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Well, hello there! I’m nine days back from Japan and still a little loopy from jet lag, but our timing couldn’t have been better. We got back to our New York apartment three hours after the power was restored. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, that was an early occasion for gratitude.

The big news is that we’re now taking orders for the Deluxe Limited Philatelic Edition of HIT ME, with all signs pointing to delivery in time for Christmas. There’s more about this further along, but if that’s the news you’ve been waiting for and you don’t want to delay, click here to order from LB’s eBay Bookstore.

I”d just about settled in after our return from Japan when it was time to take Amtrak to Philadelphia for NoirCon. This every-other-year conference is wonderfully specialized, bringing together readers and writers who enjoy a look at the dark side; I didn’t much feel like going anywhere just then, even by train, but had to show up to receive the David Loeb Goodis award, named for Philadelphia’s late poet of the gutter, himself recently honored with the publication of five novels in the prestigious Library of America.

A highlight for me (if for no one else) was my onstage interview with Duane Swierczynski, who based his questions on my reminiscences in Afterthoughts; that led me down Memory Lane, recalling the early days of pseudonymous erotica, and made for an intresting hour and a half. My friend Otto Penzler was there to pick up the Jay & Deen Kogan award, and we got to spend some good time together. Add in a Roman Jewish dinner with a high school classmate at a Walnut Street restaurant, and it made for a weekend even a tired old man could enjoy.

I also enjoyed Gary Lovisi’s annual NYC Vintage Paperback show two days before we left for Japan. I finally got to meet fellow attendee Ann Bannon, with whom I’ve exchanged a few emails in recent years. It turns out she’s even more of a delight in person. She pointed out that she and Marijane Meaker and I are “the last of the early lesbian novelists,” and I felt a great rush of pride at being included in that company. I’d just received my author’s copies of Getting Off, the new Jill Emerson novel just out in paperback from Hard Case Crime, and the first thing I did upon my return from Japan was send Ann a copy.

Next out, of course, is HIT ME, with Mulholland’s trade edition due in February. Publisher’s Weekly gave Keller’s latest adventure a starred review, calling the book “highly enjoyable…In inventive ways, Keller deals with a cheating wife in Dallas, a felonious monk in New York City, a cruise ship in Florida with a protected witness aboard, and a wandering husband in Denver. Meanwhile, he continues to build his ‘worldwide to 1940’ stamp collection.”

If you’re on the subscription list for my Philatelic newsletter, you already know all this; I got out a newsflash to that list just before I left for Philadelphia, and the response was strong and immediate, with orders flooding in for 143 copies at last count. We still have plenty of copies left, but I honestly have no idea how long they’ll last. (We’re still accepting orders for up to five copies per customer, but somewhere along the line we may put the brakes on multiple-copy sales.)

Orders received in the next week or so should assure delivery in time for the holidays. As you probably know, buyers of the Philatelic Edition receive at no cost a signed Souvenir Sheet, “Stamps from the Keller Collection.” (It’s illustrated at the eBay Bookstore listing.) As soon as we receive and process your order, we’ll ship your souvenir sheet; the book will follow from the publisher as soon as it’s ready—and in time for Christmas.

Summing up: the Limited Philatelic Edition is a privately printed small-press edition, published by the Mysterious Bookshop, with a full-cloth gold-stamped binding, superior paper, signed and numbered, with the limitation sheet enhanced by a custom-canceled US personal postage stamp showing the book’s cover, and housed in a custom-made box. Price is $75 plus shipping, which will total out to $78.99 in the US, $89.94 in Canada, and $93.94 overseas. For more details, and a good look at the souvenir sheet, just go to Keller’s Page.

The Night and the Music, my collection of Matthew Scudder short fiction, continues to sell well as an eBook and in trade paperback form. Shortly before I left for Japan, I had the pleasure of narrating AudioGo’s unabridged audiobook edition, and it should be available before too long. I haven’t voiced an audiobook in several years, long enough to have forgotten just how exhausting an experience it can be. But gratifying, too, and while I don’t expect to listen to it myself, I certainly hope you will, and that you’ll enjoy it.

Years ago, when an MWA speaker droned on and on and on, the incomparable Christianna Brand took the mike from him and said, “Ah, but you’ve charmed and delighted us long enough…”

I hope I’ve charmed and delighted you, but in any event I’ve done so long enough. I’ll wish you the joys of the Thanksgiving season, and leave you with—what else? A link to HIT ME at the eBay store. You can thank me later…


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