On MySpace

So, last week (while I was on my way to the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival), I got a phone call. It seems MySpace wanted to feature my blog on the MySpace Books page.

Well, after a few days of figuring out what to write about and coordinating with the folks at MySpace, the blog is up and prominently displayed on the MySpace Books page!

Some of you may have mixed feelings about MySpace. My opinion is that it’s like any other piece of technology — it has the potential for good or for ill, depending on how it’s used. I just can’t see a downside to this sort of exposure.

I had a lot of fun writing the piece and I’m currently discussing the possibility of further entries with MySpace. We’ll see how this goes.

Lost: Necessity

Not much to say this week. This particular episode wasn’t good, wasn’t bad. It was just necessary.

Basically, this served as a bridge episode, setting up certain elements to prepare for next week. (And, hopefully, beyond. Though this show has displayed a disturbing tendency to set up pitches and then let them fly by.)

Most interesting tidbit this week? Juliet’s claim that she had never seen the smoke monster before. And yet she knew exactly how to stop it. Strange.

Just before the preview for next week came on, I thought to myself, “If they don’t grill Juliet for everything she knows, I am SO finished with this show.” So I was gratified to see Sayid threatening Juliet for information. Then again, for a torturer and alleged bad-ass, Sayid has actually proven pretty terrible at getting information out of people. Yeah, he tortured the hell out of Sawyer in Season 1, but his run at Ben (“Henry Gale”) in Season 2 didn’t accomplish much. I want to see Sayid get everything there is to get out of Juliet.

While I enjoyed the “lame con” Hurley pulled on Sawyer, it’s ultimately meaningless with Jack coming back next week. It’s nice to see that someone was thinking ahead (and it connected last week’s seemingly disconnected episode as Hurley’s reason for his con), but it’s just moot.

Oh — Locke going with the Others? Veeeery interesting. I wonder if we’ve seen the last of him for a while. I hope not — Locke’s character is just starting to be redeemed. If he does return, then he must know a hell of a lot about the Others, and I swear if the writers pull an amnesia out of their butts to explain away that knowledge… Ugh.

We’ll see what happens next week. Looks like a Juliet flashback. She’s a new character and we’ve already had plenty of Juliet this season, so let’s hope it’s worth it.

UPDATE: In the cold, clear light of morning, this just occurred to me: Are they really going to pack up and leave Otherville? Um, there are houses there, people! There’s infrastructure! Move in a bunch of folks and who knows what you might discover? Plus, there’s a friggin’ security fence that keeps out the bad guys! If next week’s episode doesn’t have a damn good explanation as to why they’re not just going back to the beach to gather everyone up and move them to a safe haven…I’ll be very concerned.

river’s end bookstore

The day after the Teen Book Festival, I hopped in the car and drove an hour and half (ish) to Oswego, NY. (I got a tiny bit lost along the way, but no harm, no foul. Turns out my AAA directions were…lacking.)

The story of how I ended up in Oswego is sort of atypical. See, Banna Rubinow at the river’s end bookstore had read an advance copy of the novel. She liked it a lot and said so on the store’s web site. I saw the mention and asked if I could quote her on the Fanboy site. From there, we started corresponding semi-regularly. When Banna found out I was going to be in Fairport for the book festival, she asked (I was going to say “demanded,” but she was very polite!) if I could find time to come to Oswego, too.

Let me think about this… I’m in the area anyway… Do I have time to go to a store that is enthusiastic about my work? I gave the matter all five seconds it needed, then said yes!

In advance of the trip, some of the local and regional papers covered my event, which was very cool! (Authors: If the river’s end invites you to attend, go! They get advance publicity for you like you wouldn’t believe!) The Syracuse Post-Standard interviewed me and then posted the stuff that wouldn’t fit in print online. Beyond cool!

Fitting for April Fools’ Day, the gods decided to prank me — not only did I get lost, but it also rained all day. The good guys still won, though — the store had a nice crowd gathered to hear me speak. I did my “stump presentation” on the history and importance of geeks, then read a little bit from Fanboy before taking questions and signing books.

I have to say — the coolest thing about events like this is the chance to meet great people. The gang at the river’s end was just terrific. I felt like I’d walked into a five-star hotel, not a bookstore! I had a cup of hot tea in my hands almost before I finished saying hello, just the trick on a cold and rainy day.

If you’re ever in Oswego or nearby, check out this store! It’s an absolutely beautiful shop and its location is unbeatable — right on the corner of a busy intersection in downtown Oswego. Owners Bill and Mindy Reilly and their staff do a terrific job making visitors feel at home.

The staff weren’t the only cool people in attendance, though! The audience had some great questions and seemed to enjoy the talk and the reading. If my signing hand is any indication, they stuck around to buy copies of the book, too, so I hope they all enjoyed it!

If you guys in Oswego are reading this… Thanks for such a great time! I really thought that after the book festival I would be too tired to have fun in Oswego, but as soon as I walked into the store, I felt this amazing burst of energy and it was like I’d just come back from a relaxing vacation!

Pictures from the event in Oswego are in the Gallery on the Fanboy site. Click on the shot of the ladies of the river’s enddecked out in Goth regalia to get there!


Barry with the Goth Girls of the river's end

Teen Book Festival 2007 – Updated!

I attended the Teen Book Festival in Fairport, NY this past weekend (Saturday, March 31, to be specific).

I don’t think I can adequately explain how damn much fun I had! Really. I mean, I’ve been to events before where I felt like a rock star, but this was the first time I felt like a god! (OK, maybe a demi-god.)

Festival Goddess Stephanie Squicciarini deserves an award, a plaque, a week at a spa, and a handsome cabana boy named Paolo by her side 24/7 in honor of her heroic efforts. Her crack squad of volunteers deserves the same. (OK, they might have to share Paolo, but that’s OK.)

It was great to see ten other YA authors, so many of whom I’ve admired for a while now. I knew David Levithan and Lauren Myracle from last year’s Texas Book Festival and it was great to catch up with them. And I was so happy to meet other cool folks like Nancy Werlin and Terry Trueman! Newbery winner Linda Sue Park even stopped by Saturday night to chat with us…and to cause a near-heart attack in yours truly when she  said she’d actually READ MY BOOK! Whoa!

Cecil has pictures, including the infamous “author flower.”

My pics are on the Fanboy site — you can see ’em in the Gallery.

Too many good times to recap them all. It was great to meet Terry, who’s buds with MY bud Terry Davis. It was great to talk business and art and that strange place where the two intersect with people who have been at this longer than I have. It was even great to bore poor David to tears by talking comics ALL NIGHT LONG with Cecil.

UPDATE: The folks at the TBF have posted pictures from the event in a flickr account . Check ’em out — more will probably be added later as other attendees add their pics.

Syracuse Post-Standard Interview Pt. II

Wow! I talk a lot.

The Syracuse Post-Standard’s web site has posted even more of the interview Laura Ryan conducted with me in advance of my trip to Oswego (tomorrow!). I really didn’t realize I blathered on so much!

You can find the original interview as it appeared in print here.

The additional supplemental material lives here.

Thanks to Laura for a fun interview!