Penny Arcade at Belmont Library 02/24/10

Yesterday I got to meet the great minds – Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins – behind the incredible popular Penny Arcade web comic.  They were at the Belmont Library in San Mateo for the second stop in their book tour for The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade: The 11 1/2 Anniversary Edition (now available).

Penny Arcade book

The main reason I was there, other than to meet these fun and crazy guys, was to interview them for BookBanter, which went very well and was a lot of fun.  The interview is scheduled to run in Episode 29 on April 1st, which seems pretty fitting, being April Fools Day and all.  I’m also planning to have this be the inaugural day of the new site upgrade for BookBanter.  Fingers crossed on that.

After the interview, we hung out for a bit, while Jerry tried to convince me about how great ebook readers are, especially his Nook, and why I needed to get one because I love reading so much.  But I maintain that I also love books and while I wouldn’t say no to someone giving me an ereader, I don’t plan on acquiring one any time soon.  We also talked about Mike doing more reading now other than Star Wars books, and he’s currently very much enjoying The Name of the Wind by Patrick Ruthfuss, while Jerry’s mind is currently being blown by Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon.

Penny Arcade
Jerry Holkins scowling on the left, Mike Krahulik smirking on the right

The crowd came out in full to fill up the area of the library where they were having the Q&A and signing.

People 1

At their signing the night before at the University Bookstore in Seattle, there’d been 250 people.  I think at Belmont Library, that number was beaten.  All the chairs were taken, then all the standing room.  Then people began lining up in the aisles of books, trying to peak over the hardcovers and paperbacks to see through to the performance.  Many just hung further back and listened to the miked voices coming from somewhere across the room.

People 2

Mike and Jerry gave a great performance, signing books twenty minutes beforehand, then answering questions for over an hour and regaling everyone with entertaining stories, such as Jerry’s dangerous obsession with Felicia Day, or extolling the virtues of D&D, and then proceeded to sign books and chat and do photos for a lot longer, until everyone was happy and Mike and Jerry were completely exhausted.

People 3

All in all an entertaining night.  Here’s the rest of their book tour, along with PAX East in between.  As I said, the episode with their interview should be up on April first, at the conclusion of their tour.  And I would just like to thank the Belmont Library for organizing a room to do the interview in where we were relatively undisturbed (and the staff were great!), Dolores Gevertz for coordinating at the event, and most importantly April Flores from Random House for organizing and coordinating and make this all happen for BookBanter.

Next BookBanter Episode

The new BookBanter episode that I should be uploading to the site right now will unfortunately be somewhat delayed as most of my morning was spent setting up my new phone and then playing around with said new phone. It did feel weird to be completely incommunicado for a little while, at least via phone; we have no landline. I eventually had to contact T Mobile customer care via Skype on my computer.

And then a long day of work followed by exhaustion.

The episode should be up some time tomorrow morning and I’ll try my best to get it up as soon as possible.

In other news, I’m making this post via the WordPress app on said new phone, a Cliq. So far it’s going great and I’m sure I’ll get faster with the keyboard. And, of course, I now have the ability to blog and post from anywhere; so long as there is a decent signal, naturally.

In the Pipeline for BookBanter

And to think for a little while I was wondering who I was going to be interviewing this year . . .

With the Cherie Priest interview set to go in Episode 25 next week on February 1st, and an interview with Kim Stanley Robinson in the bag . . .

Will be scheduling soon for my Seth Grahame-Smith interview, where we’ll be talking about his new forthcoming book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter . . .

I also have set for this Friday an interview with David Grann, author of the fantastic book Lost City of Z (and you can read a little about what I thought of it here) . . .

And finally, today I had a publicist contacting me about possibly interviewing the great author, Peter Straub, for his forthcoming book, A Dark Matter.  I don’t think I was even aware Straub had a new book coming out . . .

So far 2010 is turning out to be a great year for BookBanter!

Cherie Priest on BookBanter

Recorded the interview with Cherie Priest earlier today.  Cherie is the author of the great steampunk novel, Boneshaker.  We talked about where she came up with the name and idea for her latest book, what she hopes readers will get out of it, what plans she has for future books in this world, and what interesting habits she gets up to in her free time, as well as much more.

Cherie professed to be an “ordinary” person, but after talking with her, I beg to differ.  She clearly has something “unusual” going on to create such a great unique book like Boneshaker.

At the moment it looks like her interview with BookBanter will be showing up on Episode 25 which should be up February 1st.

And the rain continues to fall . . .

Interview with Cherie Priest is a go!


Will be interviewing Cherie Priest next week for Episode 25 of BookBanter, which will be going up February 1st.  We’ll be talking about her great Steampunk novel Boneshaker.

Boneshaker is all about the doomed city of Seattle which has a terrible accident that leaves it shrouded in a lethal fog that turns you into a zombie!  The city is walled up to protect those from entering, while those trapped inside — who haven’t yet imbibed the poisonous air — must eke out a life . . . somehow.  When Zeke Wilkes sneaks into the doomed city, hoping to find out about his father and the true history of what befell Seattle, his mother, Briar, has no choice but to go in after him to save his life.

The book has been nominated for multiple awards.

We’ll also be talking about who Cherie Priest is, how she got started writing, and what great story she’s working on next.

Upcoming Episode of BookBanter

Just wanted to give you guys an insight into the upcoming interviews on future episodes of BookBanter.  So here’s how January, February, and March are looking:

Episode 24 (January 15th): S. G. Browne, author of Breathers.

Episode 25 (February 1st): Cherie Priest, her latest book is Boneshaker.

Episode 26 (February 15th): Kim Stanley Robinson, and his latest book is Galileo’s Dream.

Episode 27 (March 1st): Seth Grahame-Smith, and his new book is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Of course, some of these are subject to change, but I’m pretty confident right now this is how the schedule will stay.

“Breathers” by S. G. Browne

Just confirmed the interview with S. G. Browne, author of Breathers, for this coming Saturday.  So the episode with that interview is planned to go up January 15th.

Breathers is an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek, funny novel about what if you discovered that you were a zombie and didn’t die as you’d expected to.  How would your life change with your family and friends, how would people view you, and what would your social life be like?


A Short Delay for Episode 20 of BookBanter

Due to my crazy schedule (and perhaps a little procrastination on my part, though I’m blaming it on my schedule), Episode 20 of BookBanter will be delayed a day or two, but it should be up Monday or Tuesday, and I’ll be sending out an announcement on the blog as soon as it is.

In the meantime, you’ll just have to wait a little longer before you hear Garth Nix reveal the secrets of his life and stories.

Just a little bit longer . . .