At Last, The Book Tour

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For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go “on tour.” I loved the idea of traveling from city to city, reading from my very own book for worldly audiences. It sounded romantic. It sounded decadent. Most of all, it sounded really fun. The book tour combines my three favorite pursuits—literature, performance, and wandering around.

At long last, that dream is about to come true. The tour is short, scattered, and largely self-arranged, but I am overjoyed that it is finally happening. Below is the full schedule, which I’ll be updating regularly. If you find yourself in one of these places, and you happen to have a free evening, I’d love to run into you.

Feb. 11

Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston. I’ll be reading from The Green Season about my adventures in Central America. Very excited to read in the country’s most educated city, thanks to my good friend Karyn Polewaczyk and Trident manager Matt LaBombard. Q&A and signing to follow. Visit the event’s Facebook page for details.

Feb. 18

East End Book Exchange, Pittsburgh. I am overjoyed to return to one of my favorite bookstores in Pittsburgh (and maybe anywhere). Huge thanks to owner Lesley Rains for organizing this. Visit the event’s Facebook page for details.

Feb. 19

Arcade Comedy Theater, Pittsburgh. This most unconventional night of the tour: The No Name Players will perform my vintage radio drama, Elizabeth Crowne and the Vaudeville Conspiracy. For it, No Name has rounded up some of my favorite talents in Pittsburgh. The performance is an extension of my new short story collection, The Mysterious Tongue of Dr. Vermilion, and should be a pulpy good time. Visit the event’s Facebook page for details.

March 30 – April 2

TBA, Los Angeles. I’ll be joining an off-site reading during this year’s AWP Conference. Details coming soon!

April 18

Uptown Pubhouse, Flagstaff. I consider myself very lucky to join the Narrow Chimney Reading Series in northern Arizona. I’ll be sharing the night with prolific author Seth Muller. Visit Narrow Chimney’s Facebook page for details about this terrific ongoing series.

June 7

Arizona Humanities Council, Phoenix. In the past year, Phoenix has welcomed me with open arms. AHC runs a regular “author night,” and I will probably be its most ecstatic guest. Enormous thanks to Ellie Hutchison for setting this up. To learn more about this fantastic organization, visit the AHC website.

¡Aquí es! “The Green Season” is Now Available

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Today is a very proud day: My latest book, The Green Season, is at last available. The book is a collection of essays about Costa Rica, where I happily lived and worked for nearly two years. The publisher is The Tico Times Publications Group, a brand-new wing of Central America’s most distinguished English-language newspaper. One version of the book is available in Costa Rica, and the other edition is available in the U.S., and they are both being released today. Continue reading

Scenes from a Madcap Year

IMG_1355In a few short days, 2014 will draw to a close. My first full year in Costa Rica has been madcap and invigorating, but it wasn’t until December—the usual month of reflection—that I realized just how much has transpired in the past 12 months. Even if you take away the less obvious victories (getting hired full-time at The Tico Times, taking a couple of surfing lessons, receiving visits from U.S. friends, and even eating my first bowl of crickets), my life this year reads like a series of headlines. Which I suppose shouldn’t be surprising, since writing headlines is what I do. Continue reading

A Damn Fine Compliment

photo-12A funny bit of trivia: When I first arrived at the University of Pittsburgh in 1997, my goal was to become a Great American Novelist. Pitt has the oldest creative writing program in the nation (a fun distinction, even if it doesn’t really mean anything), and I wanted to study fiction writing. I was salivating to write mind-blowing short stories and books and then publish them everywhere. Since I had odd tastes, I fancied myself the future Umberto Eco. Continue reading