I loved your book! How can I share that love with others?
Write an online review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads. Those reviews help teach the robots about what books are super great! You can also buy the book as a gift for a friend. A book is always a meaningful gift, even if people don't read it, and they almost never do. But it's fancy and shows them that you are their "smart" friend.
How can I get Harrison to come to my house?
On more than one occasion, readers have hosted private book parties in their homes, where I do a reading or informal talk, answer questions, sign books, do shots, shoot fireworks, etc., with them and their friends. (I am not lying.) These are always fun. If you purchase 50 or more books from your local independent bookshop (proof of purchase required) and provide business class airfare and decent lodgings for the weekend, I will totally come to your house, sign books, and hang. For no additional charge, I will sit in a beach chair and talk to you while you weed your flowerbeds. Be the weirdest person in your hood! Contact Harrison to make it happen.
How can I get Harrison to come to our university/festival/conference?
Like many writers, I work at a demanding university job, which means I can generally only travel for speaking engagements on the weekends. These appearances usually involve a 60-minute presentation (with visuals) focused on my latest book: I show pictures, read from the book, try to make audiences laugh and think and feel, and end with a fun Q&A. Afterwards, I sign books. (Almost always, the local bookstore will agree to handle all sales.) I have spoken at universities (Ole Miss, Sewanee, Auburn, others), high schools (private, parochial, public, boarding), and a curious array of professional organizations of attorneys, librarians, real estate developers, and OB-GYNs, among others. Why OB-GYNs, you ask? Good question. I think it's because they need something to lighten the mood? Sometimes these conferences are so full of technical presentations that they need someone to talk during lunch about something that has little to do with their profession. Contact Harrison for a fee quote. Heads up! I generally require business class airfare for two, because I am luxurious and delicate.
Will Harrison Skype with my class or book club?
Yes! If your group/class/gang/church/posse purchases ten or more copies of one of my books from anywhere--your local bookshop or online--then I will Skype into your class or club meeting to answer questions, discuss the writing process, and share what little wisdom I possess. I love, love, love doing this. Skype or FaceTime sessions usually last 30-60 minutes. I've Skyped into university and high school classes (via giant projection screen) and private homes (via laptop placed gingerly on the kitchen table around which everyone sat).
Why should my class or book club read either one of these books?
Congratulations, Who Are You Again? addresses so many fundamental questions that high school and college students ask: What should I do with my life? How do I know I chose the right thing to do? What is success? How will I know when I've made it? For aspiring writers and other creative persons, this book dives deep into the creative process in all its glory and horror, the blocks and breakthrough moments, showing a way forward for any ambitious creative soul who is on the verge of throwing in the towel. For adults of any age--who know all too well the promise and peril of the American Dream--the questions are even more pressing: What have I done with my life? Did I choose wisely? Is there time to change the path I'm on? (A reading guide and discussion questions for Congratulations, Who Are You Again? will be available in fall 2018.)
The World's Largest Man is a book anyone who likes genuine comedy, where nothing is sacred: history, family, tradition, religion, the American South, or any of the other parts of this great and confusing nation. And yet, at its heart, this is a book for any human being in a family--son or daughter, mother or father--who might be trying to understand their place in that comically strange landscape. Who are these people? Am I really related to them? Why do I seem to love and revile them in equal measure? How do I jettison the worst of my family legacy while retaining that which matters most? Finally, it's a book for anybody who grew up in a highly rural part of America, not just the South, but Nebraska and New Hampshire and New Mexico, too--those beautiful places where the land exerts a powerful cosmic influence on the people who call it home. Here's a reader's guide that your group can review and discuss before we Skype.
How do I arrange a Skype/FaceTime session with Harrison?
