Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sleeping On the Job

Vice President Dick Cheney was caught on camera sleeping during a briefing on the California fire situations. My first thought was what is that guys problem? When he's not blowing up countries or shooting friends in the face, he's sleeping on the job.

But the longer I thought about it, the more I realized well I've did that too. A few years back, on a rather slow day at the library, I began nodding off at the reference desk. I tried to fight it with a friendly game of FreeCell, but alas, I could only fight it for so long, and I fell asleep at the desk. I slept for over a half hour; when I finally woke up, I realized not a single person had even noticed I was asleep.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

David Foster Wallace

Normally collections of essays are pretty much hit and miss campaigns; sometimes they are good, but usually they are not. This years 2007's "The Best American Essays" is edited by David Foster Wallace. If you have never heard of read Wallace, then stop reading this blog and go get yourself familar. Wallace is by far one of the most talented writers of this generation. If he can pick a good essay as well as he can write one, then I'm sure you will be in for one heck of a ride. The book is already out, so look for it today at your local library or bookstore.

Also, if your are a fan of Wallace, look for "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" to hit movie screens across the country soon. It's directed by John Krasinski (Jim on "The Office")

A Weird Thing About Publishing

When my agent told me that they were pursuing translation rights for Quiet, Please, I figure maybe Germany might buy it, or France, or perhaps Spain. Then I got the news that the first offer had come in. It wasn't from any of these countries; it was from Taiwan, who wanted to translate it into complex Chinese. The publishing business is funny that way...subjective; you can believe with 100% certainty that someone will be interested in your book, but ultimately it usually goes to the person you least expect.

In the ten years I've been writing professionally, I have had what I thought were great ideas for books; none of these ideas ever panned out. I never imagined the first book I would published would be a memoir. I figured one day if I had a mildly successful publishing career I would write about my life, but here I am, 29, and already have a memoir under my belt.

So to those who want to right: DON'T! It will only leave you drained and sad. But to those who are writing, keep beating on, keep submitting those ideas, and keep having's a subjective business and one day, when you least expect it, your day will come.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How It All Goes Down

So what exactly happens when you publish a book? Maybe you don't care, and if you don't then skip this, but if you have always wanted to know, then here's a timeline of my life this year.

January: Sold book to Carroll & Graf

March: Contracts are finally signed and I have until August to complete the book.

May: Carroll & Graf becomes part of the Perseus Book Group and then ceases to exist; the book becomes the property of Da Capo Books.

July: First draft is complete and sent to my editor.

August: Editing begins and is complete.

September: Book is sent out to be copyedited.

October: Copyedits sent. This is my last chance to make any major changes to the book. I just sent my copyedits in.

So what happens next?

November: I get back the typeset proof copies. This is a raw look at how the book will look. It is my last chance to correct minor things (mainly typos)

December: Proofs are sent out to reviewers.

That ends this year. How is 08 shaping out?

January: The Book goes to print.

March: The book is ready for sale, and is sent to booksellers across the country.

April: The book is officially released, and I begin a campaign to promote it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Welcome to my Blog! Why do I need a Blog? To shamelessly promote my memoir: Quiet, Please and to keep fans informed about the books happenings.

I will also do my best to keep up with other ramblings from the library world.

If you have no idea what Quiet, Please is about you are not alone! Visit my webpage for more information (

In short it's a humor memoir about my life as a librarian, and it will be released in April of 2008 by Da Capo Books. Translation rights to the book are currently in progress. I will post more news on that as it comes. Please come back, and I'll have more soon!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

FAQ: Fragmented Abstracts (that are) Questionable

I heard a rumor going around that you are on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and lots of other places! How can I find out more?
My wife made a Twitter page for me because I was too lazy (see it here), my MySpace page is here, my blogs can be found here and here and here. I have a Facebook page, but I'll be darned if I can find the address...actually, I just don't feel like looking for it, but rest assured it's not a very interesting page; I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find me there (it's really not very hard). Additionally, my wife has a blog and you can see hers here (incidentally her blog is better than mine).
Why do you have so many blogs?
I really have absolutely no idea; I just do. Some of them are more up dated then others some of the time (but not all of the time).
Is it true that you wrote a script or screenplay or something for your book Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian?
Actually there were two of us involved. Myself and Andy Sweat. You can read the script for yourself by following this link. Let me know what you think!
Where can I find reviews of your book? I want to know if it's as good/bad as people say, and I don't have the time to read it and formulate my own conclusion.
I'm so glad you asked! Blurbs from reviewers can be found by visiting this link.
I also heard you were own TV. Where can I watch that?
The same place you watch all of your bootleg movies and shows: YouTube, of course! Go here to watch it.
What about radio interviews? I heard there were some of those too?
Yes--from NPR to local public access--there were several. But I have not collected them in one general place yet. I'm really sorry about that. Check back later and I'll see what I can do. Additionally, do a Google search for Scott Douglas and Radio, and you will probably come up with something. The ones that say "porn" are not mine.
What is your email address?
For all indent and purpose, but please note that if you write there is a very good chance I will never respond and will eventually delete your email. But there's also a chance that I'll open it and read through never know. I really do like getting emails, as it let's me know one or two people actually come to this site. Please understand that there's a pretty good chance that I will not respond or open emails that include sexual references, questionable dialog, threats, or references to 17th century female poets.
What happened to the Roboscott7 one?
I have too many emails; I'm trying to phase that one out.
What's the deal with that user name? Roboscott7?
Yeah. I have scoliosis. When I was a kid I wore a back brace, and Robocop was the big movie out--so friends put the two together and my nickname became RoboScott. I had two rods put in my back some years back, so I suppose the name isn't really appropriate anymore, but I still like it nonetheless. And seven is just a number I like. I also like 13, 21 and 1,852,003.
You are a fan of odd numbers then?
I am.
How should I address you in an email?
Good question. There are actually many ways. Sir, Hello, Greetings from Indiaare all wonderful ways to start an email to me. Some people prefer to address me by my name, and a few address me as Sally or Sal for short. I have also noticed a growing number of emails coming to me addressed to Bob and Do You Want To Marry a Pretty Russian Girl. I have no preference, but it's very nice of you to ask.
Will you be my pen pal?
I'm really not one of those people who likes people in general, so I'm pretty sure you'd find me unlikable if we wrote often. But my wife loves talking to people. Visit her blog and you can find out more about her (and her address).
So she's a writer too? Why doesn't she have a book?
Give her time, my friend, give her time. She's much more interesting than me.
What's this I here about the two of you having a library themed wedding?
Well, we had a library-themed wedding. How much more do you want me to say? You can see the pictures by going to my blog. The invitations are here. The wedding pictures are here and here.
You're wife is beautiful!
I know! Hands off!

