Here’s a weird fact: if you anticipate an event for long enough, it will come to pass. Maybe that’s a funny thing to say when the event I was anticipating was the publication of a book about time…not working like that. But it came to pass anyway, so if I was stuck in a time loop, I guess I’m out now.
By which I mean: End of the World House has been published! It’s out in the world! You can buy it! You can review it! Please do those things! I mean, if you want to! It would mean a lot to me: this book means a lot to me. And now it’s here.
Publication days are funny things, because they are imperfect: “publication suggestions” would be a better term for it. Some people got their pre-orders a week ago; some book stores still don’t have their copies. I know many writers whose book release dates have been pushed back (some more than once) because those books are stuck on a truck somewhere, or the paper to print them on didn’t come in. Who can forget the books that simply fell into the sea?
But my book day happened and it went pretty well! I woke up to a very nice review from the LA Times, which—if you have to publish a book? I recommend having that happen, it’s relaxing. It lifts the mood. It effervesces. I also got an absolute rave review from the Washington Independent Review of Books last week, and I will be carrying that one with me (metaphorically, or I guess also literally because: phones) for the rest of my book tour.
I also did a very fun Instagram Live with Drew Broussard for The Golden Notebook Bookstore, and Drew was nice enough to recommend my book on WAMC! The radio! These newfangled times! Then I ate an absolutely fantastic meatball sub. If this seems like an irrelevant detail, I assure you, it is not.
In the evening Dave and I drove up to Phoenix and I did a lovely LIVE event with the extremely talented Kalani Pickhart at Changing Hands Bookstore (and I really sold this week’s comic hard, because I really like this one! It’s funny, guys!), and then we ate tacos (also not irrelevant; mine were cauliflower; A+) with our friend Angie and drove home and hugged Paul and wow here we are.
All I can say at this point is that I hope people read the book; I hope they love it. It’s kind of out of my hands at this point. That is daunting but also for the best: a release in more ways than one.
But there’s more! Tonight/Today I’m signing books at Antigone Books here in Tucson, and then at 4pm MST (ie PT) / 7pm ET I’m doing a virtual event with the brilliant Lynn Steger Strong for The Strand Bookstore, which is VERY EXCITING. Please come! It’s virtual! You could be in your underpants for all I care! I have attended virtual events from a swimming pool. The camera does not go both ways.
This weekend I’m going to be in LA for the LA Times Festival of Books (my panel is Sunday 4/24 at 3:30: The Intersection of Art & Story with Grace D. Li and Shruti Swamy, moderated by Mary Otis. It will be great!). Then on Monday 4/25 at 7pm, I’ll be at Powell’s City of Books in Portland for another live event with Meaghan O’Connell
Does it go without saying that this will also be great? It should. So too my hybrid (live/virtual) event with Ruth Joffre at Town Hall Seattle on Wednesday 4/27 at 7:30pm. There will be books for sale through Third Place Books! So many books you could die of it. (But you probably won’t!)
I realize I have now shared this information many times, but, hey, what can I say? I want people to come to these events. For me, reminders are helpful. And in this case, they are an outlet for my stress. They make me feel useful. I feel I am exerting one small modicum of control in a shifting and illegible landscape. Life is pain, but here, you know the schedule.
Ok a couple last things before I go:
- I got to make a playlist for End of the World House which is up now at the Largehearted Boy website; this is always a fun part of the publication process because David Gutowski (who runs LHB) is a wonderful person & fixture of the literary community, and also because it’s basically a mixtape
- I wrote an essay about losing a writer from our MFA program far too young, and it is up now at Literary Hub. I feel very tenderly towards this one.
There are more lists and shout-outs I could share, but you have the whole internet to find those things, and who am I to deny you the scavenger hunt? Anyway. I really, truly, deeply appreciate everyone who has been with me throughout the whole process of writing and editing and publishing this book: it has been a ride. It has been my whole heart. It’s a full life, and the death drive too. Here we are. I hope you enjoy it.