Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Photos from the big night!

Eleanor took these photos, and I never even saw this sign in BookPeople for the reading!

The actors--Gary Kent, Ana Garcia and Chris Sykes--were excellent!

Nicholas, of course, had his hand in everything (including his mouth), and was the star of the night.

I read from the poems that grew into the book. What? A book adapted from poetry? Yep.

Ah, the book signing... Did I mention they make lovely Christmas presents?

We're a happy family.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What a night!

Jesse Sublett jams for the crowd.

I'll post more pix later (hey, Chuck, send me some of yours!), but just a note to say last night's release party for EVACUATION PLAN was awesome. Jesse Sublett rocked the house, the actors were great and we pulled in a crowd of more than 100. Oh, and we sold 74 books!

It was a little steamy at BookPeople in the middle of the crowd, but it was a heartfelt night. Thanks to everyone who came. If you missed it, I'll be reading next in Austin at the Writers League of Texas meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Barnes and Noble-Westlake. Come on by!

The true star of the night, of course, was Nicholas, who had a harem of attendants.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Today's the day and Statesman piece

Today is the day for the release of Evacuation Plan! I was on the Dudley and Bob Show this morning, and they couldn't have been more gracious. Very high-tech in the studio and running like a well-oiled, funny machine.

Also today, the Austin American-Statesman wrote about the book as the "Best Bet" for entertainment today. Brad Buchholz writes:

"Austin author Joe O'Connell's first novel, 'Evacuation Plan,' sets out to honor the dying — and those who care for them — in the setting of hospice. '(You) know the difference between death and an electric eel?' observes one of the characters in the book. 'People aren't afraid to talk about electric eels!' O'Connell was inspired to write 'Evacuation Plan' after a three-month stint as a volunteer at Hospice Austin. His novel, crafted in the style of Tim O'Brien's recent novel 'July, July,' is a collection of reminiscence — tales alternately gentle, dramatic, surrealistic, that collectively affirm the beauty of being alive, even as they acknowledge that all of us face the necessity of making our own 'evacuation plan.'

" 'The message of hospice is more important than my book,' says O'Connell, who is donating a portion of sales to Hospice Austin. 'And that message is that you can have dignity and control over the end of your existence, that chance to say goodbye on your own terms. Who can ask for more than that?'

In celebration of 'Evacuation Plan,' BookPeople is staging a dramatic reading tonight that features Austin actors Chris Sykes, Amparo Garcia-Crow and Gary Kent. They will speak in the first-person voices of the novel's characters. Austin writer and rocker Jesse Sublett will play music that honors the novel's themes. What we have here is a home-grown Austin writer, and not your traditional book signing."

Very cool! Hope to see a great crowd tonight!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Daddy has a new shiny toy!

I drove through pouring rain and rush hour traffic this afternoon to finally see the completed, printed book. Ahhhh. Nicholas took one look at it and decided it was delicious.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My name in lights!

Charlene tipped me off about my fleeting fame on the BookPeople sign. Ah, the fame. What, you aren't already planning on joining me this Thursday at 7 p.m. at BookPeople for the release party for EVACUATION PLAN? Come on... I'm a star after all. Me and my pal Harry Potter (I hear he and Paul McCartney are dead).

Friday, July 20, 2007

Look Mom! I'm all hands!

Nicholas has discovered how to use his hands in the last couple of weeks, which makes play time lots of fun.

The dinosaur doesn't stand a chance...

Hey, I just thought of something else I can do with my hands...

Next up on the skill chart: rolling over!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

'Evacuation Plan' release is next week!

The actors get their pages!

The book release is next week. I met yesterday with the actors who will be giving a dramatic reading from EVACUATION PLAN. And tomorrow I meet with Brad Buchholz of the Austin American-Statesman for a piece expected to run right before the reading.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Keeping it clean

Bath time has moved up to the kitchen sink.

Mother and child reunion

I had to share these photos of Tiffany and Nicholas...