a weblog for readers and writers

Monday, December 06, 2021

Begin at the End

Was it Stephen Covey who first said "Begin with the end in mind?" Well, he said it, but surely this advice comes from long before Covey's repackaging. And it’ll certainly it'll be repackaged again and again. Here’s novelist John Irving’s spin.

Irving says he never begins writing a novel until he has decided on the end.

"I always start with the last sentence," Irving says. "I know exactly where I'm going. I have a far more fixed sense of the ending than the beginning. In the five, six, seven years it takes me to write a book, I always know the ending first and don't start writing until I know the last sentence. You need to know the ending to understand the tone and language to use. You need to know how to set everything up to get to where you're going."

Learn more about John Irving and his work at www.john-irving.com/  



Monday, November 29, 2021

The Cicadas Will Return


Do you fondly remember the sound of those Cicadas all around us? Incessantly buzzing day and night? Almost as though they were announcing something big?

They were announcing something. All of that buzz is at the center of my forthcoming book, Wrecks and Ruins.
Wrecks and Ruins is being published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press in Spring 2022. The short novel is a sort of anti-love story that corrects itself. Spanning three cicada life cycles, a man who attempts to find art in the most unlikely of places makes a lot of other discoveries about himself and those in his life as well.

While you’re waiting for Wrecks and Ruins to arrive, why not catch up on some of my other novels? Find them all at www.EricDGoodman.com

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The new printed issue of Loch Raven Review

Loch Raven Review has published my latest fiction in their sixteenth annual edition, along with such authors as Shannon Cuthbert, Johanna DeMay, Marc Alan Di Martino and others.

Loch Raven Review seeks to showcase the works of new and experienced authors side by side who present a unique voice to the world.

The print edition is available here:


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Travel Story That Inspired A Novel


Back in 2014, my daughter and I went on a travel adventure throughout China that took us from Beijing to Shanghai, Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. We saw everything from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square to The Terracotta Warriors and West Lake.

With the help of daily note-taking and journaling from Nicole, I wrote a travel story that detailed the weeks we spent in China. Smaller nuggets rewritten from that longer story have appeared in places like Baltimore Style Magazine, Go World Travel, and Go Nomad. Now, inTravel Magazine is publishing the entire travelogue in a series.

Enjoy “Fortunate Cookies: A Father-Daughter Adventure Through China, Part 1: Beijing and the Great Wall” in inTravel Magazine at the link below.




Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Latest Novel is a Literary Thriller: The Color of Jadeite


Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press published my latest novel in October 2020. The Color of Jadeite is a literary thriller full of intrigue, romance, treacherous villains, alluring clues, narrow escapes, and surprises around every corner. The novel has been described by early readers as “a tight, taut, terrific thriller” (Steve Berry, author of 19 New York Times bestselling thrillers) and “as tense, romantic, and obsessed as the great noir thrillers” (Jacquelyn Mitchard, Deep End of the Ocean).

Clive Allen, a suave private eye, ventures throughout China in search of an ancient jadeite tablet from the Ming dynasty. Along the way, he delves into the mysteries of China’s art, history, and culture.

Every bit as captivating as the treasure Clive seeks is the mysterious Wei Wei, an expert on Chinese artifacts who helps the droll detective navigate the most perilous pockets of Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and beyond.

With sidekicks Salvador and Mackenzie, Clive sets out to find the priceless artifact, outwitting their rivals at almost every turn. But between the fistfights and rickshaw chases, gunfights and betrayals, Clive’s deep connection with the treasure he seeks and his romance with Wei Wei force him to confront truths about his past and himself.

Find out why it’s been called “The Maltese Falcon on high octane” (Jerry Holt) and “a clever, witty, captivating read” (Toby Devens) by reading the adventure for yourself. It’s available on Amazon and from other booksellers as a hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook.



Saturday, September 11, 2021

My September 11 Story

It is hard to believe that the tragedy of 9/11 took place 20 years ago. 

One of the first stories I wrote for Tracks: A Novel in Stories was "Freedom." 

I consider it my 9/11 story.

