Today is the day. The Vapors is officially published. It doesn’t seem real yet. I’m probably more nervous than excited, honestly. It’s such an intimate thing, this book. I’ve lived with these pages for years now. I have a child that is younger than these pages. And for all those years it was a story that existed in my head, shared only with a couple of editors with delicate bedside manners. I’m proud of it, but I’m still on pins and needles worrying about what others, even complete strangers, will think. It feels ridiculous to type that out, to confess that fear, but I suppose there is no shame in it. It’s an intense and vulnerable thing, sharing this book with the whole world and inviting their judgement. I’m steeling myself for whatever may come, and taking solace at knowing at least I’ve got you in my corner. And that is no small thing. Your posts and tweets and whatnot in the last week have really made a big difference. And there’s still more you can do.
I am not doing any book tour or public appearances, thanks to a global pandemic you may have heard is going on. I am, however, doing a number of events online this week in support of the book, and the good news is you can join me at every single one of them.
The first event is tonight at 7pm est with the Strand bookstore in NYC. I’ll be talking to The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey. You can reserve a spot by clicking this link.
Wednesday night at 7pm est I’ll be on Facebook Live with the Garland County Library. They’re planning to give away signed copies of the book to people who ask questions on the Q&A, so think up some softballs. You can go to the event page by clicking this link.
Thursday night at 6pm est I’ll be on Zoom for Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. I’ll be speaking with Jay Jennings from The Oxford American. RSVP’s are required, and you can sign up at this link.
I have more events coming up later in the month, but that’s it for this week. I have a recurring nightmare where I log on to my computer for these things and nobody is there to watch, so please join all of them and post nice things in the chat and hook me up with some moral support.
It is a big disappointment that I can’t do in person events and be able to come to wherever you live and hang out and talk and sign books and be together. It’s also a letdown that I won’t get to see the book on the shelves at bookstores, at least not for a while. I’m especially down that I don’t get to celebrate the publication of the book in Hot Springs this week, as I had imagined for the last four years I would. One day, when this is all over and I leave this house again, I swear I’ll come visit. In the meantime, please keep sending photos of the book in the wild! Unless they decide to sell The Vapors at Shoprite or Walgreens, there is little chance I’m going to see it myself.
A few other things that came out recently:
The Arkansas Times published both a new excerpt as well as a Q&A I did with my old pal Matt Rowe, who not only assisted me with research for the book but is the grandson of LV Rowe, whose story of trying to cheat at The Vapors opens the book.
Sean Clancy at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette wrote a nice feature over the weekend about me and the book.
I went on The Ring magazine’s podcast Tourist Information to talk to Brin-Jonathan Butler about writing and gambling and Arkansas.
I read a chapter from The Vapors on At the Races with Steve Byk on SiriusXM.
As always, if you haven’t yet purchased a copy of The Vapors, I’d be much obliged if you would do it today. Here’s a link to order the book at Bookshop, or you can buy it pretty much anywhere books are sold. If you have a local store and they are open for business, call them up and ask them if they have it. And if they don’t, act real surprised and maybe even spit out your coffee or whatever and tell them that’s the craziest thing you’ve ever heard. If this book is going to succeed, it’s going to need some of that good old fashioned Hot Springs razzle dazzle, folks. We’re a city of hustlers. Let’s hustle America into buying this book.