2009: The Year Of The Fan by J.C. Hutchins


It's a new year, and in this little corner of the world, it's the most important year of my life. On June 9th, my supernatural thriller, Personal Effects: Dark Art, debuts in bookstores. In the fall, Descent, the first novel in my 7th Son trilogy, will be released. My lifelong dream of being a published novelist will come true. That's truly spiffy. I've had a long time to think about 2009 -- after all, the publishing contracts for both books were signed in 2007 -- and how I could celebrate these novel releases. A sliver of myself wanted to reboot my worldview and pretend to be a STAR, a success story, a rock-n-roller ready to kick the world in the balls. Fear me, world. Buy me. Read me. Shamelessly adore me.

What balderdash. I can't be someone I'm not ... and I certainly can't be what I've yet to achieve. And as someone who finds it gravely unwise to forget his roots, I can't ignore the real reasons why I've been given the honor and opportunity to realize this lifelong dream.

2009 can't about me. 2009 must be about you.

Don't pretend to be surprised by this. You, and the tens of thousands of others who've supported my creative work for the past three years, are the reason why this often-shy wordherder is doing a year-long Snoopy dance. Your support, voice mails, emails and evangelism made 7th Son (and last year's experimental OBSIDIAN anthology) more successful than I could've ever imagined. You were legion, you were vociferous, you became far more than an audience. You became friends.

Your screams at the end of those cliffhangering episodes (man, that feels like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?) convinced me the story I was telling was solid. Your encouragement pushed me to give another go at finding a literary agent. Your buzz helped convince St. Martin's Press to give this green author a shot. And here we are, on the cusp of 2009.

2009, The Year Of The Fan.

And so, with a new year comes resolutions. I will keep creating and delivering entertainment for you, during 2009. I'm committed to thrilling and surprising you, and giving you more updates on my work and works-in-progress. There's lots to talk about. Pre-release fiction for Personal Effects: Dark Art. Pre-release fiction for 7th Son. Something ambitious called The 33. And a hearty dollop of author updates, audio essays and more.

We all understand that I'll depend on you and your support more than ever this year, and that I have something to gain from that. This is no secret -- I'd dare not ignore mentioning it -- and I pray you'll bring your A-game to the field when I utter the battle cry for support. In the meantime, I'm going to do everything I can to dazzle you with more entertainment, more cliffhangers, and new narrative worlds and characters. I hope you'll join me for the ride.

In the end, a storyteller is nothing without an audience. A tale is vapor when told to an empty room. That's why this year, more than ever, you're the STAR ... you're the success story ... you're the rock-n-roller ready to kick the world in the balls. The world will fear you. And if you're cool with it, I'll shamelessly adore you.

As a tiny token of my appreciation, and as a way to remind you of your awesomeness, I've created a computer wallpaper to celebrate 2009, and you. Download it here, and kindly post it on your monitor with pride, just for a bit. Enter this year knowing that you're the reason why at least one man can say he achieved his dream ... and know that he'll never, ever forget who delivered him there.

I owe you so much. I'm honored to call you my friend. And I'll remain ever-humbled by your encouragement, evangelism and support.

Here's to 2009. The Year Of The Fan. Your year.


A fellow Beta Clone needs your help! by J.C. Hutchins

Red alert, everybody! Carlos Weiser, a 7th Son superfan and brilliant cartoonist and artist, needs our help!


Longtime listeners of 7S might remember Carlos and his magnificent contributions to the 7th Son experience. Last year, he created amazing comic book-style portraits of the seven Beta Clones, and I was so astounded by their quality that I gave Carlos his own "gallery" here at His renditions of the characters -- Kilroy2.0 in particular -- were terrific.

Now we all have a chance to thank Carlos for his efforts and talents. Carlos is currently a Top 10 finalist in Platinum Studios' The Comic Book Challenge. This annual competition brings the works of artists from around the U.S. (and possibly beyond) together, with one mission: to find the very best sequential storyteller of the bunch. Thousands enter. Carlos has made it into the Top 10.

With our combined generosity and voting, we can help Carlos realize his lifelong dream of having his comic art published. The Challenge's finalist receives his entry published as either a comic book miniseries or a graphic novel to debut at a 2009 comic book convention, a cool interactive Cintiq monitor-tablet display, tons of software for coloring and digital production, and more. Here's a thumbnail of his three-page entry for The Challenge:


Check out Carlos' page at The Comic Book Challenge and please vote for him! Here's an opportunity to not only showcase our combined Beta Clone power, but also give something back to a fellow fan. Thanks for your consideration, and please cast your vote for Carlos!