Roundup of February Blog Tour Interviews and Reviews for The Devils That Have Come to Stay

It’s been such an exciting month! I released my first novel into the world on February 2nd, I launched it at The Bureau of General Services — Queer Division on February 13th (pictures to come!), and I’ve been all over the blogosphere doing interviews and getting reviews this month. In case you missed them, I’m just going to do a little round up right here on The Baffled King Composing.

Emma Caterine did a great interview for Topside Press’s Topside Spotlight. We talked about race, gender, and the acid western genre.

Lynn Kanter did a great review and interview at her blog Start With a Story, and listed me as one of 30 Women Novelists to Know. Thanks, Lynn!

Not focused on my book, G.G. Andrew does a series in which writers pick a book or story on a topic and discuss it. Here, I talked about Italo Calvino’s “Without Colors” for her Most Romantic Story topic.

G.G. also did an interview with me, which I was really proud to take part in. In her Writers Who Read series, I talk about the books that influenced me as an adult and child, working at Strand Books in NYC, and where I do my reading.

Kelly Smith did a short review in which she gave my book 4 out of 5 stars.

Another interview on Mary Fan’s Zigzag Timeline. In this one, I talk about becoming an author because my mom took me to the library a lot as a kid. Great memories!

I also played a fun game of literary “Would You Rather?” over on The Next Best Book Club’s blog.

That’s it for now, but hopefully more to come soon!

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Review of The Devils That Have Come to Stay on Small Press Picks

Today, the first review of my book, The Devils That Have Come to Stay, went up on Small Press Picks, a great site that focuses on books from small and micro publishers. Beth Castrodale calls my book “starkly beautiful, poetic.”

Read the full review and an interview with me here.

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Wonder

Some questions have no answers, and until they do we wonder about them. Why do cats purr? How do magnets work? Why is yawning contagious?

Then there are the questions that we used to wonder about, to search out answers for, that we now have answers to at the press of a button. For example, you’re sitting around with your friends. Someone wonders what album a song they really liked came out on, and in what year. Because of the internet, because of easy storage of music files in devices, all you have to do is pick up your phone and the answer is yours. Years ago, people would have gotten up of their couch and gone through their record collection, or called up their friend who had all this stuff stored away in their head, or maybe even called a record store. The answers would have come from physical things in the real world.

Obviously, I’m no luddite. I think it’s awesome that we have so much information about so many topics so readily available. But I miss this sense that I had, as a young person, of seeking things out, looking for answers in the world around me, and talking to people about questions I had. I feel like that’s something that’s being lost.

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Music Project

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It’s kind of awesome being in a relationship with another artist most days — we “get” each other in ways that non-artist partners haven’t in the past, we are both more about pursuing careers that are more callings and passions than money-making endeavors, we know to leave each other alone when we’re working and celebrate when we’ve finished something important. But even better than the day-to-day aspects for being married to another artist are points when your art comes together.

My partner Mya and I are writing a series of songs together based on my novel. We’re co-writing the lyrics and she is writing the music (she’s about 100 times the musician I am!).  We’re going to be performing them at my book launch party, which happens on Friday, February 13th at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division, which resides in the LGBTQ center at 208 West 13th Street in Manhattan.

There’s a million songs that have inspired us in this endeavor. Tom Waits and Nick Cave and Townes Van Zandt. In fact, here’s a few of them:

And here are the lyrics to one of the songs we’ve written, based on a scene in the novel and sung from the perspective of an Old West sex worker (video to follow soon!):

Watching the Fire

Men come and go, they pass through the door,
I’ll see them again, I’ve seen them before.
Their wants are many, their needs without end,
Some want a woman, some just need a friend.

There is a window, through which I’ve seen much
Too close for comfort, too far to touch.
There I’ve watched fire, I’ve seen dreams burn
And the men keep coming; they always return.

I’ve watched flame growing, I’ve heard men shout
I’ve felt their heartbeats and blown candles out.
But There are some blazes that cannot be stayed.
No water can touch them, no man make them fade.

And through this window, I’ve seen a city rise,
I watched it burn down as if hypnotized.
I watched the fire, I watched reams burn
Still the men keep coming, they always return.

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Acid Western Resurgence?

