Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Memphis, TN

I'm in Memphis, TN.  I had a radio/tv interview with Book Talk, a program on 89.3 WYPL.  The key point is that it was a radio/tv interview.  I thought it was a radio interview.  I wore a western shirt and busted up sneakers and I did not shave.  As I mentioned in a previous entry about my Greensboro visit, I do not like being underdressed.  The host, Stephen Usery, told me it was no big deal and then promptly went and put on a sports coat for the interview.  I went over to the studio and Stephen came in a few minutes later and said that my father, who was waiting in the reception area, had told him how much he appreciated Stephen interviewing me.  This made me feel like I was a kid in the Make-A-Wish Foundation and my father had facilitated the acceptance, publication, and subsequent promotion of this book without my knowledge.  The interview went well, though I once again talked about how lonely I had been in my youth.  I need to stop doing this.  Stephen had great, specific questions about the stories and it was a lot of fun.
We then went to Davis-Kidd for my reading.  There was a small group that included SWC-alum and all-around great writer/nice person, Nat Akin.  I read, which went well aside from the tiny child who screamed so loudly, for such a long time, that my left eardrum ruptured.  Her father proceeded to put her in some kind of sleeper hold and she passed out, which made my second story more fun to read.  After the reading, the staff asked if I wanted them to ship the banner they had made for the reading, which seemed to be fifteen feet tall.  I said yes, please, yes.  Where will I store this?  No idea.  Thanks to all the staff at Davis-Kidd for having me and Peggy Burch, who came to the reading and wrote a nice article for the Commercial Appeal.
I also bought The Dart League King by Keith Lee Morris.  I've been meaning to buy this since I heard him read from the novel at AWP, one of the most best readings I've ever heard.  Keith's book of stories, The Best Seats in the House, is also really fantastic.
Before all the book business, we went to the Rendezvous in Memphis.  It's probably the most well-known barbecue place in Memphis but I've never been a fan of their ribs.  Their lamb riblets, though, are incredible, one of the best things I've ever eaten.  So we showed up at 12:30 and realized, goddamn, they aren't officially open until 4:30pm.  They are serving ribs and ribs only, so we went ahead and ate.  It was underwhelming.  I felt like killing somebody.  We were going to try more barbecue after the reading, but we decided not to risk it.
Tomorrow I'm getting up at 5:00 am to drive back to Jackson for a television taping for the Mississippi Public Broadcasting show Writers.  I'll be taking part in a roundtable discussion with Richard Bausch and Elizabeth Spencer.  Then I drive down to Oxford for Thacker Mountain Radio.

5 comments:

David Erlewine said...

"Her father proceeded to put her in some kind of sleeper hold and she passed out, which made my second story more fun to read."

So wrong and so effing funny. The thing about your dad saying how nice it was that the guy interviewed you resonated. My dad would do that if the situation ever presented itself. Also, the sportscoat was such a dick move by the interviewer but fun to read about on this end!

K. Wilson said...

Hey David,
I've meant to say congrats on the story publications. The elimae and Camroc Press Review stories are beautiful.

Oh, the interviewer was an incredibly nice guy, like ridiculously nice. It's not his fault he had a blazer and I didn't.

Also, jesus, Kevin, just be a normal person and stop worrying about your goddamn clothes all the time. I didn't wear shorts for almost six years and then my friend Ann finally said, "Good lord, Kevin, no one cares about your legs."

natakin said...

Kevin,
I had every intention of silencing that child behind you, but I didn't know where to put her. I saw a stack of plush toys in the children's section, but I thought it was too far to get without interrupting you further. I meant to say yesterday how awesome I thought the second story you read was. I woke up with remnant images of it in my head this am.

I feel the need to issue one apology for our fair city in that our local paper referred to your story collection as a "debut novel."

Betsy said...

We enjoying reading about all your adventures while on the road. Getting any inspiration for some new stories? Missing you up on the mountain. Looking forward to your triumphant return.

Stephen said...

I put on the jacket because I'm fat and there is an over the shoulder shot that really shows off my bacon.