Russian publisher Azbooka-Atticus has acquired the translation rights for five Robert McCammon novels: Boy’s Life, Swan Song, The Border, The Listener, and Speaks the Nightbird. No word on when the books will be published, but I would guess the first will appear in 2019.
I’m writing this a few nights before Halloween, and I thought about titling it “Awesome,” because I’ve been using that word quite a bit lately.
The first “Awesome” I have to talk about is my experience at the finale of The Great American Read in New York City. If you don’t already know about the GAR, it was sponsored by Public Broadcasting and put a spotlight on what they considered to be the 100 best-loved books in America. To my surprise, I found out a couple of months ago that Swan Song was among them, and you could’ve knocked me out with a gnat’s wing…or, keeping to the season…a bat’s wing.
I was asked by PBS to be a presenter at the finale of The Great American Read, and again I will use that word “Awesome,” because it really was. I got to meet the authors Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), William Paul Young (The Shack), Markus Zusak (The Book Thief), and to meet again the charming and wonderful Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. Coming in at Number One on the list was To Kill A Mockingbird, and at Number Two was the Outlander series, which makes Diana the most living author of a best-loved book, in this case series of books. Go, Diana!
Among the mind-boggling list of authors whose books were included in this show were Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, John Irving, Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Alice Walker, F. Scott Fitzgerald…I mean, really…the heavy, heavy hitters of the world of books and ideas. Wow, what a group to be included in! I’m still lit up. It was simply a great night. Meredith Vieira was the MC, was funny and personable, and put everyone at ease. The crew was also excellent, from the camera guys to the lighting experts and the production staff…and it was really cool to see what goes on behind the scenes at an event like this. These guys spared no expense to put together a first-class show that was a terrific benefit to writers, readers and really to the whole publishing business. My agent, Cameron McClure, met me at the show, and afterward there was a reception at a nearby Italian restaurant… again…Awesome!
The “capper” to this night was that after everything had quietened down I decided to go get a drink and have dinner at my hotel. At the bar I asked the bartender to make a drink I had created I called the “Palomino,” because it’s beautifully gold-colored and has a little white froth at the top like a “mane”.
This is how it went.
Me: “Whiskey, and do you have apple juice?”
Bartender: “I have apple cider.”
Me: “Better yet. Do you have sour mix?”
Bartender: “I make my own.”
Me: “Great! Well, shake with ice and pour over ice.”
Okay, so after I finished the drink, the bartender said he’d put it on my dinner bill. When I got the bill, the drink wasn’t on there, and I asked the waiter to check with the bartender to remind him to add the drink to the bill.
The waiter comes back.
Waiter: “He says he likes the drink so much he’s adding it to his repertoire, so there’s no charge.”
Cardinal Black is on the horizon. Late January is when the Cardinal slides (squims? oozes?) into view. That’s number Seven in Matthew’s story, with two more books to go. I’m working on Number Eight now, titled The King Of Shadows.
I’m doing a fun author’s photograph for Cardinal Black, using the Awesome talents of an Alabama-based photographer named Amanda Chapman. If you get a chance, Google her name, and take a look at her work, in particular her spectacular makeups. A couple of years ago, she did a series of pictures titled “The Thirty-One Days Of Halloween,” in which she created a different makeup for every day. This is beyond awesome! I am super excited about employing her magic to do a creative and interesting (and fun, of course) author’s photo, and that will happen here very soon.
Also very soon on the website will be a new Matthew short story titled “The Pale Pipesmoker,” featuring Katherine Herrald and Minx Cutter. I’ve found that the really cool thing about Matthew’s world is that I can use any number of characters to tell an interesting story and it doesn’t necessarily have to “star” Matthew. If you recall a story I did featuring Minx and a strange piece of jewelry that allowed one a glimpse of the future, I think you’ll know what I mean.
Now…another thing…is that I’m doing a music video to be put on the website and also on YouTube. Yes. I am. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I finally decided to go for it. I did the music at home and went into a recording studio to do the vocals. We’ll be filming in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully the video will be up sometime toward the end of November. Fingers crossed!
A few more words about Cardinal Black…this one puts Matthew in a position where it seems impossible to escape a gruesome death, but the fun is in getting him out of such situations. I’m sure he appreciates it as well! But a character who has been in just about every book does meet a gruesome end, and that’s about all I can say about this person, but there’s a purpose to the demise.
I hope you enjoy Matthew’s continuing adventures in Cardinal Black, and again I want to thank you loyal readers who have taken Matthew and his world to heart and look forward to, at least for a while, entering the time machine that these books represent. Without your support there would be no Matthew, and without your support there would have been no Swan Song on the list of 100 Best-Loved Books at The Great American Read. In fact without the support of loyal readers, no matter what interest or genre, there would have been no Great American Read at all. I thank you for your love of reading, and I will end with only three more words.
You are awesome!
Robert McCammon was a co-presenter, with Ali Wentworth, on the grand finale of the PBS show The Great American Read. His 1989 novel Swan Song had been among the list of 100 of America’s favorite books. In the final results, Swan Song came in at #94.
You can watch the episode on the PBS site:
It can also be found on YouTube.
Robert and Ali begin at about the 10:02 mark.
Getty Images has three photos of Robert McCammon at the event on their website.
Here are a few screenshots, as well as the clip of Swan Song.
Back in May, the PBS show The Great American Read launched. The goal: to pick American’s favorite book out of a list of 100 of American’s favorite books, according to PBS surveys. Robert McCammon’s Swan Song is among those 100 books.
It’s not too late to vote for Swan Song and others!
The final episode of The Great American Read will air on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Robert McCammon will be among the “notable attendees”! Here’s an excerpt from an article at WOUB Digital:
The clock is ticking to cast your final votes for America’s best-loved novel. THE GREAT AMERICAN READ will air its “Grand Finale” episode and reveal America’s choice for its number one book on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 8:00-9:00 p.m. on PBS stations nationwide.
The “Grand Finale” episode will be filmed in front of a live audience in New York City. Notable attendees will include host Meredith Vieira; actor Wil Wheaton; authors Diana Gabaldon, Robert McCammon and Amy Tan; journalist Lesley Stahl; literary expert Baratunde Thurston and more.
At this time, I don’t know exactly what his role in the finale will be, but make your plans to tune in on October 23, 2018, for “The Grand Finale”!
YouTube user jeffingoff posted “unboxing” videos for the SST limited edition of The Listener and the Cemetery Dance lettered edition of The Listener. You can get a good look at both editions in his videos.
Swan Song is among the 100 popular books selected for the upcoming PBS series The Great American Read!
From the PBS Facebook page:
Artist François Vaillancourt writes, “I just read Swan Song and I was blown away. It inspired me to do this portrait of the Man with a Thousand Faces.”
You can see more of François’s artwork on his website, francois-art.com. Click on the image to see a larger version.
You can find more fan artwork in the Fan Artwork gallery.
The Swan Song limited edition published by Subterranean Press is shipping this week! The lettered editions were shipped last week.
Unfortunately, the book sold out within hours of it going on sale. Copies are already showing up on eBay for rather exorbitant prices.
On June 21, 2017, Subterranean Press tweeted the following:
Unfortunately, the limited edition is long sold-out, having reached that milestone in under 24 hours. It will be published in October 2017.