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Archive for October, 2007

Invasion of the Monster Racoons

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Not my next book. Came home from a lovely bat-filled trip to Austin and found these on our porch.


The one on top had Deadly Laser Vision. Almost killed the cat. Singed my sideburns. Finally our cockapoo dispatched them with extreme prejudice. Very close call.

Correction to below

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Not the Mona Lisa. The Duke of Urbino. D’oh!

(not) Enough about me

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

One of the thousands of things I like about being connected to the world from this lovely white screen on my desk is, well, the connection — meeting people I would never have had the opportunity to meet ten years ago.

Katherine Sandoz is one of those people. And the thing is, we haven’t really met, not in the old-fashioned sense of really meeting: I don’t know where she lives, I wouldn’t recognize her if she passed me on the street . . . I know next to nothing about her except that she’s an artist. But she learned of my existence through one of my books, wrote me, and wondered if it would be okay to paint a picture of me. I’m still not sure why. But of course I said yes (after looking at the wonderful work she does) and this is it.

Nice, isn’t it? She got me just about right, down to the hairline. I think that’s supposed to be Laura over my back, and the background reminds me of the background in the Mona Lisa, though I’ve yet to get confirmation of this. It’s something that never would have existed without a website and an email account. Thank you, Al Gore.

My Imaginary Home

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

On Monday I did a little thing in Cullman, Alabama. This is where my father is from and where I spent parts of summers, where I shoplifted from Nancy Pilot’s drugstore (she knew all along) and stole french fries off the plates of unsuspecting customers at my grandparent’s famous restaurant, The All Steak. What makes this particularly relevant and, even to me, weirdly so, is that Cullman has figured prominently in much of my fiction. The fictional town of Ashland, Alabama is actually modeled on Cullman.

Just a couple of weeks ago a wonderful new magazine called Thicket asked me for something, and I thought it would be fun to draw the map of the town I see in my head when I write my stories, the town that Cullman never really was except in my mind. The town I regularly empty of people and then repopulate with the characters I need for the next story. This map is going to be in Thicket, but it’s not coming out for a couple of months.

Here’s a preview.

Movie $ keeps rolling in

Monday, October 1st, 2007


People often ask me if I continue to make money from the Big Fish movie. Normally this would be a somewhat audacious question, but I’m sure the source of it resides in the desire to know how the book-to-movie business works. This is how it works, normally: the author of a book whose work is purchased for the creation of a film receives a paycheck upfront, and that might be $500 and it might be a $1,000,000 (my check, by the way, was nowhere near either). After that, no matter how well a movie performs, the author usually gets nothing. Ever.

But I had a part in Big Fish. Somehow this escapes most people’s attention, how I don’t know, because it’s a crucial eights seconds or so of the film. I am the professor. Take a look.

So yes, for my role in the movie I continue to get checks in the mail. One came today. It is for $14.96



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