph parties that are being scheduled. I expect one for BYU and BYU-I to be added next week. Possibly a few others.

(no surprise since the book itself isn't scheduled for release until the 7th)
Friday, Sept. 10 - Sandy Costco, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 11 - Orem Costco, 11-3 pm
Friday, Sept. 17 - Sandy Costco, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 18 -Orem Costco, 11-3pm
Friday, Sept. 24 - Lehi Costco, 5-7 pm

As you probably noticed, all of these signings are at COSTCO. Why is that (you might ask)? Welllll, frankly, because my publisher has figured out that Costco makes for a very successful autograph signing location. Trouble is, I'll only have two products on hand--the new book, Tennis Shoes 11: Sorcerers and Seers and the two book sets of the first five books and the second five books. (We'll just break 'em out of their shrink wrap and sign 'em there.) You're certainly welcome to bring in your old collections to be signed as well, but if you want to purchase anything other than the products I've mentioned, you'll have to buy them first at Seagull or DB or just come to a signing for BYU or some other venue. Costco is a very "corporate" entity and they only carry a limited number of titles--only new releases and cream of the crop products. No backlist items. Sure, we tried to talk them into taking other things, like the audio book, but...oh well. I'm just grateful they let us in at all! Traffic will be intense and I hope we sell a lot of books.

Autograph Signings have changed a lot in five years, since I last released a book. But they are also very, very different from what they were TWENTY years ago. When I first started signing books, it was rare that I signed less than a hundred copies at any signing, with lines going out the door. Nowadays, autograph signings can be very lonely events. That's right. I sold more books at an autograph party when I only had three or four titles out than now, when I have seventeen books and audio books. Oddly, I sell more book overall, but autograph parties have changed. And this is not just the case for little ole' me. It's basically the same for ALL LDS authors--top sellers on down. Not sure why this is. Many bookstores don't even do signings anymore. It has something to do with the saturation of LDS authors. There are so many of them now compared to twenty years ago. But more than that, I think Latter-day Saints just aren't as thrilled to meet LDS artists as they once were--that is, unless the artist has somehow "broken out" and become a national success. Part of this attitude might be healthy. What's the big deal? We all take the Sacrament every week just like everybody else, right? So this "we're-all-in-this-kingdom-together" factor in combinatin with the explosion of local LDS artists has more or less dampened the success rate of most in-store autograph signings. For a signing to be a success, traffic has to be naturally (already) high. Very few people will actually get up off their couch or scribble on the calendar a planned event to meet an LDS author. Let me be clear: I'm certainly not complaining about this. The market simply evolves, and we have to evolve with it. But what it means is that most signings will probably be restricted to venues with naturally high traffic, like a Costco.

I know that many of you live outside of Utah. If you would still like an autographed book--ANY book--don't despair. Obviously I can also sign audio books. Just call me and order it from me directly at 801-495-0555. No biggie. As I've said before, this is how I make a living, and it's always an honor to talk to fans!

Stay close to the Lord,

Chris Heimerdinger

Friday, August 13, 2010

Online Interview and Tennis Shoes Update

September 7th. Have I told everyone that yet???? Well, that's the scheduled release date. I never hold my breath on these things because there are often unforeseen circumstances that delay the release a few days or a few weeks, but as of now, that's the release. For those who have pre-ordered an autographed book, I will likely get the books and audio books on the 7th and start shipping right away. So I would expect them around the 9-11th. Again, that's if there's no unforeseen delays.

Those who wish to receive the book as part of the first wave of orders need to place their preorder right away by going to: Link
Or hey, just call me at 801-495-0555 and we'll place the order directly at the merchant site and bypass the online bureaucracy altogether!


--The audio book includes 15 CDs. 19.5 hours! See, I TOLD everyone it was a long book, and doing the audio unabridged was a major project! My publisher proclaimed that this is the longest fiction novel on audio that they have ever released. I'm just happy that, despite being 3 CDs longer than Kingdoms and Conquerors, they were able to keep the price the same. Four narrators. Tons of characters. Tons of voices. For more info on the narrators, etc., read the update I posted last week.

