10.31.2007

St. Martin's orders a reprint.

A small one (1,000 copies), but still. Nice.

Sold out at walmart.com

Seriously. I mean, not that they were stocking many to begin with, most likely. But still.

10.30.2007

Sold out at B&N, too.

No one could have anticipated that a little comic whodunit set in P'town would actually sell.

10.28.2007

Amazon sold out of my book.

I'm thinking this is a moderately good thing: it has to mean that the book's selling at least a bit better than their buyers expected. On the other hand, if they don't have mine, does that mean people will buy some other book instead? Some will, no doubt.

Update (Monday a.m.):

Amazon sales rank: 1414
Barnes and Noble sales rank: 357

As Jack Nicholson said in Mars Attacks, that ain't bad.

Moderation off

Comments should be back to normal. Sorry about the brief interruption.

10.26.2007

Chicago Tribune

Another nice one (no link yet):

High Season
By Jon Loomis
St. Martin’s Minotaur, $23.95

Blending razor-sharp wit and laugh-out-loud comedic elements with a hellacious whodunit, this debut novel from Wisconsin poet Jon Loomis is reminiscent of Gregory Mcdonald’s first few Fletch novels as well as early works by Carl Hiaasen (“Tourist Season," “Double Whammy”).

Set in Provincetown, Mass., and featuring quirky, 43-year-old police Detective Frank Coffin—who is afflicted by nightmares and panic attacks from years working as a Baltimore homicide police officer—the mystery begins when the body of a strangled 240-pound man wearing a pink and yellow floral muumuu (and size 12 dove gray pumps with sensible heels) is found in the dunes. The murder victim turns out to be the vacationing Rev. Ron Merkin, a televangelist famous for his anti-gay tirades. Once the scahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifndalous story breaks, the tranquil gay resort community will undoubtedly be inundated with frenzied reporters from all over the country, and it falls onto Coffin’s shoulders to quickly and quietly track down the killer. But when other locals start turning up gruesomely dead, well, “weirdness ensues.”

Although the murder mystery is suitably challenging, it’s the brilliantly irreverent peripheral characters (a cantankerous, Surrealist painter/madman; a yoga-practicing vegetarian stalker; a foul-mouthed parrot named Captain Nickerson) and innumerable twisted witticisms (“The baby was fat and waxy. It looked like Don Rickles.”) that make this debut one to be cherished. The book features an impressive diversity of murder weapons—from a raspberry-colored taffeta scarf to a pneumatic nail gun—and fans of humorous mystery à la Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich should thoroughly enjoy this darkly comic Cape Cod caper.

Update: Link.

10.25.2007

Acoustics



Left to right, Gibson L-200, actually the lovely A________'s guitar, bought for her as a wedding gift, very pretty curly maple back and sides (the guitar, I mean); Martin HD28V—terrific guitar, huge sound, plays great even strung with mediums; Gibson J45, mahogany, circa 1998, beautifully set up, very nice for clubs, open mics and such, fishman under-saddle pickup sounds excellent with a little EQ.

10.24.2007

More gear porn


This thing really is the holy grail—certainly the best low-medium gain overdrive pedal I've ever heard. I paid retail for this one (on order since May of last year), not the ridiculous prices they're selling for on eBay.

'56 NOS Strat, fiesta red, 9.5" radius, medium jumbo frets.



It's a thing of beauty, and plays like it's smeared with yak butter. The actual color is slightly more tomato-soupy than it looks here.

Koan #88 from the Shaseki-shu: How To Write a Chinese Poem

A well-known Japanese poet was asked how to compose a Chinese poem.

"The usual Chinese poem is four lines," he explained. "The first line contains the initial phrase; the second line, the continuation of that phrase; the third line turns from this subject and begins a new one; and the fourth line brings the first three lines together. A popular Japanese song illustrates this:


Two daughters of a silk merchant live in Kyoto.
The elder is twenty, the younger, eighteen.
A soldier may kill with his sword,
But these girls slay men with their eyes."

