Chris Moore, Mark Twain, and Me

mooreMany years ago, I worked at HarperCollins Publishers. One day I was investigating one of the many piles of free books that were always lying around and I found a curious green book called The Lust Lizard of Melancholy CoveHad I seen the book in the store I probably would have blown right by it, but it was free so I picked it up and added it to the collection of other free books on my desk. Not too long after that I decided to actually read the book, and spent many a Metro North train ride chuckling to myself like and insane person. And that was how I came to be a Christopher Moore fan.

Skip to the summer of 2013: I had just gotten back from being on The Nose with one Jacques LaMarre. I sat down at my computer, checked in with Facebook, and saw that the Mark Twain House had just announced that Moore would be coming to Hartford in October. And thanks to our very own Asian Persuasion, I ended up with a couple of tickets for the event.

But the Moore event was more important to me than just a normal book event. You see, I had loaned my special edition copy of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff Christ’s Childhood Pal to my friend many years ago. She then loaned it to her mother, and when her mother was done with it and brought it out at a family dinner to give it back, the brother-in-law said it was his. I never saw that book again, which was all the more galling because I happened to have worked on that book while at HarperCollins. But when I heard Christopher Moore was going to be 15 minutes from my house, I knew I had to get my book back.

I asked. My friend went to battle, and I got my book back. But it was clear there was still family tension about it. The brother-in-law had obviously lost his book to someone, though I wasn’t convinced it was to his in-laws. I certainly have books floating around the world, living on the shelves of people I forgot I ever loaned a book to. I know how it feels. So I went on Amazon, bought a used copy of the book, and put it with my copy to have signed at  the event.

As  you might expect from a man who wrote a book called The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove the event was filled with humor. Julia Pistell from the Twain House and SeaTea Improv interviewed him, which was a pretty good match up. It also seemed pretty clear that Jacques LaMarre and Moore had developed a bit of repore, as LaMarre yelled at the still off stage Moore to be quiet while he introduced the author.

I wasn’t quite prepared for how enthusiastic the Moore fans are. I’d never heard of him before I picked up that first book — and then quickly made my way through his existing catalog — so I was surprised to see so many people who knew his books inside and out. One particularly funny audience member thanked the author for bringing the term “heinous fuckery” into our lives, which I felt was well-deserved.

Chris Moore talked about his “method” which basically involves finding a trip he wants to take and write off, and then figuring out how to base a book around it. We also learned that he thinks a certain popular author has people chained in his basement, banging out books to keep the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble stocked.

Long story short, I want you to go out and buy Chris Moore’s books and immediately start following the Twain House on social media so you’ll hear about its next awesome event before reading about it here.

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