Well, it’s been a long time coming.

I finished writing Hit Me in November, 2011. I was booked for two events a week or so apart in Southern California, and I had about a week’s worth of work to do on the book, so I took my laptop along, holed up in a hotel on Beverly Boulevard, just down the street from CBS, and Got It Done.

What I truly want, when I finish a book, is to take a shower, drink a cup of coffee, then walk around the corner to find the book nicely displayed in a proper bookstore. An hour or so strikes me as an appropriate interval; fifteen months, OTOH, is a lot like eternity.

Well, fifteen months (if not eternity) is up this coming Tuesday, February 12. I’ve been blogging and blathering about it sufficiently to leave you feeling as though you’ve already read it. But you probably haven’t, and in a couple of days you’ll get your chance.

If you can hold out an extra two days, and if you’re in the New York area, you can pick up your copy at a ***BOOK LAUNCH PARTY*** —to which you are hereby invited.

Where: Otto Penzler’s MYSTERIOUS BOOKSHOP, 58 Warren Street, New York NY 10007. Warren Street is one block below Chambers; the bookshop is two doors east of West Broadway.

When: Thursday, February 14, from 6 to 8 pm. (Yes, that’s Valentine’s Day. And what’s a better way to say I love you than with a novel about a stamp-collecting hit man?)

Why: As far as why you might want to attend, well, I wouldn’t presume to say. Instead I’ll explain why, for the first time in what feels like a lifetime of book parties, I’ve chosen to publicize this one on Facebook and Twitter and my blog and newsletter. In all the time I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve never before set up an event page and sprinkled the cybersphere with invitations. So why should this night be different from all other nights?

It just seemed appropriate, given book’s dedication. See, all of y’all are the dedicatees:

This one’s for all my Tweasured Tweeps & FeeBee Jeebees
all you Wild.Web.Workers & Cyberzerkers
and especially for Jaye & Julia

There was a time when I found myself wondering why we called it the Social Media; ever since I got started with Facebook and Twitter, I never seemed get away from my desk. But what I’ve since discovered is that eRelationships are no less valid than the more traditional sort, and that I’ve somehow acquired a few thousand friends with whom I share as much as or more than I ever will with the folks I nod at every day in the elevator. I’ve never met the great majority of you, and might be hard put to pick you out of a crowd, but so what? I’d be delighted if you could come to my party.

Still, despite what you may have heard, I’m not entirely deranged. I realize that most of you won’t be able to come—and, while Otto’s store is a fine and commodious space, he’d be hard put to fit 20,000 of you in there all at once. If you’re in the area, and if you don’t have a conflict with your niece’s ballet recital, come by and say hello. It’s from 6 to 8, so even if it runs a few minutes late you’ll still get home in plenty of time to watch Elementary. (And isn’t it a great show? I may be delayed, what with all those books to deface with my signature, but rest assured we’ll be taping it.)

But let’s suppose you can’t join the crowd. How can you be a part of it? Is some sort of Virtual Attendance a possibility?


If you’ve acquired a copy of Hit Me, either the hardcover or the eBook, you could make a point of dipping into it sometime between 6 and 8pm Thursday night. Read a few pages, silently or right out loud.  That’d work.

Or you could pick up the phone and buy a copy. Otto’s taking orders, and if you call the bookshop at (800) 352-2840, I’ll sign a copy for you that night. (And if you want a personal inscription, just tell the good soul who takes your order.)

What else? Well, I leave it to your imagination. Y’all have proven to be a resourceful lot, and I’m sure you’ll think of something, whether it’s posting or tweeting in support of the book and event, or reviewing it enthusiastically, or passing on the invitation to NYC-based friends, or—but wait, why am I offering suggestions? You’ll do fine on your own.

Just a warm thought from you, wafting upon the ether Thursday evening, is more than enough.