My novelette "After the Earthquake a Fire" is now available as a 99¢ ebook.

This story tells a fictionalized version of some of my experiences as a Mormon missionary in Idaho after I was ejected from Canada. If you finished reading The Accidental Terrorist and wondered what what the rest of my mission was like ... well, I hope you won't read too much into this.

Be aware that this story includes scenes of animal cruelty which may be disturbing to some readers.

Um, I hope you like it.

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So, after a week of my urging, you still haven't purchased a copy of my memoir, The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary. Hmm.

No, don't apologize. I understand that a book about a depressed missionary intertwined with a biography of Joseph Smith doesn't exactly sound like a must-buy.

That's why I'm going showing you the video clip below. If you still don't want to get the book after watching it, no hard feelings. But if you do, for a limited time you can grab a signed and personalized edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States. Or get the ebook edition for the ridiculously low price of 99 cents!

But you need to puzzle out the password to watch the video. Do you have the expertise you need?

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Deseret News: Utah missionary sentenced for bomb threat in Canada
This Deseret News article from Saturday, February 28, 1987, can tell you all about what got me arrested earlier that week, but it can't tell you what it was actually like to be a reluctant 19-year-old Mormon missionary in the wilds of Canada in the mid- to late '80s. And hey, it's the Deseret News, so it wouldn't tell you the truth about that even if it could.

No, for that you need my award-nominated memoir, The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary, and there's still time to get in on plenty of great sales! While supplies last, grab a signed and personalized edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States. Or get the ebook edition for the ridiculously low price of 99 cents!

Not only that, but you can even enter at Goodreads to win one of ten free copies of the trade paperback. But hurry! Like a train to Darjeeling, the days of these sales are limited.

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Salt Lake Tribune: Missionary Called In a Bomb Threat to Ground Friend's Plane
Well, maybe not everything. This Salt Lake Tribune article from Saturday, February 28, 1987, may tell you the basics of the central plot elements, but it doesn't tell you what it was actually like to be a reluctant 19-year-old Mormon missionary in the wilds of Canada in the mid- to late '80s. It doesn't tell you about the social pressures and even, yes, the brainwashing that goes into making a boy of that age willing to commit to two years of unpaid proselytizing—or at least unwilling to fight against it.

No, for that you need my award-nominated memoir, The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary, and there's still time to get in on plenty of great sales! While supplies last, grab a signed and personalized edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States. Or get the ebook edition for the ridiculously low price of 99 cents!

Not only that, but you can even enter at Goodreads to win one of ten free copies of the trade paperback. But hurry! Like a fine limited edition, the days of these sales are numbered.

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Taboo Tales NYC, Monday, October 10th, 7:00 pm, The PIT, 123 E. 24th St., New York, NY 10010
Tonight I'm very excited to be part of the second Taboo Tales event in New York City. Come out and see us at The PIT and I guarantee you'll leave feeling better about yourself. But get your tickets quick!

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Taboo Tales

I'm very excited to be part of the second Taboo Tales event in New York City on Monday, October 10th. Taboo Tales is the long-running show from Los Angeles where people tell stories about their fucked-up lives. Come out and see us at The PIT on Monday and I guarantee you'll feel better about yourself.

Now, I'll let Taboo Tales tell you more...


We've learned New Yorkers are pretty fucked up so we're putting on our second show on October 10th. It's Columbus Day so tell all your friends to come out and discover this one of a kind storytelling show where we talk about topics no one wants to discuss in public.

Our BRAVE storytellers for this show will be:

  • Allison Guerra
  • Tony Carnevale
  • Kent Koren
  • William Shunn
  • Karen Fratti
  • Bobby Hankinson

    Hosted by Vanessa Golenia and Kejal Macdonald
    Happening at the PIT theater (24th and Lex)
    7pm. Arrive by 6:30pm.

    Save some money and get your tickets in advance!
    $10 online tickets // $13 at the door

    Want to see how much fun we had at the last one? Say no more. Check our event photos.

    SEE YOU THERE!


    More info:
    http://tabootalestheshow.com/about-2/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1781798598730652/

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    Michael Ian Black: NOTED EXPERT on Epix
    It was a magical moment. That's how Barry put it, and who am I to disagree?

    Barry Goldblatt is my friend and literary agent. He also happens to be literary agent to actor/​comedian/​author Michael Ian Black, with whom you may be familiar. This past November, Barry took a small group of us—me, Laura, and Colleen AF Venable—to see the taping of Michael's new standup comedy special at John Jay College in Manhattan.

    Now, this happened to be the very next day after my book release party for The Accidental Terrorist, so 1) I was still on a pretty big high, and 2) the comedy outing felt almost like a continuation of the party from the night before.

    As the line of showgoers entered the auditorium, a woman we called the Sorting Hat directed each little group to the exact row where she wanted them to sit. "Are you big fans of Michael Ian Black?" she would ask, before sending the young and attractive college students to the front of the house and the rest of us to the anonymous back middle. She needed the audience to look good and enthusiastic on TV.

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    Watching Tyler Glenn's video for his new solo single, "Trash," the anger is palpable and inescapable. But it also brims with pain and grief.

    "Trash" exploded across the online Mormon world last week, causing the faithful to recoil and apostates to jump up and down in a fever. Glenn is the lead singer of Provo's Neon Trees. A lifelong member of the LDS Church, he made headlines two years ago by coming out as gay in the pages of Rolling Stone. He still believed, though—until six months ago, that is, when the church issued draconian new guidelines for the ecclesiastical treatment of children of same-sex couples.

