Well, judging by the comments on yesterday’s post and the responses to my Facebook posting, way too damn many of us have been the victim of this same kind of thing. And at 6′ 1″ and 295 lbs., I’m not really the “victim” stereotype. But let’s look at my recent (past ten years) history with crime.
2006 – My wife was held up at gunpoint when a trio of thieves robbed the local community theatre during a performance of A Chorus Line. No, I cannot make that shit up. They got her purse with her car keys and ID, leading to a huge pain in the ass of replacing things, towing cars, calling locksmiths, etc. Because I was in Philadelphia when it happened. Of course.
2010 – My car was broken into in Little Five Points in Atlanta. Bastards took out two windows and made off with my brand-new MacBook Pro, my Canon Rebel XTi digital SLR camera, a bunch of tools, and a bunch of lighting equipment. Minimum replacement cost, $5,000. Insurance doesn’t carry equipment that belongs to your workplace if it’s in your personal vehicle, so I was on the hook for that. Out of pocket – about $2,000.
2011 – My truck was broken into in the parking lot of the Sheraton Suites across from the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta. Window smashed, lock jimmied, all kinds of crap damaged. I was down there for work so my employer paid for the repairs. The cops caught the thieves after they broke into 50 other cars in the same parking garage. Yes, FIFTY. I got all my stuff back. Nothing out of pocket.
2012 – Read yesterday’s post. At this point I’m not sure if it’s going to be worth filing an insurance claim or not. The impact on my premium for the next three years may be such that I’m better off just eating the loss and sharpening the dog’s teeth a little more. So my out of pocket is going to be somewhere from $500 to $2,500. And that’s IF I decide to replace everything. Which is unlikely.
But on the bright side, I got my shit together enough yesterday to get 3,000 words written, even though I stayed up until 1AM to do it. I also went out to Park Road Books and met Kevin Hearne, the author of the fantastic Iron Druid Chronicles. If you haven’t read these, you should totally pick them up. And if you’re in Chapel Hill tonight, he’ll be at FlyLeaf Books. He’s a nice guy, funny as hell and very gracious. I gave him a copy of Hard Day’s Knight since I picked up a bunch of fans last summer when his stuff was released thanks to the Amazon also-bought algorithms.
And a really cool thing happened to me while I was standing in line waiting to get my book signed. I was chatting with a few people, and dude I didn’t know asked me “Are you John Hartness?”
I replied in the affirmative, because I was pretty sure I didn’t owe him money. He then proceeded to pull out a copy of Hard Day’s Knight and get me to sign it. He’d seen on Kevin’s Facebook page that I was going to be at the signing, and he and his wife wanted to meet me! So I signed his book, then he pulled out a Sharpie and had me autograph the back of his Kindle, right under Kevin’s signature! That was a pretty awesome little “rock star” moment for me, the first time I’ve ever been recognized somewhere and had someone ask for my autograph when I wasn’t a con guest or at a dealer’s table somewhere. So I felt downright thrilled about my evening, no matter how crappy a chunk of my day was.
So thanks to Joseph and Mary for making my night!
And thanks to everyone for the words, tweets, emails and texts of support. This burglary has hit Suzy pretty hard, and I hate seeing her scared. That’s the worst thing for me, far worse than losing a few pieces of electronics. But your support really means the world to us. And thanks to everybody who bought a book to help the recovery fund, or donated using the button on yesterday’s post. I really appreciate it.