Jason Gurley

By day, I'm a user experience designer; by evenings/weekends, I write novels from my home in Scappoose, Ore. My newest is Awake in the World, published February 2019 by Roaring Brook Press; my previous novel, Eleanor, was published by Crown in 2016 and has since been translated into German, Portuguese, and Turkish. I’m currently working on a new project.

Forgive me, father

A month since my last post! You know the one thing they teach you in blogging school? In bloggege? They teach you not to open a post with a) a comment on the weather, or b) a note about how many days since your last confession. Sorry, blog post. 

Things that have happened in the last month or so include: 

A visit to New York City. I slept in a hotel room the size of a thimble, ate a hot dog from a street vendor's cart (apparently, as a coworker told me later, these are called 'dirty water dogs', which I'm glad I didn't know at the time) and a terrific burger from Shake Shack, and spent a lovely day with my agent and editor and other lovely publishing people, talking about publishing thises and thatses. 

New author photos. You might recall this blog post about my first author photoshoot, which was entertaining. It was brought to my attention that I came off a bit imposing and stern in some of those photos, however, so the reshoots were all about smiles and sunshine. The very talented Rodrigo Moyses shot over 700 photos of me while I cringed and forced awkward smiles. But a few turned out quite nicely, and they're over here, if you really want to see them. Here's my favorite of the bunch: 

Essays! I'm writing a bunch of interesting little essays and blog posts and treatises and manifestoes (manifestives?) about the many years of work that went into Eleanor. These might appear here and there in the months and weeks leading up to the book's publication. I'll share them as they do. I don't write these sorts of things that often, unless you consider some craft-focused or self-reflective pieces here on the blog. They're surprisingly fun, and unexpectedly difficult, and often very personal. 

Eleanor giveaways! I've been giving away advance editions of the book like mad—to my newsletter subscribers, over on Facebook, to random readers who have supported me enthusiastically these past few years. If you didn't win but you want to, there's one more chance to do so, on Twitter, but you should do it, like, now. The Twitter giveaway ends tonight, and the winner gets an out-of-print paperback edition of the original, self-published Eleanor as well as the advance reader edition of the forthcoming edition, and a copy of my fiction collection, Deep Breath Hold Tight. This is the final giveaway for now, and maybe for good, so: Go, go! 

A Kirkus interview! In the summer, a writer for Kirkus Reviews approached me about an interview. She was interested in talking to me about the transition from being a strictly self-published author to now being both a self-published and traditionally-published author. A condensed version of the conversation is in their print edition, but the unedited version is available on the web, over here

Audiobook progress! I've officially met the woman who will be producing Eleanor's audio edition, and have selected the narrator (from a very impressive roster of candidates, each of whom have recorded many performances that I recognized, and you probably would, too). As soon as I'm given the all-clear, I'll share her name and some of her past projects, so you can hear the voice that will bring my novel to life. 

Loosed Upon the World! John Joseph Adams's amazing anthology of climate science fiction came out mid-September, excitingly. My short story "Quiet Town" is in this collection, alongside stories from some of my heroes, like Margaret Atwood and Paolo Bacigalupi and Kim Stanley Robinson. You should pick up, like, twelve of these for holiday gifts. Do it. Here

Limbs progress. No exclamation point on this one. Limbs, my tentatively-titled work-in-progress, is much farther along than I thought it would be by now (though it's also significantly longer than it should be by this point in my outline). Very little progress on it in the past two weeks, as other things have temporarily risen to a higher priority; I expect to get back to it quickly, however, so I can keep doing terrible things to my characters, who really just want to sleep or something. (Maybe one day I'll write a book in which nothing happens to anyone, and they can sleep for three hundred pages. But this isn't it.)

And now I must sign off; I'm on my way to my favorite bookstore, Powell's Books, where Lauren Groff will discuss and read from her new novel, Fates and Furies, which was longlisted for the National Book Award recently (the same week the book was published, if I'm not mistaken—what a first week!) And how great to live near a bookstore like Powell's, where in a couple of weeks I'll see Margaret Atwood discuss her new book, and shortly after will see Sarah Vowell read from hers. I've never lived in a town where there are so many wonderful book and author events. Makes me quite happy. 

Audiobook details...

On first drafts