Writeful

a weblog for readers and writers

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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // SETTING THE FAMILY FREE (Loyola's Apprentice House Press 2019) // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

JMWW Journal interview on Setting the Family Free



Writer and musician Ruut DeMao interviewed me for the literary journal, JMWW, after reading Setting the Family Free. She described the novel as "quite a ride" and said the "gripping book" had a "good balance of thrill and drama without being sentimental."

Read the engaging interview about the novel, the real-life incident that inspired it, and writing in general at JMWW Journal.

https://jmwwblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/setting-the-family-free-an-interview-with-eric-d-goodman-by-ruut-demeo/?fbclid=IwAR2vHvtkbdo4t2cxG4IiQuAMnoE7OsTMZe49e5QLL5NYRGvPfsFC_pxDGeY

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Friday, November 01, 2019

Featured at Baltimore Book Festival and Light City


This weekend, enjoy the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City in one packed weekend!

On Friday, November 1 I'll be joining WBJC's Judith Krummeck for "The Ivy Bookshop Celebrates New Releases" at The Ivy Bookshop Stage, USM Columbus Center, 701 Pratt Street at 6 p.m. Judith will read from her new memoir, Old New Worlds, and I'll read from Setting the Family Free. After sharing a bit of our work, we'll talk about our books and writing and will open the conversation up to the audience for questions and answers. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more at https://brilliantbaltimore.com/event/the-ivy-bookshop-celebrates-new-local-releases.

Then, on Sunday, November 3 at 6 p.m. the Lit and Art Reading Series will be featured on the Inspire Stage in the Baltimore Inner Harbor's World Trade Center at 6 p.m. on the Top of the World observation level.

Featured talent includes Sid Gold, Frank S. Joseph, Timmy Reed, and Sherri Cook Woosley. I'll read a short snippet from my new novel, Setting the Family Free. Manzar will present her recent Rumi-inspired art and music will be provided by Pop-Grass musician Jacob Panic. Nitin Jagdish emcees. 

Also featured, the most spectacular view of Baltimore from the Top of the World Observation Level of Baltimore's World Trade Center.


Here is more  about Lit and Art at the Baltimore Book Festival:


You can also find me, along with other Apprentice House authors, at the Apprentice House Booth on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Setting the Family Free will be available, along with other popular titles. I'll be on hand a few hours each day to sign books, but you can purchase any time during the festival from the Apprentice House booth or official Book Festival book stores.

Learn more about the Baltimore Book Festival

https://www.promotionandarts.org/events-festivals/baltimore-book-festival


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Lit and Art at World Trade Center Top of the World for Baltimore Book Festival and Light City

Once again, the Lit and Art Reading Series, cross-promoted as Rumi and More, will present a program of lit, art, and music at the Baltimore Book Festival. You can find our hour packed with powerful readings, music and art on the Inspire Stage in the Baltimore Inner Harbor's World Trade Center at 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 3. 

This year, the Baltimore Office for the Promotion of the Arts has combined the Baltimore Book Festival with Light City for a spectacular event of books and lights!

How can a traditional literary salon compete with laser light shows? By having our event at the Top of the World, the Observation Level of Baltimore's World Trade Center! 

Featured talent includes Sid Gold, Frank S. Joseph, Timmy Reed, and Sherri Cook Woosley. I'll read a short snippet from my new novel, Setting the Family Free. Manzar will present her recent Rumi-inspired art and music will be provided by Pop-Grass musician Jacob Panic. Nitin Jagdish emcees. 

Also featured, the most spectacular view of Baltimore from the Top of the World Observation Level of Baltimore's World Trade Center.

Learn more  about Lit and Art at the Baltimore Book Festival:

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=13878010#editor/target=post;postID=3567628190372018127

Find out more about the participants at the Lit and Art Facebook Page:  

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitAndArt/about/

See you at the Baltimore Book Festival!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Ivy Celebrates New Releases at the Baltimore Book Festival


This weekend, enjoy the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City in one packed weekend!

