The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back From New York

Was at the BEA book fair, doing a panel for Atria with Blair, T, Nathan McCall (“Makes Me Wanna Holler”), and Zane (black erotica queen). The audience mostly black, mostly female, were book sellers from around the country, very much the core audience we need to reach for Casanegra. Why? Because the white book audience is easy to reach with Entertainment Weekly and Publisher’s Weekly and so forth. The audience I CAN’T figure out how to reach is black males…in my mind a gigantic and relatively untapped resource. The strategy? Reach them through their wives, girl friends, sisters. The audience was vastly appreciative, and they all got free copies of the book.

Now, then…if T and I have done our job, we’ve got a chance. This is an interesting balancing act…

Saw Walter Mosley while I was there, and he was grateful to me for reviewing his terrific “47” SF slave narrative. I think we’ve got a quote coming.
I came down with food poisoning while back there. Now, I’m looking for any problems with I.F., just trying to make sure my head’s on straight. I think that my digestive tract is a bit more vulnerable…but hard to say, since I was darting back and forth between time zones as well. Yuck. But between the Atria panel and the next morning, my stomach went south on me. For two days, I really couldn’t keep anything…er… “up”? I definitely felt weak by the time I flew home, but I’m much better now. Keeping my eye on this.
Saw “Mr. Brooks” last night, the Kevin Costner serial killer movie. Sweet. I really enjoyed it. The conceit is that you have a super-successful serial killer who is trying to quit. The metaphor is addiction, and the guy has joined AA. This is really a hoot, with William Hurt playing his Id in a rollicking performance that was the highlight of the film. Demi Moore is perfectly fine as the cop trying to nail him, and simultaneously re-capture another killer she previously put away. Costner performs “one last” murder, and makes a mistake, is caught on film, but the photographer doesn’t want to turn him in. He wants to taste the forbidden fruit…

And the story lines converge. Oh, it’s all a bit manipulative, but if you grasp that this is a REALLY dark comedy, you’ll have a good time. A “B.”

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