It's always been about form.

Dumbest Amazon review of the week:

And the winner is: Natalie H. Mcdonald (sic), a.k.a. "mzfaustus," of Philadelphia, PA, for this ingenious offering:
Sounds a lot like Norman Mailer's Tough Guys Don't Dance: A Novel, a murder mystery involving a fictional town sheriff set in Provincetown, MA. (The Tough Guys Don't Dance film adaptation starred Ryan O'Neal and Isabella Rossalini.)

Sounds a lot like Natalie H. Mcdonald (sic) hasn't read the book she's allegedly reviewing. Criminy.

10.23.2007

HIGH SEASON to be a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice for 10/28/07.

Not sure if anybody reads those things, but it's still nice.

10.21.2007

Amazon # (9:22 P.M.)


#594 in Books

#1 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
#21 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery

Anything under 1,000 is gravy, as far as I'm concerned.

10:47 p.m.:

#547 in Books
#1 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
#20 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery

And off to bed. It's been quite a weekend.

Amazon # (2:30 p.m.)

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #1,770 in Books

#5 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
#47 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery

Not bad, and trending lower. Two big reviews will do that for you.

Update, 3:20 p.m.:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #1,064 in Books

#3 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
#30 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery

Also #2 in bestselling new & future releases in Police Procedurals, and #46 in bestselling new & future releases in Mystery & Thrillers.

Update, 4:26 p.m.:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #897 in Books

#2 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals
#27 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery

It's just a "good review spike," I know, and no doubt things will slow way down in the next day or two. But damn, this is fun.

Update, 5:24 p.m.

882. Slowing way down. Time for a martini.

Update, 7:23 p.m.

719.

10.20.2007

New York Times Book Review

Nice little mention by Stasio. Should cue a lot of P'town visitors/enthusiasts, which is a very good thing.

As a first novel with an easygoing sleuth and a not-too-tough mystery to solve, Jon Loomis’s HIGH SEASON (St. Martin’s Minotaur, $23.95) is the kind of book that can be overshadowed by its heavyweight competitors. And that would be an undeserved fate for this entertaining whodunit set in Provincetown, Mass., which warmly captures the free and funky spirit of that famously tolerant beach community. Frank Coffin, its first and only police detective, thinks he can handle the case of a married televangelist who turns up dead at a gay men’s beach in a flowered muumuu. But can he deal with all the nosy and bossy characters who push their way into the investigation? Although the body count runs too high for serious credibility, Loomis drenches the narrative with so much local color that the reader comes away feeling like a native.

Washington Post Book World

Definitely worth the wait:

HIGH SEASON By Jon Loomis St. Martin's Minotaur. 286 pp. $23.95

In Jon Loomis's fiction debut, it's High Season on Cape Cod, and in freaky-deaky Provincetown, things are even freaky-deakier than usual. The corpse of homophobic evangelist Ron Merkin (think real-life anti-gay minister Fred Phelps) is found on a beach, dressed in drag. Laconic sheriff Frank Coffin is faced with a media storm when a few other bodies crop up, possibly threatening the tourist trade. Then there's Coffin's louche uncle, who reappears in the resort town after a mysterious absence of many years. Is he connected to the murders, or is he there to help?

Coffin is an enormously appealing invention, a traumatized former homicide detective in Baltimore now working the (normally) quieter streets where he grew up. P-town proves a plum setting for lighthearted crime, with its frenzied real-estate wars, its 24-karat oddballs and its inexhaustible supply of "tall ships," the heterosexual transvestites who vacation there with their stoic wives. (The Rev. Merkin himself feels shoehorned into the mystery, but his flamboyant demise in a dress catapults the story into action from page one.) Along the way, Loomis, a prize-winning poet in his other literary life, tosses off some wonderful descriptions (sunflowers like "bright prehistoric showerheads," laughter hanging in the air "like a small but lethal cloud of poison gas"), yet none of his wordsmithery gets showy or interferes with this debonair, dry little mystery. With his honed sense of humor and keen mise en scene, Loomis is a keeper, and so is Coffin. Puckish Provincetown innkeepers would do well to tuck this one away in the guest room drawers next to the Gideon.

