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Free Preview – The Serpent of Venice

December 24th, 2013 · Uncategorized

Well happy holidays and beyond, my fluffy puppets. My humble gift to you, a chapter and a page from the new book.

Be safe, be kind, have fun….

THE SERPENT OF VENICE

 

ACT I

Fortunato’s Fate

Hell and Night must bring this monstrous birth to light.

—Iago, Othello, Act I, Scene 3

 

 

INVOCATION

Rise, Muse!
Darkwater sprite,
Bring stirring play
To vision’s light.

Rise, Muse!
On fin and tail
With fang and claw
Rend invention’s veil.

Come, Muse!
’Neath harbored ship,
Under night fisher’s torch,
And sleeping sailors slip.

To Venice, Muse!
Radiant venom convey,
Charge scribe’s driven quill
To story assay.

Of betrayal, grief and war,
Provoke, Muse, your howl
Of love’s laughter lost
and Heinous Fuckery, most foul…

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

The Trap

They waited at the dock, the three Venetians, for the fool to arrive.
“An hour after sunset, I told him,” said the senator, a bent- backed graybeard in a rich brocade robe befitting his office. “I sent a gondola myself to fetch him.”

“Aye, he’ll be here,” said the soldier, a broad-shouldered, fit brute of forty, in leather and rough linen, full sword and fighting dagger at his belt, black bearded with a scar through his right brow that made him look ever questioning or suspicious. “He thinks himself a connoisseur, and can’t resist the temptation of your wine cellar. And when it is done, we shall have more than Carnival to celebrate.”

“And yet, I feel sad,” said the merchant. A soft-handed, fair- skinned gent who wore a fine, floppy velvet hat, and a gold signet ring the size of a small mouse, with which he sealed agreements. “I know not why.”

They could hear the distant sounds of pipes, drums, and horns from across the lagoon in Venice. Torches bounced on the shore- line near Piazza San Marco. Behind them, the senator’s estate, Villa Belmont, stood dark but for a storm lantern in an upper window,

a light by which a gondolier might steer to the private island. Out on the water, fishermen had lit torches, which bobbed like dim, drunken stars against the inky water. Even during Carnival, the city must eat.

The senator put his hand on the merchant’s shoulder. “We per- form service to God and state, a relief to conscience and heart, a cleansing that opens a pathway to our designs. Think of the boun- teous fortune that will find you, once the rat is removed from the granary.”

“But I quite like his monkey,” said the merchant.

The soldier grinned and scratched his beard to conceal his amusement. “You’ve seen to it that he comes alone?”

“It was a condition of his invitation,” said the senator. “I told him out of good Christian charity all his servants were to be dismissed to attend Carnival, as I assured him I had done with my own.”

“Shrewdly figured,” said the soldier, looking back to the vast, unlit villa. “He’ll think nothing out of order then when he sees no attendants.”

“But monkeys can be terribly hard to catch,” said the merchant. “Would you forget about the monkey,” growled the soldier.
“I told him that my daughter is terrified of monkeys, could not

be in the same room with one.”
“But she isn’t here,” said the merchant.
“The fool doesn’t know that,” said the soldier. “Our brave Mon-

tressor will cast his younger daughter as bait, even after having the eldest stolen from the hook by a blackfish.”

“The senator’s loss cuts deep enough without your barbs,” said the merchant. “Do we not pursue the same purpose? Your wit is too mean to be clever, merely crude and cruel.”

“But, sweet Antonio,” said the soldier. “I am at once clever, crude, and cruel—all assets to your endeavor. Or would you rather partner with the kindly edge of a more courtly sword?” He laid his hand on the hilt of his sword.

The merchant looked out over the water.
“I thought not,” said the soldier.
“Put on friendly faces, you two.” The senator stepped between

them and squinted into the night. “The fool’s boat approaches. There!”

Amid the fishing boats a bright lantern drifted, and slowly broke rank as the gondola moved toward them. In a moment it was glid- ing into the dock, the gondolier so precise in his handling of the oar that the black boat stopped with its rails only a handsbreadth from the dock. A louvered hatch clacked open and out of the cabin stepped a wiry little man dressed in the black-and-silver motley and mask of a harlequin. By his size, one might have thought him a boy, but the oversize codpiece and the shadow of a beard on his cheek betrayed his years.

“One lantern?” said the harlequin, hopping up onto the dock. “You couldn’t have spared an extra torch or two, Brabantio? It’s dark as night’s own nutsack out here.” He breezed by the soldier and the merchant. “Toadies,” he said, nodding to them. Then he was on his way up the path to the villa, pumping a puppet-headed jester’s scepter as he went. The senator tottered along behind him, holding the lantern high to light their way.

