Tag Archives: 13 rue Thérèse

a blue mist

Jonathan Harker may be my favorite dumbass in English literature.  His finest moment comes early in his sojourn in Dracula’s castle.  The count visits him in his room while he’s shaving.  Wolves are howling right outside (“Children of the night, what music they make!”), there is a blue mist creeping everywhere, and when Dracula notices that Jonathan sees that he casts no reflection in the shaving mirror, he shatters it with his mind.

Jonathan’s reaction: oh no!  Now I can’t shave.

I felt a bit like that when I woke up this morning and noticed that there was an uptick in the number of visitors to my blog.  Where did they come from?  The link in my stats read “The New Yorker.”  Surely that couldn’t be right.  I clicked.

My reaction: huh.  Well, this explains the increased traffic to my blog.

Followed by an intense surge of nausea, which is how I react to all strong emotions, especially the positive ones.  So–wow.  That was amazing.  So–this is what it feels like to be caught in the gaze of an animal much bigger than me.  (Hello!  You are a stunning entity.  Please don’t bite.)

Inadvertently brilliant casting, or just brilliant? Discuss.

Advertisements

a new artifact

After practically exploding with impatience after seeing the squeeing from my publisher about how pretty the book is, I have received an actual physical copy of 13 rue Thérèse.  After so many years, it has finally leapt out of my head and materialized.  Here it is, a dream image made real.  Amazing.

My husband is next to me right now, flipping through it like it’s a…  it’s a BOOK.  Holy shit.

It is really beautiful, smashing work on the part of the publisher.  The colors, visuals, texture of the paper, everything.  It is truly the object I imagined it might be.  It even smells nice!

I am going to go around carrying this thing everywhere like a child with a security blanket.  When the whole box of them comes, I will have to celebrate in some cathartic way.  Maybe pile them up on my desk and snort them like Al Pacino in Scarface?  Damn, no: too big to snort.  Pour them out on my bed and roll around naked in them?  Wait–ow–too many corners.  Hmmm.  I’ll have to figure out something.  I can’t believe this thing exists!

Here it is, just-a-existin’:

Other cool stuff: this article on Shelf Awareness about the awesome website, and a wonderful review of the book on Alison’s Bookmarks that made me feel all squishy.  Okay, bye!  I have to go hug my baby some more.

A resolution, a review and… warped gravity!

I am publicly making a new year’s resolution: In 2011 I will write a full draft of In the Red.  It may suck, but it’s happening.  Hopefully at this time next year I will not be writing a sad blog post about how extravagantly short I fell of that goal.

13-rue-Thérèse-wise, I just got a review on Booklist, a mostly good one.  Since it is behind a pay wall, I can’t link to it, so I will quote the best bit here:

This ambitious first novel…At turns truly exciting and overflowing with imagination,…is full of intriguing characters…  Puzzle-lovers will be curious to check out the book’s online counterpart, in which they can view 3-D versions of the book’s images.

Yay!  I think that is the last of the pre-pub reviews in industry papers.  I am glad they mentioned the website because it is shaping up to be ferociously awesome.  It will come online January 7.

Meanwhile I just got back from a tiny holiday in Santa Cruz, where I got to visit with an old friend, witness sea lions doing alternately endearing and disgusting things, and experienced radically altered gravity.  That last one was at the Mystery Spot.  My husband and I were prepared to be underwhelmed (being inveterate skeptics) but it was really, really weird, and thus I recommend it.  If you’re into the idea of feeling like you need a barf bag while standing still on solid ground, it will rock your world.  The warped pendulum was especially cool.

The property was purchased in 1939 by a dude who wanted to build a summer home, and the guy who sold him the lot insisted that he also buy a big piece of land up the side of the hill even though it was unbuildable.  The man who absolutely had to shed the property lacked capitalist vision.  The purchaser, however, did not.  And thus, an amusing tourist trap was born–because who wouldn’t pay five bucks to watch a billiard ball roll the wrong way up an incline?

 

Addendum, after being told, “duh, don’t you know mystery spots are just optical illusions:” It doesn’t interest me whether they are “real” or not.  All I’m saying is that I got a sense of the uncanny there that was well worth the admission price.  I am not angry with the director of House of Wax for not having actually thrown a stake through Paris Hilton’s head.  (Wait, come to think of it, maybe I kind of am…)

Publishers Weekly cool book stuff!