Here is an abridged version of my 9/11 story as featured on WYPR. (The full story, as published in TRACKS, delves deeper into Joe's conflicts with that tragic day, with the war, and with his relationships.)


Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Tom Wolfe & Me

The book-signing line for Tom Wolfe at the National Book Festival was so long that I had to leave it before getting anywhere close to the man in white (in order to make John Irving's presentation).

Later in the day, it was Tom Wolf's turn to speak beneath a tent. Again, it was so crowded that the closest I could get was five rows away.

It was later, as I walked along the national mall green, that I just happened to run into him. Wolf was hard to miss in his white suit and shoes. He began a live interview on C-Span's Book TV. I stood, watched, and listened. A crowd collected, but this time I remained in front.

After the interview, my A Man in Full was in full view. Before the "guards" could whisk him away, he had my book and pen.

I now have a pen Tom Wolfe used to write with. And a signed book to boot.

Knowing their rivalry, I asked him, "Are you and John Irving going out for drinks after this?"

He looked at me with a big smile. "The literary world we live in ..."

Find out more about Tom Wolfe and his writing at his Wiki page.



Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Breaking: Dangerous Animals Released into Community

Setting the Family Free was published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press in 2019.

Who tells the story about a private preserve of exotic pets released into a rural community?

The loner who collects unusual things. The private reserve of exotic pets released into a rural Ohio community. The estranged wife who loves the animals like family. The caretaker who knows the beasts are dangerous. The Sheriff and his team of experts who must hunt the creatures down. The animal advocate who winces at the spectacle. The celebrity zookeeper who knows what must be done.

And what have others said about Setting the Family Free? Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz called it “a supremely moving novel by turns ferocious and tender and funny from beginning to end. And Jacquelyn Mitchard, Oprah’s first book club pick with The Deep End of the Ocean, called Setting the Family Free “a generous, boisterous, surprising read, like a tiger in your back yard.”    

This story expands through the innovative use of multiple narratives, news broadcasts, newspaper articles, press conferences, political tapes, and quotes from experts, eyewitnesses, and those closest to the unfolding events. Who are the heroes; who are the victims? Who gets to decide?

You do, by reading the book for yourself. It’s available on Amazon and at other booksellers as a hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook.




Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Color Of Jadeite on Goodreads Giveaway!

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway today for a chance to receive a free trade paperback copy of THE COLOR OF JADEITE! More than a thousand readers have entered, but there's still time for you to enter, too! 



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Story Chooses the Writer

According to novelist John Irving, a writer does not have the luxury of deciding on a story; the story chooses the writer. "I've always felt my subject chooses me. Even if I don't like the subject, don't like what I'm writing about. The subject chooses you."

Irving admits that the writer is not off the hook. Novels don't write themselves. "I choose the tone, the names, the language, the structure—but not the subject or the story. The story chooses the writer; the writer chooses the structure."

But Wikipedia chooses Irving’s story on their site.


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

A Book is Born


When I told my agent about my second book, she knew as well as I that it would be a tough sell. On the plus side, I was following up my novel in stories with a straight novel, which was good. On the other, I was toying with something out of the ordinary.

What makes Womb so unique is the unusual narrator. Set in the city and suburbs of Baltimore, Womb is narrated from the point of view of a narrator in utero. He describes his own reality, his connection to the collective consciousness, and the drama of his mother and her circle of family and friends.

But, after reading the manuscript, she fell in love with the characters and the concept. She compared it to Room by Emma Donoghue and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold due to the creative perspective. And we were right: it was a long pregnancy.

The reviews show that it was, like a birth, worth the struggle. Jennifer Miller called it “utterly unique ... humorous, thoughtful, unexpected” and Michael Kimball called it “Strange and wonderful.” Yona Zeldis McDonnough said Womb was “Engagingly original” and Jen Grow called it “a tenderhearted story laced with grace.”

Experience life from an unusual perspective. Womb is available as a paperback or an ebook.



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

E.L. Doctorow: Historical Novel? No Such Thing


E.L. Doctorow is another novelist I had the pleasure of meeting at a book festival.

