* If you’re in the Queen Anne area, you should check out the new Queen Anne Book Company. They’ve got signed copies of my novels as well as signed books from all the other local authors who attended their grand opening weekend. They’ve also got the world’s sweetest bookstore dog, Tali.
* Today’s New York Times has a piece on the difficulties of training cats to perform in live theater, but the best anecdote in the story involves a dog and some KFC: “Bill Berloni, an animal trainer who cast the dog Sandy in the current Broadway production of ‘Annie,’ remembers when a family in the front rows of ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’ brought a bucket of chicken, and the Chihuahua he had cast abandoned its role to hover at the edge of the stage.”
* I’ll be attending the grand opening of the Queen Anne Book Company on Friday, March 1, from 4 PM to 6 PM. Lots of other Seattle authors will be at the bookstore over the weekend; check the event page for exact times.
The deadline to apply for a 2014 NEA Literature Fellowship is next Thursday, February 28. Fellowship applications must be filed electronically, which means if you wait till the last minute and the NEA’s computers happen to go down you’ll be out of luck. Procrastination is part of the artist’s job description but do yourself a favor and get it done this weekend. More details about the Fellowship here.
* I had a good reading last night at the University Book Store. If you missed it, you can catch me on February 28 at 7 PM at the Elliott Bay Book Company.
* The Queen Anne Book Company is celebrating its grand opening on the weekend of March 1-3. I plan to attend as part of their “cavalcade of local authors,” though I don’t know yet exactly when I’ll be there.
Locus magazine’s February 2013 issue, on newsstands now, includes their 2012 recommended reading list, and The Mirage is on it. Quoth senior editor Tim Pratt: “[The Mirage] is more than a clever inversion of the War on Terror… in my review I called it a modern answer to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, and I stand by that.”
In other news:
* The Mirage trade paperback will be on sale next Tuesday, February 12. (Links for online preorder here.)
* I’ve been getting a lot of emails from fans in Germany asking when a German translation of The Mirage will be available. I don’t have an exact date yet, but my current understanding is that Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag will be publishing it sometime late this year or very early in 2014.
* The latest in procrastination technology: Bradley W. Schenck’s Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual website presents the Pulp-o-Mizer, which lets you create custom pulp sci-fi magazine covers and download them as .jpgs or, for a fee, have them printed on posters, cards, and coffee mugs. It’s a cool thing, and I hope the ‘Mizer is expanded to include other pulp genres. (Assuming my current book proposal goes well, I’ll be in the market for a horror/weird tales version.)
* Stewie, the world’s longest house cat (4 feet from nose to tail) has died at age 8.
I’ve been making good progress on the new novel, hence the lack of recent posts, but with The Mirage paperback publication coming up in two weeks, it’s time for me to come out of my little room and practice talking to people again. (I also need to shift gears mentally from 1950s Chicago and New England, where I’ve been for the last six months, to alt-universe Baghdad; I expect some culture shock).
I’ll be doing readings in Seattle and Portland in conjunction with the publication; my current schedule is here.
In other news:
* The late, lamented Seattle indie bookstore Queen Anne Books is being reincarnated as the Queen Anne Book Company! It’ll have a new owner and new management (and is, technically, an entirely new bookstore), but it’ll be in the same location and at least some of the old Queen Anne Books staff will be returning. The grand opening is March 1. You can follow the new store on Facebook and Twitter.
* I’ll have a separate, longer post about this soon, but the National Endowment for the Arts is currently accepting applications for their 2014 Literature Fellowships in Prose. These are grants of $25,000 for fiction and creative nonfiction writers who are either citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The deadline for applying is February 28.
Paul Constant, who is nominally the Books Editor for the Seattle Stranger — though lately his duties seem to have expanded to writing half the content of the paper — invited me to contribute to the annual Regrets Issue, in which staff and local celebrities confess their professional and personal regrets about the year just ended. Naturally, I missed the deadline. So, yeah, sorry about that, Paul, but the truth is this has been a good year for me, and the few disappointments were things beyond my control.
The American trade paperback edition of The Mirage will be published in February 2013. I will be appearing at the U.W. University Book Store at on February 20 at 7 PM and at Elliott Bay Book Company on February 28 at 7 PM. A German translation of The Mirage is scheduled for publication in Winter 2013. No word yet on whether there’ll be a German book tour to accompany publication, but just to put it out there, I’d be happy to come if my publisher invites me.
I remain hard at work on what I hope will be my next novel. If it were a Bad Monkeys-sized book, it’d be almost half done now, but it looks like it’s going to be a lot longer, so I’m just getting started. Stay tuned.
The one truly sad note of 2012 was the passing of Queen Anne Books, my favorite Seattle independent bookstore. Since QAB shut down at the end of October I’d been hoping a new owner might swoop in to resurrect it, but it wasn’t to be, and by now the staff, the real heart of the store, have moved on to other things. I wish them all the best, and will always be grateful for the decade of support they gave me and my novels.
So, on to 2013! And just to start things off right, have another monkey, courtesy of ZooBorns’ “Top 25 of All Time” list: