First of all, I owe you a big smacking slobbering thank-you kiss.
You see, a couple of months ago, I laid myself at your feet and begged your help on my next book. (The book, I mean, that will come AFTER the soon-to-be-released SCHOOL OF NIGHT.) I had been going round and round with my editor about what I should write about, and my well had run dry, and in frustration, I threw it open to you guys and – in all due seriousness – vowed to name a character after anybody who could come up with the Right Idea.
For my efforts, I was mocked by the Boston Globe’s Brainiac.
But I care not! Because in response to my plea, I received an astonishing outpouring of erudition and creativity – and, behind it all, genuine kindness.
And then something weird happened. I came up with an idea on my own. And my editor liked it. And off I go.
But it is a little disappointing not to be able to make good on my initial offer – unless I can find some way to name a character Reader. And I just might.
Please know that all your suggestions were deeply welcome and that I have by no means disregarded or discarded any of them. (A writer saves everything.) Unless, of course, you want to use them yourselves!
And now after all this, maybe you’re wondering what exactly is the subject of Opus Next? A combination of superstition and ignorance prevents me from disclosing too much. I will say only that, despite the parameters I mentioned in my last post, the book will have nothing to do with voodoo, and it will be set not in New Orleans but in Alsace-Lorraine. (Where, of course, I will have to do extensive research because that’s the sacrifice I make for my art.) I look forward to keeping you apprised of my progress – which is bound to be slow.
So – again – thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who responded.
IN THE MEANTIME … the finished and ready-to-go THE SCHOOL OF NIGHT will be rolling out in late March 2011! Some book-related appearances are already listed on this site, and I will be updating my calendar as more events are scheduled.
If you feel like getting nudged at regular intervals, feel free to friend me on Facebook – either Louis Bayard the Author (the page I started) or Louis Bayard is Badass (founded not by me, I promise, but by the delightful Eleanor Rapp). You can also follow me on Twitter. And on a side note, if you’re an “Amazing Race” fan, I am recapping the show every Sunday night for the Los Angeles Times Show Tracker blog.
The major event of this past month was going to Paris with my family for the rollout of the French translation of “The Black Tower” (“La Tour Noire”). Among the highlights:
** meeting my French translator, the estimable Jean-Luc Piningre
** conducting radio and TV interviews in French – a serious test of my extremely modest linguistic skills. (You can judge the results for yourself.)
** going with my son to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I know, I know, a tourist cliché – but when you’re doing it with your kid, it’s not a cliché anymore
** watching my boys jump on trampolines in the Tuileries Gardens
** presenting a French literary award – in French – to an Argentinian novelist who owns a bar in Madrid called Le Bukowski and who showed up for the occasion in a doo rag. And who ignored my outstretched hand. And who smelled like feet.
I hope you all have wonderful, peaceful holidays, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the New Year!