|Posted on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 03:10 pm: |
This being Halloween month, I've got several appearances scheduled in the Greater New Orleans area (plus some a bit farther afield). Tuesday, 10/19, I'll be doing a reading and signing at Bookends Bookstore in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, just an hour or so east of N.O. (111 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis, MS, 601-467-9683). Saturday, 10/23, I'll be at the Metairie Barnes and Noble from 2-4 P.M. signing books (3721 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA, 504-455-5135). Monday, 10/25, I'll be doing probably my most unusual and "atmospheric" local reading and appearance; from 7-9 P.M. or so I'll be at the Boutique du Vampyre in Pirates Alley in the French Quarter (504-561-8267), right next to St. Louis Cathedral (in the same neck of the woods where key scenes from INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE were filmed). This is a little shop that sells a wide variety of vampiric paraphenalia and is only open (I believe) after dark; they're located next to a cozy corner coffee cafe where the reading will take place. Should be fun! My last local appearance of the month will be on Wednesday, 10/27, at 7 P.M., for a reading, discussion and signing at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, LA (504-838-1190).
Dara, Levi and I will also be making a couple of out-of-town trips this month, to Northern Virginia and Tempe, Arizona. Here's where we'll be alighting:
Friday, October 15, 7 P.M., signing
2111 Wilson Boulevard
Friday, October 15 to Sunday, October 17, reading and panel appearances
Tysons Corner Marriott, 8028 Leesburg Pike
Thursday, October 28 to Sunday, October 31, signing and appearances
World Fantasy Convention
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East 5th Street
If your path happens to intersect with ours, I do hope you'll pay us a visit and say hello! Maybe you'll get a chance to see Levi in his Halloween costume (few things are cuter than a one-year-old dressed as a gorilla, believe me; although if they'd had one in his size, I would've bought him the bat outfit, instead).
|Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 09:03 am: |
I don't know whether any of their organizers will ever stumble across this, but I just wanted to say my family and I had a wonderful time this weekend at Capclave in Vienna, Virginia. Capclave was a bit smaller than usual this year, at about 150 or so warm bodies, but what they lacked in quantity, they more than made up for in quality. The con had a very laid-back, easy-going vibe to it (for example, there were no sign-up sheets for the terrific assortment of koffee klatches -- whomever showed up just pulled up another chair if all the chairs by the poolside were taken). I had a fun group discussion with Scott Edelman, editor of Sci Fi Magazine, about our mutual friend Barry Malzberg, and I got to meet veteran Tor editor David Hartwell, who'd come down from New York to sell books in the dealers' room while members of his family attended a birthday party in the Washington area. Author Nick Pollotta and his wife were full of fun stories and promised to look Dara and me up the next time they come down to New Orleans. Lots of people at the con made Levi smile, especially the kids who attended, many of whom were fascinated by my active and friendly one-year-old. So far, raising Levi in "the bosom of fandom" has been a delight.
By the way, for those of you in the DC/Northern Virginia area, I left several dozen signed copies of both Fat White Vampire Blues and Bride of the Fat White Vampire at the Olsson's Books in Arlington, and the manager there will distribute copies among all of the seven Olsson's locations.
Tonight, I'm off to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to do an event at one of my favorite bookstores anywhere, Bookends!
|Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 08:53 am: |
The Bookends appearance was fun. I got a chance to chat with a woman who'd read Bride without having first read FWVB; I asked her whether she'd run into any confusion or difficulties, and I was very happy to hear that she hadn't. Another attendee was a local high school student whose English teacher had sent him out to hear me; got to train them young, y'know! Susan Daigre, the shop's owner, and her staff are always so wonderful to visit and chat with. And I couldn't ask for a better group of ambassadors to the world of ol' Jules.
My one minor downer on this trip was discovering that my 2000 Ford Focus needs a new fuel pump (Recall Notice #10,346 or thereabouts). I was scooting down Highway 90 in coastal Mississippi when all of a sudden, the car started stumbling, and then the only motive power I found myself with was inertia. Always fun to steer a car in an emergency situation without power steering (thank heavens I wasn't driving an Excursion; with a Focus, manual steering is doable for someone with biceps less well-developed than the current California governor's). Luckily for me, I was almost alongside a gas station, and I was able to pilot my "glider" into their parking lot. A few minutes later, I was able to restart my car and go along my merry way to Bookends. I would've been a whole lot more freaked out than I was if my boss (who also owns a 2000 Focus) hadn't recently described the exact same mechanical disfunction with his car. So off to the dealership I go. . .
|Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 08:58 am: |
Just wanted to let everyone know that Vampirella Magazine #7 is out on the newsstands now (do newsstands still exist in your area? or do you have to buy your magazines from a B&N or Borders or Books-A-Million?). It features a fun interview with yours truly, plus a flattering foto. Several of the ladies at the Bookends reading were thrilled to see that Vampirella is back in print again; I hadn't realized that the scantily-clothed vampiress from Draculon had enjoyed such a big female readership back in her days with Warren Publications in the 1970s.
|Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 10:04 am: |
Oh, by the way, for any of you who might like to read the Vampirella Magazine interview online (but you miss out on all that nice bad-girl artwork), here's the link:
|Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 10:57 am: |
Thanks for the kind comments regarding Capclave - I'll let WSFA know.
Do spread the word. We want to grow the convention, but not a quick growth. This year we had about 200 warm bodies and I'd like to have maybe 25 to 50 more folks.