“It’s an auspicious night, Fortunato,” said the senator. “And I sent the servants away before nightfall so—”

“Call me Pocket,” said the fool. “Only the dge calls me Fortu- nato. Wonder that’s not his nickname for everyone, bloody bung- fingered as he is at cards.”

At the dock, the soldier again laid hand on sword hilt, saying, “By the saints, I would run my blade up through his liver right now, and lift him on it just to watch that arrogant grin wither as he twitched. Oh how I do hate the fool.”

The merchant smiled and talked through his teeth as he pressed the soldier’s sword hand down, throwing a nod toward the gondo- lier, who was standing on his boat, waiting. “As do I, in this pan-

tomime we perform for Carnival, he is our jibing clown. Ha! The Punchinello in our little puppet show, all in good fun, am I right?” The soldier looked to the boatman and forced a grin. “Quite right. All in good cheer. I play my part too well. One moment, signor. I will have your instructions.” He turned and called up the

path. “Montressor! The gondolier?”
“Pay him and tell him to go, be merry, and return at midnight.” “You heard him,” said the soldier. “Go celebrate, but not so much

that you cannot steer. I would sleep in my own bed this night. Pay him, Antonio.” The soldier turned and headed up the path.

“Me? Why is it always me?” He dug into his purse. “Very well, then.” The merchant tossed a coin to the gondolier, who snatched it out of the air and bowed his head in thanks. “Midnight then.”

“Midnight, signor,” said the gondolier, who twisted his oar, sending the gondola sliding away from the dock silent and smooth as a knife through the night.

Outside the grand entrance of the palazzo the fool paused. “What’s that above your door, Montressor?” There was a coat of arms inlaid in the marble, ensconced in shadow. The senator held up his lantern, illuminating the crest, showing the relief of a man’s foot in gold, trampling a jade serpent, even as its fangs pierced the heel.

“My family crest,” said the senator.

“Reckon they were all out of proper dragons and lions down at the crest shop so you had to settle for this toss, eh?”

“Think they’d have thrown in a fleur-de-lis,” said the fool’s puppet stick, in a voice just a note above the fool’s own. “Mon- tressor’s fucking French, innit?”

The senator whirled around to face the puppet. “Montressor is a title bestowed upon me by the doge. It means ‘my treasure’ and notes that he holds me highest in regard of the six senators of the high council. This is the crest of the family Brabantio, one our family has worn with pride for four hundred years. Do note the

motto, fool, ‘Nemo me impune lacessit.’ ” He bounced the lantern with each syllable as he read through gritted teeth. “It means, no one attacks me with impunity.”

“Well, that’s not fucking French,” said the puppet, turning to look at the fool.

“No,” said the fool. “The puppet Jones is quite fluent in fucking French,” he explained to the senator.

“But Montressor is French, right?”
“Froggy as a summer day on the Seine,” said the fool. “Thought so,” said the puppet.
“Stop talking to that puppet!” barked the senator.
“Well, you were just shouting at him,” said the fool.
“And now I’m shouting at you! You are working the puppet’s

mouth and giving it voice.”
“No!” said the puppet, his wooden jaw agape, looking to the

fool, then to the senator, then back to the fool. “This bloody toss- bobbin is running things?”

The fool nodded; the bells on his hat jingled earnestly.

The puppet turned to the senator. “Well, if you’re going to be a bastard about it, your bloody motto is nicked.”

“What?” said the senator.

“Plagiarized,” said the fool, still nodding solemnly, the bringer of sad news.

The merchant and the soldier had caught up to them and could see that their host was incensed, so they stood at the bottom of the steps, watching. The soldier’s hand fell to the hilt of his sword.

“It’s the Scottish motto, innit?” said the puppet. “Bloody Order of the Fistle.”

“It’s true,” said the fool. “Although it’s ‘Thistle,’ not Fistle, Jones, you Cockney berk.”

“What I said,” said the puppet Jones. “Piss off.”

The fool glared at the puppet, then turned back to the senator. “Same motto is inscribed over the entrance to Edinburgh Castle.”

“You must be remembering it wrong. It is in Latin.”

“Indeed,” said the fool. “And I am raised by nuns in the bosom of the church. Could speak and write Latin and Greek before I could see over the table. No, Montressor, your motto couldn’t be more Scottish if it was painted blue and smelled of burning peat and your ginger sister.”

“Stolen,” said the puppet. “Pilfered. Swiped. Filched, as it fuck- ing were. A motto most used, defiled, and besmirched.”

“Besmirched?” said the fool. “Really?”

The puppet nodded furiously on the end of his stick. The fool shrugged to the senator. “A right shite crest and a motto most be- smirched, Montressor. Let’s hope this amontillado you’ve prom- ised can comfort us in our disappointment.”

