Writeful

a weblog for readers and writers

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Palaces of Sintra in Go World Travel

                           


Go World Travel Magazine is consistently on lists of the top travel magazines and websites. The online magazine recently published my travel story, “The Picturesque Palaces and Sights of Sintra: Portugal’s Fairytale Town in the Mountains.”

Complete with illustrative pictures, we explore Pena Palace, National Palace of Sintra, an old Moorish Castle, and the darker Quinta da Regaleira.

Explore the story for yourself at Go World Travel Magazine:

https://www.goworldtravel.com/sights-of-sintra-portugals-fairytale-town/

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Sunday, November 06, 2022

Writing History

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David McCollough passed away in August 2022 and left behind a literary legacy.  He wrote some excellent books about history, steeped in research.  He, for one, likely cringed at E.L. Doctorow’s method of researching a book  —  the idea that you should allow the research to find you, to fall onto the floor before you. For fiction, perhaps this approach works better. For histories and anthologies, the research is a little more important.


But along with the research and the writing, David McCollough loved meeting his readers. And oftentimes he was amused at the things they would say.


“I love to meet people who love books,” he shared with us at the National Book Festival some years ago.  “I like talking to readers and listening to what they have to say — and what they think about my books.”


He remembered one gentleman who kept opening the book he wanted autographed.  “[He] went over the pictures, pointing them out and encouraging me to look at them as though I’d never seen them before.”  Another man sighed and said, “I bet you did a lot of research for that book.”


His books depended on a lot of research.


To learn more about McCollough’s own history, read his biography at his website.

http://www.electriceggplant.com/davidmccullough/

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Monday, October 17, 2022

“Sisson’s” Published in North of Oxford

 

I’m more of a prose writer than a poet. I write a lot more fiction than poetry. I even write more travel stories than poetry. Over the years of the pandemic, however, I’ve been dabbling in more poetry—reading it and writing it.

So I’m pleased to share that my first submission of poetry in many years has resulted in an acceptance. The online journal, North of Oxford, has published my poem, “Sisson’s.”

Ever want to go where everybody knows your name?

This poem’s for you.
https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2022/01/11/sissons-by-eric-d-goodman/

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Sunday, October 02, 2022

Wrecks and Ruins Review Published in the UK literary magazine, London Grip

 

London Grip, the UK literary magazine, published a review of Wrecks and Ruins, where Charles Rammelkamp unravels one of the most important topics of the novel—bonding.

Wrecks and Ruins is best summed up in one of its epigraphs, from Oscar Wilde, both snarky and wise: “Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.” Goodman is a talented storyteller.”

Read the full review: https://londongrip.co.uk/2022/02/wrecks-and-ruins/?fbclid=IwAR2aWdVf5Rjb4F2bk21OkqpPeXR1dIfsWKC9HVxd5LFwxNc0fADDlJPNhRI

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Wednesday, September 07, 2022

A Poet, Fiction Writer, and Memoirist Walk into a Bookstore

 

On Sunday, September 11, at 5 p.m., My Dead Aunt's Books, a bookstore in Hyattsville, Maryland, will host the Second Sunda Reading Series.

The featured readers on 9/11 are poet, essayist & memoirist Brandel France de Bravo, and poet Christophe Casamassima, and myself. I'll be reading fiction. Specifically, I plan to read an excerpt from my most recent novel, Wrecks and Ruins.

After the featured readers, there will be an Open Reading, allowing members of the audience to share their own work.

The event is free and open to the public, and books will be available, which the featured readers will be happy to sign.

Learn more about My Dead Aunt's Books and the Second Sunday Reading Series at the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1494745434323199

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Monday, September 05, 2022

Thoughtful Review of Wrecks and Ruins


 

Barbara Morrison published a wonderful review of Wrecks and Ruins on her popular blog, B. Morrison's Book Blog, where she mentions the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which values the beauty of things that are imperfect, unfinished, or ephemeral. 


“Drawing on Buddhist concepts of the fleeting nature of this world and life’s inescapable suffering, the wabi-sabi aesthetic differs from Western ideals of beauty and perfection, based on those of ancient Greece.”


In Barbara’s opinion, in Wrecks and Ruins, Stuart goes beyond wabi-sabi. “Having decided that “some items held more weight—more meaning—when distressed or damaged, he collects shards of brick from torn-down buildings and twisted scraps of metal from car crashes. As a young man, Stu has experienced enough loss to recognise the impermanence and sadness that come with living. Through his work, he begins taking photographs of the broken or ruined things he encounters. With the camera he explores how isolating something we might consider trash from its context forces the viewer to appreciate the purity of its shape.”


