Tag Archives: This Is Between Us

In the Thick of It!

My book has been out for almost a month now. It’s kind of a whirlwind right now. But a fun whirlwind. Or maybe a blizzard. Like a Dairy Queen blizzard. Yeah–that’s it. I’m in the thick of a sweet blended ice cream treat with chunks of peanut butter cups and Oreo cookies.

I’m currently in NY for a few days. I had a great reading at BookCourt last night. Here are a few pics from this tour so far.

With Zoe Ruiz, editor of The Rumpus and doughnut expert. Also, translator of French restaurant names.

With Zoe Ruiz, editor of The Rumpus and doughnut expert. Also, translator of French restaurant names.

Post-reading get-together after Skylight Books event. With amazing trio (from left): Melissa Chadburn, Wendy C. Ortiz, and Ariel Maccarone.

Post-reading get-together after Skylight Books event. With amazing trio (from left): Melissa Chadburn, Wendy C. Ortiz, and Ariel Maccarone.

Myriam Gurba and I went to the Church of Scientology in L.A. but they weren't interested in us doing a reading there.

Myriam Gurba and I went to the Church of Scientology in L.A. but they weren’t interested in us doing a reading there.

This is from my reading at Vacation in San Francisco. Maybe my best reading of the tour I think. I must have gained super powers from my Dan Clowes shirt.

This is from my reading at Vacation in San Francisco. Maybe my best reading of the tour I think. I must have gained super powers from my Dan Clowes shirt.

Janey Smith's kitten, named "Cat" which I think is short for Catastrophic Feline Monster.

Janey Smith’s kitten, named “Cat” which I think is short for Catastrophic Feline Monster.

 

While in Seattle, I got to see a bunch of friends including Matthew Simmons who instigated this group photo of TIBU lips action and some University Bookstore employees.

While in Seattle, I got to see a bunch of friends including Matthew Simmons who instigated this group photo of TIBU lips action and some University Bookstore employees.

Off to Baltimore tomorrow and back in NY at Word on Friday. Check my events page to see the details. Bye for now!

This and This and This Is Between Us

Psssst. My new book snuck* into stores a few days ago and peoples be talking about it! Here are some of the fun places to read up about it…

*A cool interview with Los Angeles arts blog, Yay! LA. This was a phone interview and I spoke with Daniel for about an hour while doing while walking around the SE Hawthorne neighborhoods of Portland. I felt self-conscious whenever people walked by and I was saying something like, “I want all 234 pages to feel like they’re stuck to your skin.”

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*A really thoughtful review on Bustle. I like how the reviewer focuses on the aspect of loneliness and imperfection in the book.

*HTMLGIANT’s 25 Points takes on TIBU, written by the fantastic Nicolle Elizabeth, who says the book is “upsetting” once and “comforting” twice. So I think “comforting” wins!!

My mom and me at Powell's this past week.

My mom and me at Powell’s this past week.

*I talked about sex writing and sexy words with the sexy PDXX Collective. (“I used to have a friend who had sex with a lot of her friends because she said it made her feel less guarded with them, closer and intimate. In a weird hippie-ish free love kind of way, I can see where she’s coming from. Sex is an ice-breaker in real life and in books.”)

*A really cool review of the book that breaks it down by each of the five year sections. The reviewer says “You will feel grateful for the brutal honesty and lovely secrets that you were allowed to know.”

*The Portland Mercury ran some excerpts (with a very nice intro) of the book. The illustrations are super cool and kind of hot (they move!!).

My name is on the cover, with naked butts!!

My name is on the cover, with naked butts!!

One of the other exciting things for me is seeing people taking photos with the book covers. Every day there seems to be a new one on Facebook or Instagram. I love seeing those lips on other people!

And I sure hope to see everyone next Friday for the Portland reading of the book, at Powell’s at 7:30pm (after-party at Bunk Bar on SE Water Avenue!).

