We have a release date! "Book Town" will be published on 9/5/18. You can pre-order the Kindle version at the link here or copy the link below. Link to the paperback coming shortly.
As promised in a recent Facebook post, in the days leading up to the publication of Book Town I will be interviewing some of the characters from The Last Word series. Today I am joined by Luis Ortiz, best friend of Jake Donovan, semi-boyfriend of Camden Templeton, and icon in his own right. Below is the transcript of our discussion:
Welcome to the blog, Luis. Thanks for being here.
Always a pleasure, bro.
Why is your hair wet?
I have come straight from swimming a thousand laps at the YMCA pool. Poseidon himself would be envious of my aquatic prowess.
So you swam like…
Of course. So how do you like “Book Town?”
A masterful work. As Heather said to me the other day, “It’s not Hemingway, but at least it’s not Faulkner.” High praise.
I appreciate that once again you have made me the central character in your literary endeavors.
Luis, you’re not the central character in any of the books.
Am I in all three?
Then I am the central character. I am Ortiz.
I assume the next book will simply be titled “Ortiz.”
Actually that one’s on the backburner for now. (Way back).
Why is that? (His eyes have narrowed; not good).
It’s taking time to fully capture on the page the full essence of all that is you.
I understand. (Smiling again, thank God). It is a Herculean task.
Any other thoughts on “Book Town?”
I said it all in the blurb I sent you. You will use it on the back cover, of course.
I can recite it from memory the readers of your blog: “If F. Scott Fitzgerald and St. Thomas Aquinas had a literary love child, it would still not be as compelling as this novel.” My eloquence amazes even me.
It amazes us all, Ortiz.
Wonderful. Now go work on the masterpiece that will be “Ortiz.” I think Javier Bardem should play me in the film version. We are both menacingly loveable.
As promised in a recent Facebook post, in the days leading up to the publication of Book Town I will be interviewing some of the characters from The Last Word series. Today I am joined by Sal Terranova, who along with his cousin Camden Templeton owns The Last Word Bookstore. Below is the transcript of our discussion:
Welcome to the blog, Sal. Thanks for coming in.
Like I had a choice. I live in your head after all.
Right. You seem a tad surly today. Why is that?
I’m not surly. But I am a little pissed that my page time got cut.
Ah, I see. It’s true that you are not as much of a focus in Book Town as you were in The Last Word and Writer in Residence, but –
Not as much of a focus? You call half the book not as much of a focus? I might as well be Jacob, for crying out loud.
I think you’re overreacting, not to mention being pretty harsh to Jacob.
Whatever. I could see if you gave extra chapters to Ortiz, but Jake? The preacher?
People know you already, and you still play a major role in this novel. You have to admit that Jake and our mystery guest have a certain symmetry that you would lack.
Because I’m a criminal, right? I was never convicted!
Not because you’re a criminal. You have been, for the most part, a model citizen for a few years now.
That won’t do me much good if you keep cutting my scenes. Keep it up and there’s no way Brad Pitt will play me in the movie.
That wasn’t very likely regardless.
Oh, so now I’m a mutt who’s too hideous to be played by Brad Pitt? Keep it up, Paco, and you might just wake up at the bottom of the East River.
You realize I can take you out with a backspace key, right?
Nice. Big man with a laptop. You’re nothing without me, pal.
You really do come across as much more pleasant in the books.
I’m sorry. I am a little surly, and not just because of Jake. I like Jake. I really like the new novel. It's different from what you've done before, in a good way. But the Jets are going to suck again this year, I dropped two grand at the racetrack yesterday, and Julia keeps bringing up her ticking biological clock. I mean seriously? She's like 25.
If it makes you feel better, you are back front and center for the next novel, and there’s a road trip.
A road trip? You mean I get away from Camden and Jacob and the freakin’ customers for a while? That’s what I’m talking about.
So, any last thoughts for our readers about Book Town?
Yeah; buy it, tell your friends to buy it, have them tell their friends to buy it. I need this one to catch Brad Pitt’s attention. And remember that Jake, lovely human being that he is, will always be Little Steven and I will always be Springsteen.
If you’re Bruce, wouldn’t he be Clarence?
I am amazed you would even ask that. Ortiz is Clarence, of course.
Of course. Thanks again for stopping by.
My pleasure. Next time you could at least have beer or bagels or something. Now go work on that next book. I’m ready for a change of scenery.
Available for pre-order soon. Watch this space for details.
"Things seem to be going well at The Last Word Bookstore, but appearances, much like book covers, can be deceiving. Sal Terranova needs a new challenge, and Jake Donovan...well, Jake has no clue what he needs. The answer comes to both of them from a most unexpected source, one which will lead them and their friends on a journey of biblical proportions. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the bookstore..."
The opening line of a novel can set the tone for the whole book, and there are many that have become as famous as the book that contains them. What follows is by no means an exhaustive list of these great first lines; it is simply ten of my favorite opening sentences, almost all from novels I have actually read (this means leaving out classics like "Call me Ishmael" from Moby Dick...saw the movie, though). Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section:
"I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time." - Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind
"All children mythologize their birth." - Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
"Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn." – Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
"People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles." – Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
"I have never begun a novel with more misgiving." - W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge
"My father had a face that could stop a clock." - Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair
"Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, for the right path had been lost." – Dante, Inferno (yes, I know this wasn't a novel)
"A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story." – Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Angel’s Game
"It was a pleasure to burn." - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
"I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up." – Jack Kerouac, On The Road
And here's one from a novel that will be published soon. Obviously not famous like the ones above (yet), but it may be my favorite of those I've written:
"I think I'm starting to miss killing people." - Paul Combs, Book Town