The merchant stepped up then and put his hand on the fool’s shoulder. “Then let’s waste no more time out here in the mist. To the senator’s cellar and his cask of exquisite amontillado.”

“Yes,” said the senator. He stepped through the doorway into a grand foyer, took tapers from a credenza, lit them from his lan- tern, and handed one to each of his guests. “Mind your step,” said the senator. “We’ll be going down ancient stairs to the very lowest levels of the palazzo. Some will be quite low, so, Antonio, Iago, watch your head.”

“Did he just besmirch our height?” asked the puppet.

“Can’t say,” said the fool. “I’m not entirely sure I know what ‘besmirched’ means. I’ve just been going along with you because I thought you knew what you were talking about.”

“Quiet, flea,” growled the soldier.
“That there’s a besmirchin’, ” said the puppet.
“Oh, well, yes then,” said the fool. He raised his taper high, illu-

minating a thick coat of mold on the low ceiling. “So, Montressor, is the lovely Portia waiting down here in the dark?”

“I’m afraid my youngest daughter will not be joining us. She’s gone to Florence to buy shoes.”

They entered a much wider vault now, with casks set into the walls on one side, racks of dusty bottles on the other; a long oak table and high-backed chairs ran down the middle. The senator lit lanterns around the chamber until the entire room was bathed in a warm glow that belied the dampness that permeated the cellar.

“Just as well,” said the fool. “She’s just be whingeing about the dark and the damp and how Iago reeks of squid and we’d never get any proper drinking done.”

“What?” said the soldier.

The fool leaned into Antonio and bounced his eyebrows so they showed above his black mask. “Don’t get me wrong, Portia’s a lus- cious little fuck-bubble to be sure, but prickly as a gilded hedgehog when she doesn’t get her way.”

The senator looked up with murderous fire in his eyes, then quickly looked down and shuddered, almost, it seemed, with plea- sure.

“I do not reek of squid,” said the soldier, as if overcome by a rare moment of self-consciousness. He sniffed at the shoulder of his cape, and finding no squidish aroma, returned his attention to the senator.

“If you’d be so kind as to decant the amontillado, Iago,” said the senator, “we can be about getting the opinion of this distinguished connoisseur.”

“I never said I was a connoisseur, Montressor. I just said I’d had it before and it was the mutt’s nuts.”

“The dog’s bollocks,” said the puppet, clarifying.

“When you were king of Spain, correct?” said the merchant, with a grin and a sarcastic roll of the eye toward the senator.

“I’ve had various titles,” said Fortunato. “Only fool seems con- stant.”

The soldier cradled the heavy cask under his arm as if he was strangling a bull-necked enemy and filled a delicate Murano glass pitcher with the amber liquid.

The senator said: “The wine dealer has five more casks coming from Spain. If you pronounce it genuine, I’ll buy the others and have one sent round to you in thanks.”

“Let’s have a taste, then,” said the fool. “Although, without it’s poured by a properly wanton, olive-skinned serving wench, you can’t really call it authentic, but I suppose Iago will have to suffice.”

“Won’t be the first time he’s filled that role, I’ll wager,” said the puppet Jones. “Lonely nights in the field, and whatnot.”

The soldier grinned, set the cask on the table, and with a nod from the senator poured the sherry into four heavy glass tumblers with pewter bases cast in the shape of winged lions.

“To the republic,” said the senator, raising his glass.
“To the Assumption,” said the merchant. “To Carnival!”
“To Venice,” said the soldier.
“To the delicious Desdemona,” said the fool.
And the merchant nearly choked as he looked to the senator,

who calmly drank, then lowered his glass to the table, never look- ing from the fool.

“Well?”

The fool swished the liquid in his cheeks, rolled his eyes at the ceiling in consideration then swallowed as if enduring an espe- cially noxious medicine. He shuddered and looked over the rim of his glass at the senator. “I’m not sure,” he said.

“Well, sit, try a bit more,” said the merchant. “Sometimes the first drink only clears the dust of the day off a man’s palate.”

The fool sat, as did the others. They all drank again. The glasses clunked down. The three looked to the fool.

“Well?” asked Iago.

“Montressor, you’ve been had,” said the fool. “This is not amon- tillado.”

“It’s not?” said the senator.
“Tastes perfect to me,” said the merchant.
“No, it’s not amontillado,” said the fool. “And I can see from

your face that you are neither surprised nor disappointed. So while we quaff this imposter—which tastes a bit of pitch, if you ask me— shall we turn to your darker purpose? The real reason we are all here.” The fool drained his glass, leaned on the table, and rolled his eyes coyly at the senator in the manner of a flirting teenage girl. “Shall we?”