I heard you gave a presentation at the annual COLT conference awhile back. I'd like to see the presentation. Do you have it handy?
Of course. Go here.

Who/what are your influence as a writer?
When I first started writing, I read (and still read) John Steinbeck, John Updike, Walter Wangerin, Thomas Pynchon, Flannery O'Connor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, David Foster Wallace, Graham Greene, Jane Austen, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Michael Chabon, and others. As a developing writing, I consider the following among the most important: The Crying of Lot 49, East of Eden, Wise Blood, In the Beauty of Lilies, Brief Interview With Hideous Man, The Great Gatsby.
What did you read as a kid?
I wasn't interested in serious books as a kid, so I read the fun/easy stuff (I still read this stuff occasionally). I don't believe I would have ever read books as an adult if I had not have read John Grisham, Michael Crighton, and Tom Clancy in high school. These books made me realize that there was this magical world inside books that you couldn't find anywhere else. As a kid I read a lot of books that were just about to be turned into movies. I also read comic books. I read lots of comic books. My favorite was Mad, but I also read G.I. Joe, Richie Rich, among others.
When did you start writing?
I was in six grade when I wrote my first short story. Maybe my mom still has it somewhere. It was this horror story about a hand that got cut off a mom and would attack people. It was pretty ridiculous. Then in junior high I began a novel about these people who are going to hijack an airplane. I never finished it. In high school, I was fed up with the world and wrote a bunch of essays about what was wrong with it and what needed to be done...this would have been during my junior and senior year. Then the last year of high school, I wrote my first completed novel called Shooting For Your Dreams--an ambitious, but utterly hopeless work.
Where did you go to school?
A very important question. Rio Vista Elementary School; Kramer Junior High; Valencia High School; Fullerton College (Associate Degree in English); California State University, Fullerton (BA in Comparative Religion and English); San Jose State (Masters in Library and Information Science)
They have a Masters in Library and Information Science?
Yeah. It's nicknamed the MLIS. It's a pretty silly thing that a lot of people don't take seriously. Basically it's two years of theory and such just so you can get a job getting paid less than a teacher.
So that hot librarian with funky glasses and an afro that used to tell me to be quiet when I was a kid...she had a MLIS?
Probably not. It's somewhat of a recent phenomenon that public libraries require the degree, so it really depends on when you grew up.
Do you believe that a persons epistemological stance constrains that person from reasoning in productive ways?
Well...I think it really depends.
Is it really true that you failed the high school reading test?
Yeah. It was a real blast retaking the thing! It was basically me in the library with a bunch of kids who didn't speak English. That kid who stuck a pencil too far up his nose when he was a kid...he was there too. I passed it on the second go around, so I guess that means I can read, although I have my doubts sometimes.
Is it true that you have a dog?
It is true! I used to have two, but one of them died. Very sad.
May I reprint, copy, and/or exaggerate one of your stories/essays/reviews?
Probably. Why don't you just ask me?
I just did.
Oh. Yes, I guess you did. I kind of nodded off there for a second. Anyway, ask again, but in an email message. Make sure the subject of the email reads "I have big feet"--this part is very important. The body of the email should also give reference to the subject, as well as include a list of your three favorite breakfast cereals.
Do you have a big fancy New York literary agent?
Yes. Her name is Andrea Somberg, and she works at Harvery Klinger, Inc out of New York.
Do you know how I can get the "Push Button" effect onto my website?
Actually I do, but don't you know those things are really annoying? If not then here's a little script you can add into your homepage to get the effect:

Make sure you replace "image_name_here.gif" with the name of your image, and let me stress again that these things are only cool for about 5 seconds.
This site sure doesn't have very much.
I'm sorry was there a question there?
No, I was just pointing it out.
Thanks for noticing then. I'm sorry for the lack of content. I will add more, as I get around to it. I will also keep it updated with things that are being published, and provide links whenever possible.
Thank you. That's very nice.
You are welcome.