Convince your book club to read the book. If you have any members especially resistant to the idea of reading a book by me, please send me their home address and I will write them a postcard, explaining how kind and personable I can be, when medicated. If you are a teacher, simply put the book in your lesson plans and require your students to buy it. No need to ask their permission! You are the boss! You will not be disrespected! Then buy the book. No need to present me with evidence of the ten-plus books. I trust you. Honor system here. Just make sure that when the Skype starts, it's not you and all your cats and nobody else. Now click on the button below to arrange for a virtual session. Easy! Generally, early evenings and weekends work best for these. Typically, I schedule Skype sessions 2-4 weeks in advance. If this is for a high school or college class, I can occasionally make exceptions and arrange to Skype during class hours.
How do I get a signed book?
While it's perfectly legitimate in a profit-motive economy for you to purchase any book at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, HarperCollins, Google Play, Indiebound, or iTunes, I would urge you to consider purchasing a signed copy of one of my books from one of the two local independent bookstores in my town, Savannah, Georgia. Call Joni or Chris at The Book Lady (912-233-3628) or Jessica at E.Shaver Books (912-234-7257) and buy it from them over the phone, as in olden times. As soon as you do this, they will call me and I'll ride my bike over there and sign it and they'll mail it to you. I can sign something funny or something sad or just my name or pretty much anything you want--just tell them what you want. If you don't mind the book being unsigned, then consider buying the book from a local shop near you; I assure you, the monies you spend with these small businesses will do much good for many good people.
Where can I get a bio and photo of Harrison?
If you have already arranged for Harrison to make an appearance at your festival, conference, university, etc., then you may require a high-res photo and bio to put on your website. Or maybe you're a journalist? The extraordinary Chia Chong shot these high-resolution photos, which you can use: Baby Side Eye (Pic 1), What's That Sound (Pic 2), The Wildebeest (Pic 3), and The Burden (Pic 4). If you need a photo of either cover, try here and here. Right-click any photo to download it. Official bio to use if you need it: Harrison Scott Key is the winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and author of two memoirs, Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World's Largest Man. His humor and nonfiction have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Oxford American, Outside, The New York Times, The American Conservative, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Mockingbird, Salon, Savannah Magazine, Reader's Digest, Image, Southern Living, Gulf Coast, and Creative Nonfiction, among others. He teaches at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. To find him, Google him!
Will Harrison read my manuscript and tell me what he thinks?
Yes! I do consultations for ambitious writers who desperately want feedback on their work. Sadly, I only do this for free for close friends, as reading manuscripts and providing meaningful feedback, like all teaching, takes time. For $500, I will read up to 25 pages of your work, provide in-line comments, and speak with you over the phone about your writing (for usually 30-45 minutes) at a time convenient for both of us, usually in the evenings. For $750, I will read the first 50 pages of your book-length manuscript, provide comments, and speak with you over the phone about it. For $1,000, I will read your book proposal (usually an overview, outline, and two sample chapters) and provide feedback and speak over the phone about it. For anything else, or anything beyond the above, we can discuss an appropriate fee.
Will Harrison send my book to his agent?
I could, but it wouldn't help. The publishing process is complex and fluid, less like going to Disney World and more like crossing a wide fast river. Disney World is easy: You buy a costly ticket and they let you in. A raging river doesn't care about your ticket. The good news is, most agents WANT to read your work, because the only way they make money is by discovering and promoting new talent. Do some Googling. My agent has a website. Most agents do. Or you can go to a writing conference where agents will be attending. Again, do some Googling. I met my agent at a conference. Be strategic. Find out where you can meet them in a totally non-confrontational way.
Some agents will tell you, right there in person or on their websites, what they want to see (usually a query letter that tells them about your book idea). If they like the idea, they'll ask to see chapters, maybe an overview. Do you have those? If not, write those first, then worry about an agent later. Once you have a solid book idea and some sample chapters, start reaching out to agents at conferences, online, wherever they can be found. Sometimes, it'll happen in an elevator at the conference. At one conference, I met an agent at a cocktail party, and later that night, we encountered one another at the hotel vending machines. "Okay, so what's your book about?" she asked, stuffing quarters into the machine. And I told her! And she liked the idea! And then she asked if she could be my agent! (I already had an agent.) This other time, long before that, at a different conference, I shared a cab with an agent, and he asked what my book was about, and I told him, and he fell asleep during my explanation.