Doctorow is often pegged a historical novelist. His Ragtime visits the intertwining lives of immigrants in the early twentieth century. The Waterworks is set in the dark corners of 1871 New York City. Billy Bathgate takes place in the New York of the 1930s. And The March, follows General Sherman and his army of 60,000 troops as they march through Georgia, destroying homes, demolishing entire towns and displacing former slaves and slave owners alike who attach themselves to the serpentine march of 1864.

But, according to Doctorow, there's no such thing as a historical novel. There are just novels set in history. "I don't consider myself a historical novelist. I write novels that are sometimes set in other times."

Doctorow uses Nathaniel Hawthorne as an example. "His novels were set in times 50 years before he lived, but they are not remembered as historical novels. Just novels."

Doctorow holds his copy of The March in hand. "When the book is written, the history falls away and there's really only the book."

E.L. Doctorow (Author of Ragtime) (goodreads.com)

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Even Strangers on a Train Can Touch One Another in Meaningful Ways

After years of trying, it was a thrill when my fiction was accepted by a literary agent. I remember the excitement of meeting with her in her Columbus Circle office in New York City.

Just as exciting was when, less than a year later, she told me that she had found a publisher—Atticus Books—for my book.

Tracks: A Novel in Stories is set on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. Each chapter is a stand-alone story about a passenger on the train. The stories connect to form a novel. A side character in one chapter becomes a main character in another, and different perspectives cast familiar passengers in new light.

Madison Smartt Bell called Tracks “a most cunningly crafted tale.” Thomas Steinbeck, son of John Steinbeck and a successful author in his own right, called Tracks and me “a terrific collection ... an exciting talent.”

Tracks also received good reviews from authors like Mary Beth Keane, Victoria Patterson, Jessica Anya Blau, Bathsheba Monk, and many others. You can find these and other reviews at www.ericdgoodman.com/tracks.html.

The best thing about the book is that it is still available on Amazon and at other booksellers as an original trade paperback and an ebook!


Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

John Irving & Me


John Irving rarely does book signings, or so I'm told. Early in my writing career, I hauled a couple of his hardcovers to the National Book Festival only to find out that he was exclusively signing his newest book. So I went to the Book Fest tent to buy it, then got in line.

Irving says his writing is often painful. "But you don't not write something because it makes you feel uncomfortable. As a writer, you don't get to choose your obsessions."

"I use details from my own life," Irving said at the book fest. "It, like anything of mine, will have more imagination than autobiography to it. But there are always elements from my own life. Childhood is the basis of a character."

In person, Irving did not appear to be in the pain his books suggest. He came across calm, cool, comfortable, in his casual shirt and jeans, with his gum-chewing smile, basking in a long line of dedicated readers. He greeted me with a smile and signed my book.

Having met Wolfe and Irving in the same day, I can see why their books naturally gravitated to opposite ends on my bookshelf. Still, I wish I'd convinced Irving and Wolfe to join me for a drink after the festival.

As a reader, you don't always get to choose your obsessions either.

John Irving – Official Author Website (john-irving.com)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Run, Goose, Run!

I’ve been writing fiction since I was in grade school, reading children’s books myself. I handwrote my first novel in the sixth grade, completed my first typed novel in the ninth grade, and sent out my first submission letters when I was just finishing college.

The first book I managed to find a publisher for was in large part due to my wife’s lovely illustrations.

Flightless Goose is a hardcover storybook for children about a goose who is injured and unable to fly south with the other geese. He is left behind, but perseveres and ends up being accepted by the geese when they return.

It’s been described as a book that effectively tackles subjects like disability, bullying, being different, coping with change, and treating others with dignity and respect. But on the surface, and to children, it’s just a fun story.

A story based on a real goose in a waterside neighborhood where we once lived.

Gregory B. Gallagher, one of the original writers for Sesame Street, called it a “wonderful story.” Towson Times wrote “Your child can be entertained as they learn lessons about overcoming challenges, accepting different people, and focusing on positive strengths.” The Baltimore Examiner observed, “Grounded Goose walks away a winner.”   GottaWrite Girl called it a “warm and wonderful fable.” Abilities Magazine made it a “Kid’s Pick!” and called it “A wise tale about a goose that becomes unable to fly and must learn to cope with the challenges of being different.”