The soldier and the merchant looked to the senator, who smiled. “Our darker purpose?” asked the senator.
“Tastes of pitch?” asked the merchant.
“Not to me,” said the soldier, now looking at his glass.

“Do you think me a fool?” said the fool. “Don’t answer that. I mean, do you think me foolish? An ill-formed question as well.” He looked at his hand and seemed surprised to find it at the end of his wrist, then looked back to the senator. “You brought me here to convince me to rally the doge for you, to back another holy war.”

“No,” said the senator.
“No? You don’t want a bloody war?”
“Well, yes,” said the soldier. “But that’s not why we’ve brought

you here.”
“Then you wish me to entreat my friend Othello to back you all

in a Crusade, from which you all may profit. I knew it when I got the invitation.”

“Hadn’t thought about it,” said the senator. “More sherry?”

The fool adjusted his hat, and when the bells jingled he fol- lowed one around with his eyes and nearly went over backward in his chair.

Antonio, the merchant, steadied the fool, and patted his back to reassure him.

The fool pulled away, and regarded the merchant, looking him not just in the eye, but around the eyes, as if they were windows to a dark house and he was looking for someone hiding inside.

“Then you don’t want me to use my influence in France and England to back a war?”

The merchant shook his head and smiled.
“Oh balls, it’s simple revenge then?”
Antonio and Iago nodded.
The fool regarded the senator, and seemed to have difficulty

focusing on the graybeard. “Everyone knows I’m here. Many saw me board the gondola to come here.”

“And they will see a fool return,” said the senator.
“I am a favorite of the doge,” slurred the fool “He adores me.” “That is the problem,” said the senator.
In a single motion the fool leapt from his chair to the middle

of the table, reached into the small of his back, and came up with a wickedly pointed throwing dagger, which caught his eye as it flashed in his hand before him. He wobbled and shook his head as if to clear his vision.

“Poison?” he said, somewhat wistfully. “Oh, fuckstockings, I am slain—”

His eyes rolled back in his head, his knees buckled, and he fell face forward on the table with a thump and a rattle of his blade across the floor.

The three looked from the prostrate Fortunato to each other.

The soldier felt the fool’s neck for a pulse. “He’s alive, but I can remedy that.” He reached for his dagger.

“No,” said the senator. “Help me get him out of his clothes and to a deeper section of the cellar, then take your leave. You last saw him alive, and you can swear on your soul that is all you know.”

Antonio the merchant sighed. “It’s sad we must kill the little fool, who, while wildly annoying, does seem to bring mirth and merriment to those around him. Yet I suppose if there is a ducat to be made, it must be made. If a profit blossoms, so must a merchant pluck it.”

“Duty to God, profit, and the republic!” said the senator.

“Many a fool has found his end trying to resist the wind of war,” said Iago. “So shall this one.

 

CHAPTER TWO

The Dark

What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m walling you up in the dungeon,” said the senator, who crouched in the arched doorway to the chamber in which I was chained to the wall.

“No you’re not,” said I.

Indeed, it appeared that he was walling me up, but I wasn’t going to concede that simply because I was chained, naked, and water was rising about my feet. Cautious I was not to instill a sense of confidence in my enemy.

“I am,” said he. “Brick by brick. The first masonry I’ve done since I was a lad, but it comes back. I was ten, I think, when I helped the mason who was building my father’s house. Not this one, of course. This house has been in the family for centuries. And I think I was less help than in his way, but alas, I learned.”

“Well, you couldn’t possibly have been more annoying then than you are now, so do get on with it.”

The senator stabbed his trowel into a bucket of mortar with such enthusiasm that he might have been spearing my liver. Then he held his lamp through the doorway into my little chamber,

which he had already bricked up to just above his knees. By the lamplight I saw I was in a passageway barely two yards wide, that sloped downward into the dark water, which was now washing about my ankles. There was a high-tide line on the wall, about the level of my chest.

“You know you’re going to die here, Fortunato?”

“Pocket,” I corrected. “You’re mad, Brabantio. Deluded, para- noid, and irritatingly grandiose.”

“You’ll die. Alone. In the dark.” He tamped down a brick with the butt of his trowel.

“Senile, probably. It comes early to the inbred or the syphilitic.”

“The crabs won’t even wait for you to stop moving before they begin to clean your bones.”

“Ha!” said I.
“What do you mean, ‘Ha’?” said Brabantio.
“You’ve played right into my hands!”

____________________

So there you go. The rest will be in stores April 22nd, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

-Chris

 

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Signed Books for the Holidays!

October 25th, 2013 · Uncategorized

Hey kids, Books Inc is providing signed copies of my books for the Holidays.

The Lamb will be the “leather” gift edtion, Sacré Bleu is the special first edtion signed, and The Stupidest Angel has the bonus chapter included in version 2.0.

