Category Archives: e v e n t s

Paperback Sept 10 + NY Sept 19

I am coming to New York on September 19.
to launch PANORAMA CITY in paperback.
and to celebrate A Public Space.

One night only.

Imprint this into your brains:

When: Thursday, September 19, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, located at 58 W. 10th Street (between 5th and 6th Aves.)

What and Who: Readings by Tom Drury, Sarah Manguso, and Antoine Wilson, hosted by APS founding editor Brigid Hughes.

More info here.


Literary Death Match, Nov 7 at Busby’s East in L.A.

I’ll be reading with/competing against:

Adam Novy, author of The Avian Gospels

Tracy McMillan, television writer and author of Why You’re Not Married…Yet.

Shawna Kenney, author of the Firecracker Award-winning memoir, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, and Imposters, a book about celebrity impersonators.

We’ll be judged by:

Molly Ringwald, superstar actress and author of When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories

Matt Walsh, UCB co-founder, actor and improviser extraordinaire

Maria Bamford, comedian (Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome), actress, voice-master

This is going to be fun. It’s $10, and the first 100 tickets get a copy of PANORAMA CITY in the bargain. Because that’s the kind of guy I am. Come cheer me on, amigos.

Book (Buying) Tour

My book tour is officially over.

(Or at least the part that involves me going to bookstores. I’m doing Literary Death Match next month in L.A. (Nov. 7) and I’ll be attending the Miami Book Fair as well.)

This time around, I had the pleasure of reading and Q&Aing at an amazing group of thriving independent bookstores. Each bookstore provided a glimpse into a lively community of readers and writers, whether they’d been around for 20+ years (Diesel in Oakland) or had only just moved to a new location (A Room of One’s Own in Madison). As soon as I walked in the door of any of these stores, my first thought was: Yeah, I could live in this neighborhood. Then: These are my people.

I want to say thank you to each of these stores. For hosting wonderful events. For hosting me. For their commitment to good books. And, finally, for the books I picked up in each of their stores, books that will be forever intertwined in my memory with my experience of the stores themselves.

(The best thing about physical books is not the smell of the paper, the look of the type, even the heft of the book itself, but the associations they carry. That stained page, that receipt or metro card tucked between pages, that torn dust jacket–they take you back to a moment, a place, people, meals…)

Without further ado…THANK YOU:

McNally-Jackson, New York. (WOLF HALL, by Hilary Mantel)

Green Apple Books, San Francisco. (SATANTANGO, by Laszlo Krasznahorkai)

Diesel, a Bookstore, Oakland. (see Diesel, L.A. Extra thanks to John Peck for the Saint Pauli N.A.)

Diesel, a Bookstore, L.A. (I buy two books a week here. This is my home away from home.)

Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City. (THE WAVES, by Virginia Woolf)

A Room of One’s Own, Madison. (BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, by Ben Fountain)

BookPeople, Austin. (THE ILIAD, by Homer)

Book Soup, West Hollywood. (ZOO TIME, by Howard Jacobson)

Skylight Books, Los Angeles. (CONSIDER THE LOBSTER, by David Foster Wallace)

If you’re in any of these cities, and you’re thinking of picking up a book, old or new, famous or obscure, resist the urge to one-click that shit to your house or your device. Head on down. TALK TO A BOOKSELLER. They don’t bite.

Book Tour Dates

Folks, still sorting out some details, but I want to let everybody know what the upcoming book tour looks like for PANORAMA CITY:

(Always available on the ABOUT > EVENTS page.)

Official NY book launch:
Antoine Wilson (in Conversation with Ed Park), McNally-Jackson Bookstore, New York, NY, September 28, 2012.

L.A. sneak peek event:
West Hollywood Book Fair, “Calling of the Land” panel w/ Katie Arnoldi, Anne-Marie Kinney, Tatjana Soli, moderated by Patrick Brown. September 30, 2012, 12:45pm.

A quick Bay Area tour:
Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA, October 2, 2012.
Diesel, a Bookstore, Oakland, CA, October 3, 2012. 7:00 pm.