On Friday, November 1 I'll be joining WBJC's Judith Krummeck for "The Ivy Bookshop Celebrates New Releases" at The Ivy Bookshop Stage, USM Columbus Center, 701 Pratt Street at 6 p.m. Judith will read from her new memoir, Old New Worlds, and I'll read from Setting the Family Free

After sharing a bit of our work, we'll talk about our books and writing and will open the conversation up to the audience for questions and answers. The event is free and open to the public. 

Both our books will be available for purchase and Judith and I will be happy to sign them for you.

Learn more at https://brilliantbaltimore.com/event/the-ivy-bookshop-celebrates-new-local-releases.

You'll also want to check out the Lit & Art Reading Series on Sunday, November 3 at 6 p.m. in the Top of the World observation level of the World Trade Center.


And, find me, along with other Apprentice House authors, at the Apprentice House Booth on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Setting the Family Free will be available, along with other popular titles. I'll be on hand a few hours each day to sign books, but you can purchase any time during the festival from the Apprentice House booth or official Book Festival book stores.

Learn more about the Baltimore Book Festival

https://www.promotionandarts.org/events-festivals/baltimore-book-festival

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Beyond Vilnius Published in Go World Travel


With all of the recent activity surrounding my new novel, Setting the Family Free, it's easy to forget that I'm also a travel writer!

While I was traveling in Arizona and Utah, exploring the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest, Go World Travel published my latest travel story about Lithuania, exploring Trakai and Uzupis. 

"Beyond the churches and old town, beyond the University and haunts from the Soviet occupation, beyond (and even within) Vilnius itself, other wonders await."

Check out "Beyond Vilnius" in Go World Travel.

https://www.goworldtravel.com/beyond-vilnius-travel-in-lithuania/


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Thursday, October 17, 2019

WBJC BookNotes Podcast features Setting the Family Free


It was exciting to be in the studio with Judith Krummeck, the person I've shared so many evening commutes with over the past 20 years.

Did you catch WBJC's BookNotes at 91.5 FM on Friday, October 4 or at 5:15 p.m. or Saturday, October 5 at 10 a.m. for Judith Krummeck's interview with me about Setting the Family Free?

If not, tune in now by listening to it on the WBJC BookNotes Podcast. 

Five minutes of listening might result in you wanting to buy a book!


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

B. Morrison on Setting the Family Free: A Fascinating Premise for a Story



Another book blogger has published a positive review of Setting the Family Free

This one comes from the B. Morrison Monday Morning Book Blog.

“One of the things I love about this novel is the compassionate insight Goodman brings to Sammy, the animals themselves, and the various men who must hunt them down before they kill any more people,” Morrison writes.

“Another thing I admire about this book is the unusual format. Chapters with traditional scenes alternate with sections made up of snippets of quotes from various people, and sometimes with news articles. This combination speeds up the pace of the story and plunges us into the terrible race to save the citizens of central Ohio. The hunters are rural police officers, aided by a couple of animal experts. Already horrified at what they must do, they are hampered by the questioning and accusing voices of those sitting safely far away. Their job is also complicated by the obliviousness of those who continue hiking and walking to work and taking children to playgrounds despite the urgent warnings to stay inside.”

Morrison calls into question why one of the minor characters is a female reporter with questionable motives, and the reviewer ponders what effect such "stereotypes" have on our culture. I would point out that other of the novel's female characters are cast in a kinder light—such as the more rational reporter on the local news and the former wife and co-owner of the animals. Likewise, some of the male characters are more “derided and demonized” than any of the female characters. 

I agree that authors should consider how they present their characters—something I carefully scrutinize as I develop them and in rewriting. Not all female characters need to be “good,” and not all male characters need to be “bad.” I try to find balance and to present multiple views. How different people perceive things differently is at the heart of much of my writing.

Beyond this aside, Morrison’s review was a strong endorsement for Setting the Family Free, even encouraging it for young adults and adults as the perfect prompt for conversation.

“As we learn more about animal intelligence, we begin to question the idea that we should have dominion over them,” Morrison writes. “This book is a valuable step in opening that conversation.”

