Saturday, May 30, 2009

Zombie Name Contest?

Thanks to all of you who have sent in entries! My kids are having a blast with this!

I have to tell you that I was very close to cancelling the contest in favor of naming the zombie Kanye. As in Kanye West. Mainly because of this delicious quote:

"Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed," West said. "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books."

That just sounds like the comment of someone who is in search of braiiiinns. But I realized that I'd be doing a disservice to my new buddy if I named him Kanye, so hopefully one of you will provide a better name.

And hopefully, booksellers around the world will read Kanye's quote and recognize it for what it is, a call for illiteracy, a celebration of anti-intellectualism, and lose his books in the backroom.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Name That Zombie Contest

I went over my Dad's house yesterday to pick up my kids and he told me that he got me a gift to commemorate the publication of my second book. I knew I was in for something special when I looked over at the kids, who were giggling over in the corner with their grandmother, who was shaking her head.

You see my Dad, he's a little...different. The good kind of different. He's spent a good portion of his retirement literally travelling the globe to ride roller coasters. Yes, seriously. He's been to Japan, China, Korea, Russia, all over Europe and America. I guess there's a website where you can keep track of the number of unique coasters you've ridden, and he's ranked somewhere in the top ten. So yeah, he's a special kind of crazy.

But he's also extremely generous, having supplied my youth with bushel baskets full of comic books, records, and science fiction novels, so I knew when he had a gift for me--and that look in his eye--it would be something special. It wouldn't be a bottle of wine, another copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go!, or a coffee cup with that ubiquitous Thoreau quote.

Instead, it was a zombie.

That's him bursting out of the tomato patch, in case you couldn't tell.

I don't know what I find more hilarious, the fact that he bought me a zombie, or that he actually bought it from Sky Mall! I don't think I know anyone else who's ever bought anything from Sky Mall.

The kids, of course, instantly fell in love with the new addition to our happy home, and we decided that this was a great opportunity to have a blog contest:


All you have to do is post on the blog and let us know what you think his name should be. The winner will get either the UK edition of
Generation Dead or the US paperback edition, winner's choice. My kids are the judges, and we'll pick the winner June 15th.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I LOVED Houston! Thanks again to Blue Willow Bookshop for sponsoring me, and to Hastings School for having me.

In not particular order, a few of my favorite things about the day I spent there--

1. The kids--the kids at Hastings had all read the book, and asked some of the best questions on the books and on writing that I've had yet!
2. Meeting Danielle, and Danielle, and Danielle's Dad. Danielle writes a great book blog called The Book Blogger and you can check it out HERE. Yay, Danielles!
3. Meeting Facebook friend Amy. Hi, Amy!
4. Coming off the plane and seeing a sporting goods store named after Clyde Drexler. Clyde the Glide is my all-time favorite basketball player.
5. Along those lines, watching Houston beat the Lakers when in Houston was pretty cool, too.
6. Meeting Raschel! Raschel is the administrator of the Generation Dead message board over at THE VIRTUAL HAUNTED HOUSE, and I did my first video interview with her while at Blue Willow! Thank you thank you Raschel!
7. I had dinner at the Galleria, which is this block-long megamall near the hotel I stayed at. I ate at a Mexican cafe overlooking the ice rink--yes, the ice rink--where people were skating, including an adorable six year old girl who did a show. Mmm, cilantro. I do love the cilantro.
8. Lisa the Hastings librarians' pralines!

Note: I did have toast in Texas, although I don't believe it was Texas toast.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Website! Plus, Zombies...On Tour

Having a lovely time--many thanks to Kennedy Jr. High and Traughber Jr. High in Chicago and Hastings Jr. High in Houston for having me. And also to the wonderful staff of Anderson's Bookshop for having me. I go to Blue Willow Books tonight!

I'll probably write more extensively about the trip when I have more time (and more sleep) but here are, in no particular order, a few of the best things about my time in Chicago:

1. The kids
2. Seeing my friend Martel, with whom I ate my first Chicago deep dish pizza in a few years.
3. Meeting Delaney the Undead, one of the first and most frequent posters to my blog! Yay!
4. My media guide Judy, with whom I had my second Chicago deep dish pizza
5. Chicago deep dish pizza
6. Everyone at Anderson's. I went home with two books from Anderson's--Oblivion by David Foster Wallace, which they gave to me as a gift!--and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, edited by David Eggers.
7. Seeing that the new website that Hyperion created for the Generation Dead series is now live! Check it out!

Click the link:


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Please Release Me

Kiss of Life came out today, in fine stores everywhere. At least I hope it did--I haven't visited any fine stores today because I flew to Chicago. I did have a fine deep dish pizza, though. I wrote for awhile at the airport and on the plane and listed to the new Bell Rays CD which is quite good. I've got a great hotel room, and earlier I was watching some guys play Bocce on the lawn under my window. I was never a big fan of Bocce, I'll take a Frisbee any day. Or Jarts. Does anyone remember Jarts? I think they are illegal now. Basically Jarts were lawn darts, these foot long fleched missiles with sharp tungsten tips that were designed to bore through concrete. The idea was that you'd lob the Jart in the air and try to land it in this yellow hoop which was maybe a foot in diameter, but usually you killed your dog or your kid brother instead. I think in 1979 alone there were 62,342 human and 179,331 canine Jart related deaths. And those were just the accidents.

Tomorrow I get to speak at two schools and then talk and hopefully "move some product" (e.g. sell books) at Anderson's Bookshop. Then--and here's the fun part--I get to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to catch my flight to Houston the next day so I can speak at another school. The zombie author might actually be a zombie author after getting up at 3:30 a.m. I'm not known as an early riser.

But that's why the good Lord encouraged man to invent coffee. And Texas Toast. What would a trip to Houston be without Texas Toast?

Zombie or not, I intend to have big, Texas-sized fun. And Texas Toast.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Different Kind of Tour

I'm feeling a little ragged today, as I was up way past my bedtime last night at a concert--76% Uncertain, Electric Frankenstein, the Bell Rays, and the Damned. I've written before of my love of the Damned, and once again they did not disappoint. I was at the front of the stage, right between Captain Sensible's monitor and Dave Vanian's mic stand, and I was instructed by the roadie to help the good Captain with the song titles on the setlist because "he's blind as a bat". The show went out over the inter-waves yesterday via streaming video, so I'm interested to see if they archive it. They played many of the best cuts off the new album, as well as a few older favorites like "Blackout", "Love Song," and "A Brand New Day".

And the Bell Rays! Holy crow, the Bell Rays. Absolutely phenomenal.

Speaking of tours, mine begins in just a few days. In addition to a few school visits, I'll be at

Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL at 7:00, May 13


Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX at 4:30, May 14

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Contest! And, All My Innermost Secrets....Revealed!

Not really. The secrets, I mean...there actually is a new interview with me posted HERE at the Imperial Beach Library Teen Blog, which has a number of fantastic reviews and interviews with YA authors. Check it out on this rainy Sunday. Unless it isn't a rainy Sunday where you are; in that case go for a bike ride and save the blog for a rainy Monday.

But either way, enter the contest! The winner gets a copy of the soon to be released Kiss of Life!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tour Stop #1: The Whitman Library

The Whitman Library was a blast. A number of people showed up in costume, including one girl who came as Phoebe! Yay! She was an adorable Phoebe and if I was filming a movie I would have cast her straightaway. A woman that I went to high school with also came, which was awesome--we hadn't seen each other since high school which was...which was a long time ago! Very cool! And I spoke and we ate nachos and I broke a window and they asked me questions and we had vegetarian ice cream and and and...

It was a great event, and a great way to kick off the travels. Many many thanks to the Whitman library and Becca and Becky for having me.

And check this out--here's Becca and Becky bookending a couple teen readers that Becky zombified. The guy is "I" from I am Legend and the girl is Bella from Twilight as zombies! Har har!

I guess they are Romero-type brain eating zombies, judging from the chin blood. Maybe the feasted upon my brains? Which would explain why they still look hungry.

Thanks again to every who came to the event.

In other news, the Salem, MA event is a go--I'll be at Cornerstone Books at 7:00 on Friday, June 5th. Hope to see you there in one of America's spookiest towns!