Friday, December 27, 2013

tying up 2013

What's this? I know. A second blog entry in less than a week.

But in less than one week, it will be 2014. And once it is officially 2014, I will have a new novel coming out in a month (Grasshopper Jungle, February 11 from Dutton/Penguin), and another one coming out in the fall (100 Sideways Miles, September 2 from Simon & Schuster).

And as great as 2013 was for me, given all the love people have for Winger, this coming year promises to be just as terrific.

So, as I often do, here's a list of things to wrap up 2013:

1. The connection between these two books:

Not many people know this. My second novel, In the Path of Falling Objects, and my forthcoming seventh novel, Grasshopper Jungle, share a character. The same guy pops up in both stories--to a very small and quirky extent in the earlier novel, but in a very major role in Grasshopper Jungle. That character is a guy named Charles R. Hoofard, most frequently referred to as Hungry Jack.

2. I realize I haven't said much at all about this book:

Even my friends don't know anything about this book. I haven't let anyone read it yet, either. It's called 100 Sideways Miles, and it's coming in September. In April, Simon & Schuster will be revealing the cover, which was designed by Lucy Ruth Cummins, who also designed the back photograph, as well as the cover for Winger, which was one of the most celebrated book covers (of any genre) of 2013. Just knowing that is a hint that the cover for 100 Sideways Miles is stunning, breathtaking, and spectacular. Another knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark for Lucy Ruth.

3.  So allow me to say something:

Like all my books, I invent almost everything that takes place in 100 Sideways Miles, but a good portion of the book is set in this Southern California canyon, and tells the history of an incredibly terrible event that took place there about 85 years ago.

But the rest is totally made up.

Also, right when 100 Sideways Miles comes out, Simon & Schuster will be releasing the paperback of Winger, which also has a very cool cover--and no, the front photograph is not changed, they've just added some features inside the front cover.

4. Conquering the world:

This is the gigantic stand-up of Winger that Simon & Schuster sent me, which is occupying a good bit of space in my living room.

In 2013, this book, and my next book, Grasshopper Jungle, got so much enthusiastic attention that between the two of them my work is now being read all over the world, with publishing deals coming in from England, Australia, Brazil, Turkey, and the Czech Republic.

There are still about 195 countries to go before full world domination takes effect, however.

Yeah... I'm talking to you, Antarctica.

5. Shirts and stuff:

Penguin has made these T-shirts for Grasshopper Jungle. They've been sending them out to people like crazy, too.

They are very cool shirts.

The people who got them are lucky and happy. I'm lucky and happy that I got one for myself, too.

Also, the book will finally be in bookstores in just 46 days.

Yes... it always seems to take so long. Especially for this book, which I am very excited about.

6. The year in review:

What can I say? It's been an incredible year for me and my books, with so much critical acclaim being heaped on Winger and Grasshopper Jungle.

People often ask me why I seem so surprised by what's been happening with my books. I suppose there's always an inner voice that most artists have that is hypercritical and tells us we are not good enough, and maybe that's the fuel that drives our engines. I don't know. But I like feeling that surprise when it comes along.