Thursday, September 8, 2016

Update: Where I've Been, What I've Been Doing

Wow, and to think I was doing a good job keeping this thing updated until the book came out.  Oh well.  A short stint in jail will do that, I suppose.  (Kidding, for those of you who don't know me.)

So here's a rundown of what's happened book-wise since DON'T GET CAUGHT came out on April 1st, along with a bunch of terribly uninteresting pictures.

1. Joseph-Beth Launch Party.
According to the J-B manager, I had something like 125 people show up for my reading/signing.  I knew every single one of them, minus one kid who was 12 who'd read my book in one day and wanted to meet me.  It was a great, great night.
Okay, this picture isn't "terribly uninteresting"; in fact, I love it.

2.  Ohioana Book Festival.
This was my first non-family attended event after the book came out and where I learned I'm pretty good at hand-selling books to people walking by.  Barnes and Noble's had ordered twelve books for me, and I sold all of them in a couple of hours.  I then had to dip into my personal stash of books, and sold those, too.  Yay my Svengali-like powers!  I also got to meet Mindy McGinnis and Natalie Richards, who are both fantastic, and John Scalzi, who told me a fun story about his lunch with Tom Hanks.    
There were more people at the event that are in this picture, I swear.

3. Radio Interviews.
I did two interviews, one with Mark Perzel of WVXU's The Book Club, and another with Rodney Lear of Sunday Morning Magazine.  Both were a lot of fun.  The Book Club interview has since aired twice, and I got a personal tour of the radio station by Perzel.  Because I'm an egomaniac I tried to listen to myself on the radio, but I couldn't stand my voice and had to turn it off.

3. Athens Public Library.
In June I traveled down (and across) to Athens, Ohio, where I attended Ohio University back in the 90's.  There I did a great library event with the even greater Cori McCarthy.  OU was out for the summer so the crowd was small, but we had a great time.  If all goes well, McCarthy and I hope to take our comedy stylings on the road soon.
This is my book in the Athen's Little Professor Bookstore, where I used to sit and read the comics for free because I couldn't afford them.

4. Pickerington Teen Book Festival
This was a lot of fun.  I did a panel, a speed-dating thing, and an autograph session.  I also brought my wife with me, so it was a business-y date date thing, as well.  I hand sold a lot of books here, as well, and got lucky when a relative showed up and bought nine (!) books.  Now if only I can get every relative of mine to buy nine copies of my book, I can retire.
Keynote speaker Gene Luen Yang absolutely killing.  He's amazing.
5. OWP Reading
I started writing after attending Miami University's Ohio Writing Project summer session back in 2002-ish.  So I was thrilled to get invited back in July to read to the latest crop of writers.  I had a great time, listened to great readers, and had this terrible picture taken of me.

Other items:
1.  So people are reading my book.
No, seriously, it's weird to say, and maybe obvious to you, but people are reading my book...and some of them are not related to me!  I get messages and notes from teachers and students (and others, too), and sometimes they send me great pictures like this one from my good friend and teacher (and great writer) Kimberly Gabriel.


2.  German bulls!
The German edition of DON'T GET CAUGHT came out in July, and it's been fun using Google Translate to read the reviews....or at least try to read.  Have you ever used Google Translate?  It's like reading after you've had a quart of Nyquil and have taken a hammer to the forehead.

3.  What's next?
The question I get most about DON'T GET CAUGHT is whether or not there will be a sequel.  The answer to that is easy--maybe.  Maybe there will be.  Honestly, Sourcebooks is waiting to see how sales are before committing.  How are sales, you ask?  My agent says they're going "nicely", which may be the bookselling equivalent of "he/she has a great personality", I don't know.  So instead of going full boar?/bore? on a sequel, I'm getting up every morning at 3:30 to work on my YA detective novel.  How's it going?  Nicely.  (Define that as you'd like.)

4.  Books by the Banks
I'll be appearing at Cincinnati's Books by the Banks on October 15th, doing a panel, and an author game of charades in the teen room.  It should be a great time.  Come see me!



That's it for now.

I don't know how to end this blog.

[Hangs up, awkwardly]







5 comments:

  1. Thanks from Boulder, Colorado, for Don't Get Caught, a great read for my 14-yr old and 12-yr old sons. We found it at the public library. My 14-yr old, who has a busy hockey schedule so less time to read these days, read it in batches of 6 or so chapters at a time over a week. It's edgy (my kids hate when I use that word bc they think I'm trying to discover something "cool" for them) without the graphic sex or hyper focus on hooking up common of teen novels. We had conversations about the evolution of max/not max/just max through the story and it was fun to trace plot points (mostly prank by prank but others too). Foreshadowing came up too, specifically towards the complicated nature of Ellie's character. We also talked about good writing in that many layers get resolved but not too tidily. Fun book for whole family. Looking fw to next one! I'll be share this with my friends who have tween and teen readers right before Christmas gift giving time.

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  2. Thanks from Boulder, Colorado, for Don't Get Caught, a great read for my 14-yr old and 12-yr old sons. We found it at the public library. My 14-yr old, who has a busy hockey schedule so less time to read these days, read it in batches of 6 or so chapters at a time over a week. It's edgy (my kids hate when I use that word bc they think I'm trying to discover something "cool" for them) without the graphic sex or hyper focus on hooking up common of teen novels. We had conversations about the evolution of max/not max/just max through the story and it was fun to trace plot points (mostly prank by prank but others too). Foreshadowing came up too, specifically towards the complicated nature of Ellie's character. We also talked about good writing in that many layers get resolved but not too tidily. Fun book for whole family. Looking fw to next one! I'll be share this with my friends who have tween and teen readers right before Christmas gift giving time.

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  3. Hi Julie, thank you so much for the kind words! I'm thrilled to know your family enjoyed the novel! And thanks for spreading the word. It's really the only way a little book like this can really succeed.
    Best,
    Kurt

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  4. Hey! I started reading the novel yesterday and I can't believe I have finished it by today! It was a great read and definitely one of the funniest and interesting books that I have read. I hope I can meet you someday personally. Thanks for creating such a wonderful book.

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  5. Hey, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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