Read the full review at the link below:





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Monday, October 14, 2019

Pulitzer Prize Winner Junot Díaz: Ferocious and Tender and Funny


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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Jacquelyn Mitchard on Setting the Family Free: Generous, Boisterous, Surprising


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Friday, October 11, 2019

Katherine Cottle on Setting the Family Free


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Loch Raven Review on Setting the Family Free


Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Mark Mirabello on Setting the Family Free


Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Bathsheba Monk on Setting the Family Free


Monday, October 07, 2019

Tom Glenn on Setting the Family Free


Saturday, October 05, 2019

The Ivy Hosts Setting the Family Free Book Launch Tomorrow



The Ivy Bookshop is hosting the official book launch of Setting the Family Free tomorrow, Sunday, October 6 at 5 p.m. and we're asking you to join us!

The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be served. There will be a reading from the novel followed by a question and answer session. The Ivy will sell books and the author will inscribe and sign them.

Junot Díaz called Setting the Family Free "ferocious and tender and funny from beginning to end," Jacqueline Mitchard called it "a generous, boisterous, surprising read, like a tiger in your back yard," and Rafael Alvarez called it "a good read under the Big Top of a fine craftsman's imagination."

What will you call it?

If you already pre-ordered Setting the Family Free and you have it with you, feel free to bring it to the event for an inscription and signature. Hardcover and trade paperback copies will be on sale by The Ivy to share with your friends and fellow readers.

We look forward to seeing you at the book launch for Setting the Family Free. Find more details on The Ivy's website.

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Friday, October 04, 2019

Today is World Animal Day



October 4 is World Animal Day, focused on raising awareness of animal cruelty and promoting animal welfare. Created by German author and publisher Heinrich Zimmermann in 1929, World Animal Day is celebrating 90 years of looking out for the animals of the world.

My novel, Setting the Family Free, does not skirt around the issue of how we treat animals. At its very center is the story of mistreated animals being released into a community through no fault of their own, leading to even worse treatment. Appropriately, even those harming the animals are either unaware of or haunted by the harm they cause.

Included in the book are quotes about animals and our relationship with them from everyone from Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr., from Tolstoy to Steinbeck. Here is one from Nietzsche: “Man is the cruelest animal.”

On World Animal Day, for every hardcover or paperback copy of Setting the Family Free purchased directly from me, I will donate my author profits to the cause. 

Learn more about Setting the Family Free at www.EricDGoodman.com/Animals.html.  

Order your copy directly from EdgeWriter Books (hardcover or paperback) on World Animal Day to have all author profits donated to the benefit of animals: 
https://www.amazon.com/sp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1627202161&isAmazonFulfilled=0&isCBA=&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&orderID=&seller=A1MUZNPTENFEA6&tab=&vasStoreID=

Learn more about World Animal Day and how to observe it at www.worldanimalday.org.uk.


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Thursday, October 03, 2019

Tune in to WBJC's BookNotes this Friday and Saturday


If you've been in Baltimore for any amount of time, it's likely you know Judith Krummeck. She's been accompanying drivers on their evening commutes for more than 20 years on WBJC, 91.5 FM.

Tune in to her BookNotes Friday at 5:15 or Saturday at 10 a.m. as she interviews me about my new novel, Setting the Family Free.

BookNotes airs the first Friday and Saturday of each month, and includes short, five-minute interviews with authors, poets, and members of the literary scene.

Judith is also an author; check out her new book, Old New Worlds, available at local bookshops and at Amazon.  

Tune in this Friday and Saturday, and then get your own copy of Setting the Family Free, also available at bookstores, booksellers, and Amazon

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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Release the Animals!



Today is Release Day for the new novel, Setting the Family Free!

Early readers have had great things to say about the book, which follows the release of exotic animals from a private reserve into a rural community. Here’s some of the feedback:

Junot Díaz: “A supremely moving novel … tender and funny from beginning to end.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard: “A generous, boisterous, surprising read, like a tiger in your backyard.”

