My Bed Unexpectedly Devoured Me

Apologies for my absence. Four weeks ago, my bed unexpectedly devoured me.

I had just made a potent chess move against the Bishop—accidentally, I admit, but one that silenced the Ouija planchette enough for me to sleep—and I slumped into bed still wearing my necktie.

My-Bed-Unexpectedly-Devoured-Me2Swirling tiredness engulfed me after weeks of thwarted effort. I had failed to locate the indescribable cat. I had repeatedly attempted meaningful contact with June, the ghost who shares my bedroom, while fearing she’d withdrawn from my mercurial emotions.

I had hurled my heart and hopes directly at the void, hoping they would flower out and pollinate the gloom. But there is a certain depth of neediness—a spiral in a spiral—that negates whatever goodness it inexorably funnels.

Loneliness. Depression. Self-doubt and desperation. How I pined for the remedy and fantasy of sleep!

I remember a soothing dizziness, a bottomless and widening and endless relaxation. My mattress softly opened in a vulviform embrace…

Read the full story at EquinoxSociety.com

So You Want My Job: Novelist

lumberjack
And lo, the mighty pine fell.

THE ART OF MANLINESS once interviewed me about being a novelist. Lumberjacks fear me.

[As a child] I’d make “movies” by taking sequential photos of my action figures, or by drawing a cartoon, slideshow-style, on a big roll of paper I could pull through a fake TV made of a box with two slits cut in the side. So the storytelling impulse was there, even if I wasn’t yet writing.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

#GetPublished101

Bell Weather

BELL WEATHER is officially the title of my next novel, which will be published by Holt in Summer 2015.

Here’s a description:

A young woman floats down a river in colonial Floria, a strange and vivid country in a reimagined 18th Century. Her name is Molly Bell, and her origin is unknown when she is saved from the water by Tom Orange, a surly local hero running a tavern plagued with trouble.

Molly — full of life and naturally calamitous — is powerfully drawn to Tom, who keeps her close but keeps his distance. As Molly makes her way in the isolated town of Root, fragments of her past come to light against her will. A desperate voyage overseas with threatening storms and shipmates. A genius brother, grim but loving, now mysteriously absent. Echoes of a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped.

As perils intertwine and secrets are revealed, danger menaces the tavern Molly and Tom call home: supernatural weather, forest thieves who steal people’s limbs, and a growing number of enemies who will force them to decide between surviving on their own or risking everything together.

Follow me here at the blog or on Twitter (@Giganticide) for future updates.

New Book Deal

I’m thrilled to announce that my second novel will be published by Holt in 2015.

Excellent agent and all-around swell guy, Richard Pine at InkWell, handled the deal last month. I’m looking forward to working with my new editor Michael Signorelli in the coming weeks of edits. The novel’s title might change along the way, so I won’t bother mentioning it now, but here’s the current description:

A young woman floats down a river in colonial Floria, a strange and vivid country in a reimagined 18th Century. Her name is Molly Bell, and her origin is unknown when she is saved from the water by Tom Orange, a surly local hero running a tavern plagued with trouble.

Molly — full of life and naturally calamitous — is powerfully drawn to Tom, who keeps her close but keeps his distance. As Molly makes her way in the isolated town of Root, fragments of her past come to light against her will. A desperate voyage overseas with threatening storms and shipmates. A genius brother, grim but loving, now mysteriously absent. Echoes of a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped.

As perils intertwine and secrets are revealed, danger menaces the tavern Molly and Tom call home: supernatural weather, forest thieves who steal people’s limbs, and a growing number of enemies who will force them to decide between surviving on their own or risking everything together.

Follow me on Twitter (@Giganticide) or here at the blog for future updates.

Troy Author Day 2013

troy author dayYesterday I finalized plans for TROY AUTHOR DAY.

Last spring I was part of an impromptu author discussion at a local bookstore. It was barely promoted but a decent crowd showed up, and I wondered what would happen if we rounded up lots of local talent and did spread the word. I talked to Market Block Books and The Troy Public Library, emailed a list of authors from around the Troy/Albany/Schenectady NY area, and got a great response.

So now we have twenty-three successful authors — all with local roots — gathering at the Troy, NY public library for a group signing and panel discussions. If you’re one of my local blog readers, I hope to see you there. Full details are below, as well as at TroyAuthorDay.com.

Market Block Books and The Troy Public Library present the first-ever TROY AUTHOR DAY.

WHERE: The Troy Public Library,  100 2nd Street, Troy, NY 12180 — (518) 274-7071

WHEN: Saturday, OCTOBER 19, 2013, 12-3 PM

Twenty-three of the Capital Region’s most popular authors will gather for a group book signing at the library. Copies for purchase will be available on site. Market Block Books will donate a portion of all sales to the library.

The event is free and open to the public.

Paul Grondahl of The Times Union will moderate a panel discussion about the authors’ creative processes at 1 PM. Susan Novotny of The Book House and Jessika Hazelton of Troy Book Makers will moderate a panel discussion about publishing and self-publishing at 2 PM.

Stop by for five minutes, or stay the whole time.

Featured authors: Elisa Albert, Frankie Y. Bailey, Elizabeth Brundage, Jack Casey, Susan Daitch, Eric Devine, Lydia Davis, Peter Golden, Ellen Graf, Paul Grondahl, Shane Jones, James Kunstler, Dennis Mahoney, Matthew McElligott, Eugene Mirabelli, William B. Patrick, David Salomon, Edward Schwarzschild, Hollis Seamon, Tobias Seamon, Ruth Ann Smalley, Larry Tuxbury, Barbara Ungar 

Full info can be found at www.troyauthorday.com

 

 

The Best Imaginary Friends I’ve Ever Had

FSG asked me for a short essay about summer reading, so I wrote about my love of the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin novels, which probably constitute the best reading experience of my life. These books were the basis for the superb and criminally un-sequeled movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

The Best Imaginary Friends I’ve Ever Had

This summer I’m going to start rereading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, about life in the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. This isn’t the kind of fiction I usually read, and yet my first pass through the series was the best reading experience of my life.

I’m not alone. Director Peter Weir, who eventually directed the movie adaptation, Master and Commander, used to plan for certain trips by determining how many O’Brian novels he ought to pack. David Mamet finished rereading the eighth book and said to his wife, “This fellow has created characters and stories that are part of my life.” Everyone I’ve met who’s read these novels responds similarly. Used book stores frequently don’t have copies on hand; one store owner believed that people who bought the books tended to keep them. And I recently got to know a writer three-thousand miles away when we shared enthusiasm for the series on Twitter. Captain Jack Aubrey and his companion, the naturalist, physician, and spy Stephen Maturin, felt like mutual friends.

I would see these books on the shelf when I worked at Barnes and Noble during college — a long row of similarly sized novels with pastel spines — and wonder who on Earth read them…

Continue reading at FSG’s Book Keeping

And here’s a good scene from the movie:
[youtube:http://youtu.be/XNL0KfD0nts%5D