Books Inc will ship to Canada and Europe, but it’s going to be expensive.

http://www.booksinc.net/christopher-moore-signed

Quanties are limited, especially on the Sacré Bleu firsts, so don’t wait too long.

 

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A MidSummer’s Sacré Bleu and Bookstore Rescue!

July 1st, 2012 · Uncategorized

Hey kids, one more event for my pals at the Capitola Book Cafe in Capitola (Santa Cruz, CA). It’s a benefit to try to save one of the coolest book stores on the planet, and I’ll be talking and signing and fun will be had. July 14th, 2012 – 2:00 PM. http://www.capitolabookcafe.com/

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Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

June 6th, 2012 · Uncategorized

I was 12, and although I’d been reading voraciously since I was six, I don’t think it ever occurred to me that there was someone actually telling the stories. Then I read a book called “R is for Rocket,” and before I’d finished, I picked up “S is for Space,” the “The Martian Chronicles” and so it went. Maybe because the books were of short stories, maybe because they were so masterfully crafted, but I suddenly realized that there was an artist there, behind the stories, putting them together, making me grin and shiver with fear and delight, leading me down the path of outrageous imagination to other worlds, times, and consciousnesses.Ray Bradbury made me aware of the art and craft of fiction, and soon thereafter I realized that I wanted to be that guy, the teller of stories. To this day, I will look to his stories for clues for how to better perform my craft. You need go no further than Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn”, about a lonesome sea monster that falls in love with a fog horn see Ray’s direct influence on my work. I read it a dozen times when I was writing The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.The first time of many that I heard Ray speak, at the Santa Barbara Writer’s conference in 1982, he said, “If a writer introduces an idea, then leaves in lying there, doesn’t do anything with it, then it’s yours. It’s yours, to do with what you want!” He had a breathy, conspiratorial way of talking to an audience — a sort of, “isn’t it cool! isn’t it amazing!? aren’t we lucky!?” way of talking about writing.

Yes, Ray, it is. It is! We are!
Thanks for the sea monster, Ray. Thanks for turning on the light so I could write.

Ray Bradbury was bright champion of imagination, an inspiration and an icon. He shall be so ever after.

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Signed First Editions of Sacre Bleu

March 29th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Signed First Editions of Sacre Bleu

 

Signed First Editions of Sacre Bleu

Mysterioius Galaxy will be taking orders for signed first edtions, which will ship after April 10th, when I’m there. Remember, only the first printing of Sacré Bleu will have color art and print. After they it will be in black and white, so jump on these if you’re not near a tour city. If you order before the 8th, these will be the color, first printings.

Signed Sacre Bleu firsts as well as other titles. (Contact store if something you want isn’t listed.) Also, international readers should order from Mysterious Galaxy, below. Their shipping is significantly less expensive for international orders. Yes, including Canada.)

International and Canadian Buyers read this note from Mysterious Galaxy:

Keep in mind that shipping charges for foreign orders are set by the system and are often adjusted down to reflect actual charges. One copy of Chris’s book to Canada is $12.95 and to most of Europe and Australia is $16.95 in a priority envelop according to the USPS website. If the charge to your country is more than $16.95 US, we will contact you.

Signed Firsts from Mysterious Galaxy:

 www.mystgalaxy.com/event/christopher-moore-signs-sd-040912

 

NOTE: Books Inc has suspended taking more orders until after the event, April 3rd, so they’ll be sure to have enough for the event in San Francisco (See Tour Post on this Blog)

 

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ASK THE AUTHORGUY brings you BOOKSIGNING FAQS

March 22nd, 2012 · Uncategorized

            Since I announced my 2012 book tour, a lot of people have been asking, “What goes on at a book-signing?”  The following answers apply only to MY events, book-signings by other authors are different. For instance, while there is no real “appropriate” attire for one of my events, if you’re at a Chuck Palahniuk event, you’ll want to wear your best bondage-wear (leather or PVC), and carry plastic sheeting. Chuck’s events are very much like a Gallagher comedy act, except in place of watermelons, human body parts are splattered on the audience, which is why Chuck is America’s most beloved author. That said, while you may have to stand in line unattended at one of my signings, at Neil Gaiman events there are “line monitors,” burly security guys who are there to catch Goth girls (and boys) who faint over Neil’s dreaminess.  At a Lemony Snicket event, you might be entertained by Toccata and Fugue played on an accordion and encouraged to murder your parents (or at least frame them for embezzlement, ) while at one of my events, the closest you’ll come to being entertained is watching me swig Nyquil while spooging hand-sand on myself and others in a series of anti-viral “money-shots”.

So, to your questions:

 

1)What is the most important thing to consider in coming to one of your events?

1)ans: Parking. This is doubly important if you are driving.