Lucrecia Guerrero: “Warm, poignant, funny, and suspenseful.”

Rafael Alvarez: “A good read under the Big Top of a fine craftsman’s imagination.”

Toby Devens: “Wild, wonderful, well written, and highly original”

Jerry Holt: “What a read! At once funny, terrifying, and sometimes heartbreaking.”

Bathsheba Monk: “A good read written by a thoughtful and skilled writer.”

Tom Glenn: “This book will stay in my mind for years to come.”

Katherine Cottle: “One of Baltimore’s most riveting and prolific writers.”

Loch Raven Review: “One seamless, gripping story that’s both fast-paced disaster thriller and philosophical meditation on the intrinsic value of all living things. This is a book that satisfies on many levels.”

Jump into the novel yourself and find out what all the excitement is about! Get your copy of Setting the Family Free today at Amazon,  directly from the publisher, Apprentice House, or wherever books are sold!




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Monday, September 30, 2019

Tomorrow the Animals Release: Setting the Family Free


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Jerry Holt on Setting the Family Free


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Toby Devens on Setting the Family Free


Friday, September 27, 2019

Rafael Alvarez on Setting the Family Free


Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Baltimore Review: “A riveting page-turner, grips the reader to the very end”


The Baltimore Review has published a review of Setting the Family Free, calling it an “engrossing read” that “raises interesting questions about dominance, trust, instinct and love.”

The reviewer (A Balanced Life author Patricia Schultheis) made a keen observation that is at the heart of the novel:

“Goodman reveals a disturbing truth about human relationships: none of us is the same person to two or more others. Just as each of us is unique, so each relationship between individuals is unique. In giving their impressions of Sammy, Goodman’s characters reveal those facets of themselves that responded to Sammy, but none answers the key question: What drove Sammy Johnson to collect wild animals? That answer Goodman wisely keeps to the one chapter told from Sammy’s point of view.”

What fascinates some readers annoys others, and there’s no getting around that. Schultheis found the few short animal chapters to be “awkward,” although another published review cited those precise sections, writing “he excels at making the animals in this novel believable and sometimes sympathetic.” Other readers have described the animal sections as “rare and wonderful” and boring” and “fascinating.” This is just one small aspect of the book.

In the end, Baltimore Review  gave Setting the Family Free a riveting review, calling it a book that creates a tension that grips the reader to the very end.”

Read the full review in Baltimore Review:
https://baltimorereview.org/index.php/blog/post/setting-the-family-free-by-eric-goodman-a-review-by-patricia-schultheis

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Baltimore Review on Setting the Family Free


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Lucrecia Guerrero on Setting the Family Free


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Late Last Night Books: It Will Broaden Your Perspective on ... Family, Freedom, and Fear


Late Last Night Books, the popular book blog, published a rave review of Setting the Family Free.  Here are some snippets.

“Toward the end of Setting the Family Free by Eric D. Goodman, one of the main characters thinks about what has to be done to “end this bloody twenty hours, thereby closing the darkest ordeal of his life,” but he can’t bring himself to do it. The fact that he is so conflicted is indicative of the many opposing threads that Goodman weaves together to create suspense and compassion in this tale of the escape of dozens of exotic animals from a homemade zoo in Chillicothe, Ohio. It’s a compelling story told by a skillful, adventurous writer.”

The reviewer knows that perspective is something that interests me as a writer. “He also shows his penchant for unusual storytelling by including several chapters from the point of view of the animals who have escaped. The unexpected narrator isn’t new for Goodman—he told his novel Womb: A Novel in Utero from the point of view of an unborn fetus—and he excels at making the animals in this novel believable and sometimes sympathetic. Being immersed in the thoughts of a lion or a bear is fascinating.

“But people are the ones who make the novel most engaging, especially Sammy Johnson, the owner of the exotic-animal zoo.

Sally Whitney sums the book up as “a good story about some dangerous animals that got loose, the people who loved them, and the people who hunted them down. No doubt it will broaden your perspective on the meaning of family, freedom, and fear.

