It is a good thing. You walk into the bookstore and your pal is up there chatting quietly despite the loudness of his shirt. His family and other friends are gathering, taking seats. Some folks you don't know, too. You catch up with the folks you can and then soon, it's time to start. The manager introduces the author and then you get to watch him shine. He's witty, he's quick, he's informative. He reads some deleted scenes from the stand-alone sequel that is to come and takes questions. He is charming. He is grateful. He is humble. He sits and signs books. A good thing indeed.
I've frequently noted that the coolest thing about being a writer is the people you get to know along the way. I was busting with pride (as many of us were, I think) while I watched my pal,jaylake, do his magic at Powell's tonight. This is a guy who's built quite the career for himself by blending beautiful language, thought-provoking subject matter and retro-pulp adventure. And judging by some of the things he said about the evolution of his process, I suspect strongly that we ain't seen nothing yet, folks.
If you haven't picked up Mainspring yet, don't wait for the paperback. Get it in hardcover and eat it whole. It's a satisfying meal from a master chef who's going to be serving up even more courses that will defy your imagination and appetite in the days to come.