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Damon v. Maxwell
Posted on Friday, March 02, 2007 - 09:32 pm:   

I have been thinking about the FWV's publicity; there doesn't seem to be all that much, at least on the West Coast. I was wondering/hoping that there was something us fans could do to boost public awareness. Something ridiculously, deliciously abnormal. While I debated donning a fat suit or purple tights and walking the streets wearing a sandwich board extolling the virtues of Obesity and Vampirism I didn't know how you, the author, would feel about it. Any thoughts on the matter?
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 07:33 am:   

Dear Damon,

Thanks so much for dropping me a note. I'll admit to laying somewhat low over the last couple of years. . . not of my own choice, for the most part. Typically, it only makes economic sense (and, in the case of mid-list writers, even this is somewhat debateable) to do book tours, signings, readings, and other events for a particular book during the first six to nine months after publication (unless the venues are close to home and/or can be rationalized as a family vacation or visit to relatives, etc.). The most recent book in the Jules Duchon series, Bride of the Fat White Vampire, came out in August, 2004. Since then, my original editor moved on to another slot in the larger company, the mass market paperback reprinting of the first book got "lost" in the transition, the second editor I was assigned to proved not to be interested in either of my two subsequent books or in continuing the series (due to lesser sales on the second book than on the first), and I've been looking for a new publisher, which in the current publishing climate, has not been an easy task. Plus, my wife and I had two more little boys in the meantime, my original agent, Dan Hooker, passed away, I spun my wheels on several projects which didn't take off, Hurricane Katrina exiled my family from our home for a couple of months, and I've changed day jobs several times in an effort to keep us all afloat financially. So, it's safe to say that virtually nothing since the publication of Bride nearly three years ago has transpired in the way I imagined it would back then.

However, all things considered, life looks to be taking a turn for the better in 2007. I'm very happy with my newest day job, working as a Quality Control Monitor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in New Orleans, and my kids are healthy, happy, and wonderful, and Dara and I are learning better with each passing week how to manage them without throttling them or throttling each other. My new agent, Denise Dumars, is very enthusiastic about my current projects and is working hard to get them under the right people's noses. My third book, Calorie 3501 (not part of the Fat White Vampire series) is currently being considered, and my fourth book, the one I'm working on now, The Bad Luck Spirits' Social Aid and Pleasure Club, will be submitted to a major publishing house later this week. I'm having a great time writing Bad Luck Spirits and consider it to be one of the best things I've ever done. I especially love the cast of characters. It's a supernatural "secret history" of the screw-ups at every level before, during, and after the Katrina disaster in New Orleans.

Also, I certainly haven't abandoned the idea of continuing the Jules Duchon series. I have another two books fully plotted out, and should, say, Bad Luck Spirits do especially well with a new publisher, I would definitely have Denise make enquiries about interest in resurrecting the Fat White Vampire series. There have been a number of inquiries about turning the first book into a film, none of which have panned out yet, but there's one inquiry which is still in progress, so we'll see. One never knows when interest in a film project might pop up.

Thanks so much for your interest in Jules. I haven't forgotten about him, and I still have lots of new stories to tell about him (especially in the post-Katrina landscape). The best thing you can do is spread the good word about how much you've enjoyed the books, and ask your friends and relatives to buy copies (especially of Bride, which can use the help, and which I think is a really strong book on its own merits). Hey, if you want to do the fat suit thing, more power to you!
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Lori Smith
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 11:04 am:   

While you're wearing that fat suit and/or purple tights, you might want to stroll into your local public library and check their catalog to see if they have copies of both of Andy's books. If not, suggest that they purchase them (according to whatever the local procedures are for doing that sort of thing).

Libraries, naturally, buy a *lot* of books. If a title proves to be popular at one branch, the library system will sometimes buy multiple copies of that title for all their branches.

If that's a little too tame for you, you might want to show up with your sandwich board, tights, etc. and roam around the exhibit hall at the next conference of the American Library Association. I think you'd be a big hit.

And speaking of conferences, at the Louisiana Library Association conference held in Baton Rouge last week there was a session on "Fiction that Bites." The presenters distributed an excellent bibliography of vampire books that I was pleased to see included both of Andy's books. So, there's some more free publicity.
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:42 am:   

Hi, Lori! Thanks for the suggestions, and also for the update regarding the Louisiana Library Association conference. Did you hear any word on the City of New Orleans' plans to reopen any more branches that were flooded or otherwise badly damaged by Katrina? I haven't heard a peep in the media about the library system in many, many months. For a while there, there seemed to be a push to re-create the library system as a network of community centers, which would offer a wider range of services to families than have been offered in the past. It's possible that this idea was included in the Comprehensive Recovery Plan that was published recently. If not, I'm afraid it's been dropped. I know my current employer, FEMA, has been willing to provide funds to repair and refurbish public facilities such as libraries. But my local branch in Algiers still sits dark (aside from the Bookmobile parked out front).
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Lori Smith
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 12:07 pm:   

I didn't hear any reports at the conference about plans for reopening branches, but there's a "Rebuild Campaign Progress Report" on NOPL's website at http://www.nutrias.org/. That report might answer some questions for you.

That page also contains a link to NOPL's "Branches & Bookmobiles" page that gives an update on the status of each branch. It looks like Algiers has been gutted and is currently being used to sort books that have been donated to the system.

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