Archive for July, 2007


Saturday, July 28th, 2007

I keep forgetting to say how much fun I had in the little town of Greenwood, MS at Turnrow Books. Greenwood is an interesting town, a lot like Chadbourne, NC — Strawberry Capital of the World and inspiration for Daniel Wallace’s novel The Watermelon King — in that Main Street isn’t very main anymore. It’s deserted, empty, except for your occa sional establishment:

Then you go one street over and there’s a spa and an elegant hotel and, of course, this great bookstore, Turnrow. They had this sign out in front:

Which I thought was nice. Had a great time.

Then drove to Greenville where on the counter where I checked into my hotel there was a note that read: The water in Greenville is brown. There’s nothing wrong with it — it’s been tested — it’s just brown.
It was.

I also saw this place, but it wasn’t in Mississippi. This was in Charlotte.

I love Italy

Friday, July 27th, 2007

It remains a mystery to me, but Italy has always been friendly to the textual stylizations of me, publishing or promising to publish all of my books, even one that has yet to be published in book form in the U.S.A. Now they’ve outdone themselves: I just learned that Falzea will publish a children’s story I wrote, called Elynora.

This book has an interesting history. One day many months ago I received an email from someone I had never met, an illustrator named Daniela Tordi. She had seen my work and crazily suggested I write a children’s story which she would illustrate. I said sure. Over the next year I wrote it, she illustrated it, and voila — we have a book, and it’s coming out in Italy next year. Look for it at your local Italian bookstore.

I am so excited. It’s also sort of fantastic: this wonderful stranger (now a friend) just writes some guy she never knew with this wild idea . . . and it worked!

Here are some of the beautiful illustrations Daniela produced.

The beginning of a rumor . . .

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

. . . and I wish it were true. But as far as I know Tim Burton has no plans to make a movie out of Mr. Sebastian. And yet this Italian publication certainly appears to think so.

Notizia del 21 luglio 2007 – 11:48
Burton, nuovo film da libro Wallace
Si intitolera’: “Mr Sebastian and the Negro Magician”

(ANSA)-ROMA,21 LUG- Tim Burton ha opzionato i diritti per la riduzione cinematografica dell’ultimo romanzo di Daniel Wallace, che uscira’ nel 2008. Il regista americano, gia’ nel 2003, aveva ralizzato un film tratto dal fortunato romanzo ‘Big Fish’ sempre di Wallace, uscito nel ’98. Misteri, segreti, uno strano incontro con il diavolo e una famiglia di circensi sono i nodi narrativi del nuovo romanzo intitolato “Mr Sebastian and the Negro Magician”.

On the Road with Daniel Wallace

Friday, July 20th, 2007

See, I wasn’t kidding! I took this picture while driving down I-55, on the way from Jackson to Oxford, Mississippi. (Warning: first time novelists shouldn’t try this! This is my 4th book. I know what I’m doing.)

I haven’t been giving updates on this ongoing commentary as much as I thought I would, because I am an old man and get tired very easily. I look back and realize I’ve skipped almost everything after the first couple of nights. So forgive me. I know what this means to you. Let me offer some highlights.

  • In L.A. I stayed in the nicest hotel in the world. Here’s the view from my balcony:

While I was here the amazing USA Today review came out. This made my morning (every morning everyday forever).

  • Nashville. I read at Davis-Kidd and saw one of my oldest friends in the entire world, Abby Kropp. At every stop on this tour I’ve seen someone I haven’t seen in a long time (someone else has won themselves a poster!) and seeing Abby was the best.
  • The next day I read at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi. To make the plane I had to get up at 4 in the morning. But it was worth it. A nice crowd. And I signed a book for the youngest reader I have (as far as I know): Rachel. She’s nine.
  • The next day (which was yesterday) I drove the three hours to Oxford and read at Square Books. I could live in Oxford. It’s a sweet little town, very charming, full of great people and wonderful writers like my friends Tom Franklin and his wife Beth Ann Fennelly, the literary power couple of the world. My old friend and former agent-helper/editor Bess Reed and her wonderful mom were there too. We had fun. Here’s a picture of Square Books:

(It’s not a black and white town, by the way: this a picture I took of the store and turned into art).

