Will you sign a book for my girlfriend/wife/pal/boyfriend if I send it to you?
I’m afraid for the moment I have discontinued signing books sent to me due to some bad luck with shipping; books were arriving damaged and occasionally getting lost. Please do not send books, just catch me the next time I happen to be in your neighborhood book shop.
Will you visit our book group?
Although I am a big fan of book groups, I don’t visit them anymore. Every time I’ve tried it we all ended up feeling a bit awkward; it’s difficult to have a knock-down-drag-out discussion of a novel when the author is sitting there drinking iced tea in your living room.
Will you read/blurb my manuscript?
I don’t usually read anything before it has been accepted for publication, so if your editor wants to send your galley to my agent that’s cool. Books I have loved and blurbed in the past include Caroline Preston’s Gatsby’s Girl, Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash, Sex, Magic and Stephen Elliott’s My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up. I prefer quirky literary novels, speculative fiction, anything really odd.
Our charity group is having a benefit; will you donate a signed book?
Possibly. I am out of town a lot, but if I am home I will try to help you out. If you don’t hear from me it’s not that I didn’t think your charity was worthy, I was just traveling/overwhelmed/disorganized.
How come you never answer your e-mail?
Well, I sometimes manage to write back, but I don’t have a very good batting average, I’m sorry about that. I do read all my e-mail. Then I resolve to answer it after I have some more coffee. Then I end up weeks and weeks behind, and it all starts to seem overwhelming.
Do you have any advice on how to get published?
My own method was to write a complete manuscript and then send queries to complete strangers until a literary agent kindly took notice of me. This is perhaps not the most efficient way to go about the thing, but it worked for me.
My advice for other writers is to get out in the writing world, take some classes, form a writing group, submit things to litmags. . . and then, once you have finished your manuscript, follow the leads your writer friends will give you to help you find an agent.
Why can’t I find e-book versions of your books?
The e-version of Her Fearful Symmetry is available wherever fine e-books are sold. The Time Traveler’s Wife e-book is coming soon (September, 2013) in the US, and slightly less soon in the UK and the rest of the world. It will be sold exclusively at Zola Books.
Are you going to write a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Wife?
I’m currently working on a short piece called Alba Fragments which will be available with the e-version of the Time Traveler’s Wife (see above).
Do you still give tours at Highgate Cemetery?
Yes, I do. I am only in London occasionally (I live in Chicago) but when I’m there I give tours on weekends. Highgate Cemetery has many wonderful guides, each one has his or her own insights into the place. Please plan ahead if you are visiting the cemetery from outside London. There is limited space on each tour, and a limited number of tours each day. On weekdays you need to book ahead of time. You can read all about it on the Highgate Cemetery website.
What are you writing now?
I have started to work on a novel called The Chinchilla Girl in Exile. It is about a nine-year-old girl named Lizzie Varo who has hypertrichosis (she is covered with hair) and her desire to go to school (she’s been home-schooled by her clever and amusing Aunt Mariella) and what happens when she does go to school (things get weird).