In the world of Windswept, people sign long contracts with conglomerates to become Indentures. Part of that contract is that you have a tattoo on your cheek denoting your field of expertise. These tattoos are fashionable, flattering, and they hurt like hell when applied.

When people Breach their Indenture and sign up with the Universal Freelancer’s Union, they get another tattoo, one of the Union’s logo, a clenched fist. It’s a reminder that an injury to one is an injury to all, and that all will pound the bejeezus out of anyone who starts something.

When I first started Windswept, I had a general idea what that fist would look like. However, I have the artistic skills of a frog, so whatever I drew would look horrible. Fortunately, Jessica Smith, who made the cover for Windswept, is mighty in the arts department, and she agreed to make a mighty logo. And, wow, did she ever. Take a look.

This is going to appear on Official Windswept Schwag, including (but not limited to) bookmarks, t-shirts, temporary tattoos, and stainless steel flasks. Some of these things I’m going to give away on The Tour. Others (like the flasks and the Premium Official Windswept Schwag) will go to people who enter (and win!) one of these contests*:

  1. TURN THE OTHER CHEEK. How would you look with a Union fist on your face? If you trust your drawing hand, you can take a pen to your cheek. Or you can print out a logo and make your own temporary tattoo. OR you can find me on the Windswept Tour and get a tattoo by telling me the magic words, “Padma Mehta sent me.” Whatever you do, take a picture of your face adorned with a Union fist and send it to me via the contest form. Please don’t send me anything obscene; I’ll just throw those entries out and shake my head. Really. What would your parents think?
  2. JUDGE A RUM BY ITS LABEL. I have a pretty good idea of what the label for Old Windswept Rum looks like. If you read this excerpt from Chapter Two, you can see what I what I came up with. But what would it look like in real life? Make a label for Old Windswept and send it in, using the contest form. Same thing about the obscene stuff. Like, if you’d see it on the squickier bits of 4Chan or Reddit, don’t send it to me. Come on.
  3. LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL. Yes, Windswept is set in the future, but there’s still stuff like posters, art, and graffiti**. In fact, all of these are valuable tools to recruit people into the Union. But what would that look like? Make some Union art and submit it via the contest form.
  4. FORGET THE ARTY STUFF; I BOUGHT YOUR DAMN BOOK. This one is easy. Send me a picture or a screencap of your receipt for Windswept via the contest form, and you’re in the contest. Entrants who send a receipt from an independent bookstore are entered into the contest twice. So, really, your best bet is to buy multiple copies of Windswept from an independent bookstore.

*Rules for the contests, because I don’t want to get in trouble.


  1. his contest is open to everyone around the world. Kids, get your parents’ or guardians’ permission first because I just don’t have time for dealing with angry letters about how I’m corrupting youth with my screwball noir politics or some such garbage.
  2. All entrants will receive a Union fist temporary tattoo and an autographed bookmark if they want one. Yes, even you. Enter your mailing address in the message box in the entry form.
  3. The winner of each contest will receive an autographed copy of Windswept, a 6-oz stainless steel flask laser-engraved with the Union Fist, a temporary tattoo, and an autographed bookmark.
  4. To enter, submit a photo via the contest form and choose the appropriate message subject from the form’s menu.
  5. Entries are due by 11:59pm Pacific on September 30, 2015.
  6. All entries will be posted on this website and on Twitter. Hey, if I can put out a book, you can put out some art.
  7. Winners will be chosen by random at 12pm Pacific on October 1, 2015. Winners will be announced on 12pm on October 2, 2015. If you do not want the world to know you won, please tell me and I’ll keep it between us.
  8. Prize packages will be mailed no later than 5pm Pacific on October 7, 2015.
  9. Entrants may submit as many unique entries as they want for each contest, especially for the FORGET THE ARTY STUFF; I BOUGHT YOUR DAMN BOOK contest. Go nuts with that one, gang. But don’t buy the book once and send me the same receipt over and over. I WILL KNOW.
  10. Entries must be in jpg, jpeg, gif, pdf, or png formats. I know the contest form says it will take docs and txts, but pulling pictures of Word is a pain, so help me out, please.
  11. By entering, you agree to grant me the right to post your entry on this website. You can do whatever you want with your entry provided you a) don’t use it for commercial purposes, b) give credit for the logo’s design to Jessica Smith, and c) say that you’re using it with the permission of Adam Rakunas (that’s me. Hi!). If you want to do something commercial using the logo, talk to me first using this form, not the contest form.
  12. In order to collect a flask, winners must be of legal drinking age for winner’s country of residence, which means you’ll have to tell me your age and your country of residence when you enter. Seriously, gang, I don’t want to get in trouble for contributing to the delinquency of a minor or whatever it’s called where you live. If you don’t want a flask or you’re not of legal drinking age, leave these fields blank upon entry.
  13. I will pay postage for sending your prize package. Upon winning, I will contact you via the email address in your entry so I can get a mailing address for you.

**A quick word about graffiti. I dig me some well-thought, well-drawn street art, especially if it’s done with the consent of whoever’s responsible for the care and upkeep of said graffiti’s canvas. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get permission from that person if you’re going to make some Union graffiti. I would like not to get an angry letter from someone complaining about a giant fist that appeared on the side of his house. Unless that someone were, say, Donald Trump***. BUT YOU DIDN’T HEAR THAT FROM ME.

***No, really, don’t paint up any of that jerkwad’s properties, even though he’s a jerky jerkwad. Some maintenance worker will have to deal with the clean-up, and that’s not fair.