Book Sale!

Indie Crime Crawl copyMy publisher and a few other indie crime publishers are holding a 25% off sale this week, which means that, until Sunday (July 21, 2019), you can get a new copy of Dead Extra directly from my publisher for $12 and free shipping. Here’s the link.

I know you can get a copy on Amazon for $11, and if you buy on Amazon, I appreciate your support. But Amazon really is a horrible company. They brutalize their employees and use predatory and illegal tactics to perpetuate monopoly capitalism. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather you buy Dead Extra on Amazon than not buy my book at all. Still, you have a chance to buy it for a buck more from my publisher, who–unlike Amazon–let’s her employees take bathroom breaks and who–unlike Amazon–is nurturing the publishing industry instead of using it as a loss leader in an attempt toward global domination. Why not take that chance?

This Week in Ventura

Ventura SunsetOn Thursday (June 27, 2019), I’m doing my last event for a while. It’ll be in the Topping Room of the E. P. Foster Library in downtown Ventura at 7:30 PM. I’m looking forward to this one, and not just because I can walk to it.

Ventura has a very vibrant poetry scene, led by Ventura County Poet Laureate Phil Taggart and his wife, Marsha de la O. Both are amazing poets. Both set up cool events all around the county. Their mainstay event is on Thursday nights at the downtown library. Typically, it’s a poetry-only event. I’ve never seen a prose writer at any of their events. Still, they’ve invited me to read passages from Dead Extra. I’m excited to be a part of it.

I’m planning to read a section of the novel that I haven’t read in public before. I’ve been saving this chapter just for this event. So, if you’ve already seen me read from this book, come out anyway. I’ll read you something new. If you haven’t seen me read yet, here’s your last chance. All the information is below.

Sean Carswell reading from his new novel, Dead Extra
EP Foster Library in the Topping Room
Thursday, 6/27/19 at 7:30 PM
651 E. Main Street – Ventura
host: Phil Taggart

Good Fun

Sean Carswell Vermin 2004

Your author at the Mountain Bar, Los Angeles, circa 2004.

I love to do readings. Before I talk about that too much, I should get this plug out of the way: I have a reading coming up at the Barnes & Noble in Ventura on Sunday, June 23 at 1:00 PM. Click this link for more info.

Now, I know most authors hate to do them. A lot of times, authors grudgingly plow through their passages at readings, apparently encountering their words for the first time, barely paying attention to their audience, and generally bumming out everyone. They usually go on way longer than they should even if they’re entertaining. I saw a lot of these readings when I was a young writer (and I still see some, occasionally). I never wanted to be like that.

But also, the nature of how I came up as a writer never allowed me to do that. I started my readings in all punk rock contexts: between bands at shows, in anarchist bookstores, in squats, in bars, and generally in places where the crowd didn’t feel the need to be polite. If you didn’t amuse them, there were consequences.

My first books were on a punk press. I sold them by touring with other zine writers. We’d set up shows anywhere we could. From 1999-2008, I did something like 250 readings in 50-60 cities with dozens of other authors. We learned pretty quickly how to choose the right things to read, how to grab an audience, how to get a laugh, how to embody a story, and basically how to do all those things you need to do to avoid getting heckled. It was a great education. All those audience members willing to give me a chance, to react positively at the good stuff and negatively at the bad stuff, shaped me as a writer.

With this new book, I’ve been doing all the things that authors do these days. I’ve done a few in-conversations, some panel discussions, that kind of thing. But I haven’t had to chance to give an old-school reading. So, for my upcoming event at Barnes & Noble, I begged them to let me do just that. I’m looking forward to it.

However, since I made the big stink about having them let me read, I’m going to need an audience. If you’re in Ventura, please come out. It’s a Sunday afternoon. You’re not busy. You’re not doing anything else. You’ll have a good time. And, if I don’t bring my A game, you’re welcome to heckle, boo, throw beer at me, start a barroom brawl, and all those other things that have happened at other readings I’ve done.

Noir at the Last Bookstore

last bookstore LAMy next event–and the last Los Angeles event for a while–will be at the Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles on June 11. I’ll be part of a group reading that’s co-sponsored by Prospect Park Books (my publisher) and Rare Bird Books (another very cool LA press). Rare Bird is bringing crime writers Doug Cooper, Eric Tarloff, and Frank Strausser. Prospect Park is bringing Phoef Sutton and me. Gary Phillips is hosting.

It should be a great event. If you don’t know who Phoef Sutton is, check out his Crush series. It’s a blast. If you don’t know who Gary Phillips is, check out his Ivan Monk series. It’s rad. And, if you’ve never been to the Last Bookstore, take this chance to go. It’s one of the coolest places in LA.

The event is Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 PM at the Last Bookstore, 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles. The event is free, but the bookstore appreciates it when people buy books in advance. Here’s a link to the tickets (which are actually just pre-ordered books).

Anyone Here from San Diego?

MG BannerMy next event for Dead Extra tomorrow, May 17, at 7:30 PM at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego. I’ll be in conversation with Lisa Brackmann. If you don’t know who Lisa Brackmann is, you should read this review I wrote for her book Go-Between and this review I wrote for her book Black Swan Rising.

Mysterious Galaxy is located at 5943 Balboa Ave., Suite 100, San Diego.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area didn’t get a chance to catch me at the book release earlier this week, don’t fret. I’ll also be reading at Noir at the Bar this coming Saturday, May 18, at the Stand in Pasadena. That event also starts at 7:30. The Stand is located at 36 South El Molino Ave, Pasadena. The event is part of LitFest Pasadena, so you can make a day out of it, if you want to.

Come out. Come out. It’ll be fun.

Just in Time for the Book Release

The day before my book release (which is Tuesday, May 14 at Skylight Books in LA), the Los Angeles Review of Books reviewed my new novel, Dead Extra. It’s a very thoughtful, professional review. To answer all the questions that my wife asked me about the review: No, I didn’t write it myself. No, I don’t know the author. We have never met. Again, no, I promise that “Glenn Harper” is a real reviewer for LARB and not my pen name.

Also, I was interviewed for Speaking of Mysteries a few weeks back, and the interview went live today. You can listen to it here. Or you can get it through iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you get podcasts.

And I want to add two serendipitous things about the review and interview.

  1. I’m currently reading Denise Mina’s The Long Drop. I picked it up because I saw it in a bookstore recently, and I remembered reading a great review about it a couple of years ago. The guy who just reviewed Dead Extra wrote that review. So I’m reading a book recommended by the reviewer who is now recommending my book. I know that doesn’t put me in a class with Denise Mina, but maybe someday.
  2. I used a landline for the Speaking of Mysteries interview with Nancie Clare. The only landline I have access to is in my office at the university, which is on the former grounds of the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. So I was sitting on the grounds of the old hospital when Nancy was interviewing me about it. It was so weird to sit there, thinking about the horrors from the old hospital days, talking about them, and looking out over the student union where the flowers were in bloom and students were doing college things.

Book Release Party!

skylight_tree_credit_Kelly_BrownMy new novel, Dead Extra, officially releases next Tuesday. I’ll be at Skylight Books in Los Feliz to celebrate. I’ll do a short reading, then an “in conversation” with Steph Cha, author of the Juniper Song novels.

Everything kicks off around 7:30 PM. It’s next Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., LA, CA. It’s going to be a blast. And if I hear you call out to me, “C U Next Tuesday,” it better mean you’re coming to my event!