where the writers are
The Tossup at Tosca

I wonder who got my book at the Redroom mixer at Tosca on Tuesday? Somebody had to get it. It wasn't there by the time I left. People got to choose the book that they walked out of there with. That kind of bummed me out for some reason. I was kind of hoping that the Redroom staffers would foist my book off on some unwitting fellow Redroomer who would either be horrified by Beer Blood and Cornmeal’s violence and vulgarity or be miffed at how I liberally dole out the split infinitive. Please, don’t ask me why I wanted my book to be picked up by somebody who would hate it. Yes, I have a screw loose but no, I am not seeking help for this.

It was cool to meet so many Redroom authors and staffers the other night. Erika Lutz and Jessica Inclan talked about the sidewalk Cody’s reading. I talked to Redroom editor Jennifer Massoni about the pitfalls of novel writing. In a way writing fiction puts pressure on you to have somebody die. It’s hard to stay grounded and not go for the big dramatic moment. The truth can set you free but it can be so damned boring sometimes. Huntington Sharp was also around. It was good to meet him. I also talked to graphic novelist Matt Siladyand did snag a copy of his book “The Homeless Channel” on the way out of there. Yes, Matt, I’m the one who got your book. I passed up that Ben Fong-Torres book about rock and roll disc jockeys for ya.

Comic book legend and multi Eisner award winner Steve Leialohawas also there drinking Irish coffees. In the 70s, Leialoha worked on this multi part story in Marvel Team-Up (featuring Spider-Man and Shang Chi Master of Kung-Fu) where the evil organization called Hydra tried to assassinate Jimmy Carter. In another Marvel book from the same time, “Marvel Two In One Starring The Thing and Nick Fury,” Hydra brought this cyborg zombie called Deathlok the Demolisher from the future to off Carter (yes, just like “The Terminator” except with Jimmy Carter instead of Sarah Connor). Why was Hydra so hellbent on bumping off Carter?

“I think it was just because he was President,” Leialoha wryly replied.

“But Hydra never tried to off Reagan or Clinton. Just Carter and they went for it twice.”

“You know that is interesting.”

“Yeah, Steve, what are Hydra’s political goals? What motivates them to wear green costumes? Do they want Israel out of Palestine? Did wind power really set them off? Is that what made them so pissed at Carter?”

“I don’t think the writers at Marvel ever got past world domination.”

* * *

After the mixer I went to Specs next door with Kick the Balls author Alan Black where we both had a little bit too much to drink.

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Good to meet you, too, Bob.

If I hadn't been so exhausted by the arduous but totally fun book exchange, I know I would've crashed your and Alan's party at Specs.

I don't know who got your book, sorry. I do know it went early.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Hey it's okay. You do wonder though. It's good to hear that it went quick!

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It was great to meet you,

It was great to meet you, Bob, and I didn't see your book in the pile when I left.  So it must have flown the coop early.  I took Jane Ganahl's book, and am halfway through it.  I don't hate it, love it, and I'm not sure about your mission to horrify someone.  Very interesting approach, that.  I worried that both of mine (I brought two because I dragged along boyfriend Michael to the gathering) would be left, but Joe Quirk wrote to say he'd picked one up.  The whereabouts of the other are not clear.

But you are right--great group, great fun to meet those otherwise behind the "photo."


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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The whole horrifying someone

The whole horrifying someone thing comes from the wrestling show that the book itself chronicles. Sometimes we did matches to be funny, sometimes we did them to upset people -- sometimes a little bit of both. The same compulsions drive my goals for the book for better or worse. All that being said, I can't help but wonder who picked the thing up. I think we all do.