DENNIS LEHANE on Monday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.

lehane

Dennis Lehane reads from World Gone By on Monday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.

 —
We’re delighted to welcome back one of the most popular, acclaimed novelists at work today, Dennis Lehane. He is here with a much-awaited, historically-set new work, World Gone By (HarperCollins). “A multilayered, morally ambiguous novel of family, blood, and betrayal. Working against a backdrop of World War II, Lehane continues and perhaps concludes the ambitious series of historical novels that began with the epic sweep of The Given Day and continued with Live By Night … [the novel’s] cumulative power and whip-crack narrative propulsion will enrich the reader’s apprecation past the last page. On one level, a very moving meditation on fathers and sons; on another, an illumination of character and fate.”- Kirkus Reviews. Dennis Lehane’s many other books include Mystic River, Moonlight Mile, and Gone, Baby, Gone. This should be fun.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at orders@elliottbaybook.com to request an autographed copy.

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NICK HORNBY at Town Hall Seattle on Sunday, February 8th at 7:30 pm

Nick_Hornby1

Nick Hornby visits Town Hall Seattle on Sunday, February 8th to read from and discuss his new novel Funny Girl

Presented by THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY. Nick Hornby, novelist, essayist and author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down returns to Seattle to read from his much awaited novel, Funny Girl (Riverhead).  Set in 1960’s London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingenue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby’s latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.  “Hornby makes the reader care for his characters as much as he does and retains a light touch with the deeper social implications, as women, gays, popular entertainment and the culture in general experience social upheaval. Years later, Sophie is getting ready to star in a play that’s intended to revive her career. ‘The play is much better than I thought it was going to be,’ she thinks. ‘It’s funny, and sad-like life.’ And like this novel. —Kirkus Reviews. Nick Hornby is also the author of the acclaimed film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. Joining Nick for an on stage conversation will be Seattle actress and all around funny girl Kate Jaeger. Kate’s a regular at Jet City Improv and many theatres around town. Two ticket options:  ($35) admits one person and includes a copy of Funny Girl;  OR ($40) admits two people and includes ONE copy of Funny Girl. Tickets are available now online, in person, or by phone (206) 624-6600. All tickets are for general admission. Town Hall Seattle is located at 1119 8th Avenue (at Seneca). 

FAQ about the Nick Hornby:
  • Can I have my ticket mailed to me?

We will not be mailing out tickets or books for this event. Books and tickets can be picked up at the event at Town Hall Seattle on the evening of Sunday, February 8th.Can I pay for my online purchase in the store?For ticketed events, we require an online payment to reserve a ticket. If you would like to come in to the store to purchase a ticket you may do so.

  • Will Mr. Hornby be signing books?

Yes. A book signing will follow the author event.

  • Will Mr. Hornby sign multiple books?

Yes, but please be respectful of your fellow audience memebers. If you have more than 3 books to be signed, we ask that you go back through the line so that others can have their books signed in a timely fashion.

 
If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at(206) 624-6600 or email us at orders@elliottbaybook.com to request an autographed copy. 

 

BEN LERNER on Monday, October 6th at 7:00 pm

lerner

Ben Lerner joins us in the bookstore on Monday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. 

Acclaimed poet and novelist Ben Lerner follows his dazzling fiction debut novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, with another wondrous novel in 10:04 (Faber and Faber). Again the protagonist is a writer, and again there is a narrative of perceptive, sharp, urbanly-informed observation and insight. There is also a lot of life here. “Ben Lerner is a brilliant novelist, and one unafraid to make of the novel something truly new. 10:04 is a work of endless wit, pleasure, relevance, and vitality.” –Rachel Kushner. “Reading Ben Lerner gives me the tingle at the base of my spine that happens whenever I encounter a writer of true originality.” – Jeffrey Eugenides. Ben Lerner’s three poetry collections, all published by Copper Canyon – The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, Mean Free Path – have received numerous honors and accolades, a National Book Award finalist citation among them. Leaving the Atocha Station won the Believer Book Award.