If you’re fascinated by the concept of wabi-sabi, you’ll enjoy reading the full review on B. Morrison's Book Blog

http://www.bmorrison.com/wrecks-and-ruins-by-eric-goodman/?fbclid=IwAR1SH2zZsVaFfWN1Jmd5H9zTbBWR6xBl8R2cNqt2Z6rLddTzJMZ83oL_p2A 


Monday, August 01, 2022

The Trailer You've Been Waiting For

 

Summertime, for many, is a time to go to the movies. If you're at the edge of your seat waiting for the latest movie trailer, we have a video for you!

Wrecks and Ruins has a new book trailer! Check out the short video to get a feel for what the new novel is all about and to find out why other writers and readers are buzzing about it.

https://youtu.be/VLnLPGs8HJs


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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Stories of the Rhine

We had an incredible journey along the Rhine, visiting some fascinating towns and cities.

In Basel, Switzerland, we explored Old Town and drank glacier water from the decorative fountains.

In Germany's Black Forest, we took a hike through the beautiful landscape, visited a medieval village, and sampled Black Forest cake.

Breisach, Germany, was topped by St. Stephan Cathedral, surrounded by an interesting upper town complete with a water well tower.

Strasbourg, France, shared with us its European Quarter, Imperial District, and most enjoyable, Petit France with it's flower-covered, have-timber canal houses.

Speyer, Germany, was filled with spires, given the Memorial Church, Trinity Church, and Romanesque Speyer Cathedral.

Rudesheim charmed us with its medieval cobblestone allies and walkways and vast hillside vineyards.

The Middle Rhine was decorated with more than 20 castles, which, coupled with the hillside vineyards and bank villages, made for scenic cruising.

Koblenz's striking German Corner, where the Rhine and Moselle converge, symbolizes the unification of Germany. towering above the German Corner is Ehrenbreitstein Fortress--Europe's largest. Also here is a serene Jewish Cemetery with a walkway lined with ther reclaimed headstones used by the Nazis to pave train station stairs.

Cologne, Germany, features Germany's most visited landmark: Cologne Cathedral, which took nearly 700 years to build and was the world's tallest building until 1884 with the building of the Washington Monument. The Cathedral was built to house the bones of the three magi.

The nearby Augustusburg Palace in Bruhl, Germany, was a magnificent palace with gardens, orangeries, and fountains to match. Much like a mini Versailles.

In Kinderkijk, Holland, we got a flavor for windmill life and learned a thing or two about living with rising water in a below-sea-level land.

A couple months ago, I mentioned after my tour of Portugal to look for some travel stories in the near future. A few of those travel stories have already been accepted for publication and will be coming soon. As you can imagine, they will be followed by some stories about our experiences in these fascinating places in Germany, Switzerland, France, and The Netherlands.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sidewalk Signing Event This Saturday


The Book Escape is a charming book store in Federal Hill, so stocked full of books that they're bursting out onto the sidewalk.

Their next Sidewalk Signing will feature my latest novel, Wrecks and Ruins.
I'll be there signing books and talking with readers.

They'll also have my other books, like Setting the Family Free and "the critically acclaimed and award winning" Tracks.

The owner of The Book Escape said, "Haven't read "Wrecks and Ruins" yet, but have read "Tracks" and it's a fine read about a Baltimore to Chicago train ride and the lives of its passengers. It might be worth reading his new book just to see what the story is with the rather mysterious cover, and the title "Wrecks and Ruins". I mean, don't we all feel like that sometimes?"

The event takes place this Saturday, July 22 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Federal Hill at The Book Escape, 925 S. Charles St., Baltimore.

Hope to see you there! Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/1181512772693597?ref=newsfeed.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Cruising the Rhine River

I've just finished writing a series of travel stories about our adventures in Portugal back in April, and the first submissions have been made with one of them already accepted (coming soon).

Now it's time to collect some new experiences. So we're off for a cruise along the Rhine River! Our voyage begins in Basal, Switzerland. We'll be stopping in about 9 places along the way in Switzerland, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

Consider this week's travel pictures teasers for more travel stories to come!

Where would you go if you could cruise along any river in the world?

 



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Sunday, June 19, 2022

The Emotion in an Eye

My short story, “The Tiger’s Eye,” was recently published in the online literary journal, Brief Wilderness.

“The Tiger’s Eye” is an excerpt from my novel, Setting the Family Free.

“There were memories lodged in the corners of Ketchum’s mind that he’d rather not bring to light. He’d served as a marine in two wars. Did time in Iraq, then in Afghanistan. He’d killed men. People he’d known as friends had fallen at his side. Ketchum had seen terrible things. But he’d never experienced anything quite like this.”

So begins the story of a man on the hunt for an escaped tiger in the suburban woods.

