Hold the Crow!

 More on the Secret Origin of Rookhouse!

The week before our big storm here on the coast, we told you how Rookhouse got its name. What we didn’t tell you is why we formed Rookhouse in the first place.

Never mind the crow story. Rookhouse was formed by a group of returned Operation Iraqi Freedom vets wanting to get back together and do something useful and fun.

Some of us are retired or disabled or just plain returned vets. We’d met up either over in the sandbox or back home at the VA. Now, the VA has many wonderful social outreach and recreational therapy programs for returning vets like kayaking, camping, motorcycle clubs — just not many venues for vets of a more bookish or computer geek nature.

So we formed our own.

That isn’t to say that we take running Rookhouse lightly. When we put up a Rookhouse book or story, it’s because we believe it can go toe-to-toe with traditional professionally published material.

Luckily in that regard, award-winning comic book/science fiction author and fellow OIF vet Lee Allred stepped up to help us. A couple of us here at Rookhouse had met or served with Mr. Allred over in the sandbox (or rather Master Sergeant Allred as we knew him). Mr. Allred graciously allowed us the use of some of his previously published work to get the ball rolling.

So that’s the double secret probation origin of Rookhouse Books.

So maybe a crow didn’t fly through our window one dark and stormy night, but we’re every bit as inspired to don the guise of Rookhouse heroes to go forth doing good as doing-good good-doers.

And, to be frank, be very, very grateful that a crow didn’t fly through our window! Considering the physiques of some of us old battered-up vets, you really don’t want to see us in spandex tights!

To the Rookcave, old chums!

— Kip Grant, spandex-challenged Publisher

Hey! Where’s my Wednesday Rookhouse News?!?

Sorry folks.

No, it’s not another SOPA protest blackout (like a couple emails have asked). It’s a Mother Nature blackout.

The Oregon coast is getting pounded today by a severe winter storms with winds gusting a hundred miles an hour (estimated). The electric power’s been jumping up and down like Don Knotts’ larynx. We’ve sent everybody at the Rookery home (even the crows!). We’ll pick up where we left off next Wednesday, okay?

In the meantime, you might consider buying a Rookhouse title you don’t yet own to tide you over.

— Kip Grant, Publisher-by-Candlelight

Revealed At Last!

The Secret Origin of Rookhouse Books
And How It Came To Be

Secret Origin of Rookhouse Books

Night. A storm rages. Inside the darkened halls of stately Grant Manor, a lone figure broods. A young man sits ready to make good his vow to avenge the death of his parents, brutally slain on their way home from a retail bookstore.

If only there were some way of keeping book buyers off the dangerous shadowed streets of Gotham! If only there were some way to allow people to buy books from the comfort and safety of their own homes! If only books could be brought into the home as easily and ubiquitously as online games or digital music or Pay-Per-View Mud Wrestling! If only he could figure out how to segue into the next paragraph!

For young Kip Grant knew what he must do; he just didn’t know how! He has spent his youth mastering technologies that could aid him in his quest: mastering martial interweb arts; learning Photoshop, InDesign, and Microsoft Office criminology skills; conquering the violate chemistries of mixing pop culture and classic literature. Grant has learned it all, but in vain.

Book buyers still flocked to retail stores, beating their starling wings against the glass ceilings of stock shelf limitations, cawing at the special order counter clerks for unusual books that never seem to get stocked in-store, leaving the safety of their homes to venture out in the Crime Alleys of decaying Gotham strip malls. Left to the tender mercies of big box store pimply sale clerks (jokers and two-faced riddlers all!), Gothamites remained doomed to waddle through store shelves filled with brand-amplified Penguins sheltered under their tricky conglomerate umbrellas.

How to stop this madness? Kip Grant ponders far into the dark and stormy night…

Book industry moguls, he reasons, are a supercilious, cowardly lot. Not to mention vindictive. Grant must disguise his venture in such a way to strike terror into their cold raven-black hearts. His new venture must be a terrible, ebon-hued creature of the night … a … a …

Just then, a terribly-nearsighted ebon-hued crow hurls itself through the conservatory’s streak-free Windex®-ed window! C-R-A-S-H!!! Blinking and cawing amidst the shattered glass, the dazed crow looks up at the startled Grant. “Nevermore!” quoths the raven, its rasping voice a clarion call of terrible swift book justice.

“That’s it!” Grant cries, thrilling at the luck sparking a brilliant idea. “It’s an omen! I’ll become … a bat!”

(Or it could just be we named our company Rookhouse after all the stupid crows milling around our building — “Caw-Caw-Caw!” morning, noon, and night! — but that’s not much of an origin story.)

— Kip Grant, Publisher


Happy 2012!

Happy 2012!

Contrary to any friendly neighborhood ancient Mayan predictions, 2012 AD ushers in not an apocalyptic end-of-the-world, but the dawning of a brighter day in publishing as Rookhouse Books hits the ground running! (Okay, that was waaayy too many mixed and mangled metaphors. Guess that’s why I’m Publisher and not a Rookhouse author.)

Our early holiday sneak peak was wildly successful, exceeding all our most avaricious expectations. A sincere thanks to all your eBook readers out there who loaded up your new devices with Rookhouse titles.

While of our titles seems to have its own loyal reader base, folks seem to really, really like Lee Allred’s “East of Appomattox.” (I think the expression tossed about in our post-Holiday sales figure meeting was “through the roof.”) Mr. Allred (DC Comics, Baen Books, Asimov’s) indicates he might have another Civil War story or two tucked away. In the meantime, check out his other Civil War-era Rookhouse titles: “And Dream Such Dreams” and the short novel “For the Strength of the Hills.”

Also, be sure to check our little Wednesday Rookhouse chats. In addition to news about our books and authors, we’ll be giving the low down on why we call ourselves Rookhouse Books, what’s up with our lame “Books to Crow About” slogan, and who’s who on the Rookhouse Rookery staff.

Plus, I seem to recall we promised you more Rookhouse titles and authors in 2012. Well, we’ve run across another sci-fi author crazy enough to fit right in with our Rookhouse credo. It’s a little early in the game to let the cat out of the bag just yet on who we’re signing up and sending in off the bench (more mixed metaphors!), but here’s a little Rookhouse peak at the name on the back of the jersey:

Bird is the word!

— Kip Grant, Publisher