Erik’s New Book Comes Out Next Week (May 10); His Old Books Are Sad and Need Reassurance That He’ll Always Love Them; And See Erik’s Interview, Wherein He Reveals for the First Time his Secret Love Affair With….

Next week my new book, In the Garden of Beasts, will reach bookstores at last–and, to those who pre-ordered e-copies of the book, it will be flashed digitally (and, frankly, rather miraculously) to Kindles and Nooks and iPads all over the place. I like to imagine a guy on the Long Island Railroad on his way to work suddenly realizing the book has arrived in his Kindle. I savor the reaction: “What, I didn’t order this? I ordered Tina Fey’s book. What the–”

Okay. Okay. But it is really quite a Harry-Potter-esque thing–this idea that a book will come flying invisibly through space and plop into your e-reader. It’s just too bad that e-books don’t arrive with a distinctive sound, like an artillery shell or something, or with a war whoop, or, depending on the nature of the book, a chicken cluck. I don’t even want to think about what sound might accompany my new book.

Meanwhile, I’m having problems with my old books. The same thing happens every time a new book arrives. The old books get pouty and sad, and need endless reassurance that I’ll always love them. It’s always the most recent book that takes it the hardest. Thunderstruck is moping around and muttering “oh fine, you know what you can call me pal, just call me dumbstruck; and hey, this new book, I mean come on, what kind of title is that: In the Garden of Beasts–you know what’s gonna happen, don’t ya pal? It’s too freakin’ long. They’re gonna call it ITGOB. Ha ha. ITGOB. ITGOB. ITGOB.” At which point the book invariably begins to sob in the most heart-rending fashion.

I know from past experience to be patient. There is always this hurtful phase, and I recognize that it’s just the outer manifestation of inner hurt.


Erik’s Interview:

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Or, for the interview’s permanent “home”:

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Erik Larson is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which examines how Winston Churchill and his “Secret Circle” went about surviving the German air campaign of 1940-41. Erik’s The Devil in the White City is set to be a Hulu limited series; his In the Garden of Beasts is under option by Tom Hanks, for a feature film. He recently published an audio-original ghost story, No One Goes Alone, which has been optioned by Netflix. Erik lives in Manhattan with his wife, who is a writer and retired neonatologist; they have three grown daughters.

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