Monday, July 21, 2008

LA Times Reviews My Name Is Will

If you haven't read your Sunday (7/20) Los Angeles Times Book Review, don't recycle it yet. In a glowing review, Donna Seaman calls MY NAME IS WILL "hilarious," "fascinating," and "a celebration of the power of language and story," among other very nice things.

The New York Times picked WILL for their summer reading list, and The New York Times Book Review will run a full page review this coming Sunday (7/27): I've seen it... it's a little snarky about my cartoon credentials and bawdy wordplay, but it's a lively piece about the book: "A lusty, pun-drunk first novel... where there's a Will, there's a way." Look for it online or on newsstands this weekend.

And my attempt to set the World's Record for "Most Shakespeare Plays Performed Solo in a Single Day in Brooklyn" received lots of press, from The New Yorker magazine to YouTube; I highly recommend this great article and podcast about the event in The Brooklyn Paper.

There's also a nice feature in Sunday's Santa Cruz Sentinel.

For all the latest, including much more news, more reviews, announcements about upcoming radio interviews on NPR, tour dates for San Diego, the Bay Area, and Seattle, etc., hop on over to

Finally, check out my new online store, where you can purchase some cool merchandise, including exclusive MY NAME IS WILL tour t-shirts.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mushrooms In The News

Some of the news this week threatened to throw me into the holiday weekend on bit of a downer. First there's the "Obama Running To The Center" news cycle. It was to be expected, but during the heady days of primary Obamamania I and much of his liberal base conveniently forgot little things like his support (albeit limited) of the death penalty and his, shall we say, "nuanced" take on gun control. I was headed toward despair when he came out in favor of Bush's faith-based initiatives plan, but it only took a visit to BlySpace to settle my nerves.

Then there was the
LA Times piece on the lawsuit between the Tolkien estate and the recently-deceased New Line Cinema. I'm not a huge fan of the Tolkien estate (J.R.R. explicitly created Middle Earth for other writers and artists to use as a mythology, but his son Christopher has stingily kept the names, places, and tales strictly guarded for his own painfully pedantic purposes), but for them to have not received a penny of the billions of dollars raked in by the film trilogy is... well, there's no adjective big enough to describe the injustice. (I find it telling that, although a picture of the Professor appeared in the print edition, Tolkien remains anonymous in the online edition; presumably Elijah Wood makes for a sexier page.) As both a former producer myself and a playwright and screenwriter who's worked with some skanky money men, it never to ceases to amaze me how rare it is to find a producer who truly respects the writer. Many give lip service; few put their money where their lips are. I'm glad to say that my experience the publishing industry is a breath of fresh air. My agent Ellen Levine at Trident and editor Cary Goldstein and publisher Jonathan Karp at Twelve Books all define the word "integrity."

Speaking of integrity... I'm thrilled to note that my good friend and great comedian/raconteur Nick Revell has begun regular
blogging for The Huffington Post. Think Jon Stewart about to start a pub brawl through sheer intelligence. This is a very good thing for the world.

Finally, I've had a couple of friends point me to a
recent story about the long-term therapeutic effects of magic mushrooms. This comes as no surprise; it merely backs up the very real research that my fictionalized Timothy Leary spouts in MY NAME IS WILL.

That little tidbit heads me into the holiday -- and my book launch next week -- on a happy note. Have a safe and celebratory Independence Day weekend!