 

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at orders@elliottbaybook.com to request an autographed copy. 

 

David Mitchell at Town Hall Seattle on Thursday, September 25th at 7:30 p.m.

A writer whose each and every book has deeply engaged readers here and elsewhere, David Mitchell, author of the novels
GhostwrittenNumber9dreamCloud AtlasBlack Swan Green, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, makes a most welcome Seattle return for his much-anticipated new novel, The Bone Clocks (Random House). “A globe-trotting, time-bending epic that touches down in, among other places, England, Switzerland, Iraq, and Australia… Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? … From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With is wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, Mitchell’s novel is a thing of beauty …” – Publishers Weekly. $35 tickets (which admit one person and include a copy of The Bone Clocks) are available now at Elliott Bay Book Company (also by phone at 206.624.6600 or online by following this link). Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca).
David Mitchell Reading from THE BONE CLOCKS
David Mitchell reading from
The Bone Clocks
Coming in October:
Sam Harris visits Town Hall Seattle in conversation with Dan Savage on Wednesday, October 1st discussing his new book Waking Up: Spirituality Without Religion. Tickets ($30; admits one person and includes one copy of the book) are now on sale.
Waking Up goes on sale on Tuesday, September 9th. Pre-order your copy today!
Joseph O’Neil visits the Seattle Public Central Library on Wednesday, October 1st to read from his new novel
The DogPre-order your copy.
Ben Lerner reads from his new novel
10:04 on Monday, October 6th. 10:04 is available now. 
Eimar McBride reads from her debut novel
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing on Thursday, October 23rd. Pre-order your copy.
Jodi Picoult visits the Seattle Public Central Library on Friday, October 24th to read from her new novel
Leaving Time. Pre-order your copy.

– If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600, email us at orders@elliottbaybook.com, or visit our website to request an autographed copy.

Chelsea Cain! An Interview with Chelsea Cain!!

Our bookseller Brandi Bailey (BB) recently had the opportunity to interview Chelsea Cain (CC)!

Chelsea and Brandi
Chelsea and Brandi

A few of you may remember her our recent Bedtime Stories for Adults event (if not, have a look at #themomentbeforepjs on Twitter) for the launch of Suzie Vitello‘s book The Moment Before.

#themomentbeforepjs
#themomentbeforepjs

We adore her…for good reason! @ChelseaCain

Our Fav Queen of the Damned
Our Fav Queen of the Damned

BB: Let’s start with some background, I know that you and I share a Nancy Drew heritage, and I personally think it’s a crying shame that your Nancy Drew satire, Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, isn’t in active print any longer.

Find this one...read it.
Find this one…read it.

How does the early influence of things like the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Scooby Doo, et al influence your thriller writing today?

CC: I love the idea of a “Nancy Drew heritage,” like it some sort of recessive gene.  I definitely have the Nancy Drew mutation on my eleventh chromosome.  It was mysteries or nothing for me.

“She always has close calls when she solves a mystery!”
“She always has close calls when she solves a mystery!”

I really had zero interest in the books my friends were reading about girls who rode horses or girls who lived on prairies or girls who had to make friends at new schools (unless one of those friends was murdered and the girl had to investigate).  I have branched out a little since then.  I have even read whole books in which not a single character is menaced by a psychopath.  But I don’t like writing them.  High stakes drama is exciting, it reveals character, and when it’s done well it’s utterly absorbing.  Everything else falls away.  It’s a form of meditation, only with more cardiac activity.  Also, notice that I have never written a standalone thriller.  Honestly, I don’t really like to read standalone thrillers.  Ideally, I like there to be at least three books in a series before I even pick it up.  With a standalone anything can happen.  But if there are sequels, you can enjoy the thrills with the pleasant comfort of knowing the main character probably won’t bleed out in the last chapter.


“I have even read whole books in which not a single character is menaced by a psychopath. ” 


 

BB: One other question about influence: Your writing group has given rise to several well-know authors who aren’t exactly known for pulling any punches when it comes to their readers’ delicate sensibilities, our good friend Chuck being the most controversial. How has this camaraderie helped craft your present style?

