News: Matt Staggs to Serve as PR Consultant

Effective immediately, Matt Staggs is joining the VanderMeer team as a PR consultant and general assistant, focusing on several different media in addition to helping organize PR generally on various projects. He will also be helping book appearances, etc. So, don’t be surprised if you start hearing from Matt. You can still contact me directly, but Matt will be going to town on a few things himself. I’ve listed his email address in the FAQ section.

Matt Staggs is a writer and publicist living in Mississippi. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, he holds a degree in psychology and worked for many years in the mental health care field. Today, Matt spends his time updating his website, writing fiction and publicizing the work of various authors.

Below the cut find more information about Matt, who runs SkullRing, from a short interview I conducted with him.

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Book Sale Craziness Continues

We’re up past 700 books sold, but with a ton of great stuff remaining, including this item, which a reader had to drop from their list, so I’ve put it back on as for sale:

HESSE, HERMAN >> TREATISE ON THE STEPPENWOLF >> $10, from Paddington Press, as illustrated in color by the visionary painter Jaroslav Bradac, with the entire text of Steppenwolf included. A beautiful book, but worn around the edges. Otherwise, fine.

We’ve also dropped our prices in the book set section. Most of our prices are already competitive or low, but in book sets there were a couple of things we priced too high, so we’ve adjusted the prices now. Check out the book sale here.

Other great books I highly recommend:

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Rick Klaw’s Fantastic Fest 3 Blog

Rick Klaw, writer, journalist, expert on books, film, and comics, has a new blog set up to cover Austin’s Fantastic Fest 3 film festival. Highly recommended–check it out!

Also, I’m happy to announce that Rick will be guest-blogging for me while I’m at Utopiales in France at the end of October. More on that soon. (Thanks, Rick!)

Weeds…Is in the Weeds

Mary Louis Parker is one of my favorite actors, and for the first two seasons of Showtime’s Weeds, her adventures as a suburban drug mom, with a strong supporting cast and plenty of subplots, entertained the heck out of us.

But season three has turned what always had a hint of satire and spoof into full-blown parody–of itself. Just as Arrested Development eventually turned ridiculous, Weeds has jumped the shark by being too unrealistic, instead of just unrealistic enough.

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Riley Day!

So I’m here alone this morning, Ann’s at synagogue, with tons of book orders and a squirmy Riley. I imagine the first diaper changing of my life will take place in about 45 minutes…help!

World Cup

Anyone else watching the women’s World Cup? I’ve been catching about 30 minutes in the morning before I go off to write. Some really good games. The quality of play and opponents has risen exponentially I think since I started watching a decade ago. Really great games.


Book Sale ‘Nam–Destroy to Protect

So, it goes something like this: you get the Gaiman bomb dropped on you and you spend all day pulling books, and you’re not complaining but you finally understand that the house is going to look a lot worse before it gets better. We actually had a local orderer and he came over to get his books to save the shipping, and I’m sure we looked like translucent cave animals in a cave made of books, twitchy and hopped up on caffeine and endorphins.

This is what a house looks like at this stage. But, hopefully, by Monday, everything will be processed that’s come in so far and we’ll be more back to normal.

Wanna buy a book?

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Book Sale Craziness–and More Books

Imagine waking up and sleepily checking your email and wondering who all these people were emailing you…and then slowly realizing Neil Gaiman’s mentioned your book sale on his blog…and that instead of writing your Predator novel, you’re going to be filling orders all day. EEEEEEE! Or squeee? Take your pick.

Anyway, the book sale is going strong and if you’re planning on ordering anything, you might wanta do it here in the next few days because stuff is going fast. If we know you or you’ve ordered before, we can also hold stuff for you for up to a month.

If you’re returning to the sale after last week, we’ve added stuff in graphic novels, interesting first editions, other stuff, trade paperback fiction, unsigned special editions, hardcover fiction, and elsewhere. Here’s a list of some of the new stuff just added.

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Conversations with the Bookless: Rachel Swirsky

In support of the short story, and specifically those talented writers who are currently “bookless,” which is to say those writers who are at that stage of their career where a book is a year or more away, I’ve decided to start a new feature called Conversations with the Bookless. The fact is, if you don’t have a book out, it’s harder to get attention and it’s harder for reader attention to crystalize around you. I hope these interviews introduce readers to some of the great new talent that, in the coming years, will be amazingly and bountifully bookful.

One of those writers is Rachel Swirsky, a Clarion West graduate currently attending the Iowa Writers Workshop. Swirsky impresses me for a few simple but important reasons: her fiction shows range and depth, it is intelligent and curious, and while the style is often both muscular and lyrical, that style (and voice) are almost always in the service of character and story.

Where are you, right now, as you’re writing these answers?
I’m upstairs, in my apartment in Iowa City. The window behind my desk looks down on Gilbert Street, with a Victorian house across the street, and beside that a cornery grocery that specializes in wine.

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