A review in The Potomac said “Flightless Goose is appropriately simple without being simplistic, and its lessons—that challenges can be overcome, that being different doesn’t’ mean being less of a person, and that everyone has something they are good at—are important ones.”

Would you believe that after twelve years, Flightless Goose is still available as a hardcover and an ebook?




Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Go Ahead, Let Them Change Your Ending


Some years ago, I was asked by the San Francisco Book Review to write about an aspect of my experience with my first novel for their “Back Page” feature.

The article I wrote tackled a question newer writers often struggle with: “what do I do if my agent or publisher likes my work, but wants me to make changes. Or, more drastically, wants me to … change my ending?”

It’s not a simple answer, unless you have a good sense of your novel and your characters as well as a good agent and publisher who understands what you’re intent is.

In my case, my agent loved Tracks, but offered some advice. The advice to make some modifications to the ending didn’t just change the book—it improved it.

The dreaded editorial changes are easy to embrace if you can truthfully examine them and come to the conclusion that the changes being made remain true to your story and your characters.

As I say in the article, “When I cut old stories, wrote new ones, and came up with an entirely new conclusion to the book, I saw that my agent understood the truth of my book even better than I did.”

Besides which, your agent and publisher know the business. They’re trying to help, not create a conflict. As long as their suggestions don’t go against your core intention, let them help you cut your darlings.

Go ahead and let them change your ending.

Here’s what happened when I did.



Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Who is this Writeful Good Man?


One of the first things I did here fifteen years ago was to introduce myself. Back then, I was an aspiring writer hoping to become an established novelist. My bio is a little different now, having had five books published by small and university presses with a sixth one on the way, and with more than a hundred published short stories, articles, and travel stories published in various journals, magazines, and blogs.

Here is my short bio, found in my most recent novel:

Eric D. Goodman lives and writes in Maryland. He is author of The Color of Jadeite (Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press, 2020), Setting the Family Free (Apprentice House, 2019), Womb: a novel in utero, (Merge Publishing, 2017) Tracks: A Novel in Stories, (Atticus Books, 2011), and Flightless Goose. (Writer’s Lair Books, 2008). More than a hundred of his short stories, travel stories, and articles about writing have been published in literary journals and periodicals. Eric is co-founder and curator of Baltimore’s popular Lit & Art Reading Series. When he’s not writing, Eric loves traveling. 

Learn more about Eric and his writing at www.EricDGoodman.com.  


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Brood X Has Something to Say

Hear the sound of those Cicadas all around us? Incessantly buzzing day and night? It’s almost as though they’re announcing something.

I was inspired to write “Cicadas” shortly after Brood X burrowed back into the ground. “Cicadas” was a short story, and one of my first to be both published in an anthology and featured on the radio. You can listen to an abridge version of the story as it aired on Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR, at the link below—complete with Cicada sound effects as background music.

I recently revisited the characters from my story, “Cicadas,” at my writing desk. I had a few pages of basic notes for a sort of anti-love story that corrects itself, and as I hashed out the details I realized the characters from “Cicadas” as older people would fit the roles well. I also realized that Brood X was inching its way back toward another emergence and that it could take place seventeen years later, when the Cicadas were back in full force.

The result: my forthcoming novel, Wrecks and Ruins. 

Get a taste by listening to the original “Cicadas” at the link.


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Cicada Love Songs

The last time Brood X emerged, I was amazed at the change in the landscape—the look, the smell, and most of all, the sound of my Baltimore neighborhood transformed into an eerie alien landscape, something out of an old 1950s bug-eyed monster movie, the sound of aliens hovering on the horizon.

I was inspired to write “Cicadas” shortly after Brood X burrowed back into the ground. “Cicadas” was a short story, and one of my first to be both published in an anthology and featured on the radio.

