Friday, March 19, 2010


Well, the contest for not only a free but autographed copy of “Forts: Fathers and Sons” has officially concluded, and a winner chosen.

First off, let me just offer up a HUGE amount of thanks to everyone that entered.
The submissions were good – maybe too good. Scratch that, they were far too good. In fact, they were so good that picking one became quite impossible.

The decision making progress made “Sophie’s Choice” seem about as difficult as trying to figure out where to eat dinner by comparison.

I kid you not.

Some of you opted to go the sympathy route…

“…because I am a poor elementary teacher who may be jobless and can't afford to buy books! “

This is undeniably a quality approach. At the same time however it banks on the fact that behind my gruff exterior I’m really just an ol’ softy. Those of you going this route rolled the dice. In truth might just be a big ol’ jerk. Maybe there’s just darkness, and slime, and festering puss filled boils where my heart should be.

Others decided their best chance of success was to butter me up…

“…I really, really want a free copy of "Forts" because I want to get a better idea of the inner workings of the genius who is married to Tami.”

Calling me a “genius.” If that’s not buttering me up I don’t know what is. Admittedly this seems like the most obvious approach. I enjoy a good ego stroking as much as the next guy. Or do I? Maybe compliments make me uncomfortable? Maybe my brain is as black as my puss-boil-heart and I’d almost prefer being ridiculed?

Thus bring us to this approach…

“…because I am too damn cheap to buy a copy. That’s it…I'm also too damn lazy to write anymore reasons.”

I call this one the angry man. While on first glance you might not think it’s the most logical choice. If you know anything about me though, you know that I myself am a bit of an “angry man.” I’m also sort of lazy. It takes some research and a hefty set of scones to go this route.

There were of course a few completely bizarre submissions…

"…fish can't fly, and I'm terrible at pinochle."

Those choosing to go this option obviously know I’m a weirdo and played to those sensibilities. There’s a high chance of success here.

Some opted to flat out threaten me…

“…if I don't Chuck Liddel has promised to kick your ass, and to make matters worse he won't even let you video it to show anyone and then we will spread the rumor that your wife kicked the s&*t out of you while you were wearing ballerina shoes and granny panties.”

Interesting way to go – scaring me into giving away free stuff – I suppose it makes perfect sense on the most basic of levels. At the same time though, there is a flaw in this logic and this submission specifically. You see, I do wear granny panties, but I am not however ashamed of this information getting out.

They’re just more comfortable.

Then there were those that tried to take advantage of my love for the next generation…

“… because, from what I have seen, it will be the most beautifully illustrated story book that I have yet to read to my three children, sure to set their minds racing and inspire their own creativity.”

Do I really love the next generation though?

Some opted for reverse psychology…

“…I've been giving it some thought, and I've decided that I really don't deserve a free copy of your book. I think that you should give a copy to someone who is much more deserving.”

Others broke into a stand-up routine…

“…I was recently threatened with several copies of "Enemy Invaders" and I'm going to need something to hold them at bay."

I have a sinking feeling a few might have been dabbling in mind-altering substances while typing…

“…because, because of the wonderful things you've done, now I'm off to see the wizard & hope he can make my wish come trew of winning your book.”

Though I’ve only listed a few here, there were a lot of entries – a whole lot - all of them good for different reasons. You guys made picking a winner very literally impossible.

I couldn’t do it.

I tried, but I couldn’t.

It’s because of this I opted to get a winner old school roadside barker style.

Yep, I threw the name of every single person into a hat and drew one at random.

Honestly it’s a bit more fair this way anyway, isn’t it?

So who won?

Drum roll please…

No drum?

All right then, screw you.

The winner is Erik Johnson.

His entry?

“…Now, I dont have a sob story for you Novak. My life sucks for various reasons. The least you could do is send me the free f@&$ing book.”

To be honest I might have picked it to win anyway.

Once again, and in all seriousness I’d like to say thanks to everyone that sent an email my way. It was fun sorting through them – lots of fun. I laughed, I cried, I scratched my head and wondered where in the world I met you people. If there was any way whatsoever that I could send each you all a copy I would.

Don’t think for a second that I don’t appreciate each and every word of encouragement and bit of support sent my way, because I do.

I’m hardly deserving of any of it, but I’ll happily accept.

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