Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hear Writer Seawriter Discuss His New Book

 

Okay, you are at home, bored. That’s a problem. I have a new book out, but all my book signings and promotional appearances have been canceled. That means the book is probably not selling well. That’s a problem. Oh, by the way, most bookstores are closed, which means that’s a problem for the bookstore employees.

Science fiction writer H. Beam Piper once wrote that if you have one problem you often cannot solve it, but if you have enough problems they will start to solve each other. Let’s see if he is right and if we cannot solve all three problems.

The book is Vanished Houston Landmarks. It contains stories about 15 things in Houston that used to be famous that are largely forgotten today. Things like where the Allen Brothers really first landed, what happened to the Twin Sisters, the Houston Cotton Exchange and the Galveston-Houston Interurban Railroad, and 11 more things.

It was a blast to write. (@garymcvey helped me with the chapter on Houston’s and the nation’s first public television station studio.) Before the world stopped, I was interviewed about the book on KUHT radio. The interview (along with their take on the book) can be heard here. You can hear Seawriter. Maybe it isn’t as good as seeing him (or as bad), but it is available. Listen to the interview and read the story about the book. If it sounds interesting, buy the book. (If not, that’s okay. But you had something to do for ten minutes or so, right?)

As for bookstores? It turns out that a few Barnes and Noble bookstores in the Houston area are open for carryout service. If you are in the Houston area, call them up and see if the one close to you is open for business.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    You can do a “virtual” book signing via Zoom. Get some stick-on bookplates, sign them, and mail to book-buyers for a small fee. Might Barnes and Noble host virtual signings on its Web site? If not, get in touch with them and suggest it.

    Perhaps on a Ricochet audio meetup, you could read from the book. I’ll bet that would increase attendance at the AMUs, and sell more copies of your book.

    Best of luck to you! You always land on your feet, and this is a small setback.

    • #1
    • April 2, 2020, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    Best of luck to you! You always land on your feet, and this is a small setback.

    Thanks, but writing the books is as much entertainment as work. Getting the book signings and talks cancelled is a disappointment, but not a setback.

    The main income comes from the day job. Even without that I should have enough saved up to get through this with only inconvenience. 

    • #2
    • April 2, 2020, at 11:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I just bought it on Kindle! I look forward to reading it. 

    • #3
    • April 2, 2020, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Astroworld! I had forgotten already. They had a fun game that let you shoot (invisible lasers?) at tavern-styled targets to make various things happen, like get a player-piano going. My first rollercoaster ride was the Texas Cyclone

    But, honestly, Games People Play on FM 1960 was the greater loss for folks on the north side.

    • #4
    • April 2, 2020, at 7:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When this current national emergency is over, I’d like to visit Texas someday. I’ve passed through it on the interstates, but I’d like to see it for real. Mark’s book is one reason why; I like a place with local pride.

    • #5
    • April 2, 2020, at 7:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    Texas has fascinated me since I moved here in 1979 from Michigan. The states are either parallel or perpendicular. Both are large states, the largest continental states on their sides of the Mississippi. Both a mix of very urban and rural. (Hunting is big in both states.) Both are blessed with abundant natural resources. Yet Michigan is the most federal of states, while Texas is the most sovereign. 

    Michigan’s destiny has always been decided outside of the state – given to Britain by a battle fought at Quebec, to the US at Vincennes, Indiana, lost to the US by a battle fought in Canada, Regained through battles fought in Ohio and Lake Erie. Texas has always made its own destiny, from Cabeza de Vaca through being the only Confederate state not occupied by the Union at the end of the Civil War. 

    It’s hardly a wonder that a history buff like me fell hard for the place.

    • #6
    • April 3, 2020, at 2:41 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Hinch Member
    Hinch Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Just sent a softcover copy to my sister, who’s a lifelong Houstonite (Houstonian?) and now lives in Rosenberg.

    • #7
    • April 3, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    Hinch (View Comment):

    Just sent a softcover copy to my sister, who’s a lifelong Houstonite (Houstonian?) and now lives in Rosenberg.

    Rosenberg is a Houston suburb. After this madness is over, if she wants, I can get together with her and sign her copy.

    • #8
    • April 3, 2020, at 8:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Hinch Member
    Hinch Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Hinch (View Comment):

    Just sent a softcover copy to my sister, who’s a lifelong Houstonite (Houstonian?) and now lives in Rosenberg.

    Rosenberg is a Houston suburb. After this madness is over, if she wants, I can get together with her and sign her copy.

    Affirm on R-berg as a Houston suburb. I lived in Sharpstown long ago (my dad took me to see “2001: A Space Odyssey” at the Sharpstown Mall Cinerama. That’s how long ago). Pretty sure my sister would be thrilled to have you sign her copy! Thank you for the offer.

    • #9
    • April 3, 2020, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • Like