Staten Island Arts event in the ferry terminal

Staten Island Arts has invited me to read/sign/discuss stuff in their culture lounge, located inside the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

This is very exciting. I am usually super depressed when I am in the ferry terminal because it means I am commuting to or from work and commuting sucks.

So now for once I get to do something very fun in the ferry terminal!

Sept. 10, 7 p.m. (though I’ll be there earlier than that—probably starting around 6:30 p.m. or so). Come on out, or just stop on your way home.

Mark your calendar or RSVP on Facebook here.

A roundup of stuff and things

BookPeople is Austin, TX, is one of my favorite bookstores. In no small part because of their amazing crime and mystery section, MysteryPeople, run by Scott Montgomery. He posed a couple of questions to me for their blog. I was happy to oblige.

If you’re in or around Austin, you must go to this place.

Check that out here.

My short story from Thuglit, “How to Make the Perfect New York Bagel”, made honorable mention in this year’s Best American Mystery Stories edited by James Patterson. Scott Detrow read it for the Word Crimes podcast and did a stellar job.

Thanks for podcastmaster Erik Arneson for the invite.

Give that a listen here.

The Art of Talking About Yourself

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Two nice hits today: My first television interview as an author is running on NY1, and my first really long audio interview just dropped on the Booked podcast.

They are both, to varying degrees, mortifying.

I don’t think I performed poorly. But there’s a reason I’m attracted to being a writer. It’s easier to express myself when I can do it by myself. I could never be an actor. Being the center of attention is not something I actively seek out. I get embarrassed playing charades.

And yet, when you’re promoting a book, you’ve got to take every opportunity you can to talk about it. And yourself. And process. All these things you’ve been perfectly happy to not talk about for so long.

Despite my initial terror, and the fact that I will never listen to or watch either of these ever again, I did learn some stuff that’s going to be helpful going forward.

For example, practice, practice, practice. This is a lesson I learned earlier in the process (and I talked about at LitReactor): You need an elevator pitch ready to go. When someone asks you what your book is about you need to be able to explain it quickly and with confidence.

I stumbled a bit on Booked, so before the NY1 interview, which took place two days later, I wrote something out and practiced it until I had it down.

(They ended up not using that for the clip, but hey, at least I was prepared.)

Also, be careful of filler words. Like. Um. Y’know. Well.

Those words you use to fill empty space. Booked is full of them. Again, something I thought about a lot while recording and went into NY1 being thoughtful of. Because holy shit, it can make you sound like a bit of a goof.

They were both very different experiences—for the NY1 interview, we talked for maybe 45 minutes to an hour, and the whole thing is condensed down into one minute and 48 seconds.

With Booked, we talked for nearly two hours—not all of it made it onto the ‘cast (thankfully—there was some fun off-the-record riffing), but the overwhelming majority of it did. I listened to it on the way to work this morning, and it’s weird, listening to yourself, wishing you’d said things differently, or glad you nailed a thought that, until then, had escaped you.

I’m very fortunate to have landed both of these—and it’s given me some stuff to chew on, about how to be more confident as a speaker.

I will say, though, it was a blast. So thanks to Amanda Farinacci from NY1, and Robb Olson and Livius Nedin from Booked. All three of them asked a ton of smart questions, and were such good sounding boards that the whole process was that much easier.

Interview at The Life Sentence

lifeOver at The Life Sentence, me and Angel Colon talk about writing and books and New Yorked and kids and how much of an asshole I’m going to be a year from now.

The Life Sentence is a very groovy new site dedicated to crime and mystery fiction. Add it to your reading queue—they’re putting out some killer content.

Check it out.

Recent items of note; Bookpage, The Lineup, a new review

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Two new guest posts just landed. One was really easy to write and one was really hard to write.

First up, the hard one: Over at The Lineup, I wrote about the murder of Imette St. Guillen, which influenced New Yorked.

At Bookpage, I wrote about the art that inspired New Yorked. That was a little easier.

Finally, there’s this review from Elizabeth A. White, which really resonated. This one made me feel really good to read.

Milwaukee Love

Thrilled to see the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had some very kind words for New Yorked.

“I loved this novel. It may be the most quixotic hard-boiled I’ve read in ages. With clever nods to Chandler (including giving Ash a fedora) and lots of muscular metaphors (“The two of them looked at me like I’m calculus”), Hart has written an achingly lovely farewell to one man’s past.”

Click here to read the whole thing, and see some other excellent books that were highlighted.