Today a Q & A with me came out in Publishers Weekly! Yay!  They also gave me a lovely review that I can’t figure out how to get a permalink to, but it is easy to get to from the interview: you just have to click the title of my book in the article.  So, I am excited.  I am also excited about 13ruetherese.com.  I’ve already put in it my sidebar though it still only features a “coming soon” banner.  But when it comes, it is going to be COOL.  The website people are doing a beautiful job.

So, I met a friend for lunch.  She randomly proposed we go to San José to surprise a dude she hadn’t seen since high school who owns a beauty salon there.  I said sure.  We mapped the place with my iphone but when we got there, there was a ballet school where the beauty shop should have been.  We asked the people there where the beauty shop might be.  We were told that we were on North First Street, that maybe the address was on South First Street.  We meandered to South First Street, where we found a beauty shop with a different name that had no entrance.  When we finally figured out how to get in (via the luxury hotel next door), we were told that the other beauty shop did not exist.  We called the phone number we had listed for the mystery beauty shop.  It rang and rang and no one answered.  We turned a corner and there was a carnival.  We rode a Ferris wheel that used to belong to Michael Jackson.

The above was not a weird, meandering dream, but my actual day.  We also got hit on a lot by carnies.

Whoa, the colors…

Developments!

(1) This blog now has its own pimptastic domain name!  Welcome to elenamaulishapiro.com.  Aw yeah.  If you click on the link, it will take you…  where you are.  I know.  Life is like that.

(2) I just got my very first review ever for 13 rue Thérèse, on Library Journal.  It is here (you’ll have to scroll a bit to find me).  I had a tiny heart attack when I got to the word VERDICT in red all-caps like that, as if they were going to take me out back and execute me.  But, the verdict is positive, so, huzzah!  And with a comparison to the awesome Nick Bantock!  Huzzah x2!  And I can finally say I’ve had press.  Oooooooh I’m going to put it on my Press page right now.

Sweet.

(3) I printed out what I have of my next book so far, about 20,000 words.  (Somewhere around 80 pages)  It felt good to see it on paper, because when you’re just typing away on a Microsoft document, it doesn’t feel like you’re actually making any progress.  Also I got terribly stuck and needed to read it through, to see if I could see any semblance of structure emerging from my pile of fragments.  I realized today that a lot of the stuff I’ve been writing lately actually belongs way in the beginning, so that’s nice.  After I’ve finished marking it up, there will be much shuffling.

(4) You can make colorsAll over your text! Wheeeeeeeee! Doing this repeatedly would not at all get annoying!

(Sorry, I just discovered this making VERDICT all scary and red to mimic the typesetting on the Library Journal site…  I will attempt to contain myself in the future.  But I can make no promises.)

Here is the UK cover!

now it is my turn to say Squee

The headline above was the subject line of an e-mail I got from my editor this morning (I type “Squee” often when excited).  Her e-mail read:

Because we just got galleys!!  And they look GORGEOUS.  There are a few images that printed a bit dark, so we’ll make notes and see what can be done to fix them for the final (may have to reshoot some of the coins, in particular).

There is also an unusual mistake – the spin printed with RA/LB logo, but no title or author.  This is not great, obviously, but not the worst thing ever – we’ll sticker them before we send out any copies to reviewers, bloggers, etc.

I only got one early copy but the rest will be here in a day or so and we’ll send some your way.

My reply:

So this morning I had a writer’s wet dream.  I wrote this truly inspired paragraph (I really wish I could remember what it was about, all I remember is that it featured apples in some way) and when I hit the final period I felt this gentle tap on my shoulder.  I turned and there was JM Coetzee, who scooted me out of the chair and proceeded to write an extensive and very loving critique of said paragraph, which he signed “John Maxwell C.”  Then I woke up and there were GALLEYS AT MY DOOR.

Seriously, if I smoked, I think I’d have to light one up.

EeeeEEEEEEEeeeeEEEEEeeeee.

See, he wrote “John Maxwell C” instead of “JM Coetzee” because he loves me and only me.  My editor wrote back:

Ha!  But wait – do you mean galleys really WERE at your door, or is that part of the dream thing?

At which point I completely lost in the ability to format or punctuate properly:

They’re really heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere

And my editor exploded into capital letters and question marks:

OH!!!  So – don’t they look AMAZING???  I mean, aside from the stuff you hate that we’re fixing??  I can’t stop admiring mine.

Then I passed out:

indeed forsooth yea and verily