So that brings us up to date. I am in Oxford now, hanging out for the day, and tomorrow I’m going to Turnrow Books.

Can’t wait. Meanwhile, the view from my hotel room. Enjoy.

Keep those predictions coming!

Monday, July 16th, 2007

So far I think the prediction contest is going along pretty well. As I mentioned, there has been one winner so far, Melissa, who predicted I would see someone reading my book in an airport and I did, and it was her. She was on her way to Hawaii for her honeymoon. I bet she can’t wait to get back and get her poster.

There will be other winners, I’m sure, but so far no one has tapped into the crystal ball the way Melissa did. Poe suggests great reviews will boost book sales; I hope so. The real prediction in this case might have been, “The book will be well-reviewed, but the reviews won’t boost sales.” We’ll see.

Bigdadu40 presages that Nancy Pearl will like my book, and her stamp of approval will initiate a series of events leading to a reading in Chicago, where Bigdadu40 lives. I like how Bigdadu40 thinks.

Anyway, please keep predicting! I have lots of posters and you definitely want one of them.

Where are you going, where have you been?

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Good question!

On Monday night I had my very first reading from the book, at the lovely library in Decatur (down the street from Emory University, where I first went to college) and had a wonderful time. The Georgia Center for the Book knows how to put these things on, and I was pleased and proud to be a part of one of their programs. I think around 75 people came, and anything over double-digits is a score for me.

The next night, Tuesday, I was back in my hometown, Birmingham, for a predictably wonderful event at Alabama Booksmiths. Jake Reiss knows how to throw a signing. He’s been doing it since 1859, though, so it’s time he learned. I kid. I kid Jake. Over a hundred people were there and tons o books were purchased. That was quite the night.

But the biggest news is that one of my lifelong dreams have come true! I saw somebody in an airport actually reading my book! This means I am now like John Grisham or Clive Cussler or Nora Roberts (the list goes on!) — like all those people whose books get read in airports. I know, I know: this is huge. Huge!

Okay. What makes this a little bit weird is that the woman I saw with the book, Melissa, had just the night before entered the poster contest, predicting that I would see someone reading my book in the airport — and I did — and it was her! So Melissa is the first winner! But not the last. Keep those predictions coming.

Why write?

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Because one day you might be on television! In a way similar to the way I was this morning, on WAGA-TV in Atlanta. You saw it, right? At about 7:50? You didn’t miss it, did you? Of course not. It was fun! The interviewer asked some good questions and I answered them to the best of my ability, which is not very good in part because I am sitting there insecure with the knowledge I have about four minutes total, which leaves me no time to think before I open my mouth. Usually it takes me about four minutes to put a reasonable answer together about anything, and that’s on a good day. My worst answer was when she asked me what magical realism was, and I said, “It’s when magical things happen in our real lives,” or something like that. I blushed, but you probably couldn’t tell because I had so much make-up on. Here’s a photo essay of how it went down. In this first picture I look like a zombie, in the second as if the mic guy is about to behead me, and in the third, why I prefer radio.

And see the picture below? That green screen is what the meteorologist is looking at when he’s showing you what the weather is. It’s always green! He’s looking at a monitor and gesticulating at . . . absolutely nothing. You knew this already, though, I bet.

A nice review in the L.A. Times

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Okay. A nice review in the L.A. Times.

One review . . .

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

. . . uses the word febrile to describe my imagination.


Now doesn’t that make you want to go out and read my book?

Predictions Rolling In

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

I get always get Nostradamus and Nosferatu mixed up. But let’s just say there have been some very busy vampires out there, predicting away. No winners yet — and yes, there can be multiple winners — but this is just beginning.

A couple of people have made predictions which are so specific I have a sneaking suspicion they possess knowledge which disqualifies them. I’m sorry.

And all of them, so far, have been positive and one was really, really sweet. Feel free to depress me with your dark visions, people. I can (read: probably can’t) take it. Since the book is out just today — and reviews are appearing, all of which give the book a thumbs up so far — the ball is only now rolling.

Oh wait. That’s the Degeneres people on the other line. Gotta run.


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