Cell at Eastern State

Cell at Eastern State

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The White Whale Tour

"Call me Ishmael. . .

Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

So I'm heading out. I'll be leaving on Saturday, June 19th and coming back around the 30th, heading down through Virginia and the Carolinas, Atlanta, spending a couple of days in New Orleans, then to Houston, Austin and up to St. Louis. I'll have my laptop, my Ipod and Moby Dick on 19 CDs.

I'll be seeing my editor and friend Laurie Webb in Wilmington, North Carolina, then south through Atlanta and New Orleans to visit that city for the first time. Then it's west to Houston, where I'll be doing a signing at Murder By The Book on the 24th with novelist Gary Phillips, who'll be signing copies of the crime collection Orange County Noir, which he edited for Akashic Books; Sarah Cortez, editor of Indian Country Noir; Vicky Hendricks, Florida Gothic Stories, and Jonathan Woods, author of Bad Juju and Other Tales of Madness and Mayhem. The event is at 6:30pm.

On the 26th, I'll be putting on my Crime Fiction Workshop at Book People in Austin, Texas at 3:00pm. The workshop is always a lot of fun - I read from classic crime stories, discuss the elements of crime fiction, and lead attendees in an exercise designed to show the twisted, unhealthy impulses harbored by readers and writers of crime fiction.

I think the highlight might be the Noir at the Bar on June 28th at the Delmar Lounge in St. Louis. By that time I should be a stuttering mess from ten days on the road, but luckily I'll be helped out by some excellent company: Derek Nikitas, author of Pyres and The Long Division, both of which were wrenching, affecting and excellent novels; my friend and hero Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest, The Walkaway, Cottonwood and the forthcoming Supply Sarge; and Jed Ayres, writer, blogger, reviewer and great friend to crime writers everywhere.

It's cool that both Derek and Scott should be there, because though both of them are identified as crime writers, they easily outdistance the constraints of that category to produce deft, fearless, highly original work about people at their most desperate, unhinged moments.

Then I'll be meandering home for the official launch of Wolves of Fairmount Park on Friday evening, July 2nd at the Doylestown Bookshop, my hometown bookstore, where I hope everyone in the Philly area can join me for what I'm sure will be a great time. I'll be wearing the bleary look, the new tattoo, and the T-shirt that reads, "And I only am escaped alone to tell thee..."


  1. blush blush blush blush blush Can't wait

  2. Couldn't ask for better reading and drinking company!