Wednesday, May 27, 2009

AWESOME book trailer for THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan!

This is one of the scariest book trailers I have ever seen for one of the most frightening books I've ever read: The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. What's The Strain? Think of it this way: Imagine that Michael Crichton had rewritten Salem's Lot, added scary (plausible) science and then set the whole damned thing down in Manhattan. (And I guarantee that after you read this, you will never look at airports the same way, either.) Enjoy the trailer! (It stars Roy Dotrice! How cool is that?)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Towel Day!

Today is Towel Day, a day where Nerds, Geeks and Hoopy Froods of all stripes pay homage to writer Douglas Adams and his brilliant series of Hitchhiker's Guide books. Towel Day (and its accompanying slogan "Don't Panic!") has been celebrated every May 25th since Adams' death at the age of 49 in May of 2001; with each passing year, it gains more and more followers. This year, because of Twitter, it seems to be taking off like crazy. It's been funny watching #towelday race neck and neck with #SusanBoyle on Twitter's trending topics. (Also, in case you didn't know, "Don't Panic!" has become the unofficial slogan of the entire publishing industry of late.)

Why a towel?
A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
I met Douglas Adams once and shared lunch with him when he came to speak at Stacey's Bookstore many years ago for the Starship Titanic tour. He and his co-writer Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) led about 500 of our bookstore customers (and our general manager!) in a sing-a-long, which was completely hilarious. Years later, when I was at Del Rey Books, I was lucky enough to be able to work on the PR for the Hitchhiker's Guide backlist, as well as the omnibus Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, and the Douglas Adams biography, Wish You Were Here by Nick Webb.

Last September, Adams' widow, Jane Belson, stirred up a bit of controversy among Adams' fans and in the SF/F book community when she gave noted children's writer Eoin Colfer (best known for his Artemis Fowl series) her blessing to write the sixth (and supposedly final) book in the Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy. (Yes, it's still called a trilogy, which is part of the joke. Adams had often commented that he wanted to end his trilogy with a sixth book and was quoted as saying "I would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note, so five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number.")

The new book, called And Another Thing, is scheduled for release on a one-day laydown on October 12th. It'll be published in the UK by Penguin Books, and here in the United States by Hyperion. Both publishers are aleady going gangbusters with promotions for the new book, but only time will tell whether true Douglas Adams fans will be happy with Colfer's offering. (Meanwhile, Eoin Colfer fans - no slouches in the devoted and obsessive department! - seem to be thrilled at the pairing of Colfer and the Hitchhiker's Guide universe.)

Some fun links for Towel Day:
In the meantime, I'm off to enjoy a frothy Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poll! What color Converse All-Stars should I wear to the Pennwriters Conference?

I'm heading off to the Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh on Thursday morning. And while I do plan to wear grown-up and professional clothes from my ankles up, from my ankles down, it's all about comfort. And comfort means Converse All-Star sneakers. (How can you not love a shoe you can throw in the wash?)

So now I need help choosing: which pair of Converse All-Stars do I bring to the conference? (I'll be wearing a black suit.)

What color Converse All-Stars should Colleen wear to Pennwriters Conference?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An interview with yours truly at Follow the Reader!

I've been meaning to talk about Follow the Reader for a couple of weeks now, the wonderful Netgalley-sponsored book industry blog that's being co-written by publishing veteran Charlotte Abbott and digital marketing guru Kat Meyer.

Last week Charlotte did an amazing interview with PW contributing editor and notable book industry journalist Bethanne Patrick. On Friday afternoons, at 4:00 Eastern Time, Charlotte and Kat also host a great live-Twitter chat about the book industry. (You can follow along by using the #followreader hashtag at or

This week, Kat interviewed yours truly, in an interview where I admit publicly to stealing books as a second grader and also to not being able to learn my times tables. (I blame Catholic school.) We also talked a lot about the book industry and publishing and why y'all should just stop complaining about Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer already! Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.