You know what feels kind of strange?
Trying to practice playing your songs and having to resort to looking up your own lyrics on the internets.
The Publishers Weekly review of Andromeda Klein may be found on this page.
(I think that's the first one in print.)
It's been a long time coming. And by "it" I mean the finished copy of Andromeda Klein. It's not like I didn't know it would arrive in the end, but it still doesn't seem quite real till you actually hold one.
Holding your own book can have strange effects, and make you do funny things. For instance, it can make you stage photoshoots with it featuring your cat. Clearly, I need help.
The book designer and production people really did a great job with this one. Wait till you see it in person.
Here's a cool blog document of items used as bookmarks found in books by a guy who works in a used bookstore.
A great deal of nonsense is written every day about characters in fiction -- from the side of those who believe too much in character and from the side of those who believe too little. Those who believe too much have an iron set of prejudices about what characters are: we should get to "know" them; they should not be "stereotypes"; they should have an "inside" as well as an outside, depth as well as surface; they should "grow" and "develop"; and they should be nice. So they should be pretty much like us... A glance at the thousands of foolish "reader reviews" on Amazon.com, with their complaints about "dislikeable characters," confirms a contagion of moralizing niceness.-- James Wood, How Fiction Works
I had to disable comments because of the spam problem I mentioned here. Usually you can just ride these attacks out and they'll die down, but this time it just got worse and worse. Deleting them was turning into a fulltime job, and I dislike having jobs. So I turned off the comments till I figure out a solution.
You should be able to read comments left on previous posts. You'll also be able to type stuff into the box, but if you click "preview" to post, it will tell you that the submission failed. (At least, that's what I think will happen.)
Sorry about that, and once again, I apologize to anyone whose comments were inadvertently deleted.
If you have burning issues to discuss, the Random House message board thing is still functional as of now. (Today is technically my last day of being "featured" there, but I think they leave them up and running, so have at and I'll try to keep checking it.)
Read all about the Mick Jones Guerilla Rock'n'Roll Public Library here.
And this is as good an occasion as any to re-post a photo of King Dork's finest hour:
(via Bookshelves of Doom.)
The MTX's smarter, more Sacramento-y half, Bobby and Ted, have launched a new music website called Rock Show USA.
Take it away, Bobby:
We're just getting started, but we have some big plans in the works to provide some really useful tools for bands, venues, and fans of live music. For the time being we have articles on band promotion, touring and home recording. We also have a music news blog, featured artists (our first featured group is the Dollyrots from L.A.), and a growing reviews section. We launched the site last night, so if you have a moment head on over to www.rockshowusa.com and take a look and register with the site.
One of the many things they have planned for the site is to feature road stories, and they have put up one of mine. Many of you probably remember the dark tale of our near-brush with death in North Carolina a ways back, but for those who don't, it's all here.
Just f. everybody's i., this blog is under a massive comment spam attack at the moment and I've been batch-deleting huge swathes of robot postings like the one with which I titled this post.
Sorry in advance if I wind up accidentally deleting anyone's real comments. I'll try not to, but you know how it goes.
Walter Cronkite never had much of an impact on my own life, and I probably wouldn't have any sort of feeling about him one way or another if it weren't for Lizard Music. But because of Lizard Music, I do think of him kind of fondly. And, well, he's dead.
Word on the street is that Andromeda Klein is going to get a star in Booklist.
One star out of how many, you may ask?
Answer: one out of one.
It's crazy but that's the star system established by the Pharaohs in the early days of publishing (cf., The Coffin Texts.)
Apparently, you only have to move 4,000 units these days to make it on to the Billboard Chart.
You know what's weird? I haven't officially released a record in five years, unless you count the acoustic songs that were included on the King Dork audio book. Well, maybe it's not so weird, what with all the other stuff I've been doing and the state of the content-providing industries these days. Anyway, I know this is only a single, but, man, it's a start.
Anyway, meet the Andromeda Klein 7".
The artwork is by Lane Smith.
The A side, "Andromeda Klein," is intended to be a kind of "theme song" for the book, the sort of thing that you might hear a chunk of over the credits if the book were a sitcom or other type of TV show. I tried to make it as theme song-y as I could. The B-side is another book-related song called "Bethlehem."
It's coming out on Jealous Butcher Records out of Portland, Oregon. The digital release will coincide with the book release date, August 25th. (And the theme song will also be included among the bonuses on the Andromeda Klein audio book.) The vinyl 7"'s release date will be September 15.
There will also be a limited pressing on red vinyl, numbered and signed by me and Lane. The specs on the limited edition will be announced as soon as I know them. Also, check this space for details on how to order: I'll post them when I know.
I've never been too good at synopses, and I have been known to be a bit tongue-tied when called upon to sum up, briefly, what either of my books is "about."
With regard to King Dork, New York Magazine to the rescue:
a harassed high schooler ... takes refuge in music while trying to find out the truth about his father, who died while combing through some books (?)
Product placement at around 0:19.
Can we get some ringers in here? All these crickets are kind of embarrassing.
I know not why, but the word "random" always lends a whimsical, arch character to any word it is added to: e.g. "a seemingly endless succession of random facial expressions"; "random acts of the apostles"; "some random Member (of Parliament)"; "armed with nothing but a hoard of random, ironic references to Hitler"; etc.
The word "assorted" can play a similar role.
That's one of the main reasons I chose Random House as my publisher, the other one being that they were the ones who were willing to give me money. I'm sorry, but Knopf or Harcourt just wouldn't be the same. I mean, I'd give it a shot, but "Knopf references to Hitler" -- I'd have some explaining to do on that one, even more than usual, maybe.
Anyhow, that's my quirky, whimsical, arch way of bringing up Random Buzzers, which is a kind of message board/discussion forum for random, assorted Random House YA authors. I'm going to be answering questions from random internet people for the week beginning Monday, July 13th. Come on by and ask questions. But not if you think I owe you money. In other words, we're looking for random literary questions here, not a shakedown.
I always used to think that publishers had to be devilish intelligent fellows, loaded down with the grey matter; but I've got their number now. All a publisher has to do is write cheques at intervals, while a lot of deserving and industrious chappies rally round and do the real work. I know, because I've been one myself. I simply sat tight in the old apartment with a fountain-pen, and in due season a topping, shiny book came along.
-- My Man Jeeves
The Telegraph will publish a whole article about what a jerk you are, in effect hyping the offending item in your own country as well.
Every now and again life intrudes on my normal blog-reading habits and I take an inadvertent, extended break from it all. After such periods, it is always reassuring to learn that things haven't changed at all since the last time I looked. To wit, Andrew Sullivan is still obsessing over Sarah Palin. He's going to be doing it twenty years from now, too, I'm sure, like Biafra with Reagan.