Winter is coming, the mice are on the loose

In case you’re waiting for photos from Scotland, you’ll have to wait another day. But instead, I’ve got a funny anecdote and some public service announcements:

First of all, Amazon in its infinite wisdom decided to launch its Kindle store in Japan, while I was away. So you can now buy all of my e-books at Amazon Japan. The link goes to my Amazon Japan author page, which was a chore to set up, since I neither speak nor read Japanese. Luckily, Google Translate came to my rescue.

What is more, my e-books will hopefully be available at Barnes & Noble (which is notoriously unfriendly towards Non-US authors and flat-out refuses to let us use their PubIt platform) soon, because I finally found a place that distributes to them that is not Smashwords. Nothing against Smashwords, but their meatgrinder messes up my formatting. I’ve also decided to start linking directly to W.H. Smith on the individual book pages. I’m not going to link to every single Kobo distribution partner, since there are a lot of them (and I haven’t even found them all yet), but W.H. Smith is a pretty big name, considering they have a presence on every British highstreet as well as in every British railway station or airport. Though it seems they slapped DRM on my e-books, even though I always disable it.

As for the last public service announcement, tomorrow (today, technically) is Halloween. And just in case you’re looking for a spooky read to pass the time, may I suggest giving Letters from the Dark Side a try. Letters from the Dark Side is a collection of spookily humorous epistolary fiction in the format of a confession magazine. It’s one of my worst sellers, probably because epistolary fiction just doesn’t sell (or maybe green covers really are the kiss of death), but I had a lot of fun penning those letters and besides, it’s only 99 cents/pence.

And now for the funny anecdote:

Today, I dropped by the office of one of my translation customers. And one of the guys in the office uttered darkly, “That’s the proof. Winter is coming…”

At first, I did something of a double turn, because the guy in question is about the last person you’d expect to make a Game of Thrones reference. But then he added, “…the mice are coming into the office again.”

Now the company in question had something of a mice problem last year (Don’t worry. They’re not in the food business), because the mice tend to get into the workshop through the large doors and from there into the adjacent administration building. They thought they’d caught them all, though.

But now that winter is coming, the mice have returned. For proof, the guy who made the discovery held up a package of cup noodles with a hole in the side. Apparently, the mice had managed to chew through the cup (I think it was coated cardboard rather than plastic) to get at the noodles and broth powder inside.

Cue everybody checking their desk drawers. One guy was relieved that the mice had left his candy stash alone, though he announced that they had peed into his desk drawer. Another found mouse droppings in his drawer.

But when the last guy opened his desk drawer, he got the biggest surprise. For the mouse had not just peed or shat into his drawer or eaten his lunch – there actually was a mouse in his drawer. It pretty much jumped at the poor guy and then scurried away behind a filing cabinet.

They’re setting up mouse traps now, so cup noodles will hopefully be safe in the future.

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