Jun. 25th, 2012 08:55 pm
daddytodd: (Default)
[personal profile] daddytodd
Ron & I went to an Armistead Maupin reading on Saturday night. He was fresh in town after hitting Winnemucca to do some research for his forthcoming "final" (when have we heard THAT before...?) Tales of the City novel.

So, he read a chapter from the work in progress. Hilarious.

At the suggestion of the sponsors of the event, they auctioned off the print-out he read. I managed to be the high bidder. I can't wait till the book comes out, and compare the work-in-progress version to the final version.

During the Q&A, I asked "Your characters seem so real & vivid, it's hard not to think of them as being based on real people. So, who is the "real" Mary Ann, and what did she do to piss you off?"

Armistead explained that he thinks of Mary Ann as embodying elements of himself that he's not particularly proud of, so, really, she's him. It was not what I was expecting to hear, but it made a lot of sense.

It was a wonderful evening.

Date: 2012-06-26 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so glad you got a chance to hear Armistead read his work and answer questions. He really makes the characters come alive when he reads his work.

LOL He says I am the only person alive who remembers a reading he did at the old Walt Whitman bookstore in San Francisco just before I moved to Canada, but I will always treasure that memory.

When I lived in San Francisco, I often felt like Armistead was living a life parallel to my own, because I knew so many people who were just like his characters, down to their speech, mannerisms and activities. I guess that is part of why he is so loved by his readers. He has an amazing ability to create characters that completely reflect the place and time in which he situates them.

I am delighted that you got a chance to cross paths with Armistread as he and his husband Chris and their dog Philo make their way across the country on this tour.

Date: 2012-06-28 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They were charming. Chris is gorgeous, too.

Date: 2012-06-26 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
After I read "Marianne in Autumn" I said that there had to be at least one more book because of the loose ends he left.

Date: 2012-06-28 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, he knew there would be at least one more book. He claims this will be the last one (again).

Date: 2012-06-26 04:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad to hear he's writing another installment. I haven't read anything of his since Sure of You. That is, if you don't count Night Listener, which didn't grab me.

Awesome catch on the manuscript. I hope he signed it.
Edited Date: 2012-06-26 04:14 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-06-28 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nicely signed. I was glad to nab it.

Date: 2012-06-26 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In previous live readings, I'm pretty sure that Armistead said that Mary Ann is based in part on the naive country boy that he was when he first started working as a society reporter at a local newspaper. I distinctly remember one article where he said he would crawl into the office after a VERY late night/early morning at some society bash, and regale all of the women in the office with stories of who did what to whom and for how long at these society parties. Tres amusant. Part of Mary Ann is probably also one (or more) of the KGO Channel 7 news anchors from the mid/late 70's, who were known for starting the "happy talk" news format, all of them very perky with huge Farrah Fawcett blown-dry do's.

Date: 2012-06-28 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I had always thought Mouse=Armistead, but I suppose it's naive to think that a writer can't fragment himself across multiple characters. Mary Ann turned out to be so unpleasant as the series progressed... Maupin did say that he gets mad when people call her a bitch. I guess now I understand why ;-)
Edited Date: 2012-06-28 05:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-06-26 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It might well be the last one. He and his partner are moving out of San Francisco.

Date: 2012-06-28 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, they are on a big nationwide road trip before settling in Flagstaff, making stops for readings and research along the way.

Date: 2012-06-27 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
THIS IS SO COOL. :D It sounds like you had a great time.

What an amazing thing to have as a souvenir, too.

He's researching Winnemucca? What an odd place to choose.

Date: 2012-06-28 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He's already established Winnemucca as the birthplace of Mrs. Madrigal, in one of the early books, and in this next book he's revisiting her childhood.

Date: 2012-06-28 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember being so RELIEVED at the end of Michael Tolliver Lives! that Mary Ann wasn't as awful as she'd been written at the end of the first six!

I haven't read Mary Ann in Autumn yet, I'm saving it for when I have down time to appreciate it!

What a great event to get to go to, and how awesome to get the manuscript!

Date: 2012-06-28 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd like to know what you think of her after reading Mary Ann in Autumn. Which you definitely should read.
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