bride of the tornado cover dare to know cover order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish


Bride of the Tornado: Year End Wrap Up (For Now!)

January 3, 2024

It’s been a few weeks since I posted here, but don’t worry, I always come crawling back in the end. (I do tend to be more active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook these days.)

The biggest news: the Chicago Tribune named Bride of the Tornado as one of their “Ten Best Books of 2023.” Yes, really! I’m just as surprised as you. (If you want to read the article, the Tribune site is paywalled, but the article was syndicated to the unpaywalled Detroit News.)

Thanks to Chris Borrelli for describing Bride as the kind of book that is like “like intoxicated karaoke performances so bracing, you sit up straighter with each heartfelt moment” (if you’ve ever done karaoke with me, you might recognize such a description) and putting me on the same list as heavyweights like Zadie Smith, Dennis Lehane, Jill Lepore, Victor LaValle, and my old friend Daniel Kraus, whose blockbuster Whalefall is a big hit this year—I love this success for him, good fortune like this couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy. (Do you remember when he and I, with Adam Selzer, were The Brothers Delacorte?)

Let’s cover all the as-yet-unmentioned places that I visited on my book tour! Since Powell’s bookstore named Bride of the Tornado as a “Pick of the Month” for August, I paid a visit to one of their stores in Portland . . . in conversation with one of my favorite authors Laini Taylor, whom I met long ago when she gave a glowing review to The Order of Odd-Fish, and with whom I’ve co-hosted the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. It was great catching up with her and picking up a copy of her new very funny and satisfying graphic novel that she made with her artist husband Jim Di Bartolo, Billie Blaster and the Robot Army from Outer Space.

I also caught up with my other Portland friends, including Joe Fusion, who now writes episodes of Andy Richter’s podcast The Novelizers, in which “classic films are novelized by TV comedy writers and narrated by your favorite comics & actors.” As an exercise in adaptation and creative interpretation, it’s not unlike the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival! The first season “novelizes” Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Joe wrote “Chapter 8,” which is in Episode 4) and the second season “novelizes” Independence Day. It’s funny! Check it out! And here are Joe and I being served by a robot waiter in Portland:

After that it was off to San Francisco, where my bookseller friends Summer and Kat rolled out the red carpet for an event at Books Inc., and many friends old and new showed up.

Check out the bridal veils Summer and Kat provided for us to wear when they interviewed me!

That weekend my friend Alisha took me to a live version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Oasis, a drag nightclub in San Francisco. Alisha and I have been there many times before, and the show was beyond amazing:

Then it was off to Philadelphia, where I finally met my editor Jhanteigh Kupihea in real life for lunch, and did an author event at Head House Books, attended not only by my great friends Emily and Jules (with whom I was in a band back in college) and Sam and Chen (with whom I was on the JET program in Japan back in 2004-2006) but also folks from Quirk Books!

That same weekend I got to speak on a panel at New York Comic Con, which was a real thrill. The other authors were Richard Kadrey, Meriam Metoui, and Trang Thanh Tran and moderated by Delilah S. Dawson (who went out of her way to mention Bride of the Tornado in an interview, and she even provided a blurb!) I was really thrilled to be on this panel at such a high-profile gig!

Not long after that, I headed to my birthplace of Royal Oak, Michigan (right next to my hometown of Troy, Michigan: City of Tomorrow, Today!) for an author event at Sidetrack Books. A lot of family and friends showed up for this one!

Finally, I ended my Bride of the Tornado tour where I started it: again in Chicago, again at an event with Cynthia Pelayo! She and I teamed up with authors After-words, a very supportive bookstore downtown. I appreciate that they always have lots of copies of all of my books on hand to sign!

I did a bunch of other things in the past few months, too—I had adventures at and around an eccentric mansion in rural Illinois! I spoke at the Speculative Literature Foundation! I wrote some fun articles! Matt and I recorded some new podcast episodes!—but this post is already too long. More to come soon in this new year of 2024!