I’m started working on…

I'm started working on publicity stuff for BiM. Marjorie tells me that my publicist is a nice young man named Michael McKenzie; I should be hearing from him within the week. Exciting! :-)

This summer is looking crazy, in part because of various trips I'm not sure if I'm taking. For example, I don't know if they'll want me back to teach at Vermont, which would involve being there for the residency 6/27 - 7/8. If I am there then, it would make sense to plan the East Coast part of the publicity tour for that time period -- do the Amtrak thing, hitting Boston, Philly, New York, D.C., maybe Connecticut.

On the other hand, Kevin wants me to come to Banff with him, which is 7/9 - 7/16, possibly staying a few days later. I don't have any idea where Banff is, whether it's at all close to any other Canadian cities it would be worth doing publicity in. Nalo? Help? (Okay, I looked, and it's on the other side of Canada from the people I know, near Vancouver, instead of Montreal/Toronto. Dangit.)

And there's another argument for doing the East Coast a bit later -- Gavin's invited me to read in the KGB Bar Fantastic Fiction reading series, possibly on the August or September dates. So I could organize the East Coast part around that too. Of course, if I'm going to be on the East Coast at all, I should think about whether we're doing a SH workshop on the East Coast this year...

...which leads me to thinking about the possible West Coast SH workshop, and West Coast book tour possibilities -- Seattle (would Clarion arrange a reading for me at Elliot Bay?), Portland, Bay Area, Los Angeles (Otis College may fly me out to do a reading, even if they don't offer me a job). Madness. It feels so early to be looking at this -- but the thing is, people start scheduling up to six months in advance, especially for reading series. So now is the time, for a July book launch.

Keep in mind that there's still a decent chance that I'll be moving somewhere this summer, for an academic job that would start in late August. Eep.

6:00 p.m. update -- talked to Michael, and he is indeed a nice young man. :-)

7 thoughts on “I’m started working on…”

  1. Banff is a lovely, lovely (although perhaps not as lovely as Kanaskis or Lake Louise, but that’s because of tourism…) mountain town about an hour away from Calgary, Alberta (Calgary’s population is around 1 million).

    There is a rather nice bookstore in Calgary, (not a Chapters, etc.) McNally Robinson, that is a big fancy store with a lovely restaraunt, etc without having that ‘chain’ feel. There is also a great indie bookstore in a trendy shopping district that often has authors come in and read and sign (so the clientele is used to such things) called Pages that might be worth looking at as well.

    Banff is also home to WORDFEST (happens in the fall, unfortunately) which is a huge literary festival.

    Unfortunately Banff is not really ‘near’ Vancouver at all….

    But Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is about 5 hours away or so from Banff, but I’m not sure how the literary community is up there.

    (and, yes I live here :))

  2. You make my head hurt, woman, reading all that. *hugs* Would love to see you when you hit the Bay Area.

    Is there anything from preventing you from doing two East Coast runs? Money for flights? Just thinking you could do a first pass with the VT thing and another with the series.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Amber, are you in Banff or Calgary? Do you think you would be able to help organize folks to actually come to a reading if I did one? Or perhaps we could do some other kind of event — a coffeehouse thing or something? I’m more likely to be able to get money out of HC if they have some indication that I can actually get more people to come than would randomly come in off the street. 🙂

    And yes, Dawn, it’s a question of airfares. I think I’m already going to have to ditch my plans to go to Glasgow for Worldcon, between the timing and the cost, which makes me sad. HC will pay for some book tour stuff, but it’s unclear how much (as little as they can get away with, I think is standard :-).

    But it may well be that doing two East Coast trips would be best — if that’s the case, maybe I can get them to pay for one, especially if I offer to stay with friends rather than needing hotel.

  4. Is there any possibility of getting a stable long-term commitment from Vermont? Or do they always make their decisions year to year? If you could know in advance that you’d be teaching in the program every year, it would solve a lot of problems–financially, logistically, professionally. Indeed, a “tenure-track” version of exactly this low-residency position sounds like it could be ideal for you right now.

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Well, there’s two issues. First, they have to decide if they want me back at all, which they’ll know around the middle of this semester, when they get back the first set of student evaluations of my performance. 🙂

    Assuming that goes well, what happens is that they wait to see how many students they have for next semester, and then hire faculty sufficient to teach those students, based on order of seniority. I have the least seniority. 🙂

    There is no tenure, as such, but what this does mean is that assuming the program continues to do well and draw a lot of students (which seems likely, as it’s one of the oldest and most stable low-residency MFA’s, and they routinely turn quite a few people away), that after a year or two, once I have more seniority, I will probably be able to count on teaching two semesters a year if I want to — a lot of faculty do choose to only teach one semester a year.

    I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. 🙂

    The main down side of this is that there are currently no benefits with this position; you receive a flat fee for teaching each semester. So you either pay for benefits out of pocket or go without. Paying for benefits probably won’t be a problem as long as I’m selling books.

    Many of the faculty teaching here actually have full-time college teaching jobs with benefits elsewhere; my impression is that they teach a semester here periodically to pick up some extra cash and because they like working with such bright and talented graduate students. But some of them are simply writing the rest of the time, which sounds pretty good to me.

  6. mary anne:

    i live in calgary. i know a couple of other writers who live in town, too, and one that lives outside of town that might be interested (one being Chelsea Polk) but unfortunately I’m not super involved in the writing community here — unfortunately my connections, or, rather, where I might suggest you contact is all genre people, which is still “Bodies in chairs”, but I imagine they know Strange Horizons. I am not sure who still works at Pages, but they are just starting their reading series right now and I think would be a good bet (although it’s a very small store). I did work with two of their employees years ago (again, not sure if they’re still at the store). Chelsea does more work with the local convention etc., and might be a better resource?

  7. Mary Anne, I don’t know if your publicist has considered Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. It’s one of the most well-respected independent bookstores in the country, and they always have good turnout for readings.

    Plus, I’d get to see you again, and we have a nice comfy couch you could crash on…

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