When East Baltimore’s Patterson Theater hosted a Write Here Write Now reading in 2006, “Cicadas” became the first short story I read aloud to an audience as an author outside an academic setting. “Cicadas” would go on to be read on Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR, in 2008, and published as the opening story in New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers (Maryland Writers Association Press, 2008).

Brood X is back. What better time than now to listen to the story they inspired last time they were with us? Take a ten-minute listen below—Cicada sound effects included!



Friday, June 18, 2021

A Writeful Welcome for Readers and Writers Alike


About fifteen years ago, I started this blog, Writeful: a weblog for readers and writers. Around the same time, I was writing a book columnist for Gather and wrote for them a short literary column called Lit Bit.

Lit Bit (and Gather) lasted a few years, but Writeful lives on. Aside from one three-month hiatus early on when I was still figuring out what I was doing, I’ve maintained the blog ever since.

What began as a place to report on advice from writers I’d met (everyone from Tom Wolfe and John Irving to E.L. Doctorow and Elmore Leonard) soon shifted into a place to report on my own writing.

For those who have been reading through the years, thank you for sticking around. For those new to Writeful, welcome. I hope fellow readers and writers continue to read my attempt at a mighty yawp.

Come in and know me better. There are years of blog posts to explore. See how it all began at the link below.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Addicted to your smartphone?


We are all guilty of looking at our phones too much. But as someone who enjoys unplugging for travel and hiking and writing retreats, I also know that when you unplug for a few days or weeks, we normally don’t miss nearly as much as we would by staring at our phones.


In my short story, “Comments Left,” I tried to imagine a new trend that could be as altering as smart phones have been over the past decade. Let’s hope it doesn’t come true, but if it did, at least we might not be staring at our phones as often.

Sounds intriguing, right? Read “Comments Left,” which was published in the Spring issue of The Virginia Normal


Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A Visit to Madrid’s Museo del Prado published in Go World Travel Magazine.

Go World Travel Magazine has published my article “A visit to Madrid's Museo del Prado. The article takes readers into the most fascinating corners of Spain’s greatest art museum, with special attention to the paintings of Goya. Learn more about the Black Paintings--and lighter ones--in this artful travel story.
Enjoy the fascinating art at the link below



Wednesday, May 05, 2021

New Mexico’s “El Portal” publishes my fiction

Eastern New Mexico University’s literary journal, El Portal, published my short fiction, “Traffic Report” in their fall 2020 issue. “Traffic Report” is an excerpt from my novel, Setting the Family Free. El Portal was first published in 1939.

Check out “Traffic Report” from Setting the Family Free in El Portal at the link. 



Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 19, 2021

Goodreads Reviews: "The Maltese Falcon meets The Amazing Race"

In addition to all of the positive reviews of The Color of Jadeite published in journals and on Amazon, readers have been leaving five-star reviews at GoodReads, too. Here is some of what readers have been saying.

“One of those terrific novels that’s appealing on several different levels. An exciting adventure story, filled with danger, surprises, and intrigue.”

“It’s The Maltese Falcon meets The Amazing Race.

Check out The Color of Jadeite on GoodReads, where you can read the reviews, leave one of your own, or put the thriller on your to-read list. 




Monday, April 12, 2021

Amazon Reviews: "Page-Turning, masterful, briskly plotted, delicious, exotic"

In addition to all of the positive reviews of The Color of Jadeite published in journals, readers have been leaving their own five-star reviews at Amazon. Here is some of what readers have been saying.

“A literary and page-turning thriller that can be savored in the study or on the beach.” 

“Goodman knows how to put words together with masterful skill to create the rhythm and color just right for each moment in the story. The novel earns high marks for its mix of genre, its characters, and its fine writing. Five stars.” 

“A fast-paced, briskly plotted thriller spiced with romance, history, and humor makes for a delicious, exotic read.” 

“Perfect for people who like thrillers, adventures, mysteries, and cliffhanging chapter ends that make you want to keep reading.” 

“Has a writing style that pulls you into the story from the beginning. Readers will be fascinated by its turns from start to finish.” 

Read the reader reviews for yourself at the link.