Dena Rash Guzman and the TIBU lips

Dena Rash Guzman and the TIBU lips

Holly from Tin House and the TIBU lips, out in nature!

Holly from Tin House and the TIBU lips, out in nature!

*when I say “snuck” I mean that the official release date is 11/12/13, a very numerically pleasing date. I’m probably still going to celebrate that day, maybe with a trip to Fire On the Mountain for some drinks and a barbecue chicken sandwich.

The Sweltry Recap of NY/BEA

I’m back from hot and sweaty New York! This past weekend I was there to attend Book Expo of America and to meet various booksellers and talk up my upcoming novel, This Is Between Us.
I had a great time. Here are some pics…

My New York City welcome.

My New York City welcome.

I realized that the subways in NY are much longer and apparently deadlier than the ones in Portland.

I realized that the subways in NY are much longer and apparently deadlier than the ones in Portland.

I saw a lot of friends at BEA. One of the first people I saw was Johnny Temple of Akashic. While we were chatting, a woman walked up and said to me, “Hey! I copy edited your book.” I was really glad to meet Anne Horowitz, because she dominated that manuscript.
Soon after that, I ran into various folks like David & Arielle (The Book Doctors), a bunch of Powell’s peeps, Michael Miller of Bookforum, Meg, Rob, and the Tin House gang, and then Rhonda Hughes of Hawthorne.

Rhonda and Poe!

Rhonda Hughes and Poe Ballantine, sharing their peanut M&Ms with me!

I also saw the always sweet McSweeney’s booth.

Isaac and Sam from McSweeney's with Michelle Tea (who was finishing up her book signing for Mermaid in Chelsea Creek).

Isaac and Sam from McSweeney’s with Michelle Tea (who was finishing up her book signing for Mermaid in Chelsea Creek). Check out that Ikea floor!

I did a book signing at the Tin House booth on Saturday. By that time, they only had about 30 books left, so they went quick.

Hiding behind my sign. Photo by Beth Lisick.

Hiding behind my sign. Photo by Beth Lisick.

These cool little notes were given away too. I can’t believe Tin House had about 500 of these suckers (with an excerpt and ordering info) folded up for me. They must really love me.

I still have a few of these left if you want one. :)

I still have a few of these left if you want one. :)

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Susie is trying to get my attention while I fixate on the decadent dessert. Pic by Beth.

After my signing, I met up with Beth Lisick and we hunted down Susie Bright at The Out NYC Hotel. Even though she wasn’t actually staying there, it seemed as if she knew the whole staff already and treated us to drinks, food, and treats. What did we talk about? Mostly parenting… and Mad Men. Hahaha

Besides the conference, I walked around Time Square and Central Park with my new pal Ariel Maccarone, went to see Gary Lutz, John Haskell, and others at Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, spent a whole afternoon at Mellow Pages Library, took a cab with Joseph Riippi, met superhunk Sean H. Doyle, met Penina Roth of the Franklin Park Reading Series, hung out at Soda Bar and had some of their pierogies, ate some Ample Hills “ooey gooey” ice cream, walked around Tompkins Square Park, and did my own reading with some friends for Polly Bresnick’s reading series, Writers Reading to Writers.

Lots of painters making art at Tompkins Square Park on Sunday morning.

Lots of painters making art at Tompkins Square Park on Sunday morning.

I also got some amazing French toast at Angelina Cafe with my friend Marc, who I stayed with on the lower east side. While he was at work one morning, I downloaded some of his awesome music collection (The Drums, some classic old Go-Betweens, Yo La Tengo). Apparently, the Pop Fest NYC was also happening this weekend, so we were both getting back to his place late and he’d tell me about all the cool bands he was seeing. I wish I could have seen The Bats! Thanks for the couch, Marc!

And thanks to everyone else. I’ll probably be returning this winter when the book is out (on 11/12/13).

