November 10, 2008
One of my many Famous Author duties is to go where the readers are, there to claw desperately at their attention. So it was that I spent Saturday in a bear suit at Portland’s third annual Wordstock Book Festival — specifically, at the trade-show portion of it, held at the oppressively dull Oregon Convention Center.
There, I delivered cheer to a huge trade show of publishers, authors and sponsors, in the form of a Stimulus Package specially crafted by the Portland Lit Offensive to prop up the spiritual economy of this festival. I got to hand out over a hundred of these ‘zines, using the awesome opening line “Can I offer you a billion dollars?” (The Stimulus Package itself can be read online in PDF format, here.)
Many excellent local and visiting authors braved the institutional tedium to read their works throughout the day. The picture above shows my friend Kevin Sampsell, publisher of Future Tense Books and author of Creamy Bullets and numerous other short fictions, who read excerpts from his coming memoir of childhood secrets. To his left (that’s your right) is Barb Klansic, AKA my other friend, director of “Writer’s Block“, an improv event wherein her crack team of comedians completed the unfinished short stories of lazy authors, live on stage. In this shot, Kevin and Barb have just smuggled me into the Guest Author Snack Area. Moments later we feasted on delicious lobster-stuffed prime rib, washed down by a ribald yet poignant ’96 Chateau Nom de Plume.
Later that day I got to see Johnathan Hodgman read from his newest book of meaningless trivia, “More Information Than You Require”. Because Johnathan is a minor TV celebrity, his book sales are guaranteed! Nevertheless, he’s a very good reader and a charming guy.