Happy Spring everyone,
This is just a quick note to remind you about the Toronto book launch for The Mystery
of Grace. Billed as "This Ain't Your Average Book Launch," things get underway at 7:00 p.m.
at the Cadillac Lounge this Wednesday, April 8th. MaryAnn and I will play a short set of music,
then Sarah Blackwood (of the Creepshow) will take the stage while I sign books. Check out
this fun poster on the left.
I hope lots of my Toronto readers will come out to share some music, conversation, food and
camaraderie. (There's no admission charge.) Thanks to my Canadian distributor, H.B. Fenn,
for coming up with the cool idea for the launch.
I'm grateful to have both Tor and Fenn so solidly behind The Mystery of Grace. Reviews
so far have been great and readers are telling me they love it. Having spent a year and a
half of solitary time getting the words down on paper, it's gratifying to hear that people
enjoy reading the story as much as I did writing it.
And thanks to everyone who came out to meet us at the Tucson Festival of Books. What a
wonderful festival. With 340 authors in attendance, it was a massive undertaking and they
did an excellent job with the help of many cheerful volunteers. They're already planning
the next one (March 13-14, 2010) and we're hoping that they'll invite us back. I had no
idea that I had so many Tucson readers, though not everyone we met was local. I know a
few of you travelled a fair distance to get there—I think Dave who lives in Salt Lake
City came the farthest—and thank you for that. I'm absolutely blessed with the nicest
readers, and signings are always a bit frustrating in that I'd love to spend more time
talking with everyone. We'll just have to do it again.
MaryAnn and I spent an extra week at an artists' retreat on the outskirts of Tucson,
immersed in the desert landscape, feasting on Mexican fare, working on writing and music,
and seeing old friends like Stu Jenks, who lives in town, and Charles Vess and Karen Shaffer,
who travelled up from Virginia for the week. Charles and I did some preliminary planning
for an expanded version of A Circle of Cats that Little, Brown will be publishing,
and what a great place to work. We enjoyed being back in this landscape that we all love
so much. It's the ideal way to recharge our batteries, and such a welcome respite from
the long Canadian winter.
Staying at the retreat as we did, we also had the pleasure of getting to know the hosts
Emma Bull and Will Shetterly a little better—lovely and gracious people, the both of
them. On more than one occasion during the week, we sat down and swapped songs with
Emma. Emma's one of those players who radiates happiness as she sings (which is funny,
because she often sings such sad songs!), and we'd love to do it all again in the not
too distant future.
Coming home to the pup and kitty resulted in much happy purring and yipping all
around. The snow is pretty much gone, but of course it's snowing today as I write
this. Hey Mama Nature…enough already.
In other book news, I'm happy to tell you that I've just signed a contract with Little,
Brown for a new edition of Seven Wild Sisters. Charles Vess's lovely
illustrations will also grace this edition so those of you who missed it the first time
around will be happy to know that you'll finally be able to get a copy of this gorgeous
book in the not too distant future. I'll keep you posted about the release date.
Speaking of Seven Wild Sisters, a Michigan lady wrote this past winter telling me
that she'd picked up a blueline of the Subterranean Press edition amongst a bunch of
other items at an auction. She kindly mailed it to me and we brought it down to Tucson
with us, where Charles Vess signed the front and embellished it with an original
drawing. MaryAnn has it (and a bunch of other stuff) up for auction at:
Music to look forward to: new albums by Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, Eilen Jewell, Los Straitjackets,
Todd Snider and Slaid Cleaves. Music to dig right now: Lhasa's new self-titled
disc; One to the Heart, One to the Head by Gretchen Peters & Tom
Russell; The Camel's Back by Psapp; and Drew Nelson's Dusty Road To Beulah Land.
Hey, did any of you catch the premier episode of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...
that was on last week? His guest was Elton John and the dialogue between the two was
great. And it was nice to hear them name check some of the old greats like Laura Nyro,
then cover a David Ackles song to close the show.
We hope to see a bunch of you on Wednesday. Everyone else, hopefully we'll get the chance
to meet up in the not too distant future. Until then, remember to take care of each other.