Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Yorker Festival 2008 lineup announced

The New Yorker Festival has announced their 2008 lineup of events, and there are a lot of great ones. These ones have me drooling specifically:

Saturday, October 4th

Writers and Their Subjects: Clint Eastwood and Lillian Ross
1 p.m. Directors Guild of America ($25)

Lynda Barry in conversation with Matt Groening
4 p.m. Festival HQ
Metropolitan Pavilion ($25)

Worst Nightmares Part 1: Horror Movies
With Wes Craven and Hideo Nakata. Moderated by Ben Greenman.
7:30 p.m. IFC Center ($35)

The full lineup is pretty amazing. The events are all a bit pricey and will sell out fast, but definitely worth trying for if you see something you're really digging. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 12th.

Got any unused, unsold manuscripts?

Maybe they can work as an eBook?
About a year ago, there was an item on GalleyCat about authors turning old, unsold manuscripts into free ebooks, with Melanie Lynne Hauser's Jumble Pie cited as a prime example. Hauser emailed yesterday to say that the novel's trackable readership had just passed the 1,300 mark—and, thanks to what she describes as a "lucky accident," more than 60 percent of those readers came this summer. (Not known: How many of those 1,300 downloaders passed the file around to their friends?)
[via GalleyCat]

What are you reading?

I'm stealing an idea from Connie at The Miami Herald and asking a question via the InterGoogle that I often ask people in person: What are you reading now? And, more importantly, how is it?

I'm still tearing through Michael Connelly's library. I'm on my ninth book of his (which, I realized last night, I've read in little over a month), eight of which have been installments in the Harry Bosch detective series. The one I'm reading now, though, Chasing the Dime, isn't part of the series. It tells the story of chemist Henry Pierce, who discovers that his new phone number used to belong to someone else. That someone else being a high-priced escort named Lilly who has gone missing. Things get weirder from there, and Henry finds himself immersed in the seedy world of prostitution and Internet adult entertainment.

At first, I was a little annoyed at the book. See, it was the third book in a three-book omnibus I'd bought. Two of the books were Bosch novels, so I was really looking forward to continuing the adventures of Harry. So, I was a little irked to find this standalone story grouped with two from the series. But, after muddling through the first few chapter, I realized that not only was this a decent mystery in its own right (and also featured a number of previously seen characters from the Bosch series), but also had a few hints and tips on how I could better execute my own crime novel, which has some parallels to Dime, most visibly the notion of the non-detective becoming the hero/detective against his better judgement and out of a desire to help a friend/person in need.

In that respect, Chasing the Dime has been a helpful guide toward getting a sense of how I could make my book work, and how I could make it different and potentially avoid some of the story mistakes my radar picked up while reading the novel. I wouldn't say it's as entertaining as the Bosch books, but that's fine. That can be chalked up to familiarity with the character and the comfort zone that creates. Still, I'd consider reading another Henry Pierce novel. Assuming he doesn't end up dead -- I still have a few more chapters to go.

Sarah Palin: A novelist's view

The L.A. Times book blog, JACKET COPY considers VP candidate Sarah Palin as a character. Worth reading:

As a novelist, I am fascinated by the emergence of Sarah Palin as a character. This lively cross between Annie Oakley and Eva Braun seems to have released Republican chakras to a degree that could be matched only by the resurrection of Ronald Reagan. This is more extraordinary by virtue of her having been an unknown local politician until — what? oh, about five minutes ago. As the nation slouches toward her possible elevation to the second-highest office in the land, we're all taking a closer look at what's gone on in Alaska these past few years.

There's the aerial wolf hunting, the moose burgers, the book banning — excuse me? The book banning? As Jacket Copy reported earlier this week, Palin leaned on the local librarian when she was mayor of Wasilla, urging her to ban certain texts. In other words, we are in danger of going from a nation where the first lady is a former librarian to one where the vice president is a character in "Fahrenheit 451." Clearly, this is what they mean by change you can believe in.