L.A. Book Release Party (you’re invited!):
Diesel, a Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA, October 4, 2012. 7:00 pm (cocktails at 6:30)

For my Hollywood and Eastside peeps:
BOOK SOUP, West Hollywood, CA, October 16, 7:00 pm.
Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA, October 17, 7:30 pm.

Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, IA, October 9, 2012.
Room of One’s Own, Madison, WI, October 10, 2012.

UT New Writers Project, Book People, Austin TX, October 11, 2012. 7:00 pm.

Miami Book Fair, November 16-18, 2012.



Galleys Have Arrived!

My favorite moment. (Because it’s real, but not too real…)

NEWS: Delighted to announce that Panorama City has been selected to appear on the Editors Buzz Panel at this year’s BEA in New York.

Which means I’ll be there, too!

Last time I attended BEA it was in L.A., and I snagged a pass from my homies at Other Press. It was super-fun, but I have to admit that I felt like a bit of an interloper.

Excited to be there for a legit reason this time.

What do I wear?!?

Why I Love Your Book Group

One of the pleasures of publishing a book is getting to hold a reading at your local bookshop. Family and friends show up, along with a few fans, former students, and, if it’s been promoted well, a handful of curious strangers.

You sell books, which is nice. And no matter how modest your advance, or how small your pin on the publishing map, a good bookstore reading can make you feel, for one night, like your writing habit has resulted in something other than narrowing career options, crushing debt, and a dwindling social life.

But, to be frank, it’s only a blip.

The thing you’ve labored over for years, and are now trying to sell to as many people as possible, has become a ten or fifteen minute excerpt, a brief Q & A, a cover, and a title page held open for signing.

The real experience, the real purpose behind all of it only starts when someone gets home and opens the book and starts reading, alone.

Just like you wrote it, alone.

It could happen that night, or in two years, or a hundred, or never.

The book party, the reading, the signing–it’s the flashy liftoff moment. Everyone gathers to watch the thing take off. Then what? It’s in space, doing its thing.

Sometimes you hear back; usually you don’t.

I was recently invited to participate in a book group hosted by Diane Leslie, at Diesel, a Bookstore in Brentwood, for my novel The Interloper.

It had been a while since I’d done an Interloper event, so I brushed up on the book, tried to remember what I’d had to say about this book four years before.

I even went so far as listening to an old recording of the Q & A from my Prairie Lights Bookstore reading. It didn’t really end up helping, preparation-wise. Rather, it only highlighted how the book group wasn’t like a reading at all.

There were no vague questions about premise and background, no need for the usual meta-narrative about how the novel came to be, or the elevator pitch, or awkward introductions of fragments to be read. No fragments to be read.

Everyone had already done the reading, and everyone had something to say about it–about the content of the book, the characters, the language, the plotting. The real stuff. They had tough questions, too, only some of which I could answer. Half of them even disagreed with me on a fundamental “what-if” scenario. (What if CJ’s brother had never been killed? Would Owen have been able to lead a semblance of a normal life?)

This wasn’t selling, this was engaging with readers.

And it was awesome.

As Told To

Lookie what I found in my inbox!

Veronique du Turenne was down Mexico way recently for the Guadalajara International Book Fair, where she snapped this significant shot of a massive electronic wall celebrating L.A. authors.

This year’s “Guest of Honor” was Los Angeles–the first time a city (as opposed to a country) has received that distinction.

I didn’t recognize the quotation at first. The sentiment, yes, the image, yes, but not the words.

Some Googling revealed that it came from an LAist interview I did when The Interloper came out.

Here’s the thing about interviews. Most of the ones I’ve done have been via e-mail, which means that I have control over my own responses, i.e., I can’t really misquote myself. This particular interview, though, was done old-school style, as a conversation over fish tacos, with a tape recorder on the table. Which means that Callie Miller had to take our wandering, digressive, spontaneous chat and make it look like a series of Qs and As.

