It appears that Steve Almond is gearing up for a fight. Or a book tour. Or both. In his recent article for Poets & Writers, Almond predicts dire consequences, or at least a major meltdown, when touring with co-author Julianna Baggott.
We feel compelled to say that Baggott, author of three solo novels, a collection of poems, and a series of books for younger readers, The Anybodies ( under the pen name N.E. Bode) is a well-balanced and calm person. She can also juggle three kids, a teaching schedule, and keep on writing. We predict she could kick Almond's ass in no time—or at least have him potty trained.
Julianna was kind enough to send us a counterpoint to Almond's article, her prediction about how the book tour will go.
Book Tour or Brawl: A Gentleman’s Wager by Julianna Baggott
Steve Almond and I are going on a book tour together, because we wrote a book together Which Brings Me To You: A Novel in Confessions. This isn't how it had to be. I suggested to Algonquin, our fair publisher, that we split up the country. Almond could take the north; I’d take the south. We’d draw straws on east and west, and push the midwest back and forth between us like a bad cookie. Something like that.
Two authors; half the work. It was a divide and conquer strategy.
But, no. Algonquin said the best stuff would come out of us on stage together, capitalizing on the unusual aspect of the process – a two-fer. It was like they knew the novel’s history or something. (It isn’t a pretty one.)
Almond and I love each other, don’t get me wrong. It just so happens we also hate each other from time to time. The writing process was both rosy dosy and, the rest was, well, I still have Nam-like flashbacks.
In Almond’s piece for Poets & Writers, he says that some of his friends have a wager on when our first meltdown will be. (He says the over/under is currently 3.5 days, and he's taking the under.)
Let’s play this out a little more then, why don’t we?
How about we take a gentleman’s (and/or gentlewoman's) pool on how long we'll last before
a. the first snarky remark
b. the first "accidental" shove
c. we come to blows.
And for bonus points, how about you write in with the weapon of choice. I’m figuring water bottles, though I hear the diva weapon of choice at present is the cell phone. And since Almond and I are both divas ...
Will it be cell phones at dawn? Find out when Steve and Julianna appear in New York this Friday at Barnes & Noble, Astor Place.