A Few Steps Closer

Friends! An update on the novel. It’s coming out in November! I finished the copy edits recently (about 14 hours of work–made me realize I still have a few things to learn) and my editor (Hi, Masie!) and I have been receiving some ultra-sweet blurbs from beautiful folks like Jillian Lauren, Patrick deWitt, Davy Rothbart, Lidia Yuknavitch, Amelia Gray, and Jess Walter.

You can see info about it on Goodreads already.

Go add it to your “to-read” list.

Next up, Tin House will print up some review copies and give them to some folks at Book Expo (May 29th-June 2nd) in New York. I will also be there! In fact, I’ll be doing a reading on June 1st while I’m there. More details to come on that. My friend Polly Bresnick is setting up something killer.

Here’s what the review copies will look like…

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What have I been reading lately?

The amazing new Nick Flynn memoir, The Reenactments, the strange short stories of I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro, the new Future Tense Scout Book series ;) and The Stud Book by Monica Drake.

What I can’t wait to read next:

TAMPA by Alissa Nutting and Big Ray by Michael Kimball.

And what I’m watching:

I thought The Place Beyond the Pines was ambitious and awesome.

The addictive and delicious TV show, Nashville.

I will be at the retrospective of my friend Vanessa Renwick’s films. (I talked about her recently on this blog for Oregon Movies, A to Z).

And I missed it the first time around, but I hope to see Brian Lindstrom’s powerful documentary, Alien Boy, asap!

Scarlett and Gunnar = <3

Nashville’s Scarlett and Gunnar = <3

Moving Into The Tin House

After two years of hard work, dizzy confusion, doubt, sadness, and eventual triumph, I recently finished work on a novel titled This Is Between Us. That was the first (and hardest) part.

The second part is selling the darn thing. And I’m happy to announce that it is now SOLD! At some point in late 2013 or early 2014, the book will be published by the magnificent Tin House Books.

I’m extremely thrilled to be working with the awesome staff there, some of whom I have known for a while–their main office is here in Portland and I’ve had the pleasure to blurb two of their books from this past year (The Listeners by Leni Zumas and Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith).

This last week, I had a lunch meeting with one of their newest editors, Masie Cochran, and I feel like she will be a great editor to work with on this book. I said yes to their offer on Wednesday.

For those who haven’t read excerpts of the book, or heard me talk about (or read from it), I’ll give you the general description:

Spanning five years of one relationship’s ups and downs—the insecurities and passions, the sadness and joy, the hopes and disappointments, This Is Between Us is an intimate collection of personal moments between a man and a woman, both divorced, both with a child, and both trying to create a good life together in Portland, Oregon.

Full of sweet moments, emotional time bombs, blunt sexuality, and laugh-out-loud scenes, Kevin Sampsell navigates this novel’s couple (“you” and “I”) through their first kisses and secret dates to breakups, reunions, and everywhere in between.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me with this book, either as a friend or reader. I can hardly wait to polish it up into a beautiful Tin House paperback and smell the fresh scent of its paper and ink.

Heart,

Kevin

It’s List Time Again

It’s that time of year when a bunch of year-end lists start popping up everywhere and I’m glad to say that A Common Pornography has landed on a couple of them.

Every year–especially now in the 21st century–there are so many books published, so I feel fortunate and grateful to people who liked my book enough to still remember it and talk about it months later. Jonathan Messinger at Time Out Chicago calls it one of the “best unexpected books” of 2010. The Book Lady’s Blog says it’s one of the best memoirs of 2010, and Jason Diamond lists it in his Top 10 over at Vol. One Brooklyn.

I even talked about some of my faves of the year at Big Other.

I want to thank everyone for such a great year. 2010 was maybe the best year of my life so far. 2011 should be pretty great too. I’m hoping to finish up the novel I’m working on, This Is Between Us. I’m publishing some killer books by Jamie Iredell, Myriam Gurba, and Shane Allison. And I’m starting out the year by getting married (January 15th) to my long-time love and best friend, B. Frayn Masters.


I’ll make sure to share more photos with you in the weeks ahead!