I'm not above using an attention-grabbing headline, even if it means resorting to the tactic of blatantly lying. It's true that I read at Kettle of Fish last night, but the nude part and the included pictures are lies. If it helps, however, here are some pictures of kittens to ease your anguish - nude kittens.
Aww... Sick, isn't it?
So yes, the first chapter of The Brass Ring has now been read, and a firestorm of publicity has been unleashed upon the island of Manhattan - that glorious jewel of the eastern seaboard - as has rarely been seen there in lo these many years. The 22 people in attendance must have been talking, because I was absolutely inundated with phone calls and emails today, all seeking autographed copies future readings, and all offering me copious sums in exchange for just minutes of my time. No fewer than sixteen prominent literary agents are now beating down my door. And the women... my god, the women. They just won't leave me alone.
And the volcanoes... my god, the volcanoes. They just won't leave me alone either.
And the giraffes... Okay, the giraffes are leaving me alone.
And did I say sixteen literary agents? I meant 60!
So it looks like sayonara, suckers. I'm off to claim my fame and fortune and become a writer like you read about. Only... no, none of that is true. Except for the part about the giraffes leaving me alone. Those dudes are totally frosting me, and I'm not even sure why. I mean, it's not like I didn't share my birthday cupcakes with them.
Okay, the real story.
What really happened was simply that I read chapter one of my book in front of the aforementioned 22 people. To any of you that happen to leaf through these pages (or whatever the web equivalent of leafing through a page is called... browsing, maybe?), again, my sincere thanks to you for being there. You are definitely getting moved to the front of the line for an autograph if and when this book ever gets published. I won't even pretend that I don't know you.
Okay, I probably will.
I had an absolute blast last night, with just one tiny exception. I followed the inimitable Perry Moore, executive producer of the Chronicles of Narnia movie and author of a New York Times best seller along with a new Young Adult novel called Hero. Perry had clearly stood in front of an audience once or twice before. He led off by giving us some of the poignant and well defined social commentary underlying his most recent work, then he cracked the spine on one of the complimentary copies and crapped out a chapter onto us in his smooth, slow, quasi-Southern drawl.
It's not that I disliked him or what he read, mind you. I guess I found his mannerism a little bit affected is all. I mean, it was smooth to the point of being smarmy, as if maybe this basement, with unlit Christmas lights arranged in the shape of a snowman in a corner of the ceiling, a Yankee game on the widescreen television in the corner, and attention-hungry roaches creeping steadily toward the spotlight and the microphone, were somehow beneath him. I doubt very much that Perry was grateful for the opportunity to share his work, and I'm taking as evidence the fact that he couldn't be bothered to spare an extra half hour from his day to hear the other two readers who shared the bill with him.
Sorry if that offends you, Perry. But thanks for reading. Trust me when I tell you that the chapter I read last night was a hell of a lot more compelling than this.
Anyway, to those of you who came, my thanks. To those of you who didn't come, I'm sure it hurts you more than it hurts me. But feel free to send bribes in the hopes that I might once again receive you into my good graces. You never know; you might get lucky.