    Now comes "Trash," a video in which Tyler Glenn drinks liquor from the bottle, spits on a defaced portrait of Joseph Smith, enacts all four of the secret handshakes from the temple endowment ceremony, draws a red X on his face, and ultimately crumples amidst a blizzard of printed pages possibly meant to represent Mormon scripture.

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    Caffeinated Confessions of Mormon Comics, Throckmorton Theater, 24 April 2016

    Greetings from San Francisco! I've been meaning to blog about this crazy week for a while now, but this crazy week keeps getting in the way.

    I arrived here yesterday afternoon, having flown from Baltimore after visiting a book club in York, PA, that was discussing The Accidental Terrorist. I'm telling you, you haven't lived until you've faced a roomful of strong professional women who all want to tell you what they think about your book. Fortunately, the comments and questions were uniformly thoughtful and perceptive. I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.


    Sunday, April 24, Mill Valley, CA

    But the week is far from over! Tonight I'm delighted to be joining the incredible Bengt Washburn and his Beehive State Boatrockers for an evening of standup comedy, storytelling, and loud laughter:

    Sunday, April 24, 7:30 pm
    Caffeinated Confessions of Mormon Comics
    Throckmorton Theatre
    142 Throckmorton Ave.
    Mill Valley, CA 94941
    Tickets: $21 to $36

    Bengt will headline the show, I will tell amusing anecdotes from the mission field, and we'll hear from comics spanning the spectrum of views on Mormonism: Abi Harrison, Christian Pieper, Spence Roper. It's going to be a truly telestial evening. I hope to see you there.


    Wednesday, April 27, Ridgewood, Queens, NY

    By Wednesday I'll be back home in Queens, and I'm honored to be kicking off the debut of the Wednesday Night Reading Series at the monk, a fabulous Belgian beer bar in Ridgewood. Joining me is poet extraordinaire (and science fiction editor) Emily Alta Hockaday.

    Wednesday, April 27, 8:00 pm
    Wednesday Night Reading Series
    the monk
    68-67 Fresh Pond Rd.
    Ridgewood, NY 11385
    Admission: free

    the monk is an easy walk from the Fresh Pond Road stop on the M line. Join us, expand your beer palate, and take home a new reading list!


    Thursday, April 28, Forest Hills, Queens, NY

    Last but not least, Line Break—the eclectic live literary magazine that I host at Q.E.D. in Astoria—has been given its own evening-long stage at the Queens Literary Crawl in Forest Hills!

    The Queens Literary Crawl (which benefits the Queens Book Festival) is an amazing assemblage of more than a hundred literary luminaries all reading on various stages throughout Forest Hills on one magical night. One $9.99 ticket gets you access to it all, which includes our special Line Break stage at Aged Restaurant.

    Don't miss the amazing lineup of writers we've assembled, including Jacob Appel, Marleen S. Barr, Carey Bernstein, Jeremy Blutstein, Malcolm Chang, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Alex DiFrancesco, Nancy Hightower, Robert J. Howe, Rajan Khanna, Barbara Krasnoff, Ilana C. Myer, Richard Taylor Pearson, and Sarah Riccio! (And of course I'll be there too, as both host and reader.)

    Thursday, April 28, 7:00-10:30 p.m.
    Line Break Reading Series @ Queens Literary Crawl
    Aged Restaurant
    107-02 70th Road
    Forest Hills, Queens, NY 11375
    Tickets: $9.99 ($20 at the door)

    Aged Restaurant, like all the Queens Literary Crawl venues, is near the Forest Hills/71st Ave stop on the E/F/M/R subway lines. You have no excuse for not joining us!


    Whew. That's it for my crazy week! Or is it? Stay tuned.

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    Caffeinated Confessions of Mormon Comics, Throckmorton Theater, 24 April 2016

    I'm delighted to be joining the hilarious Bengt Washburn and his Beehive State Boatrockers on April 24 for an evening of standup comedy, storytelling, and loud laughter. It all takes place at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, California!

    Here's the official spiel:


    Sunday, April 24, 7:30 pm
    Caffeinated Confessions of Mormon Comics
    Throckmorton Theatre
    142 Throckmorton Ave.
    Mill Valley, CA 94941
    Tickets: $21 to $36

    We invite you to join us for Caffeinated Confessions of Mormon Comics: a night of bare-knuckled satire and stories of downward spirals. On this night, 6 comedians and story-tellers from all over the country gather at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA, to tell jokes about the good, the bad, and the crazy parts of Mormon theology and culture. With a lineup consisting of active, inactive, and ex-Mormons, the jokes come from a wide range of perspectives, but are unified by the idea that, for at least one night, a little loud laughter might not be all that bad. (If you're worried about being offended, you probably will be.)

    Headlining the show is the brilliant Bengt Washburn. He's been seen on Conan and Comedy Central and was the winner of the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition.

    Also featuring:
    Christian Pieper (Boston Comedy Festival)
    Spence Roper (Limestone Comedy Festival)
    Mike Grover (Second City)
    Abi Harrison (Bob and Tom)

    And special guest, author and storyteller William Shunn (The Accidental Terrorist)

    Make sure to stick around for the Q&A session and the very special "Happy Ending."


    Tickets start at $21. Get yours here, and I hope to see you at the show!

    And if you need any added enticement, here's a sample of some of the Mormon-related material from Bengt's act:

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    The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

    Signed editions
    that even a
    missionary
    could afford.

    Order yours now!

    About the Book

    What happens when an ambivalent young Mormon missionary is pushed to the limit in a challenge to prove his faith? Hint: the outcome is explosive. The Accidental Terrorist is the long-awaited memoir from Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author William Shunn, based on his popular podcast. Available now from Sinister Regard!