10.18.2007

The P'town Banner Writes About HIGH SEASON

This review isn't currently available online (it's behind the Banner's subscription-only firewall), so I can only legally quote four paragraphs, I'm pretty sure. But the whole thing's very nice.

In “High Season” we are introduced
to the corpse of the Reverend
Ron Merkin, a preacher devoted
to railing against the evils
of homosexuality. However, as
the saying goes, “thou doth protest
too much,” since his body
has been found on the beach
clad in a gaudy muumuu, tasteless
pumps and a stylish scarf
wrapped around his neck in a
death knot. It seems the saint
was no saint at all; in fact, he was
— shudder — a cross-dresser,
and his wife, who has reported
the murder to the authorities,
was not in the dark about this
most secret of secrets. (“There’s
something fundamentally sad
about the Reverend Rons of the
world: they’re hypocrites, but
they’re tortured hypocrites,” explains
Loomis.)

The case is assigned to Detective
Frank Coffin and his sidekick
Lola, a strong and gentle
lesbian on whom he has
a schoolboy crush; both
characters will be reappearing
in the new book.
A burned-out hometown
boy who was previously
a detective in Baltimore,
Coffin stretched
his abilities too far and
cracked — hence the
return to the womb of
Provincetown, where he
joined the force under
the cloud of his uncle,
the corrupt former chief
of police. Coffin has his
demons to deal with on
every level as he fights to
solve the case and come
to terms with a personal
relationship with
a young woman who
would very much like to have a
child with him. Hmmm…

During the course of the investigation,
we are led down a
road where more murders occur
in a most unusual fashion. It
seems greed and real estate gluttony
are at the core of this thriller,
which moves along with precise
speed and a firsthand knowledge
of the town where all the
action takes place. This author
does indeed write about what he
knows, at least geographically,
for we doubt Loomis has firsthand
knowledge of murder.
In the course of researching
the book, Loomis had some experiences
that were eye-openers.
“I’ve had lots of fun drinking at
the A-House and Vixen and the
Crown and other clubs in P’town,”
Loomis says. “I actually stumbled
into the Vault once with a girlfriend,
who was curious about
what might be going on in such
a place. We were asked — very
politely — if we might not prefer
to go someplace else, please. We
did, but the glimpse I got of that
scene was pretty interesting.” And
fodder for the future.

“High Season” is a fictitious
account peppered with some
juicy glimpses into good and
bad, evil pitted against “right,”
and in the telling you can see
that the author had some fun
with his subject.

10.17.2007

Housteria

Things are moving along at their usual, semi-glacial pace. Dave's finished installing the kitchen cabinets and is working on the pantry cabinet now; the Cambria guy came and measured for the countertops yesterday. He'll use the measurements to make molds, and the Cambria material will then be poured into the molds. Who knew? The new fridge should arrive in a week or so (the one we originally ordered didn't work with Barb's design—the freezer door hit the wall, alas); the plumber should be able to install the dishwasher and the new 3rd floor toilet any day now. Joe's done repairing the 2nd fl bath, and the washer-dryer hookups are good to go. The dryer vent goes upstairs and out through the big closet—very innovative. Apparently there were too many wires/pipes to vent it out the 2nd floor wall. Dan's finishing up the master suite, as we call it, so we should be ready for the tile guy there any day. We've made a few decisions about light fixtures, though many more are still on the to-do list. Joe's supposedly going to start on the upper stairway repair in the next day or so. Jim and Mike have dry-walled the entry-way, and are working on the closet/cabinet configuration. The front door w/ sidelights and transom should arrive soon. Still on the list: back steps, front porch/steps, a bit of chimney work (sweeping, etc), paint and more paint, and then some paint.