CC: I have learned most of what I know about writing from the people around that table.  They are my first audience and my dear friends.  They are also all deeply disturbed, perverted, twisted individuals.  There is no shocking them.  You would not believe what we read out loud to one another on a weeknight.  No shame whatsoever.  It’s no wonder I have no censor function.  But they are unerring in their feedback.  Not individually – individually they have all given me terrible advice – but when they see something as a group I know I’m in trouble, and I listen.  Correction, first I cry.  Then I listen.


“They are also all deeply disturbed, perverted, twisted individuals.”


 BB: So, enough about famous friends and titian-haired teenagers, let’s talk about One Kick.

Read This!
Read This!

I loved it! It’s edgy and dark while being incredibly fast paced. It’s rare for me to be able to become so invested in a character when I devour a novel in less than a day, but I am incredibly invested in Kick. What’s the compromise you make between pacing and character development? Is it even a conscious decision?

CC: I try not to segment it like that.  Ideally the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  Character can be revealed in all kinds of ways.  A seat-of-your-pants fist fight can (and should) show you a lot about a character.  So I guess the answer is that I don’t compromise.  It’s not like I’m thinking ACTION, ACTION, ACTION, BUBBLEBATH.


“It’s not like I’m thinking ACTION, ACTION, ACTION, BUBBLEBATH. ” 


Every scene has to carry its weight, and every scene has to serve the story.  But it’s all just an excuse to explore character.  It’s like solving a riddle.  All the little details accrue.  Patterns emerge.  New information changes perspective on past events.  (Can you tell I’ve been in therapy?)  This book is third person, but it’s entirely in Kick’s POV, which is a departure from my other series.  Writing a thriller in the head of a single character is hard.  There’s no cutting away.  We never know what other characters are thinking.  We only see the world through Kick’s lens.  Because we don’t have any other perspective to weigh in we have to know Kick well enough to know when she’s wrong.  There’s no room for error.  So I had to make every scene count.  I wish I could say that it was all intuitive.  But I have to work at character development.  It takes layering.  I don’t get it right the first time.  Pacing is just maintaining tension.  Once you crack which narrative tools to use, you can make just about any scene a page turner.  Eating cereal can be terrifying.  Character is so much trickier because it’s as much about what’s withheld as what’s shared.


“Eating cereal can be terrifying.”


 BB:I really cannot praise the delicate balance between Kick’s fragility and toughness enough. This is a stunning portrait of a survivor. What research did you do to sculpt her character? Did you read the Elizabeth Smart book which gets name dropped in the novel? Was there any particular real-life victim you were modelling her after?

CC: Thank you! It was important to me that Kick be strong, but also vulnerable enough that we would root for her. She owes a lot to the stories of Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard.  I followed every detail of both of those cases.  Who doesn’t love a resurrection narrative?  Those girls were presumed dead until the minute they were rescued.  Elizabeth Smart grew up to be a wholesome, smartly-coiffed young woman.  But wouldn’t it have been awesome if she’d learned how to shoot and throw knives and pick locks and she’d started responding to Amber Alerts?


BB: The network of pedophiles at the center of this thriller is chilling. How did you even go about looking into that world without locking your own children up safely inside 24/7? Does the fact that you’re a mother color this tale at all?

CC: Well I tried to avoid Googling “child pornography” for obvious reasons. This is harder than you might think if you’re trying to research child pornography cases.  There was this article I had read in the NY Times that I was trying to find and I kept trying to use these euphemisms to find it, and was having no luck at all.  Finally I Googled “New York Times Child Pornography” and it came right up.  But it’s not like I was poking around in the dark corners of the Internet.  The scary stuff is all from People Magazine and USA Today.  It’s from the metro section of your local newspaper.  These stories, when they do happen, blow up and I think they create a sense that the world is more dangerous than it is.  Most kids who are abducted are not taken by strangers, and most kids who are sexually exploited know their abuser.  I’m not worried about my kid being snatched by a guy in a van; I’m worried she’ll get skin cancer because I don’t put enough sunscreen on her. Statistically the latter is a lot more probable.  For me the idea of a network of pedophiles, while scary, is also wishful thinking.  A network is interconnected – that’s its vulnerability.  Once you find a way in, you can bring down the whole evil enterprise.  You just need an entry point.  And a quick-witted avenging angel who can get past any lock.