 

2)Do I have to buy a book to attend?

2)ans: Most stores, now, require you buy at least one book per group, or a ticket, which usually includes a book. This varies from store to store and you should call the store and ask before betting your whole afternoon or evening on it. I’ve listed all of their contact information on Google.

 

3)Can I get your other books signed, my older books?

3)Yes, but often I have to limit how many I can personalize, especially if there’s a big crowd. The store my require that you buy the new one there, but most are okay if you bring your old books, and I’ll sign all that you bring. It helps if you have them turned to the “title page”, which is the first page on which my name appears. Collectors and dealers who have a bunch of books are asked to wait until the end and — access to the author for dealers is up to the discretion of the event store. (If you’re a dealer or a collector, you probably know this.)

 

4)I don’t know what to say. It’s my big moment, I’ve been waiting in line, and I don’t know what to say…

4) Most authors have been on your side of the table and know what that is like.  I remember being terrified to speak to Ray Bradbury, and later Harlan Ellison. Hell, even now I get nervous when I meet authors. We get it. We also have all done events where no one but the bookstore staff was there, so we’re grateful you’re there. No author doesn’t like to hear that you love his or her books, that you share them with friends. It doesn’t get old, and it’s exactly the thing to say. I appreciate it. On the other hand, don’t pitch your idea for a screenplay or novel. I am powerless to help you and there are people waiting.

 

5)You like pie. Can I bring you pie? Or, you know, a meerkat?

5)Presents are very sweet, but an author on tour usually has one carry-on bag and his or her version of a computer bag – for the whole month, which means things are packed to the max. We just don’t have room to take along gifts, nor the time to send them on or even eat snacks.  (I’ve even run out of room to carry my receipts and had to ship them home mid-way through the tour.) I’ve left a multitude of thoughtful gifts in hotel rooms because I couldn’t get them into my bag. That goes double for books and regional delicacies like bar-b-que sauce or maple syrup. (We’re getting on a plane in the morning, remember?)  We just don’t have room for them. I have had many dinners consisting entirely of goldfish crackers brought to me by readers, and I really thank you for that, but it’s probably not the best policy. CDs and Manuscripts are out of the question. First, I can’t read manuscripts even if I want to, agents orders, and I don’t travel with a CD player, not even in my computer, so the discs often have to be left behind a stop or two down the road, anyway.

 

6)What can we expect? Do you read your work? Give back-rubs? What’s up?

6) The main thing to remember is, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. I’m a writer, if I was a people person they wouldn’t lock me in a room by myself to do my job. I don’t read my stuff. I suck at it. That said, there’s some variation in how events proceed– especially this tour, since some events are in theaters, but usually a bunch of you sit down, someone introduces me, I talk about writing books and stuff for about 20-40 minutes, take some questions, and then I sign books. Each book store has a different way of managing the line. Some have tickets, or bookmarks, or wrist-bands, other’s go by the “dog-pile” approach. At some events, I will have signed all of the books in advance so you’ll get a signed book even if you don’t have time to stand in line. We started doing this a couple of books ago when I’d get letters from people who had come but had to leave because of a baby-sitter or something before they got to meet me and get their book signed. You can still stand in line and I’ll personalize your book, but usually in these cases, the line is shorter because those people who just wanted to hear me talk or get a signed book can bolt.

 

7)What sort of questions should we ask?

7)Not “Where do you get your ideas?”  (Now that I’ve told you that, I know that the first question will always be, “Where do you get your ideas?” because, let’s face it, my work appeals to the smart-ass demographic, but I’m going to just tell you “From Jules Verne”, or “from Bazooka Joe Comics” or something equally absurd, so whatever…) The one thing I ask is that as the tour proceeds, and you’ve had time to read the book, is you not ask something that’s a “spoiler” for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Oh, no movies are being made of my books. If that changes, I’ll let you know.

 

8)What else do we need to know?

8)Most anything else should be addressed to the specific book store, because they really dictate the policy for events. Call them. They’ll know about parking, places to eat near-by, stuff like that.  My advice, on meals, by the way, is on an evening event, eat before you come to the book store. I do. Sometimes these things can run late.

 

9)Will you sign other stuff?

9)I will, but it’s limited. It takes quite a while to sign fabric items, I have to go slow, so be considerate of your line homeys when you ask. Fucksox are nearly impossible, so let’s not go there.  Body parts are also really tough. (I can’t believe I’m actually typing this.) I know you’d love to have a tattoo on your uvula of my signature, but as I cherish the fun of poking you in the uvula with a Sharpie, may I suggest getting something else signed, like tracing paper or clear plastic, and taking that to your tattoo artist. That way, too, you can sober up and think it through.

 

10)What about pictures?

