The Strapline Winner!

Man, this was a fun contest. My editor at Random House UK came up with the idea: We would tap into the genius of my readership for the strapline that grace’s the WOOL hardback.

The forums went crazy with awesomesauce as soon as the contest opened, culminating in over a dozen pages of entries. After compiling them and sending them off to Random House, the marketing and editorial gurus across the Pond debated and found a winner. Many were great, but when they went to vote, one caption had the perfect fit and feel.

And so, without further ado, we are going to commercial break.

Just kidding.

The winner is David Gatewood with the official strapline of:


“If the lies don’t kill you . . . the truth will.”

Brilliant. Smashing. Chuff-making. More British idioms I don’t know how to use.

Now, I had no role in choosing the winner, I didn’t even recognize names in forums as names of readers, but I couldn’t be happier with the selection. I didn’t know this was that David until I hunted for the winning entry and went to the member’s profile. I about fell out of my chair when I saw it was the same David who once sent me an email with the following subject line:

161 things wrong with WOOL (or some crap like that).

This was a reader who had marked every mistake in the Omnibus and then emailed them to me in a manner designed to most diminish my ego as a writer. It worked, and it has worked with every book since. David is a freaky-genius, the kind of person who knows everything and isn’t aware that this is a special ability. Of course, now that the winner has been chosen and matched, it doesn’t surprise me that it’s him. And it reinforces my pleas to the man to stop picking on my books and to damn well write some of his own!

So, David will now be getting a brand new Wool Proof set from the UK! He will also see his brilliance on the cover of a pretty hardback from Century Press and Random House UK. I want to thank everyone who entered; there were many noble choices that I would have been stoked to see win. Also: congrats to those who won the Funniest Strapline Contest. More on that real soon!

12 responses to “The Strapline Winner!”

  1. Very cool and a great choice!

    Any chance the others that got voted on could be shown at some point. It’d be nice to see the top ten or so.

    Congrats to the winner!

    PS- I wonder if David would beta read my manuscript? ;)

  2. Love it! Awesome choice and huge congratulations to David! You must be extremely excited. :D

  3. That was my favorite entry! I’m so glad it won!! Congrats to David!!

  4. Avatar

    Well deserved! Good to see a apparent OCD and/or anal retentive genius won. I’m the same, but without the “genius” part.

  5. So fantastic! Congratulations David!!! This is probably a silly question but, we’ll be able to buy the UK editions in the US, right?

    1. I think so! Probably from my website. Stay tuned…

  6. Congratulation David. Awesome! I love it! It will look great!

  7. I want to read the email, “161 things wrong with WOOL”!

    1. It’s actually a great read. Hilarious and enlightening.

  8. Wow, that is PERFECT! My submissions really suck by comparison. And I only found 142 things wrong with WOOL…

  9. Thanks, Hugh! Thanks, Random House editor who came up with this! I’m blown away that they picked my entry out of so many amazing, clever alternatives.

    I feel like Don Draper. Watch out, Madison Avenue!

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