I think anyone who reads this blog is pretty aware of how enamored I am with Acid Westerns. So enamored that I wrote my own, which is coming out in about a month (!). But it turns out mine is not the only Acid Western due out in 2015. There is both a film made in the UK and a novel from indie press Two Dollar Radio set to make their debuts next year as well. This is pretty interesting considering that the film genre was at its heyday about 40 years ago. So is this a little resurgence of the genre? I’m pretty excited if it is.

The film, Stranger, is being made in the UK and stars Gypsy Lee Pistolero. The trailer can be found here:

 

The other novel in that’s due out in mid-2015 is called Haints Stay. It was written by Colin Winnette, whose work has appeared in McSweeney’s and Gulf Coast Magazine, and who’s won the Donald Barthelme Prize in the past. All that, and he’s said in an interview that he’s highly influenced by Oulipo. I am so excited to read this book, which, I must admit, I just got a proof of from Colin.

I can only hope that more and more works like these get added to the Acid Western canon. And I’m also excited that on February 1st, I’ll have my own little place in that canon, too.

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Add Holiday Cheer with East Village Night Shift Egg Nog, circa 2001

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You know that Tom Waits song “Christmas Cards from A Hooker in Minneapolis”? Well, if I could rewrite that song, it would be called “Christmas Cards from a Server in the East Village in ’01,” and it would be about my first Christmas Eve in New York City. I was living in Bushwick, Brooklyn, about 15 years before it would become the 7th coolest neighborhood in the world. This was after someone broke into my car and removed the steering column, but before my roommate got knifed by a mugger outside our door and we celebrated that he wasn’t killed with a bottle of champagne. There weren’t a lot of businesses around the neighborhood looking to hire a 19-year-old from Pennsylvania, so I had gotten a job just a short ride away on the L train in the East Village. It was at a cafe that was written into the play Rent back in the 90s because Jonathan Larson used to hang out there. The staff was all artists—writers like myself, painters, puppeteers, musicians. We all abused the “one free drink after a shift” policy with the fervor of broke alcoholics, and I woke up in Canarsie more than one morning at 3 am. The manager had a past as a rock and roll groupie, and claimed to have banged Lou Reed several times in the 70s. She was eventually overthrown and replaced by one of the bartenders in a coup not unlike the dive bar version of MacBeth.

But she was still there that Christmas Eve. And, as the person on the staff with the least experience and the least seniority, I was scheduled to be there, too. The place was empty and our one customer left me a note instead of a tip that said I’d ruined his Christmas by telling him I couldn’t refund a drink he’d already drank all of. We drank way too much egg nog while my former-groupie manager talked about the past and I, I’m sure, tried not to sound like I was nineteen.

Sometimes, even though I’m fourteen years older, live in the decidedly unhip borough of Queens, and have a job where I don’t have to work on Christmas, I still think fondly of being nineteen and drinking egg nog with an old rock groupie with dyed red hair in a dive that’s long since closed up it’s door, like almost all the places I loved in the East Village have. And here, to that memory, I present you with a holiday drink that brings me back to that time (written with my partner, another early aughts East Village alum, Mya Byrne).

East Village Night Shift Egg Nog, c. 2001

  1. Drink the rest of the bourbon out of the bottle left over from after your shift. Shudder.
  2. Wake up.

  3. Go to the Food Bazaar on Myrtle Avenue.
  4. Purchase Tuscan brand egg nog.
  5. Buy a hip flask of Bacardi for the nog and a slightly cheaper and smaller bottle of bourbon than you would normally buy because you bought rum for the nog.
  6. Go home.
  7. Open rum, add to egg nog. Sip.
  8. Remember that you hate egg nog.
  9. Open bourbon. Drink neat or on the rocks. Leave rum on shelf for six months til you forget to buy bourbon.
  10. Go to work.

photo credit: j-sin via photopin cc

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Annotated Advance Reader’s Copies Contest

It’s t-minus 71 days until my book is released and I’m doing a special give away on Goodreads. I’m putting a bunch of time an effort into annotating three copies of my proof. I’m adding notes about my writing process, my research, and other interesting factoids. It’s a artist-made, personalized early-release copy of the book, and there will only be three of them out there in the world. The project is an absolute labor of love from me to those interested enough to be early readers of this novel.

Enter the giveaway here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Devils That Have Come to Stay by Pamela DiFrancesco

The Devils That Have Come to Stay

by Pamela DiFrancesco

Giveaway ends December 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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