Tomorrow night at 6:30 PM I’ll be appearing at Brick and Mortar Books in Redmond, WA, to chat with author Alexandra Oliva about writing scary stories. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you in the audience.
In related news, last week’s Reddit AMA was a blast. You can check that out here. Although the AMA is officially over now, I’m still keeping an eye on the thread, so if you’ve got a question that hasn’t already been covered, go ahead and post it and I’ll either answer it there or on the upcoming reader Q&A episode of the Destroyer of Worlds podcast.
And speaking of the podcast… I was in the middle of the Reddit AMA when I discovered that the WordPress podcast plugin I’d been using had stopped working. After some troubleshooting, I figured out that this was caused by an irresolvable conflict between the plugin and the software used by my web host’s servers. I managed to restore the podcast feed by switching to a different plugin, but that led to a new problem where the feed URL is now slightly different, and when I tried to update the URL on various podcast directories, a couple of them—looking at you, Spotify—stubbornly refused to accept the change. All of which is to say I’ve still got a few kinks to work out, but for now you can listen to the podcast here, on Apple Podcasts, on Amazon Music. or on Google Podcasts.
Just a reminder that tomorrow night I’ll be at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR, reading from The Destroyer of Worlds, taking questions, and signing books. The event starts at 7 PM. Hope to see some of you there!
And coming up next: on Wednesday, April 26 I’ll be doing an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. Then, on May 4 at 6:30 PM, I’ll be at Brick and Mortar Books in Redmond, WA for “Word Craft with Alexandra Oliva,” a discussion about writing (RSVP here).
In case you missed it, we dropped a new episode of The Destroyer of Worlds podcast on Tuesday.
I’ve also added a couple new events to my schedule. On April 18, I’ll be going back to Portland for my rescheduled appearance at Powell’s City of Books. And on May 4, I’ll be at Brick and Mortar Books in Redmond, WA. But my next in-person event will be just two weeks from now, on March 24 at 7:15 PM, when I read and answer questions at Pulpfiction Books in Vancouver, BC.
Last week’s reading at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park was great, with a big, friendly crowd. On Saturday, my wife and I headed to Bellevue for the Literary Lions Gala, where Isabel Wilkerson was the keynote speaker; I also got to say hi to Nancy Pearl, who I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic.
Sunday was a busy day at Emerald City Comic Con, where I had back-to-back panels and signing sessions from 11 AM to 4 PM. This, too, was a first since the pandemic, and it was both wonderful and disorienting to be around so many people in such a big space.
While I was busy making new friends at my signing station, Lisa made the rounds, checking out the tables where the real celebrities were selling autographs and photos. I had my own brush with stardom when James Marsters finished his own signing session and walked past me on the way back to his suite.
Though I enjoyed the people, I was less impressed with the venue. Seattle’s new convention center seems poorly laid out, and there’s not enough seating in the public areas. Folks were sitting on the floor everywhere, which is fine when you’re twenty but not so fun when you’re pushing sixty. I also couldn’t help noticing that they decorated the fifth-floor ceiling with these rows of wooden spikes, which is just what you want hanging over your head in an earthquake zone.
We made it out alive, this time. Then on Tuesday I had a Zoom session with a writing class at Rutgers University. It was a nice group of students and I really enjoyed talking to them, but what I will remember most is being “Zoom bombed” for the first time in my life—I was in the middle of answering a question when the screen suddenly filled up with a video of two horses fucking. My host for the event was embarrassed, but I thought it was hilarious, not to mention efficient: back in my day when you wanted to pull that prank, you needed to get two actual horses and coax them up on stage before security stopped you. Living in the future never ceases to amaze me.
Last but not least: just this morning, Bookreporter dropped this review of The Destroyer of Worlds, calling it “[an] enthralling sequel” and “a wonder to behold.” A great note to end the week on.
