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The Weird Week in Writing: Author Insults, Blank Books, Anne Rice Auctions

Freaky Friday—the latest from the often weird and wonderful world of writing
this week. (In lieu of a new prompt, we're also still on the hunt for entries for our one-line Romeo & Juliet rejections for potential publication in the magazine. Check the challenge out here.) Happy weekend!

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RICK MOODY: “YOUR BEARD IS RIDICULOUS.” Bill Ryan waits in line at author signings, and when it’s his turn, he, well, asks to be insulted via autograph. For the brilliant and hilarious results, along with some great commentary and book-reading recaps, check out Ryan’s Insulted By Authors blog (via Jacket Copy). (Be prepared for some often raucous verbiage.)

A DIFFERENT SORT OF CROWN:
If you read The Bookseller blog and voted (or have a predilection for warlords and sweets), you’ll likely be pleased to discover that Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way has won the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.

TWO ROADS DIVERGED IN A YELLOW WOOD … : Bestseller Barry Eisler made waves when he turned down a $500,000 traditional deal to self-publish his latest work. While that was happening, 26-year-old self-published hero Amanda Hocking, who wowed the book industry by selling vast numbers of her titles all by her lonesome, pursued and nabbed a traditional deal (and a couple million) for a new series. Winner: TBD. Although, who knows, it just might be the author of our next item …

THE BEAUTY OF THE BLANK PAGE: The first print run of What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sexhas sold out. A book selling out its first run? It (sometimes) happens. The thing is, the book is blank—literally. Two hundred blank pages. And now, to rock my gently weeping long-struggling novel to sleep.

RICE-O-RAMA: Anne Rice is moving, and thus unloading “everything that is not nailed to the floor.” That includes a Ralph Lauren skirt, religious icons, cameos, and this drool-worthy bookshelf. That does not include a VHS copy of the cinema massacre of her Exit to Eden, Savage Garden cassettes (the band got their name from The Vampire Lestat), or smaller keepsakes, such as a box of Anne Rice’s basmati rice.

A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST ON A YOUNG MICROORGANISM:Flavorpill noted this week that a genetic scientist coded a James Joyce quote (“To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life”) in a man-made microbe to commemorate the creation. He subsequently received an estate cease and desist for not securing the appropriate permissions. (As writers, math, science and the law are not our strongest suits—is it even possible to cease and desist something you scrawled on a microbe?) In any event, breaching new depths of weekly weirdness, Flavorpill goes on to recap an art project to input DNA from writing legend William S. Burroughs’ feces (pictured in a jar reading “W.S.B. Turd”) into cells. Using an “art-gun.” (!) Mind, blown.


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