“I’m not worried about my kid being snatched by a guy in a van; I’m worried she’ll get skin cancer because I don’t put enough sunscreen on her.”


 BB: It seems like you might intend to bring us some more Kick (Two Kick?) in the future. Might this be true? Are we seeing a series being born?

CC: Look for book two at Elliott Bay Book Company in August, 2015.

An Interview with Shane Kuhn

Photograph by Sasha Gulish
Photograph by Sasha Gulish

Our bookseller Brandi Bailey (BB) recently interviewed Shane Kuhn (SK), author of The Intern’s Handbook, which (if you haven’t already done so) needs to be added to your to-be-read book ASAP!


“…I love cinema and wanted to be Stanley Kubrick.”

BB: The Intern’s Handbook is your first novel. How does that feel?

SK: It’s a dream come true. I always wanted to be a writer, from a very young age. I was obsessed with Vonnegut, King, O’Connor, Nabakov, Dostoyevsky, Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahniuk, and many other dark voices.

I kind of set aside novel writing when I was in college because I love cinema and wanted to be Stanley Kubrick. That didn’t really work out the way I planned! So, I got back to my roots as a writer and this book just flowed out of me.

I had no expectations other than to finish it, so everything that has happened thus far – great publishing deal, now a two-book deal, and a movie deal – far exceeded my expectations. I spent many years striving to get to this place and it feels amazing, like something I was put here to do.


 “I was trained to powerfully convey messages and stories with the fewest amount of words.”

BB: You come from a background in entertainment and advertising. How did that affect your approach to writing a novel?

SK: From entertainment – mostly feature film work – I received excellent training (University of Westminster, Central London & American Film Institute) on story structure. This was heavily reinforced in my professional work in film. When you have 2 hours or less to tell a story, structure is critical. So, I feel I bring a strong approach in dramatic structure to my work – as a result of my experience in film.

From advertising, I am grateful for so many excellent lessons. First, as a copywriter, I was trained to powerfully convey messages and stories with the fewest amount of words. BREVITY! This is what my first Creative Director stamped on my desk in permanent ink. He used to say that the most effective communication in the world is that which can be done with one word.

So, I have a built in editor in my head, always pushing me to cut the fat and get to the point. This is why I think people say The Intern’s Handbook is a “fast read.” It’s because I like to grease the wheels and send your imagination on a runaway train of narrative intensity. You can only do that with BREVITY! Also, in advertising, you are always pushing concept. Everything has to have a clear and compelling concept for it to be memorable. All of my book ideas, like Intern’s, have what I believe are very cool concepts driving them.


 “He was always accusing us of stealing donuts if you can believe that!”

BB: Having worked in two industries that are rather well known for sometimes thankless internships, did any autobiographical scenes get slipped in under the guise of fiction? 

SK: The coffee assassination is closely related to something that really happened at one of my internships. I was working at an engineering firm and one of the engineers treated all of the underlings like vermin. He was always accusing us of stealing donuts if you can believe that! We probably were, but who cares? We were broke! Anyway, we got tired of him and one of my nerd buddies created a white powder concoction that we disguised as non-dairy creamer. When the guy poured it into the coffee, the liquid immediately solidified into a foul smelling gelatinous goo. No one was hurt, obviously, but the office harassment came to a screeching halt.


  “I had to take a break from screenwriting for a couple of months just to wash the stank of lazy, horrific writing out of my head.”

BB: If, and I’m assuming here, you were once upon a time an intern yourself, what was the worst horror thrust upon you? 