Monday, April 05, 2021

Beijing travel story in Go World Travel


Explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

Go World Travel Magazine has published my article “Beijing, China: Exploring Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City” in their latest issue.

The article takes readers from Tiananmen Square and Mao’s mausoleum to The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.  

Read the article at the link below:

Labels: ,

Monday, March 29, 2021

“Rain and Pain” in The Booksmuggler’s Den

The Book Smuggler’s Den is an online literary magazine that publishes authors in all walks of life. Each issue features poetry, fiction, essays, book reviews, and interviews from the latest and most celebrated authors.

The Booksmaggler’s Den has published my story, “Rain and Pain” in their portfolio of good reads! “Rain and Pain” is an excerpt from the novel, Setting the Family Free.

You can find this and other stories at the link below.



Monday, March 22, 2021

Witty Thriller Reminiscent of Old Noir Movies


The popular book blog, Jenny Reads, published a review of The Color of Jadeite:

“On the surface, Goodman has crafted a witty thriller reminiscent of the old Noir movies of the 30s and 40s (complete with a clever nod to Casablanca in the opening chapters) but he did not stop there. With the foundation firmly laid, Goodman then layered in an exotic locale as mysterious as it is familiar.”

Jenny writes that she truly enjoyed the characters and would love to read a follow-up novel, saying: “Goodman introduced all the characters with a level of familiarity in the narrative, it would be good to see some of the backstories that were hinted at played out or new cases taken and tackled.”

Read the full review at Jenny Reads.


Monday, March 15, 2021

Fictional Café on Jadeite: Engrossing, Dynamic, Suspenseful, Mysterious

The Fictional Café published Fiction Barista Mike Mavilia Rochester’s review of The Color of Jadeite.

“I was able to immerse myself in this story of backstabbers, riddles and treasure hunting on a frenetic romp throughout the massive Asian country.”


Mike writes, “What struck me about The Color of Jadeite was the amount of historical context Goodman incorporates into the story. It’s clear he’s done his research and is insistent on getting every detail right.”


Fictional Café goes on to say, “As with any good page-turner, Jadeite keeps the story moving and the mystery ever-unfolding. Characters weave in and out of the narrative as they dart around the vast country, setting the reader up to know a surprise is coming, but unable to guess it. The juicy ending he hints at throughout the book pays off in the final scenes. In Allan’s search for this artifact from the past, he unearths some of his own past along the way, prompting us to wonder if the past is destined to haunt us all in the end.”


Their bottom line? “Ultimately, I found the novel to be an engrossing literary journey with dynamic characters and an ending worth the time invested. If you’re a fan of espionage novels and thrillers, this may be right up your alley, though you don’t need to be a fan of the genre to appreciate the suspenseful storyline and mysterious characters.”

Read the full review at Fictional Café, where there are always free refills on great lit.




Labels: ,

Monday, March 08, 2021

Loch Raven Review on Jadeite: So many surprises and discoveries!

Loch Raven Review published a review of The Color of Jadeite in which Editor Dan Cuddy compares the novel to the thrillers of Steve Berry.

“The two qualities that distinguish Eric D. Goodman’s entertaining novel The Color of Jadeite, a page-turning thriller, are the ingenuity of the plot and the almost travel book settings in which the frenetic characters explore for clues to the hidden treasure of a one-of-a-kind ancient jadeite tablet.”

LRR goes on to say, “It would be great to reveal the twists of the plot in the story, and praise the artistry in surprising the reader, but the less said the better on this. The individual reader should have their own experience.”

Cuddy writes that he hopes there will be more Clive Allan adventures to come. “The novel is pure escapist fiction, which is needed in these days of real-world turmoil.”

Read the full review in Loch Raven Review.




Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Maryland Literary Review: Readers Will Enjoy Jadeite


Maryland Literary Review has published a thrilling review of The Color of Jadeite. In the review, author Charles Rammelkamp describes the novel as a “fast-paced, what-happens-next thriller.”