--The book is 512 pages. That includes all the scholarly chapter notes (which are not included in the audio version) as well as a detailed "Cast of Characters" at the beginning which I hope is helpful to anyone who has ever found it challenging to keep track of all the major and minor fictional and historical figures in the storyline.

Lastly, Seagull Book has released a short online interview about Book 11: Sorcerers and Seers online. Go to:Link My thanks to Tim Costello for posting this information also on Facebook.

The publisher, Covenant Communications, is working on a schedule for autograph parties starting in September. As soon as I get any definitive information on that, I'll pass it along to you. Again I express my deep gratitute to all readers and fans. Only three weeks left! You've waited almost five years. I hope, indeed, that the wait was worth it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sorcerers and Seer Cover Revealed--Update

I'll let fans and followers see it first. Here's the new cover for Tennis Shoes Volume 11: Sorcerers and Seers. I'm not sure it's my favorite cover, but it is my favorite book, so that makes up for it. :)

The book heads to press next week. They say its release is still set in stone for September. Hard to believe they can turn things around that fast now. I still have at least two full days left before I complete the unabridged audio recording. Then Covenant's audio editor has their work cut out for them to meet the deadline.

Fans can still pre-order Volume 11 by going to: Link

The book and audio tape are both discounted. Some fans have asked if the ordering site is secure. Yes, I've paid the "protection" money (sounds like the mob!) to my Merchant Account, but I've left it to my webmaster to post the "Secure Certificate" info, and he has not done so. An error message also shows at the top of the page, but please ignore it. The so-called "error" has nothing to do with the ordering part of the site. Pretty rinky-dink, I know. The best option for some may be to just call me directly. Then we skip the website and go directly to the Merchant Account--no middle man. Many have called to order this way. I've had a few people express reservations about calling the author directly. I guess I understand that. Some would like me to remain like the magician in the back room, too mysterious to actually speak to folks. But, hey, I LIKE talking to fans, and this is how I make a living, so if you don't want to order online, please feel free to call me at 801-495-0555. Leave your number if I'm unavailable and I'll call ASAP.

For the audio recording we settled on four separate narrators. Me, Carlyn Blake, Dave Walker, and Summer Naomi Smart. Summer and Dave were the hardest to nail down. Dave has narrated many Covenant audio tapes, and has traditionally done the part of Marcos for my stuff, but for the last year he has been bogged down in a start-up business. Both he and Summer did this as a personal favor to me, so I am deeply grateful. My sister, Carlyn, as usual is wonderful to work with. She flew down from Boise and reprised her role of Meagan, doing a spectacular job.

So who played Joshua??? Well, I looked into possibly hiring another narrator, but in the end, I decided to read Joshua's part myself. Joshua has some intense stuff in this book, and I wanted it done right. If I'd looked hard enough, I'm sure I could have found the perfect narrator for that part, but who has time? This product will be ON THE SHELVES in a month! It seems like this has all happened very fast, but I got to hand it to my publisher. They pulled out all the stops.

The page count on this book ended up over 500 pages! NOW we're in Harry Potter-length territory. I'm certain fans won't care. They're just getting more adventure for their money. It's very cool, because my initial impression was that they were going to expand the margins and decrease the fontsize so that they could keep the book the same basic length as the previous book, or as we call it in the publishing biz, keep the same "pagination." The best part is, even with this book almost 100 pages longer than any other Tennis Shoes book, they only raised the price a buck. And the audio book, at least for now, is the exact same price as the unabridged audio for "Kingdoms and Conquerors". To accomplish this, there may be some modest, undiscernable time compression and 13 CDs instead of 12. Sure, it means I don't get a "raise" in royalty, but at this point, after making fans wait for so many years, I'm more pleased that the publisher has been price conscious and tried to keep down costs.

As I have said, I personally feel this is the strongest book I've written to date. It tackles so many subjects that no fiction author--LDS or non-LDS--has ever tackled. Great fun. As long as it remains a challenge, it also remains fun, and that's the most important thing for me as an artist.