I've been keeping very busy the last couple of weeks, mostly working on a project for a friend's birthday. But I have taken some time to relax too.
Last Friday I went out for my birthday, had a great time. The full story will be on my MySpace page as soon as I get pictures back from Steve.
Now last night was great. I met Mark Z. Danielewski, the author of House of Leaves, The Whalestoe Letters, and Only Revolutions. He did a reading in Houston, as a favor for a friend that runs the local literary magazine, Gulf Coast. I didn't even know we had a literary magazine, it's really fat and only comes out twice a year, they print all genres and discusses art as well. The current issue had colored copies of first draft pages from Only Revolutions, I got it signed. I also went and bought new copies of HoL and OR and got them signed.
Mark is very handsome and personable. He's a genius, but doesn't seem at all pretentious. He was wearing jeans. He read three selections from Only Revolutions. A part on Sam's side from a party in the 1920's, a part from Hailey's from the 1990's, and the end from Sam's point of view. The end made me cry. I felt an empathy with Sam and his pain and anger at his loss that he could not prevent.
I found out the scene from House of Leaves of the woman dying in the hospital is a true story, which he heard from a friend that worked in ICU. Poe is writing a new album, part of which inspired OR and part which was inspired by OR. Mark is hoping that the audio book will be ready when the paperback comes out, he will be reading Sam. He said they heard many very good Sam's but felt many fans would prefer to hear him read it. I'm eagerly awaiting the audio, because I have such a tough time with poetry, but I really want to read this book.
I took my daughter with me. She spent most of the evening playing her Gameboy, but found the 20's slang very amusing. After the reading she wanted to ask him why he wrote House of Leaves, I told her he might not have a short answer. She decided to ask him what his favorite animal was. She did ask him, he said a cat. I then mentioned that she really wanted to ask why he wrote HoL, he told her it was because it was in him and just had to get out. Then told me, she is a wonder. He signs his books in different colors, I don't know if that's strictly because of OR or if he's always done it. He let A. pick out the color with which he signed each book. He even took the time to ask her, her name.
I also met this really cool girl before the reading started, she had driven all the way from Arlington to get HoL signed. She's a theater major and wants to teach. We started talking because the book she was reading was making her laugh out loud. It was by Christopher Moore and now I have another author to add to my "To Be Read" list.