I have some good news to share with you. I have written a big, new book! It is, without a doubt, the most personal work I've ever done. It's called HERE COMES TROUBLE. It contains two dozen short stories, all based on events in my early life, before I became a filmmaker. They tell how, from a young age, the "personal" in my life slowly boiled up and exploded, quite unexpectedly, into the political.
And next Tuesday, September 13th, you will be able to read these stories that, until now, I've only told to my close friends -- friends who, by the way, have long encouraged me to share them with you.
This is my first major book in nearly eight years, and it is, I believe -- if you'll allow me to say this without jinxing it -- the best damn thing I've ever written.
Considering how the act of writing is filled with so much self-loathing, being able to make a statement like that is, trust me, no small feat! (And you don't have to take my word for it -- Publishers Weekly just gave it their top starred review, calling it "outstanding" and a "triumph." I will not argue with these people; they have credentials and they know what they're doing.)
This is a book of 24 short stories -- but they are all nonfiction. From a chance encounter at the age of 11 with Bobby Kennedy to a tense moment in Virginia outside a rest room door marked "Colored"; from the gay kid in the neighborhood who was beaten to a pulp to the night some in my church cheered the news of the death of Martin Luther King; from a ruckus I raised at 17 that helped end a form of racial discrimination nationwide to becoming one of the first 18-year olds in the U.S. elected to public office; from planning my escape to Canada during the Vietnam War to having my newspaper raided by the local police; from confronting Reagan in a German cemetery as he laid a wreath on the graves of Nazi soldiers to surviving a terrorist massacre by showing up 20 minutes late -- this was my life before I even thought of putting the first roll of film inside a camera. Some of these stories are funny, others are devastating, but all of them have something to say, not just about yours truly, but about the country we once thought we were (and about the one we've now, incredibly, become).
Next Tuesday, September 13th, HERE COMES TROUBLE will be in your local library and bookstore. It will be available online, on eReaders and even on iTunes (the audio version that I recorded).
If you'd like to read one of the stories from the book for free, you can click here.
My book tour begins next week on the "Today Show" followed by visits to Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Maher and, of course, "The View."
Then I'm off to visit 20 or so cities in the fall (the full list will be on my website in a few days). One of my missions on the tour will be to help local libraries across the country that are struggling to survive. For my part I will be giving half of all my royalties on every book that is sold at the events on my tour to these local libraries.
I'll tell you more about HERE COMES TROUBLE in the days to come, and if you haven't signed up for my Twitter feed, please do so 'cause I'll be giving away signed copies each day this week (click here to get my tempting Tweets).
Thanks again for all your support through the years. I promise I won't wait another 8 years 'til the next book! I can also promise you're gonna love this one!