10) I’m fine with you taking pictures with me. Sometimes the store will have someone who will help – take your phone or camera so you can get in the picture—but sometimes, not, so you’ll want to have stuff ready. If the store doesn’t have someone, then make friends with the person in line behind you to take the shot – show them how to use your phone, get it all set up. The we’ll all dogpile into the photo and it will be tons of fun.

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Early Reviews for Sacré Bleu

February 1st, 2012 · Uncategorized

KIRKUS REVIEWS
SACRE BLEU
Author: Moore, Christopher

Review Issue Date: February 15, 2012
Online Publish Date: February 5, 2012
Publisher:Morrow/HarperCollins
Pages: 416
Price ( Hardcover ): $26.99
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-06-177974-9
Category: Fiction

An aspiring painter and unabashed romantic joins the greatest artists of the age in chasing his muse across fin de siècle–era France.

There are really two ages and two operating modes for hugely popular comedic writer Moore (The Griff, 2011, etc.). There’s the deceptively easy humor of his early California novels, which only gets sharper and funnier in his San Francisco–based vampire novels. But from time to time, Moore gets obsessed with a particular subject, lending a richer layer to his peculiar brand of irreverent humor—see Lamb (2003), Fluke (2003) and Fool (2009) for examples. Here, the author gets art deeply under his fingernails for a wryly madcap and sometimes touching romp through the late 19th century. The story surrounds the mysterious suicide of Vincent van Gogh, who famously shot himself in a French wheat field only to walk a mile to a doctor’s house. The mystery, which is slowly but cleverly revealed through the course of the book, is blue: specifically the exclusive ultramarine pigment that accents pictures created by the likes of Michelangelo and van Gogh. To find the origin of the hue, Moore brings on Lucien Lessard, a baker, aspiring artist and lover of Juliette, the brunette beauty who breaks his heart. After van Gogh’s death, Lucien joins up with the diminutive force of nature Henri Toulouse-Lautrec to track down the inspiration behind the Sacré Bleu. In the shadows, lurking for centuries, is a perverse paint dealer dubbed The Colorman, who tempts the world’s great artists with his unique hues and a mysterious female companion who brings revelation—and often syphilis (it is Moore, after all). Into the palette, Moore throws a dizzying array of characters, all expertly portrayed, from the oft-drunk “little gentleman” to a host of artists including Édouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Moore’s humor is, as ever, sweetly juvenile, but his arty comedy also captures the courage and rebellion of the Impressionists with an exultant joie de vivre.

Booklist

Sacre Bleu.

Moore, Christopher (Author)
Apr 2012. 416 p. Morrow, hardcover, $26.99. (9780062097749).
Moore drops his readers into the strange world of nineteenth-century France, where the line between past and present, real and surreal, shifts with a mere brushstroke. A baker and aspiring artist, protagonist Lucien Lessard grew up surrounded by Impressionist painters, all of whom seem to have fallen under the magical spell of a particular shade of blue. Van Gogh’s death and posthumous warning of a dangerous villain, the Colorman, sets Lessard and his friend, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, off on a journey to discover the power behind the Colorman’s blue paint. Entwined in their journey is the beautiful but mysterious Juliette. Mingling comedy and mystery, Moore crafts an intricate story that teases the reader with numerous twists and bawdy humor. While Lessard is fictional, many of the characters are based on historical figures, and their use of modern slang can be jarring. Toulouse-Lautrec emerges vibrantly, but some of the other painters struggle to come to life. Still, this is an imaginative and amusing look at the Impressionist era, and Moore’s prose is fresh and engaging.
— Eve Gaus

LIBRARY JOURNAL
Moore, Christopher.

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art.

Morrow. Apr. 2012. c.416p. illus. ISBN 9780061779749. $26.99. F

Moore (Fool; You Suck) set out to write a book about the color blue. What he ended up with is a surprisingly complex novel full of love, death, art, and mystery. When baker–turned–aspiring artist Lucien Lessard, whose father was friends with some of the preeminent French artists of the late 19th century, receives a special tube of vibrant blue paint from the mysterious Juliette, his amateurish painting becomes masterly and his life becomes a mess. Obsessed with painting and loving Juliette, Lucien must discover the mystery of the blue paint, the origins of Juliette, and the identity of her near-constant companion, the frighteningly sinister Colorman who haunted other artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, and Cézanne. In the end, the true question for Lucien is, “At what price art?” VERDICT Don’t let Moore’s quirky characters and bawdy language fool you. His writing has depth, and his peculiar take on the impressionists will reel you in. One part art history (with images of masterpieces interspersed with the narrative), one part paranormal mystery, and one part love story, this is a worthy read. Considering the large marketing push and Moore’s rabid fan base, expect demand.

