Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kristopher Jansma says, "It's not really as pretentious as you think it would be."

I was introduced to Kristopher Jansma--literally and figuratively--at the Northern California Independent Booksellers' Association Trade Show back in October.  He was one of a handful of authors who spoke at a lunch I was fortunate to attend.  I also had a chance to speak to Kris briefly on that day.  I was mildly offended by his youth and talent, but otherwise he seemed pleasant enough. 

As as I wrote in my rave review, I knew as soon as I heard the description that I was going to love his
debut novel, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards.  And, of course, I did.  So, naturally when I saw that Kris was coming to the Bay Area on his book tour, I jumped at the opportunity to hear him speak again.  Honestly, I don't remember a word he said last fall, but even if I did, I don't think it would have meant much.  The Unspeakable Spots of Leopards is the type of complex, sophisticated novel where you want to hear what the author has to say after reading the novel.  Everything will have greater resonance and meaning then.

And I'm here to help you out with that.  I was lucky enough to be able to record his event at the renowned independent bookstore, Book Passage.  The short video clip at the top of the page is Kris's opening remarks.  After that brief introduction, he read for nearly 25 minutes.  That reading is captured on the two videos below.

Now, this is the part that I like best, the Q & A session. Kris discusses his characters, influences, process, his next project, research, the book's reception, favorite authors, teaching, and much more.

Now, it's hard to find the right place to end each video segment. As soon as I determine that a recording is getting too long and the author is going to keep answering questions, I end one clip and start another. Invariably, that's the exact moment he takes the last question! And so, for the completists out there, that's exactly what the final little snippet below is.

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is a phenomenal debut. Expect to see it on all kinds of year-end best-of lists, including my own. I encourage you to beat the end-of-the-year rush and grab a copy now.  Enjoy! 

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