For a newbie seeing your name in a book is a kick beyond a number of others. A few years ago I saw a photo on J.A.Konrath's web site of him opening the first box of books he received from his publisher. I thought to myself, I wonder what that is like. When Tony Burton had my copies of Dying sent to me they were miss directed by the people with the big brown trucks for an extra week. Both he and I tracked their progress from Tennessee to Wisconsin and finally to Florida.
My wife and I spent an extra week in Florida waiting for the books to find their way home to us. In anticipation of leaving, we had emptied the house of food and other perishables. The screen of my laptop glowed that our cargo was on a truck for delivery. We were afraid if the truck came and no-one was there to received the boxes they would be reloaded and again wander the countryside. As the hands of the kitchen clock crushed 1:00 pm. I decided to go to the chicken store. There parked in the corner of their lot, in the shade of a kind old tree sat a big brown truck.
This was indeed to good to be true. I approached the driver who was just finishing his lunch and he graciously offered to check his tablet to see if indeed my books were part of his route. After an ID check he backed his vehicle up to the rear of my car and helped me load three cases of my first publication.
Tony's effort each year for Toys For Tots by publishing this anthology is notable. I envy his desire to contribute to a very worthy cause and thank him whole heartedly for allowing me to participate.
My wife and I believe that everything from Tony selecting my contribution, to the truck in the shade, the whole thing was truly meant to be.