Letters From the Labyrinth 333
Wait... it's not Sunday? That's right. it's a pre-wedding edition
Good morning. I’m Brian Keene and this is Letters From the Labyrinth — a weekly newsletter for fans, friends, and family. It usually comes to you on Sunday morning, but as I’m getting married Saturday, I suspect I won’t be inclined to type a newsletter up on that day. And since there are a few things you should be aware of immediately, I’m sending it now instead.
Progress continues with Bocephus (whom Mary insists that I call Bo because, quote “It’s more ladylike”) and her litter. Sadly, they won’t be tame enough to give away to folks at the wedding, so that will have to be done when we get home from the honeymoon. Since you won’t get a newsletter this Sunday, here are a few cat pics to hold you over.
* * *
Ever since we raised money for Bear Triana a few years ago, readers have been asking for another chance to appear in my stories. I said I’d wait until there was another good reason to do it. Well, this is as good a reason as any. The wedding and honeymoon are paid for, but they are only just paid for, with no room for emergency expenses or spending money. So, I’d like to establish a little cushion for us, so we can breathe easier.
Which brings us to this — your opportunity to be the star of a story, set within the confines of my LOST LEVEL series.
Here are all the details. Please read carefully:
You are commissioning and purchasing a starring role for yourself or someone you love in a brand-new story, written by me and set within the Lost Level series.
The cost per story is $350, payable via PayPal.
The deadline for purchase is 11:59pm on Thursday, May 25th. (That’s tomorrow).
When you make your purchase via PayPal, please include your email address and your mailing address in the notes.
You will receive a confirmation from me.
I will then begin contacting each person on June 7th, 2023 (upon our return from our honeymoon). When I do, I’ll ask you some questions about yourself, and about what you’d like to see included in the story.
Upon completion of the story, you will receive the original manuscript, signed by me, along with a Letter of Authenticity.
The stories will also be published, either in a chapbook or in a full book (depending on the number of stories requested). You will be listed in the acknowledgements of that printed version.
All stories will be completed and manuscripts mailed by November 25, 2023, if not sooner.
Readers who participated in HOLE IN THE WORLD, THE RISING: SELECTED SCENES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD, THE RISING: MORE SELECTED SCENES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD, or EARTHWORM GODS: SELECTED SCENES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD are very welcome to participate again.
I, Brian Keene, own the copyright and all other rights to the finished story. You own the original manuscript and bragging rights.
You grant me full permission to use your name and likeness and anything else you’d like me to share.
The deadline, again, is 11:59pm this Thursday, May 25th. No commissions will be accepted after that.
Again, payment is only accepted via PayPal, for your protection as well as mine.
I look forward to crafting a memorable keepsake for you!
* * *
A heads up for you audiobook listeners — SUBMERGED: THE LABYRINTH Book 2 is now available in audiobook, narrated by Joshua Saxon. (It is currently on Audible and should appear on iTunes within the next day).
The Seven have won the first battle against the Thirteen, but it cost them one of their number. Now Frankie, Teddy, LeHorn, Tony, Bloom, and the Exit find themselves in the middle of a global superstorm on a flooded Earth, reunited with old friends and facing off against familiar threats, including the terrifying titanic might of Behemoth and Leviathan, and the machinations of Ob, Lord of the Siqqusim. In a fight that spans from a sodden landscape to the very heart of ancient R'lyeh, only one thing is certain. Even if they win, it will be at an unimaginable cost. The storm is here...and the end continues.
Continuing Brian Keene's magnum opus, featuring characters, locations, and situations from throughout his vast literary universe in a multi-volume epic saga that will thrill both new listeners and longtime fans.
Submerged: The Labyrinth, Book Two—It's raining again…
* * *
I’ve got a book recommendation I’d like you to see this week, as well.
Fight Like Hell by Kim Kelly is the untold story of American Labor. Those of you who know me know I come from coal miner stock, and labor unions and workers right are deep in my DNA. However, this book will appeal to history buffs of all stripes. It tells stories you haven’t heard before. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era South. Jewish immigrant garment workers braving deadly conditions for a sliver of independence. Asian American fieldworkers rejecting government-sanctioned indentured servitude across the Pacific. Incarcerated workers advocating for basic human rights and fair wages. The queer Black labor leader who helped orchestrate America’s civil rights movement. These are only some of the working-class heroes who propelled American labor’s relentless push for fairness and equal protection under the law.
Fight Like Hell is available in hardcover and for Kindle. I highly recommend springing for the hardcover.
* * *
Wedding preparations have dominated the week. I finished the first draft of SPLINTERED: THE LABYRINTH Book 3 on Monday (and posted the final chapter to Patreon). Yesterday I wrote my vows and today I’ll write a speech. And then that’s it. I intend to go without writing or working from tomorrow (Thursday) until we get home from the honeymoon (June 5th). That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without writing in over twenty-five years. Mary thinks I won’t be able to do it, but I intend to give it an honest try. I may — may — pack a single Moleskine notebook and pen, just in case, though.
Some of you asked where we are going on our honeymoon. We’re spending one night at one of our favorite hotels — McMenamins Edgefield in Portland, Oregon. Then, we are spending most of the week hiking and camping atop Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens. Then we will return to civilization and spend a night at the Salish Lodge and Spa — which is the physical location of The Great Northern Hotel from Twin Peaks. The diner from Twin Peaks is also in the same town. Finally, we’ll spend one day in Seattle. We’d hoped to do an appearance while there, but given the ongoing fulfillment issues with publishers and paper companies and bookstores, that won’t be happening.
So, no writing until we return, and I suspect my social media will go fairly dark, as well. Brian Keene Radio will keep playing 24/7 but in full automated mode, without me around to program it. Look for wedding and honeymoon pictures on my Instagram, Substack Notes, and Bluesky. Other than that, I will see all of you back here on Sunday, June 11th!
With love and appreciation, as always,
— Brian Keene
I hope you and Mary have a beautiful day. Nothing would make me happier than to take one or all of those kittens off your hands, they’re insanely cute.
Have a great wedding day and honeymoon!