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!