public appearances

Catching up

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.

A packed room at the “Writing Systems of Magic” panel

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.

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Presents!

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.

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Week one

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.

Coming up this week:

* Tomorrow night (2/28), I’ll be reading at signing at the Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, starting at 7 PM.

* On Saturday, March 4, I will be a guest at the Literary Lions Gala fundraiser in Bellevue (tickets and info here).

* And on Sunday, March 5, I’ll be appearing on two panels at Emerald City Comic Con, each of which will be followed by a book signing. More details on my schedule page, here.

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The Destroyer of Worlds is in bookstores today

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.

I’ve also teamed up with Blake Collier, my co-host on the 88 Names podcast, to produce a new limited series about this novel that we’re calling The Destroyer of Podcasts. Our introductory episode is up today, and our plan is to release four additional episodes on a more-or-less weekly basis. New episodes will appear in my blog feed and on the dedicated podcast page. which is linked from The Destroyer of Worlds page. You can subscribe to the RSS feed through various aggregators like Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

If you’d rather read than listen, I have a Big Idea essay on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog this morning, talking about why and how I wrote this novel. You can check that out here.

Tomorrow night I’ll be reading and signing at at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR, starting at 7 PM. On Thursday I’ll be back in Seattle, reading at Elliott Bay Book Company, also at 7 PM. And on Saturday, I’ll be in Tukwila, signing books at Barnes & Noble South Center from 1 PM to around 4 PM.

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The Destroyer of Worlds, seen in the wild

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.

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In one week!

My eighth novel, The Destroyer of Worlds: A Return to Lovecraft Country, debuts a week from today. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to preorder Destroyer before it drops on February 21. And if you’ve got questions about the book, I have a preliminary FAQ posted here.

My updated itinerary of in-person appearances to promote the novel can be found here. In addition to the previously announced events, I’ll be doing an afternoon signing session at the Barnes & Noble South Center in Tukwila on February 25, and a reading and signing at Pulpfiction Books in Vancouver, BC on March 24. And I’m now scheduled to appear on two panels at Emerald City Comic Con on March 5.

If you want a signed copy but can’t attend any of my events, you can get in touch with Secret Garden Bookshop in Seattle (206-789-5006 / bookshop@secretgardenbooks.com). Just tell them how you’d like the book inscribed and they’ll get it signed and on its way to you ASAP. And yes, they do ship internationally.

One week!

In one week! Read More »

Locus reviews The Destroyer of Worlds

In this month’s edition of Locus magazine, Ian Mond reviews The Destroyer of Worlds, and he likes it:

The Destroyer of Worlds is immensely entertaining. The pacing is on point, the action set pieces are thrilling, and the stakes are high. I swallowed the novel down in a couple of pleasurable sittings… Ruff’s continued exploration of race in America during Jim Crow still packs a punch… [It] is also a delicate and tender novel about faith and spirituality… It’s nuanced, meaningful stuff that reinforces the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the characters… And am I eagerly anticipating the next volume in the saga of the Turner-Berry family? Oh my, yes!

We’re now just two weeks away from publication. If you’re thinking of picking up the book, a preorder—either online or at your favorite local indie bookstore—would be very much appreciated, as it adds to the first week’s sales numbers and helps draw attention to the novel.

If you’re in Seattle or Portland, OR, I’ll be doing in-person appearances at Elliott Bay Book Company, Third Place Books, and Powell’s later this month. I’ll also be attending the Literary Lions Gala and Emerald City Comic Con in March. My full schedule is here. (And if you’re not in the Pacific NW, no worries; I’ll be doing plenty of online appearances as well.)

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7 weeks and counting

This holiday season I did that thing where you promise yourself you’re going to get a lot accomplished in the downtime between Christmas and New Year’s, and then proceeded to accomplish almost nothing, unless leveling up all fourteen character classes in Soulstone Survivors counts as an accomplishment.

But no matter, I’ll be busy soon enough. The publication date of The Destroyer of Worlds is just seven weeks away. I’ve started listing confirmed events on my appearances page. For now it looks as though my in-person events will be limited to the West Coast, but I’ll be doing plenty of online promotion as well. If you’re interested in scheduling an interview or a remote author appearance, please get in touch with my publicist, Rachel Elinsky.

Happy New Year! More soon.

7 weeks and counting Read More »

The Clarion West 2022 fundraiser auction is open…

The Clarion West Writers Workshop 2022 After Dark Gala & Auction is open for business. You can register here and help Clarion raise money by donating or bidding on various prize packages, including a Meet & Greet featuring myself and Kelley Eskridge:

Bidding is open through Friday, October 21, at 9 PM Pacific. The virtual Gala will be livestreamed on YouTube starting at 7 PM Pacific, and will feature a reading by Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse series. Hope to see you there!

The Clarion West 2022 fundraiser auction is open… Read More »