YOU SHOULD READ THIS REVIEW OF QUEEN OF KINGS, FROM OPEN CITY LETTERS
Particularly if you think you might not like Queen of Kings, for reasons ranging from “man, she mixed my historical fiction with monsters, and she sucks” to “I have overdosed on paranormal” to “agh, trendy” to “There’s no way it’ll be good.” The reviewer, Steven Donoghue, felt the same way. He wanted to feed the book to his dog. Then he fell in love. This review made me way happy. It’s kind of what you always hope will happen. OPEN CITY LETTERS, QUEEN OF KINGS REVIEW.
READINGS, APPEARANCES & RANDOM SIGHTINGS OF MARIA
ACTUAL SEATTLE READING – JUNE 7
I’m reading and signing on June 7th in Seattle at University Bookstore. The reading is at 7pm. There will be bites from Golden Beetle, which is a kickass Egyptian restaurant in Ballard. The name comes from an ingredient in the Moroccan spice blend Ras al hanout, and the ingredient is actually, um, dried beetle. And guess what sort of properties the golden beetle is said to have? That’s right, baby. Aphrodisiac. I feel like this, all of it, is appropriate for a Queen of Kings reading. There are love spells in this book. There are potions. There are bites.
And if you live in Seattle and don’t show up? I will bite YOU.
Actually I did this offer in reverse on Twitter – as in “if you DO show up, I will bite you,” and I got several people considering flying long distances to be bitten. I was crazily flattered. When it gets out of control and I become like Robert Pattinson, chased through suburban shopping malls by teenage girls asking for his teeth, I might be not so willing, but for now?
I’ll probably bite you if you want me to. Or I can leave tooth marks on your book. Or a lipstick kiss. I’m like, well, the willingest author in the world. I’ll even sign your boobs.
I won’t, however, let you sign mine. I have some boundaries.
Anyway. It will be a party. And you should totally show up, because man? I haven’t really read in Seattle yet for Queen Of Kings. I did a tiny reading from this book last fall at University Bookstore with my friends Erik Larson (Devil In the White City, In The Garden of Beasts) and Peter Mountford (A Young Man’s Guide To Late Capitalism) in support of The Novel Live and our book Hotel Angeline (which I think I’ve mentioned here before – the big collective novel, of which we each wrote chapters) but I had an 103 degree fever, and I don’t remember it. Maybe some of you do. I hope not. I was so feverish I was seeing stars, and then our motley author trio went out and drank a regrettable quantity of hot toddies. Well, I did. Erik drank martinis. Peter drank something, but I’m not sure what, as I was delirious.
I kept saying, after Toddy#2, “Wow, I’m totally over the flu. I’m good. I’m fucking great!” This was not accurate.
JUNE 26, SEATTLE APPEARANCE #2, IN WHICH I INTRODUCE, INTERVIEW, AND WHOOP IT UP WITH A SPECTACULAR AUTHOR NAMED NEIL GAIMAN.
Town Hall. 7pm. It’s a Sunday. And if you don’t show up to this one, you are going to be so incredibly sad, because it’s me, and Neil. He’s reading and signing on his American Gods 10th Anniversary Tour. I’m neither reading nor signing (don’t want to mislead you – if you want to hear ME read, come to my event on the 7th – though if Neil’s signing line is really long, I might make my way up and down it slapping Queen Of Kings fake snake tattoos onto biceps) but I’m on intro and interview duty, which is pretty kickass. It’s not every day that you get to share a stage with a superhero. You need a ticket for this one, and it will certainly sell out. So get on it. They go on sale on June 21st, through University Bookstore.
June 21, by the way, is my birthday. So, buy my book while you’re at it. Buy one for your friend. Buy one for the person who makes you coffee every morning. Buy one for your great aunt who is obsessed with Egypt and periodically shows you her teeth. Buy one for your 20 year old nephew who is obsessed with video games. Serious. All these categories of people have thus far dug the book.
