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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Help my weak memory

I’m trying to recall all the videos I’ve seen of various author award acceptance speeches – events like last year’s Printz and Nonfiction awards where there were a mix of authors present and those accepting via video. Thanks to Brenda Kahn I have the source of M.T. Anderson’s video acceptance speech: 

There were some other great videos linked to that and I wondered why someone in ALA never told me about them. Wait, I’m on the board, I’m supposed to know everything. (NOT!) 

Now I’m trying to recall the name of the other author I watched one night who began her speech thanking the award committee members and telling them that she was going to tattoo their names on her body as soon as someone invented a way to tattoo without that hurting needle thing. Who was that? Where’s that video? I keep recalling her presentation and how much I enjoyed it. I resolved to never miss a book by her and then promptly forgot her name. What a weak memory! I can recall the people I sat beside and who ate what. Perhaps I should call them up.

While I’ve been playing trying to spark memories today, I have been visiting various author sites. Most of the authors won awards at ALA last year and I’m searching to see if one of these triggers my memory. If one of you would help me out, I could get back to the podcast I’m filming on math resources that’s due in 12 days.

I’m wondering if it was Deborah Heiligman, but I cannot find the video. Her website has lots of fun links to view: 

Have you ever played with the cow on Libba Bray’s website?

When I played the video book trailer to Rick Yancey’s Monstrumologist, my students were hooked. Not just by the video, but by the sheer coolness of his website.

The students were disappointed with author Adam Rapp because they couldn’t find a good site for Punkzilla. I don’t blame them. I tried showing them an interview he’d done via email,, but this is the generation of visuals and they were not amused. 

Tales of the Madman UndergroundHow about John Barnes? Where’s his website? Isn’t there some unspoken rule for authors and publishers that they have to at least have a facebook fan page or something?

If you attended the same event I did, could you please remind me who I’m thinking of? Then I can try to track down the video so you can enjoy it as much as I did.


  1. John Barnes says:

    I don’t maintain a Facebook page or blog or do any of the social media stuff because it looks so awful when I ignore it for months or years at a time, which would be what I’d prefer to do. If people want to find me, I’m on LinkedIn as myself, and I tweet as KarlShoemaker, but one reason I like doing that is that I can ignore it for long periods of time. If you’re looking for promotional stuff, there are two tinyurl pages that are relevant (this site doesn’t let me post links, but if you know tinyurl this is enough to get it for you), my never-maintained site TalesOfTheMadmanWebpage and my Amazon profile, cleverly tinyurl’d as JohnBarnesAmazonProfile, which is where I post occasional news and essays when I can’t help myself. If I’d been blessed with the sort of early success that Salinger, Pynchon, Harper Lee, or Henry Roth had, there wouldn’t even be that much. I respond to fan mail on the day I get it, or many months later, or never; most of my long-term friends (almost none of them have anything to do with writing or publishing) are used to my disappearing for a year or two at a time now and then, and then being around frequently for a few months. So trying to contact me is always worth a try, as long as failing at it is not too much of a disappointment.

    I also sporadically ego-search, which is how I found this (yes, I know, it’s a disgraceful habit, and I have never actually given up a single disgraceful habit in my life). So I suppose you could more or less invoke me by mentioning my name and a title of one of my books, or enough keywords so that I’d know you weren’t looking for the soccer star, the Ada programming expert, or the biographer of Eva Peron; I might respond, as I just did here.

  2. John Barnes! How wonderful for you to pop in. I did locate those sporadic postings by you on Amazon and noticed that you hadn’t exactly kept them up-to-date. But I’m not throwing any stones here since my poor readers are still waiting on me to finish up about 600 books here.

    I encourage ego-searching so we can have better conversations. I think that’s the part of Twitter that I like. You can search by those hashtags and “pretend” you are simply improving your tagging & search strategies.
    Links can be placed on here, you just have to take off the h t t p : / /

    My students feel that if you won’t start your own facebook page, that you should allow them to develop a fan page. If you had the fan page, you could control a bit more. If they develop it, who knows what they’ll commit you to. More series. A novel every season. It’s really a good idea for you to take charge of your web presence before these teens do!

  3. Here are some sites that actually have reviews for you, John: