You know, while you're writing a book, it's yours. No-one else gets to read it unless you ask them to. It's sort of private and secret and it's, well, as I said, it's all yours. Then one day, some months after it's finished it gets published, and then the reviews start, and now it's public property and it's not yours any more. But you have several months to sort of grit your teeth and start getting used to the whole review thing.
Marcus Gipps is a bookseller in the UK, and he gets advance readers copies of books, such as, well, Anansi Boys. And he reviews them. Which meant that this morning he sent me a link to his review of Anansi Boys up at http://www.livejournal.com/users/marcusgipps/16062.html, four months before the book will be published. (It's probably worth mentioning that what Marcus is writing about is an uncopyedited, unedited, not the draft of the book that will be published, version.)
I was more than a little relieved to discover that it seemed like Marcus had read the book I'd written, and seemed to have enjoyed it.
I spent about 45 minutes a few days ago in the X-Men 3 offices, seeing what they'd planned for the movie, watching animatics of some of the sequences, admiring the concept art. I heard people there muttering about the fact they'd got a movie coming out in May 2006 and they didn't seem to have the budget to make the film they were planning, and how they'd probably be reduced to a pulse-pounding tiddlywinks battle between Magneto and Wolverine in the final sequence -- but they all seemed very committed to the project, while hoping that their budget and time issues could be worked out with the powers that be. So I was sad to see from Ain't It Cool that Matthew's left the film. If it's true, then I suspect it means that the Stardust film may be happening rather sooner than anyone expected.
Over at http://www.interaction.worldcon.org.uk/hugolink.htm are links to this year's Hugo Award nominated stories. I love that you can read them all online, and that there are links to some amazing things to read. For example, this biographical essay, taken from the nonfiction collection by Phil Klass (AKA William Tenn)http://www.dpsinfo.com/williamtenn/constantinople.html is compulsive reading, of the "you couldn't make that up" variety.
I sometimes find myself in awe of people like art speigelman, who smoke in front of audiences in places that smoking isn't allowed. So I was amused by this exchange from an English literary festival, where Christopher Hitchens was smoking...
Female audience member Excuse me. I'm not usually awkward at all but I'm sitting here and we're asked not to smoke. And I don't like being in a room where smoking is going on.
CH (smoking heavily): Well you don't have to stay darling, do you? I'm working here and I'm your guest, OK? And this is what I'm like; nobody has to like it.
IK Would you just stub that one out?
CH No. I cleared it with the festival a long time ago. They let me do it.
FAM We should all be allowed to smoke then.
CH Fair enough. I wouldn't object. It might get pretty nasty though. I have a privileged position here, I'm not just one of the audience, so it would be horrible if everyone was like me. This is my last of five gigs, I've worked very hard for the festival. I'm going from here to Heathrow airport. If anyone doesn't like it they can kiss my ass.
IK Would anyone like to take up that challenge?
(Laughter. Woman walks out)
As a follow-up to a couple of different things I've been talking about here recently -- audiobooks and The Last Unicorn sequel -- this page http://www.conlanpress.com/html/comments.html features people's comments on Peter Beagle reading The Last Unicorn.
This blog gets quoted in an article on Moleskine notebooks. Which I mention mostly because I've been feeling guilty for about three years for losing the address of someone who sent me a gift of some moleskines, back when you could hardly find them in the US, and I've never said thank you. So if it was you, thanks so much and I'm sorry I lost your address. (There. A small karmic weight off my mind. But I still feel guilty.)
Someone kindly wrote to let me know that Anansi Boys is slightly more expensive in Canada than it is anywhere else in the world. $369 to be precise, although it's $351 for Chapters Indigo Members. I wonder how long that'll stay up there...
Talking about typos, I discovered this on Making Light.
Hi Neil, thanks for the information on how to behave at a book signing, and if you ever come near where I live, I assure you, I won't try to secretly tape you! That being said, however, I work for my University newspaper, and I have been formally dared by the staff to try and set up an interview with you, and I have to tape you legally, no climbing in through windows or anything (well, that makes it a little bit more difficult, and really clashes with my "journalistic style", but rules are rules and you can't go back on a double dog dare, not even with infinity, I tried.) So I'm wondering, how would someone set up an interview with you? I couldn't find the info on your site, and I won't win the box of mini donuts in our office fridge unless I do it "professionally", so any information you could give would be great. I would even share the donuts.
Cheers! Cassie, University of Regina, Saskatchewan
Well, you being in Canada, you'd want to contact the press department of Harper Collins Canada. Which twenty seconds playing with google, suggests that this page -- http://harpercollins.ca/contactemailus.asp?uid=12 -- would be the one you'd use. I trust that'll get you your donuts.
There doesn't seem to be a similar webpage for the US -- but an e-mail to Jack.womack at harpercollins.com should work.
If you're in the UK and you need an interview from Headline, contact lucy.ramsey at
headline.co.uk. (They've also got the new covers for the UK paperbacks up at the Headline site.)
I'm not actually certain who people in Singapore, the Philippines should contact for interviews (most requests have been coming in through the FAQ line so far). In Australia, you'd go to http://www.hha.com.au/.