Reading

the signings of the apocalypsies

Jim Freund and me on Hour of the Wolf

Last week, I returned to my old home base, New York City, for the annual NYC Teen Author Festival. I had to miss the first few days of panels and readings, but I got in late Wednesday night so Jim Freund could interview me and Eddie Schneider on his weekly radio program, Hour of the Wolf (Thursday mornings from 1:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on WBAI 99.5 FM). As usual, the time passed far too quickly! I read two short selections from Fair Coin on the air and we discussed YA fiction and publishing. You can listen to a recording of the broadcast online for the next week.

Making coffee out of lemons: Mark Schulman (SCRAWL), Jess Rothenberg (THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME), Arlaina Tibensky (AND THEN THINGS FALL APART), Léna Roy (EDGES), and me at Beans and Vines

Roughly seven hours later, I staggered to a library in Manhattan where I was scheduled to read to a high school class with four other authors. Unfortunately, the chain locking the doors suggested they weren’t expecting us. As my friend Matt London recounted on his blog, we adjourned to a nearby coffee shop to hang out instead, which worked out really well because a) I needed a lot of coffee after only 3 hours of sleep, and b) they are all really fun people and I happen to like talking with other writers.

Autographed copies face out on a table at B&N Tribeca. (Thanks, Kara!)

My agent, Eddie, and I then toured many Barnes & Noble bookstores throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I could sign their stock of Fair Coin. It was my first time seeing my book in stores in person, and it was as thrilling as you’d expect. It was even more exciting to see it prominently displayed face out in the new Teen Fantasy & Adventure sections and on several tables. It was also fun to meet and chat with several store employees who clearly love books, including Elizabeth, Donna, Ashley, Taina, Meredith, and Kara. (Hi!) Once I signed the books, the store staff slapped nifty “Autographed” stickers on them, the better to entice people to pick them up. If you’re looking to grab a signed copy of your own from Barnes & Noble, last week they had them at 82nd & Broadway, 86th & Lexington, 46th Street and 5th Ave, Tribeca, Court Street in Brooklyn, and Park Slope.

If you would like to support independent booksellers, and I always think that’s worth doing, you can also snag a signed copy from Books of Wonder on 18 W. 18th Street, the preeminent children’s bookstore in Manhattan. I was there on Sunday with around 65 other YA authors (including a bunch of Apocalypsies!) for the mega signing. It was great to see many friends show up to have their copies of Fair Coin signed, and meet some readers and book bloggers. The swag I made for the book seemed to be a big hit, too. It was definitely a wish come true to see my book in the store, since I’ve been going to readings and signings there for years. My only “problem” with Books of Wonder is I can’t leave without purchasing some books, and indeed I left with a bag of cherished autographed books by other Apocalypsies. (Many thanks to David Levithan for coordinating the signing and working so hard on the rest of the Author Festival, and to Peter Glassman and everyone at Books of Wonder who were so welcoming to a bunch of new authors.)

Getting to meet and hang out with other members of the Apocalypsies was a big highlight of the trip, and we even had a small gathering at one of my favorite restaurants, Chat n’ Chew, before the signing, with Zoraida Córdova (THE VICIOUS DEEP), Gina Damico (CROAK), K.M. Walton (CRACKED), Emily M. Danforth (THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST), Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED), and Lizzie K. Foley (REMARKABLE), and assorted significant others. Apocalypsies were also well represented on various panels throughout Teen Author Week–already reading and talking about their books like pros.

Last weekend, I also joined many people (including some of my writing group, Altered Fluid), to usher in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s 30th birthday and her fourth novel, WICKED CITY, at a genuine NYC speakeasy, The Back Room. If you see Alaya tonight, be sure to congratulate her on both milestones; she and I will be reading and signing our new books at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street) at 7 p.m. I hope you can make it!

fair coin readings

Last Friday, I gave my first reading of Fair Coin to a small crowd at the Philadelphia Fantastic reading, hosted by Oz Fontecchio at Robin’s Bookstore & Moonstone Arts Center. It’s a little known fact that I don’t throw parties often because I’m paranoid that no one will come; I don’t know many people in Philadelphia and even fewer have heard of me, so I expected only a handful of guests, but I was pleasantly surprised to see many dear friends at the event, and I even made some new ones. (The usual way, not out of clay, or anything like that.) I read three short excerpts, which were well received, and sold and signed more books than I expected. Many thanks to Oz and Robin’s for such a shiny welcome to this new author and his book.

