Friday, September 13, 2013
The title of this blog post really should have been the Walter Kirn-ish "Up in the Air" since there will be more planes than trains and automobiles in this autumn book tour schedule. Just when I thought it was safe to let down my tray table and recline my seat back, here we go again....
After a summer of recharging my batteries and pretending to do some legitimate work on my next book (while, in reality, doing more blogging, reading, and toiling at the Paycheck Job), it's time for me to head back out on a mini-tour of bookish proportions. I look forward to meeting you at these appearances--and if you can't make it, feel free to send a proxy and I'll give them a proxy hug (or handshake, as the case may be). For the complete calendar of events, you can visit my website--which, by the way, I just updated today. I added links to several earlier anthologies where you can find my stories, including one about fishing with my father in Alaska. Check out the books on the website's main page.
I'm heading down to the Beehive State for a quick, fun weekend. This will be my first time attending the Utah Humanities Book Festival, but boy oh boy, do they put on a good show. Just check out this lineup! You can come hear me read from Fobbit in Provo at the public library on September 28 at 7 p.m. On September 29, I'll be at the Salt Lake City Public Library at 2:30 p.m. (Big thanks go out to Chris McClelland who got the ball rolling on this...)
Okay, it's been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Vermont. Something about the white, spear-steepled churches and the blaze of red-orange leaves has captivated me since I was in grade school. Finally, thanks to the good people at the Brattleboro Literary Festival, my dreams are coming true. On October 6 at 2:30 p.m., you can find me on a panel called "Reaching Out: Building Communities of Readers and Writers" (where I'm sure The Quivering Pen will be mentioned once or twice). I'll be on stage with Erika Anderson, Cynthia Newberry Martin, and Jodi Paloni. Then, at 2 p.m., I'll be joining Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta, for a reading from our war-based novels at the Centre Congregational Church. Those of you who read my earlier review of Sparta ("The Quiet Outrage of War") know how much I loved the novel. I'm very excited to meet Roxana in person. Bonus: Those in the area have the opportunity to sign up for workshops taught by Pam Houston and yours truly on October 4 at Marlboro College. Pam will teach students about concise writing (her workshop is already full) and I will be talking about how to create a sense of place in fiction. Click here for full details on the workshops.
Fobbit has been nominated for a High Plains Book Award and I'm honored to be part of the High Plains Book Festival in Billings. This year's festival theme is "Women Writing the West" and will feature (among others) Alyson Hagy, Pam Houston (her again!) and Emily Danforth. I plan to be out there in the audience, drinking in their every word. On October 26, I'll be reading from Fobbit at 2:30 p.m. in the Murdock Room at the Yellowstone Art Museum. Before that, I'll be at the Montana Festival of the Book in Missoula where, on October 11 at 2 p.m., I'll be moderating a fiction panel with Jamie Ford (Songs of Willow Frost), J. Robert Lennon (Familiar), Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves), and Andrew Sean Greer (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells). I guaran-damn-tee it will be a lively discussion.
Regular readers of The Quivering Pen will remember how much I enjoyed my time in Texas during the Fobbit World Domination Tour last year--especially my stop at Brazos Bookstore--so I'm really happy to be returning to the Lone Star State. (Side benefit: I get to see my lovely daughter, Kylie, during my visit!) Rice University is hosting a two-day "Veterans Experience" and I'm thrilled to be joined by Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk), Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn), Lea Carpenter (Eleven Days), William Broyles Jr. (the television series China Beach, among many other series and feature films like Cast Away), and Bruce Jay Friedman (Lucky Bruce). We'll be talking about war and words at two venues: Brazos Bookstore on November 4 at 6 p.m. for a book signing and wine reception; and at Rice University's McNair Hall on November 5 at 6 p.m. for a panel discussion. Though both events are free, you'll need to register for them. Follow the links to reserve your place.
After a nine-year absence, I'm returning to the Great Land and I'm about as excited as a polar bear in an iceberg factory. Jean and I lived in Alaska (Fairbanks and Anchorage) for a total of nine years courtesy of the Army and I always said they had to drag us kicking and screaming away from the state when I was reassigned to another duty station. (That's me, wrangling a king salmon back in the day.) You can still see our fingernail claw-marks on the Alaska-Canada Highway. So, yes, I'm very, very happy to be going back north. I'm starting off the Alaskan Tour in Homer on November 7 at 6:30 p.m. on the Kachemak Bay Campus. On November 8, I'll be in Fairbanks for a 7 p.m. reading at my alma mater, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (in the new Murie Auditorium). I'll finish up my time in Alaska down in Anchorage on November 9 with a 7 p.m. reading at Great Harvest Bread Company.
Peering farther into the future, if you're near Rancho Mirage, California sometime around January 15-18, you'll find me at the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival ....where I'll still likely be thawing out from my time in Alaska.