That matters because of the opening question. It seems I shouldn't be able to answer. I can though, and I will.
I like my Salami with a beard.
Let me explain.
There's this great writer called Thomas Pluck. He's produced some really outstanding work in terms of flash fiction and short stories and he happens to also be the editor of the extremely impressive (and for charity) collection Protectors. It's raised a lot of money in the US, but hasn't done so well here - not yet anyway.
So, Tommy has put together an anthology. And so what? you may ask.
So this - the anthology's contributor's list is:
Dave Marsh,Patti Abbott, Ian Ayris, Ray Banks, Nigel Bird, Michael A. Black, Tony Black, R. Thomas Brown, Ken Bruen, Bill Cameron, Jen Conley, Charles de Lint, Wayne D. Dundee, Chad Eagleton, Les Edgerton, Andrew Fader, Matthew C. Funk, Roxane Gay, Edward A. Grainger, Glenn G. Gray, Jane Hammons, Amber Keller, Joe R. Lansdale, Frank Larnerd, Gary Lovisi, Mike Miner, Zak Mucha, Dan O'Shea, George Pelecanos, Thomas Pluck, Richard Prosch, Keith Rawson, James Reasoner, Todd Robinson, Johnny Shaw, Gerald So, Josh Stallings, Charlie Stella, Andrew Vachss, Steve Weddle, Dave White, and Chet Williamson.
That's what. It's an amazing list.
I've appeared and edited a fairly large number of anthology's up to now and I can say that, to be in such fine company, this one blows my mind. You'll know some of the names, I'm sure. Some of the others, you'll definitely get to hear of in due course (Steve Weddle has his novel out in the autumn and you should be on that one, for example).
And the Salami comes in because the guy tweets @tommysalami
So, at the weekend, I get to meet him and his lovely wife. We hang around in his Edinburgh hotel lobby (the room's not ready and we're in a rush to get to Portobello). We're off to meet Allan Guthrie and Tony Black and their families and we need to be there by 3.
We need to be there by 3 because Tommy's on a mission and he will not be stopped. He's compact as hell and he's not going to be stopped by a big hotel in a big city, so we get in a cab and speed over (well, we stick to the speed limits and don't say anything about being in a hurry. In his hand, Tommy has an edition of the paperback of Protectors.
This one's a special copy. It's to be signed by the 41 authors and auctioned for the charity. Tommy's mission is to get those signatures, in part why he's in Scotalnd in the first place.
There's no sign of our team at the pub we're supposed to meet in and it's a long journey from the US to get a signature. All we can do is pop outside - it's so hot they've put out tables there. No luck.
At 6s and 7s, the 3 of us spin like tops and then we hear our names called. Our number's up, thank goodness. We're there in the nick of time. Tony and his wife are needing to get his beautiful son back home and it's a fair drive for them.
We're on the beach. The sun' s shining and the beach is packed. Tony adds his signature and then they're off.
With Al, Tommy and his wife, I go along to a rather fine bar with a swish name. Something to do with swallows. They Americans swallow some beer with interesting names, the Scots drink coffee and there's a lot of talk about books. the way to write them and possible ways to sell them.
In short, it's a fun time. A great time. The kind of thing I love doing in the best company to do it with.
The party came to an end, but I still have the memories.
I'm very pleased to have been there. I'm proud to have put my name to my story. I'm a lucky guy.
Where else can you find the bearded Salami? you may ask.
Pop over to Sea Minor and you can find out about his short story collection Steel Heart. There's more in the pipeline and Tommy Salami will have it out there for you to read - the world has no other choice. It'll be damned good too.
For now, check out his short work.
Also, check out the anthology. It's making serious money for a great charity - follow this Amazon link to find out more. Not only will you be supporting a very human good cause, you'll be filling a good chunk of reading time with some quality work.
And while I'm here, I'm just going to mention that the first draft of my Romantic Comedy called (probably) Deborah Faints. It's a good feeling to get down the final full stop. Now the hard work begins.