I finally named my newsletter! And maybe I can cut and paste from mailjet?? We shall see.
|Hi, folks!I hope you’ve had a good month. It’s been eventful over here. For instance, it’s raining inside my garage office, thanks to LA’s atmospheric river. JT and I have been trying to find the source of the leak for months now, and last night realized it’s all the sources. It’s the deck, its the cellar, it’s all the things! On the plus side, writing amidst plinking metal pails makes me feel like a character from Delicatessen (1991, dirs. Caro and Jeunet), and the joint was getting too classy for me, anyway.
In other news, I just returned from the Palm Springs Reader’s Festival, sponsored by The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs. The store has named A Better World its April book club pick. I’ll be zooming in. Owners Sarah Lacy and Paul Carr are excellent people. Being in Palm Springs feels like being in a movie about Palm Springs. Only with more color. I made an effort to look professional on the first day, realized nobody cared, and relaxed into my typical overalls on day two.
I got to meet lots of new writers and readers. What was especially nice was spending time with two other members of my writing group — Sarah Tomlinson, whose excellent first novel THE LAST DAYS OF THE MIDNIGHT RAMBLERS comes out next week, and J. Ryan Stradal, who spent a lot of his time introducing me to people. It is unfortunate that I’m so terrible with names.
|A great thing happened Friday night. Frances and I went to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where we heard movies scores selected by John Williams, conducted by Alfred Newman. It’s been a long while since I felt awe in art, but I felt it then. My favorite was Bernard Herman’s Vertigo, followed closely by Williams’ Close Encounters. We got the cheap seats facing the conductor.
In writing news, A Better World’s launch approaches! It’s happening at Dark Delicacies on April 9. More to come. If you want me to sign a book for you there, pre order here.
The next event booked is with Hilarie Burton on April 14 at noon in Rhinebeck. More details to come.
The book continues to receive good advance reviews, including a starred review from Booklist, and a shout-out as a best book of 2024 from Nerdette (Chicago NPR).
My publicist has rightfully asked me to remind people who have read and liked the book to review it on Netgalley and Good Reads. In the dystopia, these things make a difference.
On that note, Netgalley copies are still available to reviewers and bookstore owners. Request a copy here.
Good Reads is having another giveaway! You can request a copy and if you win, they’ll mail it to you!
There’s also a deal on Good Neighbors — it’s $1.99 on Kindle right now.
My first novel The Keeper is coming out as a re-release from Canelo Books in a few days. The cover’s spanking new and very pretty. Which I’d attach, but I can’t figure out how.
The Missing is also getting a re-release from Canelo. Paul Tremblay wrote the introduction. I can’t wait for people to read it.
My 12k short story, “The Upgrade” is coming out from Lightspeed Magazine very soon. It’s about a world dominated by a company called Congo, and the tech upgrade Congo releases that changes human physiology.
I’m on a writing bender, where I keep trying to pump out short stories for anthologies I’ve promised work to. But the stories go rogue. For example, “Gyle” is 9k. It’s set at an art colony in Northern California, about power, sacrifice, and voice. I got the idea from a dream, woke up, and couldn’t go back to sleep before working on it.
My other short story, “Pam Wolinski is a Monster,” is now clocking in as a 30k novella. I hope I find a home for it, as I think people will like it a lot.
I head back to work on my next novel, THE PARENT TRAP this week.
Folks– this newsletter could look a lot prettier. I promise, this is the month I figure out mailjet and Quickbooks.
A few final notes – It would have been my dad’s 80th birthday on the 28th of January. What would have been my mom’s 82nd birthday is coming up this week. I’ll close with the sonnet I read to my dad a few days before he died —
Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest,
Now is the time that face should form another,
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose uneared womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live rememb’red not to be,
Die single, and thine image dies with thee.
Shakespeare’s making an unnecessary case– plenty of people without kids live totally fulfilling, challenging lives. Plenty of people with kids never grow up. But I do like the idea that, when applied correctly, children turn a mirror into a window.
I think that’s everything!? Until next time, don’t get none on you. And take care.