Exciting Endeavors

In the realm of the every day, the word “exciting” generally means something fun, something that gets the old ticker going, but in the realm of science, physics, and chemistry, excitation has a more specific meaning. In quantum mechanics, for example, excitation means any particle’s assumption of a higher state of energy.

When I think of excitation, I think of electrons. It’s been years since I formally studied chemistry and physics, but I remember electrons and their shells. Every electron has a nucleus: positive protons and neutral neutrons. Around this nucleus exists an electron cloud difficult to study because of the way it exists–in a quantum sense, only sporadically. Consider a city block, and imagine that some of the buildings exist only on days that begin with a T while others exist on days that begin with an S and others exist on all other days, mostly, you get a sense of quantum uncertainty and the existence of electrons–as particles and waves that are both only partially there simultaneously.

Most atoms–save those of the first few elements–have electron shells with multiple energy levels. The number of electrons is generally equal to the number of protons, but sometimes that leads to certain instability, or even propensity to react. Consider, for example, lithium, which has three protons and three electrons in its shell. Its first energy level is full, with two, but that leaves a third electron to react with just about anything it sees: imagine a horny, hyperactive dog who will hump any leg it finds and you’re thinking of lithium. On the other hand, back up one: helium has two protons, with two electrons in its shell, a full energy level. Helium also has a monocle and a top hat, and it wipes its white-gloved hands with disdain when it encounters any other elements. It will only speak to one under duress.

The thing about those energy levels is that, under the right circumstances, an electron can be induced to assume a higher state. This higher state of energy is called “excitation.” An excited electron is one that achieved a higher level than it had reached just a moment before.


Very exciting news around these parts. I’m thrilled, honored, privileged, and humbled (simultaneously) to be working with Simon Smithson.

During the past few months, I’ve found my excitement for all things stories and words and books rekindled. Which is a pun, mainly because Amazon’s Kindle might be the most significant source of my newfound enthusiasm. I swear, I haven’t had so much fun, nor read so much, nor bought so many books, since I don’t know when.

Perhaps the most brilliant thing about Kindle, though, is all it makes possible. It throws open the doors, kicks wide the gates.

There’s a new world of possibilities.

When I published my collection in 2007, neither Kindle nor iPhone actually yet existed. eReaders were niche gadgets, novelties at best and absurdities at worst, expensive and awkward and not really able to deliver a quality reading experience. The first Kindle was still six months away and would be expensive, even if its e-ink display would become (and remains) the best in the market.

Now Kindle is on every device out there. Jeff Bezos has been really smart to deliver the platform across devices, tying the reading experience to software, rather than hardware.

And it’s rather perfect for a couple of emerging authors to take advantage of.

Which is what Simon and I plan to do.

This week, we’re launching Sparks. He told you all the news with regard to the book.

What he didn’t really much go into was what it means for Exciting Books.


When I published my collection in 2007 and effectively founded Exciting Books, I’d already conceived of the model I aimed to ultimately follow with regard to writing and publishing. Back then, I wasn’t sure what sort of path my career would take, but I did know the sort of projects I ultimately hoped to work on: highly commercial, genre-busting blockbuster novels, which I’d intersperse with projects I saw as smaller.

Meets Girl for all intents and purposes, would fall into the latter category.

What I ultimately hoped to do was exactly what I’ve found myself doing, even if I wasn’t quite aware of it: leverage my experience and knowledge to bring publishing up to a new, and higher, energy level.

And now, with other authors.

Because this is how things change. A couple of blokes with a bold idea to excite things. Shake things up a bit while taking them up a notch. Which may mix metaphors, but hopefully doesn’t conceal my intention.

In the past year or so, I’ve reveled in quietude while trying to figure out how to do what I meant to do. I’ve moved to Manhattan, studied marketing, dedicated myself to writing better.

And now, I think it’s time to try some exciting things. In the spirit of which I figured it was time to redo the site header, retitling this here endeavor. In the spirit of which I intend to publish more often more exciting and interesting things, including but not limited to the stuff I’ve been learning over the past few years.

In other words, here goes everything.

Sparks marks the first Exciting Book that isn’t solely mine.

Exciting Books: When people talk about ebooks and epublishing, the ‘e’ they’re talking about is Exciting.

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