Sunday • June 26 • 7pm
American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (WILLIAM MORROW)
Reading & Book Signing
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods appeared in 2001 to wide acclaim. It’s a story of magic and myth, a great and towering fable that uses the American landscape as its backdrop. On this, the tenth anniversary of the book, Gaiman will stop by Town Hall to talk about the updated and expanded edition now available. Tickets are free with purchase of a copy of American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition, or $5. Available June 21.
Please Note: Autographed copies of books are only available after the event.
IF YOU’RE READING THIS AND CURSING THAT I’M NOT COMING TO PORTLAND – CURSE NO MORE!
I AM! JUNE 28TH. POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS, 7:30pm.
I love Powell’s. When I was little, I stole all the copies of Harriet the Spy they had in stock, because I didn’t want anyone else to get their hands on My Personal Book. They still invited me to read there, and for this I thank them.
So, yes. That’s what I’m doing in June, thus far.
I’m also writing a book.
OTHER STUFF + PEOPLE I ADORE
I thought I’d write a whole BEA post, but I can’t wrap my mind around it. Lots of people came to my signing, which was very gratifying. I stayed up every night until 4AM. I hung out with people ranging from badass accordion slamming musicians (Jason Webley – and if you don’t know him, get thee to a nunnery. Or get thee to Bandcamp, right now.) and one man band circus player song-inventors (That’d be the Famous Sxip Shirey, and what I said of Webley applies to Sxip too – he’s amazing. If you haven’t listened, prepare to be blown the fuck away – ok, hold up, I’m just going to post a live cut of one of Sxip’s songs, sung at Joe’s Pub a couple weeks ago, by Xavier, who sounds like Michael Jackson + Lionel Richie. Listen. I Don\’t See Her Walkin\’ In, Sxip Shirey Song, sung by Xavier) and genius photographers (Kyle Cassidy – and the photos from that day are coming soon!) to a drop dead gorgeous (both heart and flesh) painter of tarot cards and author of a memoir (Katelan Foisy), to a posse of artists (Molly Crabapple, Fred Harper, Cynthia Von Buhler, and more) in the dead of night at a bar that didn’t actually exist.
I dined with my dear (and insanely brilliant) nonfiction writing friends, Matt Power and Jess Benko, who were both heading off to talk to animals at the edges of the world. I talked to every cab driver in New York City, in depth. New York has the best cab drivers in the world. Almost all of them are great storytellers. I sat in rooftop bars looking at the light of the single star you can see from Manhattan.
I met tons of other writers, people I knew and didn’t know, and without exception, they were lovely to be around. Lunched with the spectacular horror writer Peter Straub, and was overcome by glee, because man, we got along like wildfire, and Peter’s brain is filled with a skillion books, just like mine. It was a ridiculously pleasurable couple of hours. Wandered BEA with Nancy Pearl, Librarian Superhero, whose brain is also filled with books – and who is a profound joy to be near. There’s nothing like the geekjoy that can result when two people who are made of books find each other in a crowded room. Pages begin whirring. I caroused with my dear friends of long duration, Playwrights Zay Amsbury and Greg Kalleres. We made very very dirty jokes for about six hours straight. I’ve known them since I was 19.
And then, when I thought I was so tired I’d never speak again, on the way home, I sat on the airplane next to Blue Oyster Cult. For real. I was already entering airplane sequesterization mode, when Jules Radino, BOC’s drummer of 6 years, sat in the aisle seat. I was in the window. We instantly knew that we were friends who hadn’t met yet (Actually, all the above people? That’s pretty much how I met them too.) and we had to talk for 6 hours. Poor middle-seat guy. He had no idea what he was in for.
So, that’s what I leave you with. Don’t Fear The Reaper. I don’t. My life is, pretty much all the time, so fucking amazing. This isn’t bragging. This is saying, yours probably is too. Live it. Love it. It goes quickly, and man, there are so many incredible people living on this planet. Find them. I know. I suddenly sound all self-helpy, but seriously, my whole life is made of strangers who’ve become my heart. It’s a pretty excellent way to do it. And this song? Come on, it’s a GREAT song. And it even ties in with Queen of Kings.