As previously mentioned, my February 22 appearance at Powell’s City of Books had to be canceled due to snow. I’m happy to report that I will be returning to Portland, Oregon on April 18 to try again. Hopefully this time the temperature will stay above freezing!
I was on the way out the door to go to my reading at Third Place Books last night when I found the box with my complimentary author’s copies of The Destroyer of Worlds sitting on the porch:
P.S. The reading was great, with a big, enthusiastic crowd that asked lots of good questions. I also signed a lot of stock, so if you’re in the vicinity of Lake Forest Park and are looking for a copy of your own, stop by.
It’s been an exciting first week for The Destroyer of Worlds. Last Wednesday I was in Portland, Oregon, where I was supposed to do a reading and signing at Powell’s City of Books. But shortly after my arrival, it started snowing. My notion of what constitutes a bad winter storm is based on my childhood in New York City, and also on the five years I spent living up in Portland, Maine. Even after twenty-three years in Seattle, I still sometimes forget that here in the Pacific Northwest, where low-lying cities don’t have snow plows, the rules are different.
Long story short, by sunset the city had started to shut down. I was on my way to the bookstore when I got a call saying that Powell’s was closing early and my event had been canceled. I made a mad dash, hoping to at least get there in time to sign stock, but by the time I reached the store the staff had already locked up and left. This was followed by a mildly epic crosstown trek to find a takeout joint that was still open. After being turned away by two pizza parlors, I was blessed to discover Ramen Ryoma, who loaded me up with soup, noodles, gyoza, and spring rolls.
On Thursday, the morning train that was supposed to take me back to Seattle was canceled. My publicist and I spent a couple frantic hours trying to arrange alternate transportation. When Amtrak reinstated the noon train (which had also been canceled), I managed to snag one of two open seats. I checked out of my hotel around ten-thirty, started walking to the train station, and was almost there when I took a spill crossing a last icy street. Other than a bruised knee and some scraped knuckles, I was fine, but one of the conductors from my train was less lucky—he slipped on wet marble floor inside the station, went down a lot harder than I had, and ended up being taken out on a stretcher.
The storm wasn’t quite done with me. On the way out of the station, just after I’d texted my publicist that I was underway and all was well, the train stopped for five minutes while the crew dealt with a frozen track switch. But once we’d cleared that, we were fine—thirty miles north of the city, there wasn’t even any snow on the ground. I made it back to Seattle a little late, but still in plenty of time to make my event at Elliott Bay Book Company (which was great).
Friday I sat around the house in an exhausted daze and did nothing of consequence.
On Saturday I spent three hours at the Barnes & Noble in Tukwila, WA, signing books and chatting with folks (also great). And that, plus a podcast recording session last night, was week one.
I’ve been a published author for thirty-five years now, and one thing that never gets old is the excitement of bringing a new book into the world. My eighth novel, The Destroyer of Worlds: A Return to Lovecraft Country, goes on sale today. You’ll find order links for the book on its main page here, a preliminary FAQ about the novel here, and a schedule of my in-person appearances to promote the book here.
We’re still three days out from the on-sale date, but bookstores are already getting their shipments of The Destroyer of Worlds. Yesterday I stopped by Secret Garden Bookshop to pre-sign their stock.
Since my author’s copies are still in transit, this was my first chance to see what the finished books look like. They are gorgeous. The cover illustration is by Jarrod Taylor, who also did the art for Lovecraft Country, and as with that novel, it’s done paper-over-boards style (i.e., no separate dust jacket) with fake wear and stress marks that make it seem like an old storybook you found up in grandpa’s attic, only cool and shiny.
Publication day is Tuesday. On Wednesday, I’ll be reading and signing at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR, starting at 7 PM. On Thursday night I’ll be back in Seattle, reading at Elliott Bay Book Company, also at 7 PM. And next Saturday, February 25, I’ll be down in Tukwila, signing books at Barnes & Noble South Center from 1 PM to around 4 PM. As always, my full schedule of events can be found here.