Saturday, April 24, 2010

the arc of the coveted

Okay, so I am going to UCLA today, to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books where I will be speaking on a panel (1 p.m., YA Stage) about guys who write YA, and -- the best part is -- I get to read a bit from one of my books. Well, not just one of my books, the book I really want to read from: The Marbury Lens.

But that isn't even the best part, really. The best part is that this copy that I'm going to be reading from is the first ARC that was sent to me. I've carried it around with me every day, everywhere I've gone (Like to New York), since it arrived on my doorstep. It is the only Advance Reader Copy of the book I have.

And the reason that's the best part is that I'm going to find someone at random at the festival and give this ARC away.

Get rid of every last one of them once and for all so I can stop being tormented by them.

This book wants to kill me.

So, with apologies to all my friends, family members, librarians, reviewers, and everyone else around the country who are guilting me with the but-you-gave-me-an-ARC-of-your-last-book-so-why-won't-you-give-me-an-ARC-of-this-one requests that are making me feel completely HORRIBLE, I no longer have a single copy of the book I wrote.

Not even one for me.

And I will be glad once I'm rid of it.

Because this book wants to kill me.

I have no trouble speaking in front of large groups. I've done dozens of readings, all over the country. But, to be honest, there are a couple things making me nervous about the UCLA gig today. There are going to be young people -- well, not so young -- in the audience that I've known since they were just out of diapers. One is about to become a medical doctor, attending UCLA's med school, one is a filmmaker with some incredible credits, who'll be attending with his pregnant wife, and one is in UCLA's law school. Yeah, I know some pretty smart people who apparently find some perverse element of fascination in observing public displays of self immolation.

And I hope my 15-year-old son wakes up in time to go with me. Not so he can drive home, but because I want to show him the campus of UCLA (despite his age, he'll be applying to colleges in the coming school year). Because I want him to go to UCLA. Don't worry, UC Regents -- you can skip poring over the application. He's got the grades and the ranking.

He just hasn't made up his mind yet.