Read the full review at Late Last Night Books.



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Monday, September 23, 2019

Charles Rammelkamp on Setting the Family Free


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Jacquelyn Mitchard on Setting the Family Free


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Junot Díaz on Setting the Family Free


Friday, September 20, 2019

Watch the Book Trailer for Setting the Family Free




Produced by B. Harrison Smith, here is the official book trailer for Setting the Family Free. 

For a higher resolution version of the book trailer, visit the link: https://vimeo.com/361092094.


If the trailer makes you want to buy the book, you can do it now at www.EricDGoodman.com/Animals or on Amazon!


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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Loch Raven Review on Setting the Family Free: Fast-Paced, Satisfies on Many Levels



Loch Raven Review is the first literary journal to publish a review of my forthcoming novel, Setting the Family Free.

What did Loch Raven Review think about the novel?

“Told from a variety of perspectives and in a mix of narrative forms, Eric D. Goodman’s new novel is the story of one man’s obsession with exotic animals … and explores the complex relationship between men and animals, civilization and nature.

Setting the Family Free is just as much about how the story is told as it is about conflict and resolution.

Loch Raven Review summarized the book as “a kaleidoscopic viewpoint that adds up to one seamless, gripping story that’s both fast-paced disaster thriller and philosophical meditation on the intrinsic value of all living things. This is a book that satisfies on many levels.”

They had a lot more to say about Setting the Family Free. Read the entire review in Loch Raven Review:



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Friday, September 13, 2019

Tom Glenn on Setting the Family Free: This Book Will Stay in My Mind for Years to Come



Tom Glenn is author of novels like Last of the Annamese, No Accounts, and The Trion Syndrome. Here is his reaction after reading Setting the Family Free.

Setting the Family Free creates a genre all its own. It has elements of a crime novel, a romance, and a thriller. But at its heart, it is literary fiction telling the story of a deeply flawed but good man who seeks his own fulfillment through the love of animals. Awed by the power and majesty of exotic animals—lions, tigers, leopards, bears—Sammy Johnson collects them, lives with them, and loves them. His feelings for them, and theirs for him, clash with the norms of the society in which he lives, costs him his marriage, and threatens his way of life. His solution to the dilemma makes for a gripping read. This book will stay in my mind for years to come.”

Pre-order your copy of Setting the Family Free today at Amazon or directly from Apprentice House!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Toby Devens on Setting the Family Free: Wild, Wonderful, Well Written, and Highly Original



Toby Devens is author of Happy Any Day Now, Barefoot Beach, and My Favorite Mid-Life Crisis (Yet), among others. She’s an avid writer and an avid reader. Here is how she described Setting the Family Free.

“Wild, wonderful, well written, and highly original. An Ohio town is overrun by wild animals and it's a jungle out there in this page-turner novel.”

       - Toby Devens
         Author of Happy Any Day Now and Barefoot Beach

Welcome to the urban jungle! Pre-order your copy of Setting the Family Free today at Amazon or directly from Apprentice House!


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Monday, September 09, 2019

The Ivy Hosts Book Launch for Setting the Family Free Sunday October 6


The Ivy Bookshop is hosting the official book launch of Setting the Family Free on Sunday, October 6 at 5 p.m. and we're asking you to join us!

The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be served. There will be a reading from the novel followed by a question and answer session. The Ivy will sell books and the author will inscribe and sign them.

Junot Díaz called Setting the Family Free "ferocious and tender and funny from beginning to end," Jacqueline Mitchard called it "a generous, boisterous, surprising read, like a tiger in your back yard," and Rafael Alvarez called it "a good read under the Big Top of a fine craftsman's imagination."

What will you call it?

If you already pre-ordered Setting the Family Free and you have it with you, feel free to bring it to the event for an inscription and signature. Extra copies will be on sale by The Ivy to share with your friends and fellow readers.

We look forward to seeing you at the book launch for Setting the Family Free. Find more details on The Ivy's website.

www.theivybookshop.com/upcomingevent/6182

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