Monday, September 17, 2012

Paperback release days are groovy.

There's something about releasing a paperback book. It's a rebirth of sorts. A reaffirmation of vows. It's a reminder.

These days, it's often accompanied by a new cover, and I love love love the new cover for EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. I love love loved the original cover, no doubt. But this new cover is particularly boss. I got to see a load of great cover designs before we all picked this one. I think what struck me about it was this: That kid could be Lucky, but he could also be Granddad Harry right before he left for Vietnam. I thought: how fitting for a book that illuminates the youth of draftees only 40 years ago.

Anyway, paperbacks are like having two birthdays in one year. Tomorrow is Lucky Linderman's birthday...again.
Happy birthday, Lucky!

Speaking of the EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS paperback...

We have a winner from the Ankle Contest. Step right up The REALLY Real Curious Crow. You just won yourself a book. Thank you for sharing the contest on your blog and for your entry. You know I'm a sucker for Doc Marten boots, right? I've sent you an email for your details and we'll go from there.

Thank you to all entrants.
There were some really great pieces and I'm always grateful for every entry.

Random advice to conference goers...

You really shouldn't raise your hand in the middle of an author's presentation and tell them that you'd like them to stay "on topic." Authors are often non-linear thinkers. We have a lot to offer listeners, but those listeners have to do the listening and thinking to stay with us. If we are interrupted, we can lose our train of thought. And that would be a bummer because what awaits at the end of that train of thought is the entire point of what we're talking about. We are quilters, I guess. If interrupted, the audience could find themselves with a pile of scraps. And you wouldn't want to be the cause of that, right? Just because you have some inflated sense of what "on topic" means in your own brain?

I've been to a lot of conferences. I've listened to some pretty radical authors. My most amazing experience to date was David Morrell at a Backspace conference years ago. No one raised their hand and asked David Morrell to stay "on topic" when he told us many stories of his life, but didn't seem to be talking about characterization or plot or theme or any of those other writerly subheadings. See, David is really smart. And his speech has been one that really stuck with me (and many other conference-goers that year) because I listened and I understood the metaphor he was piecing together for the writers in the audience. And to comprehend that metaphor, the audience had to do one thing.
Listen.
That's it.
He wasn't there to teach us curriculum, and frankly, I am bored by speakers who approach things like that. (I already went through school. Thanks.)
He was there to inspire us.
So.
If ever you're bored, lost, or seemingly confused by a writer speaking at a conference or event, please don't raise your hand in the middle of their speech. Wait for Q&A. If you're really not into the conference track you chose, then quietly leave and attend another. Or doodle. Or think of a great scene in your next novel where the main character is a conference-goer and they are being tortured by a speaker that they just don't seem to resonate with. All good choices.

But bottom line: use your manners.

Try to picture yourself at a Broadway show. Try to picture a woman in the audience who stands up right in the middle of the performance and says, essentially, that she could do better than those on stage. Try to figure out what on Earth possesses a person to do this.
I can't.

Next up...

Some work on the secret project today. Then back to the next book.
And I guess it's about time to give away an ARC for ASK THE PASSENGERS, isn't it?



2 comments:

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

:) So happy!

and this:

"Authors are often non-linear thinkers...If we are interrupted, we can lose our train of thought. And that would be a bummer because what awaits at the end of that train of thought is the entire point of what we're talking about. We are quilters, I guess. If interrupted, the audience could find themselves with a pile of scraps."

My lord, I've thought I was losing my speaking/thinking, walking/chewing gum at the same time ability FOR SO LONG! I'm glad to know it's just the way things work for writers!

(and whomever raised his or her hand should have had it gently, but firmly, slapped back down. For shame.)

Shari Green said...

Yup, seems like a great time to give away an ARC!

Congrats on Lucky's paperback birthday. I may have to read ESTA again, to help celebrate. ;)