So . . .all you writers, editors, artists and other folks of that nature: come to Capclave! Or as Howard would say: Che'ekidaou'ut
Capclave 2005 Chair
|Posted on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 07:52 am: |
Dara, Levi and I schlepped out to the Metairie, LA Barnes and Noble on Saturday for a few hours' worth of meet-and-greet and book signing. The afternoon started out slowly, but by the end I was fairly pleased with the number of copies we'd sold. Plus, the good Lindi at B&N had brought in a truckload (okay, a Tonka truckload) of books for me to sign for them to have in stock, and they're displaying them all over the store in anticipation of Halloween.
One fun aspect of making an appearance at one of the area's big chain stores is that I get to see people whom I haven't bumped into in years. I said hi to Terry, my good pal P.H. Fred's ex-wife (heck, I'd rather say hi to his ex-wife than mine), and I saw Marnie, a gal I'd met through JDate.com and dated a couple of times a few months before I met Dara in 2000.
But the most intiguing little hook-up was with someone I hadn't known before. I was mentioning to a customer about how there are only three degrees of separation between any two people in New Orleans (quite true, you know; New Orleans is America's biggest small town) and how my three-degree-separation from Anne Rice had produced the idea spark that grew into Fat White Vampire Blues, when a young man who'd been listening in to our conversation interupted and said that he was a good friend of La Rice's. He was a bit scandalized by my books' covers and asked me about their connection, if any, to Anne. So I gave him my standard schpiel about how, if vampires really inhabited New Orleans and spent a century or more drinking the blood of folks who consume the standard New Orleans diet (you know, double fried, larded with cream sauces, etc. etc.), over the decades they'd suck down so much cholesterol and fatty lipids that they would tend to become people of size. So a real New Orleans vampire, after a few decades of victimizing New Orleanians, wouldn't look like Tom Cruise -- maybe Rosanne Barr or John Goodman. This fellow wasn't amused by my pitch. All he could mutter in reply was, "Ohhh, Anne wouldn't like that. . ." I insisted that he take one of my fliers, suggesting that Anne might get a chuckle out of it. He replied that Anne certainly wouldn't have time to look at it, but her executive assistant would. And then he stalked off.
You know what, in my darkest heart of hearts, I'm praying for. If only this little meeting could result in my succeeding Al Copeland, founder of Popeye's Fried Chicken, as Anne Rice's primary local bete noir. Oh, if I could only become the target of a double-page screed from La Rice in a Sunday Times Picayune, as he did! I'd even settle for a quarter-page screed. And then one of USA Today's stringers would pick up the story, and it would go national. . .
Well, I can dream, can't I? Are you listening, Anne?
|Posted on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 03:15 pm: |
Ain't no such thing as bad publicity, honey...
|Posted on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 07:23 pm: |
And, wait a minute-- "Anne wouldn't like that"???
Who died and made her Queen of the Damned??
Actually she used to have a sense of humor, and perhaps she still does, so maybe it's just the fan who's a humorless drone.
And just personally I think John Goodman's a heckuva lot sexier than Tom Cruise.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 02:05 pm: |
Not being a woman myself, I won't comment on the John Goodman versus Tom Cruise thing (although I generally enjoyed looking at the swimsuit models in BBW Magazine [when it was still being published] more than those in Sports Illustrated).
I haven't ever met Ms. Rice myself, so I can't speak from personal experience, but from what I've seen from interviews, online antics, and coverage in our local newspaper, not to mention stories from friends who have had personal contact, I get the impression that her sense of humor evaporated around the time she acquired a personal staff of fifty and a collection of historic New Orleans properties. Of course, I could be way off base. She could be doing the whole post-modern thing, pretending to be a humorless, self-obsessed megastar in order to have a good laff at how the rest of us react.
|Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 03:37 pm: |
My last few stops on the Halloween mini-tour were good ones. My reading and signing at the Boutique du Vampyre was appropriately surreal, as befits any event that takes place in the French Quarter. The reading part took place in a bar and cafe next to the Boutique. About fifteen Quarterites and tourists made up my audience, and the bar's doors and windows were all opened onto Pirates Alley. During most late Octobers, this would've been a delightful circumstance, but this October has felt like July. I made the boo-boo of starting my performance wearing a jacket, so a third of the way into my reading of a passage from Fat White Vampire Blues, I was sweating like late-period Elvis in the Hawaii sun. Took the jacket off before starting in with Bride, dabbed myself off with a fistful of napkins (and no, I didn't throw them to ladies in the audience), and stared at the awesomely crooked teeth of the woman in the front row. She laughed the hardest at my material and, bless her heart, wanted to buy a copy of my books but told me she didn't have the money. So she insisted I sign a napkin for her. No problem. The owners of the Boutique were thrilled to have me, and they sold plenty of books that night. The quality of their goods really surprised me; I was expecting a ticky-tacky shop loaded with plastic fangs and rubber bats, but most of what they had for sale was handcrafted and very attractive. You can check out their items at http://www.feelthebite.com/boutique.html . They'll be featuring signed copies of my books on their website, and I've made arrangements with them to come in and personalize books for their web customers. I'll let you know when that's all set up, in case anyone's interested.
I nearly didn't make my reading at the Jefferson Parish Regional Library. I made the mistake of relying upon my memory to find the place, so I got off at the wrong exit off the I-10. This shouldn't have been a disaster, as I was positive the library was located on West Napoleon Avenue. . . except that West Napoleon Avenue was closed. No problem, I thought; I'll just find a parallel street and go around the construction. Only there WERE no parallel streets -- I was blocked by a drainage canal on one side, the I-10 on the other, and about fifty apartment complexes and resultant dead-end streets to the west. A half-hour, a dozen turn-arounds, and uncountable profanities later, I finally pulled into the library's parking lot and ran inside, only to find one of my biggest audiences ever waiting patiently for me to arrive. So my little saga had a happy ending; I read from both books and answered questions and schmoozed, and all was sweetness and light.