You might be wondering how you can hear me read from Fair Coin. It just so happens there are a few opportunities coming up in the next week:

I will be interviewed tonight/early tomorrow morning on Jim Freund’s radio program, Hour of the Wolf on WBAI 99.5 FM, from 1:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. I’ve been on the show lots of times with my writing group, but this is my first not-quite-solo appearance; agent extraordinaire Eddie Schneider from JABberwocky Literary will join me. If you’re awake, you can listen on the radio (if you still have one of those) or stream the station live at http://www.wbai.org. If you’re asleep by then, the episode will be available in the archive for two weeks.

The show may be a terrible tactical error, because tomorrow morning I’m reading at 10:00 a.m. at the Inwood branch of the NYPL with authors Jessica Rothenberg, Léna Roy, Mark Schulman, and Arlaina Tibensky, in the NYC Big Read, part of the NYC Teen Author Festival. The word of the day will be COFFEE. (I’ll also be signing books with fifteen other authors at Books of Wonder on Sunday, April 1, from 2:30 – 3:15.)

Finally, next Tuesday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m., I’ll be reading at the NYRSF Readings series at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art with Alaya Dawn Johnson, who has a great new book out called Wicked City. There will also be a guest appearance by Sam Weber, one of my favorite artists, who made the awesome cover for Fair Coin!

I’ll have some Fair Coin swag at all the readings and signings, if you need a little more incentive to attend. I look forward to seeing lots of friends and meeting other readers!

first reading of FAIR COIN

I should have mentioned this sooner, but if you are in or near Philadelphia this Friday at 7:00 p.m., please come to the Philadelphia Fantastic reading night, where I will be reading from (and signing) Fair Coin for the first time ever! Some books will be available for sale at the event.

WHEN: Friday, March 23 @ 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Robin’s Bookstore & Moonstone Arts Center
110 A S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-567-2615
http://www.robinsbookstore.com/

More info to come! I hope to see you there.

Feel free to RSVP at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/257072964383488/

sleep no more: what you see is what you get

This weekend, my wife and I went to Sleep No More, a theatrical production in New York City produced by Punchdrunk and EMURSIVE. It would be incorrect to call it a play, or to say that I went to “see” it, because it isn’t a traditional sort of play, nor is it something you watch passively; however, there is definitely a strong element of real play in it, for both the audience and the actors.

The Wikipedia page calls Sleep No More an “immersive theatre installation,” which is an accurate, if not necessarily accessible description. Some reviews have likened it to video games like BioShock or Choose Your Own Adventure books, and one of my friends compared it to a holonovel on Star Trek, an interactive book that plays out on a holodeck and makes the “reader” part of the story. I would go one step further and compare Sleep No More to novels, period.

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would you like an awesome book for free?

I have been remiss in mentioning one of my favorite fantasy books of the year, The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu. It was published by Night Shade Books on March 15th, which gives you an idea of how long it’s taken me to get around to blogging about it. In the meantime, it’s been getting a ton of terrific reviews–no thanks to me–but I figure now is a perfect time to point it out since you can download a free Nook copy now through June 9th for your Nook, smartphone, or computer. (Actually, a few weeks ago would have been a better time to mention it, as I intended, but so it goes.)

I encourage you to grab this remarkable book while you can, because it will cost you nothing more than a few minutes of your time to decide if it’s for you. If you enjoy it, and I suspect you will, maybe post a favorable review, and/or buy a copy printed on a dead tree for you or a friend. I think it’s worth owning just for that gorgeous cover. Look at that artwork!

I had the privilege of reading a draft of Winds before publication, and was instantly drawn to Brad’s creative world-building, colorful and sympathetic characters, unique magic system, and the political intrigue. Plus, you know, airships. Airships! I think Paul Genesse’s blurb says it best:

The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu is awesome epic fantasy with a Russian Czarist slant by an award-winning author. A Song of Ice and Fire meets Earthsea in this highly original and exciting novel set in the Grand Duchy of Anuskaya, an archipelago of bitterly cold islands where flying ships soar on dangerous winds.

If you’re still undecided even after that stellar endorsement, there’s plenty more information on Brad’s site. But the book’s free for a few more days, so might as well check it out for yourself, yeah?