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Wednesday
Mar182015

Congrats, you wrote a book. Now get back to work you lazy bum

Yes, every author is also a part-time fashion criminal. Hence, the Batman jammies. A lot of people wonder what it is that I do after completing a new book. Do I pour some scotch and smoke a single cigarette? Do I slice the neck of a bottle of Dom with a ceremonial broadsword (that would be kinda cool, actually). Do I run naked through my neighborhood screaming, “SUCK IT, FRANZEN!”?

None of the above.

What I actually do…wait for it…is clean my office.

I know. It’s all about the sexy up here in Bittersweet Productions.

Well, I do that for two reasons:

  1. My office is usually a neglected animal warren by the time I drag myself across the finish line of a new novel.
  2. I’m not really done yet.

Basically, I don’t celebrate anything until my editor gives the book her Papal blessing. Then I kinda celebrate, but it’s more like relief. But the work doesn’t really end, because at that point we start editing. Then copyediting. Then proofing. Then cover design. Then the riot of small things that go along with launching a book: questionnaires about the book for PR. Cover copy. Blurb requests (begging). Catalog copy. Submissions to foreign editors with notes, videos, thoughts, ideas.

And then before I have a moment to really reflect on this book, this 10 lb. baby that I’ve given birth to sideways (my wife is a Labor & Deliver nurse by the way, who always reminds me whenever I use that metaphor that one, that’s not physically possible, and B, I don’t have a uterus) my agent will ask, “whatcha working on now?”

Because with the ever-changing literary landscape (with eBooks, yo) I only do one-book deals. So she’s quick to point out that I should get under contract again.

So it’s DANCE, MONKEY DANCE all over again.

Which I’m happy to do. I have a LOT of ideas. Plus, if I ever run out, people always email me and say, “I have this great story about the time the police stole my bicycle.”

Okay, enough of this blogging nonsense. I’ve got work to do.

Friday
Mar062015

On the road again

As I'm winding down the new book, I'm winding up a bit of book travel, including a panel on diversity at Emerald City Comic Con, the latest stage adaptation of HOTEL at the CATS theater in Nevada City (directed by Annie Lareau), and even a high school commencement speech

(God help us all).

See you soon!

3/28/15

Literary Lions Gala
Hyatt Regency
Bellvue, WA
Black Tie Optional

6:00 pm
Fundraiser

 

3/29/15

Emerald City ComicCon
Washington Convention Ctr
Seattle, WA
emeraldcitycomicon.com

10:30 am
Panel Disc.

 

4/18/15

Southern KY Book Fest
Knicely Conf. Center
Bowling Green, KY
sokybookfest.org

10:00 am
Panel Disc.

 

4/25/15

CATS
Nevada Theatre
Nevada City, CA
Catsweb.org

7:00 pm
Stage Prod.

 

4/30/15

IHC Humanities Lecture
Turf Club
Twin Falls, ID
idahohumanities.org

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

6/5/15

Great Falls High
GFHS
Great Falls, ID
Commencement

TBD
Speaker

 

Monday
Jan262015

What happens in East Texas stays in East Texas. Except for crazy photos. Those get shared on Facebook

Photo by Sarah Deutsche. A week ago I was in East Texas for the 15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend, which is for authors, sort of like Coachella meets Burning Man with a little bit of Elvis thrown in for good measure.

In other words, you kinda have to be there to understand it.

The Pulpwood Queens began as one humble little book club founded in East Texas by Kathy Murphy, who once owned Beauty and the Book, a beauty salon/bookstore.

Now they number 600 affiliated book clubs all over the world. They wear tiaras, leopard print everything, and a LOT of pink!

And once a year they gather in Texas for a book love explosion of author panels, keynote talks, dancing, and costumes galore. (Oh, and Dreamworks Entertainment has optioned Kathy's life story for a movie!)

This year's theme was Around the World with Books so I went as a steampunked Phileas Fogg. This was my fourth year and I've learned that you can't overdo it when it comes to costumes. These ladies go all out. And I was also honored to be co-hosting, which meant I got to do a lot of the interviewing instead of being the interviewee, which was exhausting, exhilarating, and an all-around good time.

Plus, it's always nice to meet other authors, make new friends, and spend time with fellow travelers on this weird, magical writing journey. I got to rub elbows with a Pulitzer winner (Bill Dedman), a Nobel Prize finalist (Pat Montandon), and one of the ghost-writers for the Hardy Boys (Joe Holley).

Last, but not least, I was gobsmacked to learn that Songs of Willow Frost had been voted Fiction Book of the Year! Somewhere William and Willow are celebrating.

For more amazing portraits from this years event, clickety click here.

Thursday
Jan082015

My blog silence is the sound of writing

Catch me in Shreveport next Weds where I'll be giving an artist talk at the ArtSpace.Hey, it's me, the absentee landlord of this here blog. I tend not to travel for book events in November and December, so those are always my most productive months, and this past year has been no exception. I'm thiiiiisss close to finishing the new book. (Still searching for a title). If all goes well I'll be wrapping up the ending this month.

What is it about, you ask? Well, all I'm going to say is that if HOTEL was heartwarming, WILLOW was heartbreaking, the new book is designed to be heartmelting. (Leesha's description, not mine).

In the meantime, it's a new year, which means a smattering of new travel starting next week where I'll be at the ArtSpace in Shreveport and co-hosting the 15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend in East Texas. Imagine Coachella for book groups with a smattering of Burning Man meets Elvis and you're kinda there.

Off to edit. Pack. Pick up my steampunk outfit from the dry cleaners. The usual.

Oh, and Happy New Year!