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Thank you so much for the kind introduction, Ashley. And thank you to The Strand for putting this together. I’ve never done a book tour before, and honestly, I’m not really used to speaking in front of crowds.

As many of you likely know, my name is Leslie O’Connell. I’ve spent most of my life on the road, traveling with my father Alex, from Peru to Egypt, China to Alaska, Finland to the Aboriginal Outback…

Hunting mummies.

How did I get into the mummy business? It’s just in my blood.

I’m the granddaughter of World Famous Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan and Captain Richard “Rick” O’Connell. You may have heard of them. They’re the real-life basis for the movie franchise The Mummy, the The Mummy Returns, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. My father, Alex O’Connell, was a mummy hunter, too. It’s what we were born to do.

I’m here tonight to share with you a few tips I’ve learned over the years of dealing with these complicated creatures, and duh, to promote my book, I guess!

Let’s get started.

Tip 1:

Now, don’t get me wrong. Killing a mummy, in and of itself, is a usually good thing.

The majority of mummies are violent, cruel, misguided and CLEARLY need to be destroyed. But once you’ve killed a mummy, it’s all anyone ever expects from you. I made the mistake of killing seven in Peru, back when I was fourteen. My life has been awful, ever since.

It’s guess its kinda like owning a truck. Every time someone wants to move, they give you a call.

“Hey, Leslie! How’ve you been? Up to anything on Friday? So, there’s this cursed, vengeful living dead thing that just woke up in an undiscovered cave in the south of France…”

Good luck making that SoulCycle class on Sunday. Your weekend is fucked.

Tip 2:

Talking politics is already a dicey enterprise with the living. With the undead, it’s even worse.

It’s as useless as any discussion you’ve ever had with your grandfather who says “The Blacks” over 4:30 PM dinner at Benningan’s. Only multiplied by however many thousands of years the mummy’s been dead.

Even if they’re educated on the issues (which they usually aren’t), they’re so set in their ways. Imagine trying to have a substantive talk about women’s rights, environmental policy, or the WORST topic for traditional mummies, SLAVERY. So many mummies owned slaves! Some of them, millions of slaves. You’re never gonna get through to them.

Plus, mummies don’t vote. They don’t understand representative democracy. So what’s the point?

Tip 3:

It might seem like a good idea, initially.

Mummies are generally wealthy, flush with gold or jewels, willing to take risks, comfortable with playing the long game. They definitely fit the profile of a silent-partner, backer or investor.

But this isn’t Scarab Tank. I’ve seen it go bad over and over again. For example.

Carol and Menuhotep agree to open a rustic bakery together in Park Slope. They find the perfect space and all the papers get signed. Everything seems in order.

Little does Carol know, but Menuhotep has moved his sarcophagus into the storeroom, and now there’s literally a dead body in the restaurant, next to the sacks of flour. The health inspectors come through, and the business licenses gets revoked.

Carol loses her life’s savings. Menuhotep is too busy to care. He’s possessed the body of Carol’s virile son Max and forced him to murder a bunch of museum guards as part of an eon-long quest to obtain the Oculus of Set, which, if it ever gets into his undead hands, will unleash a wave of pestilence unlike anything the earth has ever seen.

C’mon, Carol.

Tip 4:

I will admit, it took me a while to learn this one.

I’ve dated more than a few mummies in my day, mostly during a rebellious phase where I was trying to get back at my dad for dragging me all over creation, hunting the living dead. My father was a good man, most famous for stopping the Dragon Emperor from destroying all of China with his Terracotta Army. But he wasn’t a great father.

Look, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to try. It always starts out well. Mummies are older, established in their careers, able to travel, and the way they use ancient magicks to court you is absolutely unlike anything you’ll ever experience.

But it inevitably turns sour. They get possessive (sometimes literally!), and start saying creepy things like “You will be my Queen for the next thousand years” while attempting to physically encase your body in gold and chameleon scales, or whatever.

Plus, you almost always end up seeing a statue or a portrait or a vision of their ex, who died tragically and unfairly, and realize all you are is a stand-in for a relationship that never had a chance to flower, and that’s not a healthy basis for a love that he CLAIMS will outlast the desert.

Here’s the worst part: When it finally ends, they will literally curse you.

Take my friend Carlos, for example. He dated this super sexy mummy named Khan from the Indus River Valley, but when they broke up, every time Carlos tried to get intimate with another man, beetles would start crawling out of his anus. Talk about petty!

And these curses last for eternity, people. Anus beetles. For eternity.

Or, until you destroy your mummy-ex. Which is a goddamn chore.

It’s always something super time consuming, like piercing their jewel encrusted heart, which happens to be hidden deep in the Crocodile Emperor’s Tomb, buried underwater at the deepest point of the Nile, guarded by the Legion of Thousands and a labyrinth so cunningly designed no one has ever made it out alive.

AKA what happened with me and Khasekhemwy. That asshole.

Tip 5:

I can’t give too much away or you wouldn’t read the book! If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy it, available for $24.99 in hardback or $14.99 in digital copy.

Thank you so much for your time. It’s been an honor to be here.

I’ll be fielding questions and signing copies in the back, in about fifteen minutes, right after I check out this unexplored, Pre-Columbian stone chamber the manager told me they just found beneath the subfloor in the basement. The fun never stops.

Gordon St. Raus

Gordon St. Raus peaked at 15 and is mostly held together by masking tape.

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