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Assuming the world continues spinning on its axis for the next 24 hours or so, I’ll be at a book signing tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 19). Here’s the skinny:

Red Lodge Books, 11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, Montana, from 3 to 5 p.m. You should certainly come for The Summer Son, but if that’s not enough to sway you, owner Gary Robson has a killer lineup of cigars and makes a mean cup of tea. You won’t want to miss that.

My first week back on the terra firma of Montana has been a bit of a whirlwind. A recap:

I offered up my advice to the lovelorn in this month’s issue of Magic City magazine. The value of that advice is debatable, but perhaps it might squeeze a belly laugh out of you.

Charles Apple, the relentless blogging machine at the American Copy Editors Society, featured a Q&A with me at the Visual Side of Journalism. And I totally wasn’t lying when I said I enjoyed being edited. I promise.

And it feels so good!

Largehearted Boy, one of the coolest blogs out there, featured The Summer Son in its Book Notes series, where authors pick a playlist for their book. And despite the presence of Randy VanWarmer, Robert John and, God help me, Peaches & Herb, it’s not as schlocky as you might imagine.

Novelist Linda Sandifer brought me aboard her Writing Out West blog for a Q&A.

And then, just today, as if I weren’t growing weary of my own words, I have a piece up at Genna Sarnak’s Reading, Writing, & The World of Words on the useless distinctions between literary and genre fiction.

This book could be yours. Signed and everything!

Also, just as a bit of a housekeeping chore:

A reminder that a giveaway of a SIGNED copy of Jonathan Evison’s brilliant West of Here is still going on here at the ol’ blog. Just cruise over to the original post and leave a comment, and you’re entered (U.S. and Canadian residents only, please). This will be one of the “it” books of 2011. It made its debut on the New York Times bestseller list this week at No. 35. Expect it to climb.

If you’d like to double down on your chances of reeling in a copy of this book, cruise over to David Abrams’ The Quivering Pen, where he’s offering it as his Friday freebie.

Sorry.

There’s been little to say of late, and so I’ve gone against character and said little. So before I disappear again, I’ll take the opportunity to do a little bit of self-serving promotion and to drop a teaser out there. Hang tight, please.

My busy April started in the waning days of March with a reading and signing at the Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, where a fine time was had. God, I love our wonderful indie bookstores — Thomas Books here in my hometown of Billings, Barbara Theroux’s Fact & Fiction in Missoula, Mary Jane and her crew at the Country Bookshelf and some others (see below) that I’ll be visiting in the coming days. I do hope that if you’re fortunate enough to have an independent bookseller where you live — someone who hand selects the books he/she stocks and promotes not just the titans of the literary world but also local and regional authors — that you’re generous with your time and money in such places. They are treasures, in every sense of the word.

Here’s a look at my upcoming schedule:

Thursday, April 8: I’ll be back in Bozeman for the Montana Book Awards. Jamie Ford’s lovely debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was the big winner this year, and 600 Hours of Edward was fortunate enough to be selected as an Honor Book, along with Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn, Reif Larsen’s The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet and Wallace McRae’s Stick Horses. My publisher, Riverbend, and I are richly gratified to see the novel get this recognition, particularly given the stellar company. We’re looking forward to a wonderful evening.

Saturday, April 10: I’ll be in Helena at the Montana Book Co. (another indie!) to sign copies of 600 Hours of Edward. The event runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at 331 North Last Chance Gulch.

Saturday, April 17: I’ll be at the Madison Valley Public Library in Ennis, 328 Main Street, at 11 a.m. to chat about 600 Hours and to give a reading to the Friends of the Library.

Sunday, April 18: Another day, another Friends of the Library group, this one in Livingston at the Livingston-Park County Public Library, 228 W. Callender Street. That starts at 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 24: I get to go to one of my favorite Montana towns, Red Lodge, for a signing at Red Lodge Books, 16 N. Broadway, at 3 p.m. Really looking forward to meeting Gary and his patrons.

Saturday, May 8: I’m headed to Butte and Books and Books, 206 W. Park Street, for a signing that begins at 2 p.m.

By the way, you can always check out my upcoming schedule at my Web site, CraigLancaster.net.

That’s it for now. There’s some other news percolating — some of it big, all of it exciting. When it’s ready for release, you’ll be able to find it here. *

* — Yes, this is a blatant teaser.

If you happen to be in the vicinity of Columbus, Montana, tomorrow — and I should point out that in the context of Montana, “vicinity” means “roughly 300 miles in any direction” — please drop by the Stillwater County Library from 4 to 6 p.m. I’ll be chatting up the Friends of the Library and other patrons about 600 Hours of Edward, autism, publishing, Tony Romo‘s role in literature and anything else folks want to talk about. It’ll be a good time. (I’m just kidding about the Tony Romo part, although the Dallas Cowboys quarterback is a fixture in Edward’s world.)

That’s the launch of what’s shaping up to be a busy couple of months for me and the book. Three weeks later, on Feb. 25, I’ll be joining with my friends at Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids to present a session on autism and the way that reality intersects with art in my book. My good friend Connie VonBergen will talk about her experiences as the mother of an autistic child, I’ll chat about the underpinnings for Edward (an Aspergian) and how the character was drawn. That event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mary Alice Fortin Center at Billings Clinic, Rooms B and D. It’s free and open to the public.

Then comes March …

Missoula: At long last, I'm headed there.

I’ve lived in Montana for nearly four years now, and can you believe that I haven’t traveled to Missoula since I got here? (I have been there several times in the semi-distant past.) Anyway, that will change next month, when I have three events lined up in Missoula and the “vicinity”:

  • On Thursday, March 18, I’ll be at the Ronan City Library for a chat with the Friends of the Library group there. The address is 203 Main Street SW, and the event begins at 7 p.m. 
  • On Friday, March 19, I’ll be at Fact & Fiction, 220 North Higgins in Missoula, for a reading/signing. That runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • On Saturday, March 20, I’ll be at the Chapter One bookstore in Hamilton, 252 W. Main Street, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a signing.

Then it’s back home. But the following weekend, Saturday, March 27, I’ll be back at it, with a signing and perhaps a reading at Red Lodge Books, 16 N. Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m.

It’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to each and every one of these events. Please join me.

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