I’m pleased to announce that Goodreads will be doing a giveaway of Thanksgiving beginning Jan. 9, 2016 and going through Feb. 9, 2016.
Also, Thanksgiving is a featured title this week at the publisher’s site – CLICK HERE to see!
If Octavia Books had been around in the 1960s (and I’m fairly certain it wasn’t, but I could be wrong), Peg certainly would have hung out there –at least when she wasn’t hanging out at the Napoleon Avenue Library.
And since Mimi grew up on Octavia Street (on the other side of St. Charles), it is entirely fitting that “Thanksgiving” is featured in the December-January issue of The Octavian, Octavia Books’ newsletter. Check it out!
My favorite line: “Each press is a singular thing, a craft beer in a world of Budweiser or home brews.” That’s certainly been my experience with Koehler Books, so I raise a glass today to my craft beer.
I learned lots of important stuff last weekend at the 2015 Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Words & Music Literary Feast in New Orleans. A few of the highlights:
Marshall McLuhan 101: Shari Stauch of
Where Writers Win led a panel on selling,
publishing and promoting books with, among
others, Bruce T. Jones and me. The biggest
applause lines? When Shari presented our book
trailers. Who knew you have to make a movie to sell a book? (And thanks, Joe Maulucci of
WBBZ-TV for the Thanksgiving trailer!)
Also on the panel was former New Orleans Saints defensive cornerback Reggie Jones. The target
audience for Reggie’s football guide is clued in
by his title: Stilettos on the Gridiron.
Journalism 201, the Digital Age:
Even if you no longer work in New
Orleans media, there’s always
somebody around on Thursday
press night at Molly’s at the Market
to give you the inside scoop.
Introduction to Economics, Supply and Demand:
When it’s pouring down raining at 7 p.m. on
Halloween in New Orleans, United Cab’s
phone number will be busy. Now, however, there
is Uber–for 1.5 times the standard fare. But at
10:30 on Halloween night in the
wall-to-wall-costumed-people French Quarter,
even surge pricing doesn’t work. There are still some
things that money can’t buy.
- My novel Thanksgiving will debut, a month ahead of its official publication date on Nov. 26, at the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s 2015 Words & Music Literary Arts Festival at the Hotel Monteleone. I’ll be on two panels– “New Orleans Mon Amour: New Fiction” at 9 a.m. Thursday Oct. 29, and “21st Century Selling, Publishing and Promotion” at 8:30 a.m. Saturday Oct. 31.
- At 10 a.m. Thursday, I’ll be signing copies of Thanksgiving at the Festival’s book mart, Royal Suite A at the Hotel Monteleone. Please come by and say hello.
- Back when I was at the Times-Picayune, I enjoyed many a glass of wine with Tim McNally and his wife Brenda Maitland. Tim has invited me to talk about Thanksgiving on The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show on WGSO Radio, 990 AM, from 3-5 p.m. Friday. It’ll be fun to catch up and talk about the wining and dining in the novel. I hope you’ll tune in.
Coming of age, rite of passage, whatever you want to call it, it’s a legitimate literary genre. My novel Thanksgiving, which will be published by Koehler Books on (wait for it) Nov. 26, 2015, has been classified as “Fiction/Coming of Age” in the listings of the all-important Ingram book supplier.
“Coming of age” wasn’t what I aimed for as I wrote Thanksgiving, but that’s how it turned out. For the record, Thanksgiving began in the middle, in a short story about Emmaline’s brother Harry titled “A Fork in the Road.” When that story had some success, I started building the novel. Where did Harry come from? What was his background? How did he become the likable, low-level grifter that he is? Well, along comes Harry’s sister Emmaline, and her childhood friend Peg, and Peg’s college friend Mimi, and before you know it, they’ve taken over the book. And since Thanksgiving is now about where they all came from, well, that brings us back to where we started.
I guess it’s fitting that Thanksgiving is classified “coming of age,” because when I think about some of my favorite books, that’s what they are. In no particular order, some great coming of age stories:
Canada by Richard Ford. “First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” That, truly, belongs in the annals of the greatest opening lines of all times. I think it rivals “Call Me Ishmael.”
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. For me, this book proved the value of book clubs. It’s huge and dense, and to call its synopsis noncompelling is to flatter it. But a book club I’d wanted to join was reading it that month, so, oh well, I’ll give them a tryout with this Continue reading
Spring came late to the bike path this year, but by Memorial Day it was here in full swing. All of the regulars were out:
–The serious bikers, with helmets, and the dilettantes, without—though most of the dilettantes with pint-sized companions at least made sure the children were serious.
–The runners, joggers and walkers in singles, twos and threes, huffing, sweating, pumping arms, moving to their own rhythms or those coming from the wires dangling from ears to biceps.
–The moms pushing jogging strollers three abreast, chatting away, annoyed at having to drop back to allow others to pass.
So far, I have yet to see some of my favorites, though—the elderly couple whose slow progress seems less the product of frailty than of Zen-like peace and enjoyment of each other’s company; the thirty-something with his man-purse, lassoed by the leash of his
November: Happy, hopeful
The same snow.
(Or, why the Big Easy is becoming Small and Difficult.)
10. No Times-Picayune. And don’t tell me that three-day-a-week thing is what I go to a daily newspaper for.
9. No streetcars? What’s up with that? How long have you been “working on the tracks?” Where are the pleasant undercurrent of vibration along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street and the clicking crescendo of an approaching car?
8. Nola.com. The younger Newhouses’ spit in the eye to the proud journalism that their forebears nourished.
7. Hand-lettered “ON VAC” sign on the door of the tin soldier store in the French Quarter. (Otherwise known as the Sword & Pen, it’s a fantasy Continue reading