My book is now out! And if you’re shy about putting money down on a book with the word pornography on the cover, fear not: I have thought of some crafty ways to protect your chaste reputation. Enjoy these helpful tips, my fair reader!
In 2002, I was about to self-publish the first version of A Common Pornography. It was a slim 60-page book with footnotes by Mike Daily and collages by Melody Owen, The print run was about 600 copies. It looked like this:
But first I needed to make a bit of moolah to pay for it. So I threw a benefit at Disjecta with some readings and music. Melody introduced me to Michael Johnson and told me his band, Reclinerland, would like to be on the bill. They played along with Mykle Hansen’s Bad Mintons, Giant Bug Village (the Guided By Voices cover band), and Crack City Rockers.
I remembered having a nice conversation with Mr. Johnson after the show. Not only did his band play for free but he also gave me some free CDs. A few weeks later, the book was out and I was driving around dropping off free copies to the folks who helped with the benefit. By that time, I had already played the Reclinerland CDs to death and was head over heels for Johnson’s smooth voice (great for make out music, by the way) and literary-minded pop stylings.
We became fast friends and I even wrote about my man-crush for the Mercury.
A couple of months later, Michael asked me to write fictional liner notes for the Reclinerland album, The Ideal Home Music Library: Volume 1. That came out in 2003.
Soon after that, to my surprise, Michael told me that he really liked the stories in A Common Pornography and that he was writing songs based on them. Some of the songs were nearly word-for-word musical versions of the stories themselves while a few were turning out a little looser in their translation. In 2007, he played some for the first time at a show at the Someday Lounge. It was pretty surreal and spectacular. And for the past couple of years, he has been crafting a whole CD of these songs–twenty of them based on chapters from the original–now rare–version of ACP.
Now it’s finally here! You can download the whole album on the Reclinerland website or listen to parts of songs on iTunes or Amazon. I think it’s a pretty fun creation and I’m flattered that Michael took so many hours (weeks! months!) to create it. And while you’re at it, check out his other fine work. I especially love the orange, green, and blue albums.
Michael Johnson: I heart you!
A great smattering of stuff about A Common Pornography lately. Like…
pg 57 of the new Poets & Writers Magazine!
A sweet review on Blog Critics!
The cover of The Portland Mercury! (they excerpted a part of the book) (I had no idea they were going to put my name right on the cover, but that’s cool)
I had some dirty haiku published in this magazine (NSFW!) under a pen name. (Note: I know this is cheesy, but a good friend was an editor there until recently) (Yes, they edit) (Yes, you’ll have to buy the issue to see the haiku)
And on top of that stuff, I also have a new story up on this weird e-book thing. It’s a little ditty about Mary Gaitskill and her cupcakes. Please Note: It is fiction! She did not really live in Portland and hang out at open mics!
Awkwardness alert: I am hosting Mary Gaitskill at Powell’s later this spring! And yes–she is one of my favorite authors.
I always thought it would be cool to have a kevinsampsell.com someday and now here it is. What’s the occasion, you ask? Well, I’ve sold my soul to the devil (HarperCollins!).
But seriously–I am super excited to be two weeks away from the release of my most personal book to date, A Common Pornography. After so many years of publishing through small presses (including my own, started in 1990), I’m about to make my debut into the big leagues and I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends, editors, and writers to make the leap with.
I hope you’ll check in here often and read my updates (is it sexier to call them blogs?). But for now, take a gander at the other parts of this site. You got: all my tour dates, an assload of fiction, some saucy non-fiction, and a page with links to info and reviews of all my previous books.
Many thanks to the handsome Bryan Coffelt and the sultry Frayn Masters for all their help with this here site. Their winks, high fives, and computer skills are treasured.
Coming soon on this site: watch for videos, audio rarities, lists, letters, incoming reviews, and photos (old and new). You could almost call this site the “special features” for the book (if the book were a DVD–movie producers: hint hint). And if you’re curious about the header, that’s part of a photo of my childhood home when it was on fire. You can read about it (and see more photos!) in A Common Pornography when it lands in stores on January 19th.
Okay, folks. Comment any time you want (we’re open 24 hours here) and thanks for tuning in!