Here are a few guidelines to help you determine the best way to contact me:
I love talking about my subjects and my work, and I’m almost always happy to make myself available for interviews. Please note, however, that I generally prefer phone and Skype interviews over responding to written questions or e-mails, simply because those tend to take more time and work. That doesn’t mean I won’t respond to your written Q&A, but I’m pickier about those than I am phone interviews.
Also: if you’d like me for a television interview or a “talking head” appearance in documentary, I’m close enough to facilities in Washington, DC, that I can probably work to accommodate you. I can probably even get there in a hurry–just make sure you give me a little more than two hours notice, especially in DC traffic.
Are you putting together a panel for a writer’s conference, and need someone who can talk all about the craft of researching, writing, and publishing biography, history, and non-fiction? I’m happy to serve. I’ve moderated and participated in panels for Biographers International Organization, the Miami Book Fair, and the James River Writers conference, to name just a few.
But hey! I’m also your All Things Muppets, Star Wars, Sleepy Hollow, and Dr. Seuss Guy, right? So if you’re putting together a conference where you need someone to discuss those topics, I’m delighted to do that, too. I’ve been pleased to participate in panel discussions at film and comic book conferences and conventions–I’ve even done the New York Comic Con–and I’m happy to debate which is the greatest Muppet movie, which Dr. Seuss book is the funniest, and whether Greedo shot first.
If you’re interested, please e-mail me to let me know who you are, along with the date and location of your conference.
Interested in having me speak at your conference, library, museum, book show, or any other event? I do that a lot, too. I’m happy to discuss any of my subjects, and I generally arrive with a multi-media presentation, so you won’t just get someone standing at a podium (Unless you want that, in which case I can do that, too.) I can also talk about writing, film, comic books, television, and general pop culture. I’ve spoken at venues, large and small, all across the country, and I’d love to come hang out with you. For engagements like this, I’ll refer you to the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau, who’ll work with you to make all the necessary arrangements, as easily as possible.
I’m almost always happy to consider writing a blurb for your upcoming book–but please have the request come from your editor, agent, or publisher. Keep in mind there are times when I don’t have the bandwidth to adequately read and blurb; other times, I might feel I’m not the right person to blurb a particular kind of book (I’m probably not the guy to blurb your lovely book of poetry or your romance novel, for instance). I’ll let your editor/agent/publisher know if I can or can’t blurb–and if I don’t blurb your book, don’t take it personally; it was most likely just an issue of time.
STUDENT PROJECTS/BOOK REPORTS
Look, I get it—I was a student once, too: doing research and writing papers takes a lot of time, and can be a bit of a drag. That said, I get lots of requests from students to help with their projects or reports, and each one takes up a lot of time. So, rather than answering some of those appeals for help when I have the time, and disregarding others when I don’t, my policy is to not do any of them at all. But take heart: in my experience, the answers to the questions you’re asking can almost always be found by reading the books I’ve written on the subject you’re curious about.
Interested in something else that you don’t see here? By all means, please contact my agent, Jonathan Lyons, at Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Click here to send Jonathan an e-mail, or give him a call at (212) 473-5400.