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The Tour! The Tour! Sacré Bleu, April 2012

January 9th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Here’s the prliminary schedule. Details and additions are yet to come, including the Canadian dates. There will also be an arrangement for people in places I’m not going to get signed 1st editions by mail. The hardcover will have color artwork, the paperback will not, so you might want to get your hands on a hardcover this time.

4/3 San Francisco                             Books Inc @Opera Plaz

7:00 PM                                                601 Van Ness Ave                      

                                                                  San Francisco, CA 94102

Tickets available here:

http://www.booksinc.net/event/christopher-moore-books-inc-opera-plaza

 

4/4 Portland                                       Powell’s Books @ Bagdad Theater

7:00 PM                                                3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd

                                                                Portland, OR 97214

Ticket with purchase of books available at www.etix.com. Copy of book comes with the ticket and will be available at the theater for pick-up.

 

4/5 Lake Forest Park                       Third Place Books

7:00 PM                                                17171 Bothell Way NE

                                                                Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

 

4/6 Seattle                                          University Book Store

7:00 PM                                                4326 University Way NE   

                                                                Seattle, WA 98105

 

 

 

4/7 Denver                                         Tattered Cover-LoDo

7:30 PM                                                1628 16th Street

                                                                Denver, CO 80202

 

4/9 San Diego                                    Mysterious Galaxy

7:00 PM                                                7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd

                                                                San Diego, CA 92111

 

4/10 Dallas                                          Dallas Museum of Art

7:30 PM                                                1717 N. Harwood Street

                                                                Dallas, TX 75214

 

Order tickets online at www.tickets.dallasmuseumofart.org Tickets do not include a copy of the book, but books are available in the Museum Gift Shop and you are welcome to bring your books purchased elsewhere to be signed.  Ticket does include a tour of the museum’s Impressionists collection.

 

4/11 Milwaukee                               Boswell’s Books

7:00 PM                                                2559 Downer Avenue

                                                                Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

4/12 Brookline                                  Brookline Booksmith @Coolidge Theater

6:00 PM                                                290 Harvard Street

                                                                Brookline, MA 02446

 

4/14 Toronto

CHAPTERS JOHN & RICHMOND

Date: Saturday, April 14, 2012

Time: 2:00 PM ET

Location: 142 John Street, Toronto, ON, M5V 2E9

 

4/15 Chicago- 2:00 PM

123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540


4/16 Washington                             Politics & Prose

7:00 PM                                                5015 Connecticut Avenue NW

                                                                Washington, D.C. 20008

 

4/17 West Chester                          Chester County Book Company

7:00 PM                                                975 Paoli Pike

                                                                West Chester, PA 19380

 

4/18 New York                                  Barnes & Noble Union Square

7:00 PM                                                33 East 17th Street

                                                                New York, NY 10003

 

4/20 Petaluma                                  Copperfield’s Books

7:00 PM                                                140 Kentucky Street

                                                                Petaluma, CA 94952

 

4/24 Menlo Park                              Kepler’s Books

7:00 PM                                                1010 El Camino Real

                                                                Menlo Park, CA 94025

 

 4/25- South Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
INDIGO SOUTH EDMONTON

Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time: 7:00 PM MT

Location: 1837 99th Street N.W., Edmonton, AB T6N 1K8

 

4/28 Pasadena                                  Vroman’s Bookstore

5:00 PM                                                695 E. Colorado Blvd

                                                                Pasadena, CA 91101

 

4/29 Huntington Beach                 Barnes & Noble

3:00 PM                                               7881 Edinger Ave #110

                                                                Huntington Beach, CA 92647

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Signed Lambs and The Stupidest Angel for the Holidays

November 17th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Signed Books

Now Canadians can order right through the web site.

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Mini-Tour Schedule for The Griff

July 13th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Christopher Moore and Ian Corson will be answering questions and signing, The Griff, a graphic novel. Chris will also sign his other books if you bring them.

MONDAY JULY 25th @ 7:00 PM                  Barnes & Noble (Huntington Beach Location)
7881 Edinger Ave., #110 
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
 
THURSDAY JULY 28th @ 7:00 PM:              BOOKS INC (Mountain View Location)
                                                                                301 Castro Street
                                                                                Mountain View, CA 94041
 
FRIDAY JULY 29th @ 7:30 PM:                     The Booksmith
                                                                                1644 Haight Street
                                                                                San Francisco, CA 94117
 
SATURDAY JULY 30th @ 12:00 PM:            M is for Mystery
                                                                                86 East Third Avenue
                                                                                San Mateo, CA 94401
 
SUNDAY JULY 31st @2:00 PM:                    Copperfield’s Books Napa
                                                                                3900 Bel Aire Plaza          
                                                                                Hwy 29 & Trancas St
                                                                                Napa, CA 94558

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