Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where Writers Write: Katherine Scott Nelson - The "Have You Seen Me" Blog Tour

Welcome to the last stop in Katherine Scott Nelson's Have You Seen Me blog tour. 

I thought it would be fun to act as the caboose this time, bringing up the rear of this tour with a special installment of my new blog series "Where Writers Write". A TNBBC newbie, Katherine Scott Nelson is celebrating the release of hir new novella Have You Seen Me, published through CCLaP - a Chicago based small press that specializes in handmade books and electronic "pay what you want" downloads for all of their titles. The book is currently a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. 

Most of the blog tour consists of interviews, and while there is nothing wrong with author interviews, they can get a bit long in the tooth and repetitive for me. So I've asked Katherine to show us where the inspiration to write hits. Where does the writing happen? Why does it happen there? Give us a look behind the book. And what follows is...

Where Katherine Writes

Where I write: coffee shop

I’ve spent a lot of time fantasizing about my dream office. It would look a lot like Hemingway’s studio in Key West – panoramic views, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and ridiculous furniture like chaise lounges and secretary desks. It would have a built-in espresso bar in one corner and a single-malt scotch bar in another. There would be NO wi-fi.

But right now, I live in a 295 square foot apartment. The massive oak desk and the potted palms are going to have to wait.

When I moved to my current place, I discovered a nearby coffee shop with a real “study hall” atmosphere. It has a brick-lined back room that feels like stepping into a monk’s cell – cool and silent. What’s interesting is that everyone seems to respect this atmosphere, whether they’re regulars or not. If someone’s phone rings, they’ll either answer it in a hushed tone, or turn off the ringer and step outside.

The décor and the layout of the space changes regularly, lending it all a kind of subtle unpredictability that I’ve found really conducive to creative writing. A lot like the low-level conversations that take place all around me, infusing the room with life and energy.

I go to work at the coffee shop regularly enough that I’ve started referring to it as “the office.” I’ve trudged to the office through sub-zero temperatures, three feet of snow, thunderstorms, and scorching heat. It’s taught me to always show up for my writing, no matter what.

Do I have any pre-writing rituals? Obtaining caffeine, mostly.


 You can catch up on the blog tour and see all that came before by clicking on the links below:

Day 7: Curbside Press sports an outdoor recorded excerpt of Katherine reading from Have You Seen Me

Day 6: Another Chicago Blog plays host to a print excerpt from the book. 

Day 5: Interview at The Orange Alert

Day 4: This Podcast Will Change Your Life from the always excellent Ben "Tanz the manz" Tanzer.

Day 3: Interviewed by fellow CCLaP author Jason Fisk

Day 2: Interviewed by Sassafrass Lowery

Day 1: The Thang Blog interviews Katherine. 


The book: 
Chris and Vyv have always been close -- as the only two 'weird' kids in their small Midwestern town, they've often depended on each other to survive. But their friendship will be put to the test when Vyv runs away and continues to communicate with Chris in secret. All summer, as the search for Vyv mounts, Chris tries to avoid the pressure by working for Albert, an off-the-grid survivalist writer building an anarchist compound from an abandoned house and barn. But as Albert's plans for the future grow more apocalyptic, and Vyv's emails gradually become more terrifying, Chris will face the complete upheaval of everything he's ever known.

Don't forget to check out the novella Have You Seen Me and download it here via CCLaP's "pay what you want" set up. For real. 

AND.. Even though the virtual blog tour has come to an end, Katherine's (and a handful of other CCLaPer's) real book tour kicks off in NYC this week! Don't miss the grand finale at the KGB bar on Sunday, 6/3, at 7pm. I'll be there so if you do stop by, be sure to hunt me down and congratulate Katherine on the book's release!

(Many thanks to Jason Pettus, the brains and brawn behind CCLaP, for inviting me to be a part of the tour.)

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