SK: I had a few internships and the worst horror thrust upon me was when I was a script reader for a film production company. I was a film student at the time in LA and I had high hopes for making it big in pictures. When I started reading the scripts that this company was actually considering making, I was physically ill. They were horrible. I was green as hell and definitely no Paul Schrader myself but it was unbelievable how bad these scripts were, and I was working at a highly reputable production company! I had to read 15-20 a week and write coverage! I like to say it was probably like being a porn director who loses his sex drive due to “overexposure.” I had to take a break from screenwriting for a couple of months just to wash the stank of lazy, horrific writing out of my head.


 “…coffee is part medicine, part alchemical life elixir.”

BB: Your anti-hero, John Lago, makes a killer cup of coffee. As we reside in a city known for its brews, what’s your preferred cup o’ joe

SK: I have mild ADD so, for me, coffee is part medicine, part alchemical life elixir.  I prefer espresso to drip coffee. For some odd reason, drip coffee makes me a bit sleepy. I have not spent enough time in your fair city because, sadly, I am ALWAYS there to work and never just to have fun! So, I can’t name drop any coffee purveyors. However, I will say that my favorite brand of espresso is Illy. I used to live in SF and Caffe Greco made a cappuccino that would prepare you for combat. They use Illy. Even though it doesn’t have the desired stimulant effect, I do love the taste of high quality drip or French press coffee. Some favorite brands are Graffeo (SF) and Stone Street (Brooklyn). I think it’s high time I come up there to sample some of Seattle’s finest brews!


 “To me, a great book is like an amazing guitar chord or perfectly structured rock ‘n roll song.”

BB: I have to say, the combination of humor, satire and Bourne-esque action is rare. What inspired you? Any particular authors?

I am inspired simultaneously by books and cinema. On the book side, I love the rock ‘n roll style of Hunter Thompson, Chuck P, Irvine Welsh, and Buk, to name a few. I also draw inspiration from great prose stylists like Nabakov, Pynchon, Dahl, and Vonnegut. In cinema, it’s all about Kubrick, Fincher, Lean, Tarantino, Peckinpah, Bigelow, Allen, and Anderson, also to name a few. Beyond that, fashion is very intriguing and I am obsessed with Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford. And let’s not forget music! To me, a great book is like an amazing guitar chord or perfectly structured rock ‘n roll song. It has dynamics, relevance, energy, and a beautiful taste of darkness. So, as you can see, my mind is kind of a hopper that I stuff full of things I love so that I can create an aesthetic mélange that is uniquely me.


 “The second book is a completely new concept…”

BB: Will we be seeing more of John Lago? Or do you have plans to branch into other areas of literature?

SK:  I just signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster. One of those books is the sequel to The Intern’s Handbook and it is called “Hostile Takeover.” The second book is a completely new concept called “Business Class” and it is an espionage thriller that takes place in the world of frequent air travelers. It will be a completely different kind of thriller than my John Lago books but still thriller genre. I do plan to branch out a bit in the near future. I am a huge science fiction fan and I have a strong concept waiting in the wings for its day in the sun.

JOSHUA FERRIS on Tuesday, May 27th at 7:00 p.m.

ferris

JOSHUA FERRIS on Tuesday, May 27th at 7:00 p.m.

Right out of the Memorial Day weekend we come on a high note: Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End and The Unnamed, and contributor to The New YorkerGranta, and Tin House, is here with a much-anticipated new novel, To Rise Again At a Decent Hour (Little, Brown). “This is one of the funniest, saddest, sweetest novels I’ve read since Then We Came to the End. When historians try to understand our strange, contradictory era, they would beferris book wise to consult To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. It captures what it is to be alive in early 21st-century America like nothing else I’ve read.” – Anthony Marra. “With almost Pynchonesque-complexity, Ferris melds conspiracy and questions of faith in an entertaining way … Full of life’s rough edges, the book resists a neat conclusion … Sad, smart, hilarious, this shows a writer at the top of his game and surpassing the promise of his celebrated debut.” – Kirkus Reviews.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at orders@elliottbaybook.com to request an autographed copy.