10.04.2007

Trying out the trackback thing with Lucy's blog

Apparently it works sort of like this.

Just wanted her to know I'm linking... crap. It doesn't seem to have worked.

Cousin Sara has a blog, too.

Nice pictures of someplace called Three Lakes.

Cousin Lucy has a blog.

And apparently lives in Barnstable. And posted about my book. I haven't seen any of my cousins since my grandmother's funeral, back in 1990. My father and his brother Elliot (father of said cousins) were not close, which is a WASPy way of saying they pretty much hated each other. But I always liked him (he owned every issue of Playboy ever printed), and I adored those girls of his when I was ten or so and we all gathered in Ruxton for my grandmother's eightieth birthday. I was this goofy hick kid from southeast Ohio, and here were these three fine looking redheads with their bell-bottom Levis and straight-backed Yankee names—a few years older than me and very sophisticated, having grown up in exotic California. Oy. They say memory opens up like a big video scrapbook when you hit seventy or so. I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to that or not.

10.01.2007

The new baby

I haven't been talking much about the new baby. I'm not sure why; I think partly I haven't wanted to jinx anything, though now that we've gotten happy amnio results that shouldn't be a worry anymore. There's a way in which it all feels a bit expected and known, after the big unknown of the first pregnancy and birth and infancy, and the whole two-year-old thing, holy shit. I worry a bit that we're just not going to have time to do these crazy jobs and write books and have TWO kids (holy shit!), but the lovely A_________ assures me that everything will be okay, and it goes without saying that I trust her implicitly, even if she's wrong approximately .03 percent of the time. We're going to have to rustle up another babysitter or two, I suspect, and hire a mother's helper to do laundry and wash the breakfast dishes, etc. Things will be a bit chaotic and hectic and crazy for awhile. That said, I'm very pleased that we're having a little girl. She is, according to all reports, a genetic marvel, perfectly on schedule in every way. I'm looking forward to meeting her.

Amazon Reviews

A nice bottle of pinot to anyone who takes the time to write me a good one. And yes, that goes for HIH, too.

House

The only thing I'm worried about right now is the damned chimney. Otherwise, everything's moving along. Dan's painting in the master bedroom(s), and seems to be moving much faster now; a good thing. Jim and Mike are working mostly on the front entry-way. They've got the tall east windows installed, and have used one of Knut's ugly steel doors as a temporary exterior door. They'll start working on ceiling and interior walls tomorrow, I think. The actual front door arrives in about three weeks or so. Meanwhile, Bruce is finally done wiring the kitchen, and Joe's about halfway done with drywall repair/finishing. Once it's all sanded, he'll apply a couple of coats of paint and we'll be ready for cabinets, which have been piled up in the living room for a couple of weeks now. The dishwasher came today (along with the new washer/dryer), and the Wolfe stove, range hood and refrigerator will be here by mid next week. Basically, we'll have most of a kitchen by the end of next week, touch freaking wood. Counter-tops three weeks after that. We're moving by 11/1, no matter what. Probably. By then we'll really have almost everything done, thank you God. Big party when we get moved in. I'll buy the cigars.

Washington Post Bookworld

Didn't review me after all. Not sure why. The fabulous K, my editor, may be able to offer some insight tomorrow. Also, it appears that Borders isn't carrying the book at all. I recall not being able to find another SM/M title at Borders some months ago; it's possible they've had a falling out over discounts or something. If so, bad for everyone. Especially me. Our local Borders has promised to stock it in the local author's section, if nothing else. Nice of them.

Update: Hector (my publicist) called the Bookworld folks, and apparently they bumped the mystery roundup due to lack of space. They'll let us know, they say, when it's coming out. Ack. About what I figured.

We're #47!

On Amazon's bestsellers in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals list. Amazon sales rank currently below 9,000 and still trending downward, which seems like a good sign. Blink, and it'll pop back up to #79,847, or whatever.

Update: it's popped up a bit since then, as expected.