MLR highlights the fast-paced plot, spilling-in of historical context, sense of humor in the dialogue, and makes comparisons between The Color of Jadeite and James Bond, Sax Rohmer, Robert Mitchum’s Philip Marlow, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? when describing elements of the novel.


“Goodman is a talented storyteller. Readers will enjoy The Color of Jadeite.”


Read the entire review in Maryland Literary Review.



Monday, February 22, 2021

The Travel Story that Inspired a Thriller

Back in 2014, my daughter and I went on a travel adventure throughout China that took us from Beijing to Shanghai, Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. We saw everything from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square to The Terracotta Warriors and West Lake.

With the help of daily note-taking and journaling from Nicole, I wrote a travel story that detailed the weeks we spent in China. Smaller nuggets rewritten from that longer story have appeared in places like Baltimore Style Magazine, Go World Travel, and Go Nomad. Now, inTravel Magazine is publishing the entire travelogue in a series.

Check out part one now—enjoy the adventures, and the photos, and consider rating it with the click of the mouse. (The best rated story of each month gets a bonus.) 

Enjoy “Fortunate Cookies: A Father-Daughter Adventure Through China

Part 1: Beijing and the Great Wall” in inTravel Magazine at the link below.




Tuesday, February 16, 2021

“Evening Stroll” published in Contrapuntos VIII


California’s Digitus Indie Publishing is publishing my story, “Evening Stroll,” in the literary anthology, Contrapuntos VIII.

The anthology will be available both in print and online, includes work in English and Spanish, and is guest edited by Ángel M. Rañales Pérez.

Previously, in 2016, my story “Getting Ahead” was published in Contrapuntos IV.

Learn more at http://www.digitusindie.com

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Animal Pandemic as Metaphor

A literary journal editor recently accepted an excerpt from Setting the Family Free for publication and made an unexpected comment. When local authorities in my novel warn people to stay indoors and avoid going out, it was seen as a metaphor for our current COVID situation. Of course, Setting the Family Free was written well before any thoughts of a pandemic, focused solely on the release of dangerous animals. But an interesting insight.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, February 01, 2021

WBJC BookNotes on The Color of Jadeite


On the first Friday and Saturday of each month, Baltimore’s classical music station, 91.5 FM, WBJC, airs BookNotes, an interview series by Judith Krummeck devoted to books.


Judith was kind enough to host me for February’s BookNotes. Tune in at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, February 5 or 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 6 to hear my conversation with Judith about writing, traveling, and The Color of Jadeite.


Or, listen online at




Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Virginia Normal Publishes Comments Left


The Virginia Normal, the literary journal of Virginia State University, has published my flash fiction piece, “Comments Left” in their latest issue.


“Comments Left” imagines a future in which a new social media has taken over in a way no one could have predicted—as unbelievable as people staring at phones may have been 10 years ago.


Enjoy the latest issue now at https://thevirginianormal.com

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Baltimore Magazine Promotes Setting the Family Free

Here’s a blast from the past: this time last year, in 2019, before we began sheltering in place, we enjoyed a book launch event for Setting the Family Free at The Ivy bookshop in their previous location. The event included animal-themed wines, animal crackers, a reading from the novel, and a great conversation with the audience participants.


Baltimore Magazine was kind enough to promote the event, and the novel.


In a related note, a literary journal editor recently accepted an excerpt from Setting the Family Free for publication and made an interesting and unexpected comment. When local authorities warn people to stay indoors and avoid going out, it was seen as a possible metaphor for our current COVID situation. Of course, Setting the Family Free was written well before any thoughts of a pandemic, but it’s an interesting insight.


You can still get your copy of Setting the Family Free today, at The Ivy Bookshop’s new location, from other book stores, or online!



Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Deborah Kalb’s Jadeite Interview


Since 2012, Deborah Kalb has been interviewing authors about their books and the writing process. Her interviews are always inspiring and informative. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss my latest novel, The Color of Jadeite with her.


Why the change of genre, from literary to thriller? What inspired the idea? Were there any surprises that came about when conducting the research for this novel? These and other questions are asked and answered at Debora Kalb’s Author Q and A Blog.



Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,