I don’t know how much tweaking went on to render my everyday speech (rambling, stumbling, surfy) into the written word, but I suspect it wasn’t easy.

For the record, I was happy with the result.

Maybe the author wall should have said:
*as told to Callie Miller

See more of Veronique’s Guadalajara photos on her photostream.

Festival of Books

Another year, another LA Times Festival of Books. I’m feeling somewhat melancholy in the wake of it. It’s hard to come back to the desk after such a wonderfully stimulating series of social interactions, literary or otherwise.

Usually I get excited to meet one writer or another, someone whose work I’ve always admired but I’ve never had the chance to meet, someone who is a friend of a friend whom I’ve never met in person, etc. Those moments tend to stick in the mind as the most emotional or meaningful after the tents come down.

This year’s emotional high point came from an unexpected place, though not one entirely surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention to world 2.0, where the content comes from YOU.

The What Are You Reading Wall

The "What Are You Reading" Wall

The LA Times set up a giant wall where attendees could simply write what they were reading right now. I don’t know if the image translates via computer, but in person in was quite overwhelming. I was struck dumb by this collection of titles and authors in a bunch of different handwritings. Turns out this wasn’t a festival only for people who didn’t know how to fucking walk. It was also a gathering of people for whom reading is really, really important. People like me. (And people who write “The Bible” with a happy face, and “The Koran,” and ATLAS SHRUGGED in block letters above everything else.)

For those who wonder whether they’ve seen that pic before: I tweeted it, Richard Nash RT’ed it, and others spread it around Twitter, attributed to @R_Nash.

Now an anecdote. I was unable to attend the festival on Saturday because of kid stuff, so I was there bright and early on Sunday to check in for my 10:30 am panel. (Fiction: Breaking Point, with articulate and intelligent mofos John Wray, Hari Kunzru, and John Haskell. Moderated by articulate and intelligent mofo David Ulin.) Anyhow, when I went to check in, they didn’t have my laminate. I had to settle for a blue wristband while things got sorted out.

Eventually, I got a replacement:

The Replacement Laminate

The Replacement Laminate

Which came with a story. Apparently, sometime Saturday, someone had checked in as me. Someone had walked around wearing an author tag with my name on it. They had cruised the green room, eaten food, maybe even talked to other writers.

Did anyone meet “me” on Saturday?

Worst of all, the interloping doppelganging Antoine Wilson claimed my FoB mug!

The Interloper signed for my FoB mug!

Looks like they tried for Antoine

That’s his (her?) signature above. Anyone have any leads?

(The kind people of the FoB gave me another mug.)

Speaking of the kind people, I don’t even know how to begin thanking everyone who was involved with the FoB. It is by far the best literary event I’ve ever attended. Best as in best organized, best attended, best at not leaving authors in the lurch, and so on. It was a pleasure seeing everyone, too, and the Granta Party Saturday night was a blast.

Finally, I propose that John Wray is the Dane Reynolds of fiction. Or Dane is the John Wray of surfing.

Fellow Panelists John Wray and John Haskell

The Dane Reynolds of Fiction, with John Haskell

The John Wray of Surfing

The John Wray of Surfing

Am I the only one who knows what I’m talking about here?

Both are young, sick talents, and smarter than they look.

Slow Boat

Well, I’ve been writing.

Not here.

So that’s a good thing.

Unless you enjoy reading this blog.

If you want to complain about it in person, come see me at the LA Times Festival of Books this coming weekend. I’ll be on a panel called “Fiction: Breaking Point” with Hari Kunzru, John Wray, and John Haskell, none of whom I’ve met before, but all of whom are wonderful writers. David Ulin will be moderating. Sunday, April 26, 10:30 am.

For the best roundup, as usual, see Tod Goldberg.

Also, my contribution to the LA Times’ 2nd annual experiment in serial storytelling, “Money Talks,” (the story so far…) will appear on Thursday, and Mary McNamara’s blazing finale will come out on Friday. I can’t wait to see how she’s going to tie it all up.