July 25th, 2009

The Red Tree

"So, we both can speak in tongues."

Dreamsick and disoriented. And not even sure if I can write an entry this morning, or if anyone is still reading LJ, or if anything happened yesterday worth writing about.

Regarding the signing at Pandemonium Books and Games in Boston (well, in Cambridge, actually), I have a time slot now. The event will be from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, August 6th. If you're in the Providence/Boston area and want to hear me read from The Red Tree, you should try to attend, as this is the only reading/signing I have scheduled, and another looks unlikely at this point in time.

Here's a thing. Well, two things, actually. I'm pretty sure I've talked about both of them before, but...some stuff bears repeating. There are two things that you never, ever tell an author. One of them is that you can't find hisherits books. Now, on the one hand, for the most part, these days the claim that you can't find books is malarkey, thanks to the internet. Every book I've ever written, even the sold-out and long out-of-print titles, can be found at Amazon.com, etc. However, I still get email from people telling me that Bookstore X, Y, or Z. doesn't carry my books. Thing is, learning this is terribly depressing, and there's absolutely nothing in the world I can do about it. I have no say whatsoever in distribution. The other thing you should never tell an author is, of course, that you've found a typographical error in a printed book, and pretty much for the same to reasons I've just listed —— nothing we can do about it, and it's depressing —— but we'll come back to that another time.

Please, please do preorder The Red Tree if you can. Preorders are enormously important in the eyes of the sales and marketing people. Preorders and the sales that magical first six weeks after release. I have no idea why. That's just the way it is. Sales have actually been pretty decent for The Red Tree since Readercon, two weeks back, then they suddenly dipped yesterday. So, naturally, now all I can do is obsesses about how to get them up again. I awoke obsessing about it, even through the afterimages of my nightmares.

Also, the Very Special Auction continues.

Yesterday, thinking about werewolves and "fakelore," working on promotional stuff for The Red Tree, I may have come a bit closer to understanding what the next novel is about. I need to begin it in September. I should have begun it in June, but asked for extra time, in order to give this novel the push it needs.

The sun's back, thank fuck. We just had two more March days, here in Providence, but it looks like early summer may have returned. I doubt we'll ever see late summer.

Okay. Gotta go. But, yes, reading in Boston on the 6th, and please do preorder. Thanks!

Postscript: Spooky just found this at BarnesandNoble.com. Kirkus loved The Red Tree! Here's their review: "Dark-fantasy specialist Kiernan (Daughter of Hounds, 2007, etc.) delivers a creepy and engaging tale. Portrayed as the posthumously published memoir of a suicide, the narrative is introduced and commented upon by a fictional editor. In the story proper, that suicide, novelist Sarah Crowe, tells of moving into a rural Rhode Island house. There she finds a rather spooky manuscript, written by the house's former tenant, a professor who was driven mad by his obsession with a 130-foot-tall red oak on the property. The tree is apparently full of dark magic and is somehow connected to various deaths throughout the town's history. Before long, Sarah becomes preoccupied with the red oak herself. Horror fans will recognize the familiar Lovecraftian gothic-horror elements-indeed, Lovecraft, Poe and other writers are explicitly referenced in the text-but Kiernan's prose is thoroughly modern, even colloquial, with none of the gothic genre's tendency toward archaic phrasings. She ably keeps the proceedings from devolving into formula, and her portrayals of Sarah's growing obsession, and the violence surrounding the tree, are evocative and chilling. A multileveled novel that will appeal to fans of classic and modern horror." Booya.