Chris Barzak's first novel, One For Sorrow, is officially released tomorrow, and for that auspicious occasion, I have decided to do something I've not done before -- organize a multi-blog celebration of all things Barzak. I'm calling it Barzak Day in the Blogosphere, which seems to me like a perfectly humble and unassuming title.
The idea is this: various bloggers will write about Chris, about his writing, about the book -- and I will collect and link to as much of it as I know about from here, updating a post with links throughout the day. Also, there will be a couple of guest appearances here by people who have had encounters with Mr. B., and I will present a solemn and deeply meaningful exclusive Q&A with the man himself.
Colleen Lindsay will be offering an interview with Chris as well as, I think, some free copies of the book. I actually owe the whole idea of this to Colleen, because when she announced she was doing an interview on the day of the book's release, I thought, "Wow, I wish I'd thought of that." And then I thought, "Why can't we all do something?" And so I asked around.
If you want to participate, feel free to join the fun by writing something at your blog about Chris and/or his work. Email me a link to your post and I'll add it to the collection here during the day. (This is supposed to be a day of celebration, so if you're intending to write about what a heartless creep he is for stealing your teddy bear when you were three and dressing it up like Tom of Finland, well, save that for another day.)
The reason I'm doing this is not just that Chris is a friend -- he is, and he's been a reader of this site almost since the beginning. Part of my desire to do something for Barzak Day comes from the fact that I couldn't possibly review One for Sorrow, because I got to offer feedback on early drafts and revision ideas, and I've been in contact with both Chris and his editor, Juliet Ulman, about it since before Juliet had even bought the book. I could only be more prejudiced in favor of it if I'd written it myself, and even then I might not be, since I tend to like other people's writing more than my own. Nonetheless, I think I can see through the haze of my subjectivity enough to know that this really is a good novel, one worthy of readers' time. In fact, I think the novel form fits Chris particularly well, because it allows him to delve more deeply into the emotional nuances of characters and situations than the short story form does, and I think readers who only know him through his stories will be pleasantly surprised at how well he can sustain a novel, and how much range this particular novel possesses.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow, then, and see the amazing adventures of Barzak conquering the blogosphere!