I just came home from speaking at the BC Book Fair about WHAT IS REAL, which was so much fun. It was. I was in disarray (the wind!) and tired (the kids!) but I still loved it. I really DO love public speaking, which makes me ... well, frankly, a bit of a weirdo. Many writers do not love public speaking. I shared the stage with Steven Price and Michael Christie, both of whom claimed to be nervous, but both of whom were terrific, fabulous, fun public speakers who spoke as easily and accessibly as anyone I've ever heard speak.
They took the novel approach of actually talking about their book, which was, now that I think of it, really the right thing to do. Me? I got distracted by my own anecdote about being stalked by aliens when I was fifteen and didn't really say the thing I meant to say, the clever summary statement about WHAT IS REAL, which -- although it does have aliens (or not) -- is not really about aliens stalkers or alien abductions or crop circles, although these things do exist in the story.
What I meant to say was that WHAT IS REAL is a novel about a dysfunctional family. And about marijuana and heroin and the surreal worlds they create and pull us into. And it's also about big cities and small towns. And about memories and how they are all just constructions that we create, idealizing this, editing out that. But it's mostly about the distance between perception and reality. AND about why and how we form alternate realities in order, subconsciously, to explain to ourselves some things which fundamentally cannot be explained: why someone chooses one life over another, why families fall apart, why a kid can be made to grow up way too fast.
So there, internetz. THERE is my closing statement. Maybe if I wrote these things down, I'd remember to say them.
And while I'm remembering things, the link to the character's blog: The Dex Blog.
I'm easily distracted. Look! Something shiny! Over there! Why I think it's an ARC! An ARC of WHAT IS REAL! So if you would like one, please email me at karen at karenrivers dot com and I'll make sure you get one when it's done. Which will be soon. Ish. Or, in publishing talk, "this spring".
I once had a fortune in a fortune cookie that said, "When Spring comes, so will great things in your life." It did not specify which spring, and although it was about ten years ago, I still have that fortune tucked into the corner of my wallet. And every spring, in part because of that tiny scrap of paper, I have renewed hope.
And no, it doesn't make sense to single out one, random, Chinese fortune when 99% of them are meaningless, but I did. I do. And I think the great things are coming THIS year. That's what I think.