"Some Tears May Be Crocodile, But My Salt Is True."
MTV News has Wise Young Fool on this deep list of books you should read this summer. Or about music. Or with cool hair. Or something. Although they probably only picked it because I am boys with Kurt Loder and we once tailgated at a UFC event together. Also, I used to date Martha Quinn. In any case, MTV is always right.
Turns out my inner Classic Rock name is Boy Deepseed. I also once played keytar on an album called "Sound is Best Eaten Soundly". My Holy Grail record is Mountain's "Nantucket Sleighride."
I dare you, yes DARE you to find out who you really are down inside. Way, way down inside.
And then make all your friends do it too.
Killer track list also!
Check it out here.
Here's a teaser for the print version of the excellent London lit rag Litro Magazine, which is out next week. Check the cover. It's the All Music edition! I was lucky to have a short story selected for it by Bloc Party's singer/git player Kele Okereke, who is guest editor. It also features killer illustrations by Babak Ganjei. Very much worth buying a copy or two. Lit mags need your support and love. I, of course, just need your love.
The paperback of Wise Young Fool, everyone's favorite rude black comedy punk rock love story opus, is officially being released today. Have some cake! Open up some champagne! Maybe snag a copy or two to insulate your recording studio with.
The very cool Litro Magazine asked me to write a short essay for their series "I Remember". It's an interesting concept: the piece must be five paragraphs, each exactly four sentences long. And every other sentence must begin "I remember..." My contribution about growing up on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital just went live. Check it out here.
It's Paul's birthday. Sure, it's cool to be down on him and make Wings/Linda jokes and loudly prefer John, but there's a reason so many Beatles songs endure, and it's the astonishing mechanics beneath the songs that we rarely hear, often supplied by Paul's bass and piano. This line just absolutely kills.
If you're not in publishing in some fashion you're probably not paying attention to this at all, but here's the bottom line: Hachette (a massive corporation which has published five of my books) is fighting with Amazon (a massive corporation which controls 50% of American book sales) over the price guidelines for eBooks. Negotiations have turned acrimonious, so as leverage Amazon recently raised a huge number of Hachette books to full price, as well as changed them from being available in 48 hours to "3-5 weeks," even though they are definitely in stock. They've also removed the pre-order button from books soon to release, which is the kiss of death for many titles. They've done this to Wise Young Fool and the coming paperback, which has obviously cost me sales and forced me to halve my daughter's breakfast allotment. Of course, it's a lot more nuanced than a good deal of Internet outrage purports (the inevitability of technology, the anachronistic publishing business model, the market Amazon single-handedly created for eBooks to begin with), and it's not as David and Goliath as portrayed at the corporate level, but as usual, on the ground, it's authors who end up getting screwed. As they will be no matter what eBook prices are ultimately set at (ludicrously paltry royalty percentages for something with zero production or inventory costs won't change). But in the meantime, Amazon is stepping on Hachette author necks in the hopes that we'll pressure them to settle. What they don't realize is that my editor doesn't return my calls in any case, so mostly I'll be pressuring myself into not writing a series of devastatingly sarcastic tweets. But Amazon is definitely losing the P.R. battle, as you can see in the Colbert clip below, and in many other articles published in the last week. So why write all this? To tell you that if the corporation that controls 50% of book sales thinks it's cool to so arrogantly toy with both authors and customers, maybe it's time to sacrifice convenience in exchange for a very minor set of expectations and ethics. I guess what I'm saying here, by conveyance of the highly effective Earnest But Aggrieved Facebook Post, is that now more than ever, you should support indie bookstores.
Oh, just the usual verbal jousting and enough rude opinion to ensure that I will never have a real job. Matthew Specktor? Yeah, he brings it. This was fun. Also, competitive to the point of bloodletting. If I don't win, nobody wins. READ IT HERE.
Kevin Emerson and I playing Bon Jovi and Radiohead on ukulele, for the Seattle Public Library foundation literary gala. Oh, yeah, it rocked. And from now on I want to be known as "Dirk Sambora."
Finally handed in the finished manuscript of "Cornelius Wrathbone". Clocked in at a trim 407 pages and only about half a year late. Took a nice fourteen hour break, and now diving into the short stories. Just ordered a triple espresso to pour into my iced Monster drink and a 12-pack of therapy appointments with Dr. Benway.