Read the story in Brief Wilderness.

https://briefwilderness.com/2021/10/08/the-tigers-eye-by-eric-d-goodman/

 

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Wrecks and Ruins was featured in the TBR [to be read] series!

A new interview about Wrecks and Ruins was published in the TBR [to be read] series!

Wrecks and Ruins is a novel about how relationships are built and how they evolve or dissolve over time. The main character, Stu, believes that romantic love is like the cycle of a cicada: a few months of excited buzz followed by monotonous silence. The book is an anti-love story that corrects itself when Stu connects his broken things to his collection of broken relationships.

Learn more about the book, its characters, and what served as an inspiration by reading the full interview at the link below:

http://www.workinprogressinprogress.com/2022/04/tbr-wrecks-and-ruins-by-eric-d-goodman.html?fbclid=IwAR1eSPBepHF-saCcUWFbl-c4g7tseObOy30TAU7Cxqww7MYSfVozFH93NPc
 

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Sunday, June 05, 2022

Cicadas are Buzzing

Wrecks and Ruins, my latest novel, was published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The endorsements have been great, but the cicadas are still looking for a few good reviewers.

Wrecks and Ruins is a short novel, a sort of anti-love story that corrects itself. Stuart believes that romantic love is like the cycle of a cicada: a few months of excited buzz—romance, lust, excitement—followed by a monotonous silence that can’t live up to the promise at the start. He strings together more than broken relationships. Part romantic comedy, part buddy novel, filled with musical references, and set in real places throughout Baltimore and Lithuania, Wrecks and Ruins finds beauty in the most unusual of places.

If you are a reviewer or are interested in publishing a review or providing other coverage, let me know and we’ll be glad to send you an copy of the novel! Send me a message at edgewriter@gmail.com, or send me an instant message on Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter.

“Want to learn more about the book before deciding? Check out the book trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLnLPGs8HJs


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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Travel is Back in Port


One of the most difficult parts of the pandemic has been not being able to travel. It’s not difficult for a writer like myself to warm up to the idea of being a hermit, staying in my cave and writing. But we missed our regular travels. Aside from a visit to family in Arizona, we’ve been home for the better part of three years.

That changed for us in April. For spring break, we ventured into the world again with our first trip abroad—to Portugal!

We thought Portugal would be a relatively stress-free reentry since we have been there before. We spent most of our time in Lisbon, where we stayed last time. We also explored Porto, Coimbra, Cascais, and Sintra.

Climbing the hilly cobblestone streets of Alfama, Porto, and Coimbra; exploring castles, palaces, and cathedrals; enjoying port wine and ginjinha, seafood and egg custards; talking to locals in cafes and family restaurants and fado bars: there was so much to see, do, and experience in Portugal. It was delicious.

In other words: expect some travel stories on the horizon.

While you’re waiting, here are a few other places we’ve been.

http://www.tracksnovel.com/travel.html

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Toby Devens on Wrecks and Ruins: “Thought-provoking … captivating read”

“The buzz about Eric D. Goodman’s latest novel is loud and laudatory. Synchronizing the cycles of the cicadas with evolving stages of romantic love, its premise is original, characters are entertaining, and theme is thought-provoking. Wrecks and Ruins is a captivating read!”

—Toby Devens, author of Barefoot Beach and Happy Any Day Now

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Tom Glenn on Wrecks and Ruins: “A good novel always confronts the reader with a moral question.”

“A good novel always confronts the reader with a moral question. That’s what Wrecks and Ruins Does. This is a buddy novel that offers four different models of how a man should decide about mating. Should he marry young or wait until middle age? Or should he just play the field? Goodman doesn’t answer the question for you. He gives all the evidence and lets you decide.”

         —Tom Glenn, author of Last of the Annamese and Coming to Terms

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Sunday, May 08, 2022

B. Morrison on Wrecks and Ruins: “Probes the way identity is formed and its fluidity”

“As a young man, seeing that everything breaks eventually, Stuart decides to live life every day, hanging out with his friends, playing the field.  Yet whenever the cicadas sing again, he must reevaluate his decision.  In this engaging story of a man navigating the currents of his life, Goodman probes the way identity is formed and its fluidity.” 

—B. Morrison, author of Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother and Terrarium: Poems

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Sunday, May 01, 2022

Timmy Reed on Wrecks and Ruins: “Cleverly pieced together”

Wrecks and Ruins captures the mirrored life-cycle of a romance and a plague of insects the way they deserve to be depicted, as humans and bugs. Goodman's writing on relationships is cleverly pieced together and connects to our recent brood. Dig it up.”

—Timmy Reed, author of Kill Me Now and Tell God I Don’t Exist
 

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New Book Trailer for Wrecks and Ruins

Wrecks and Ruins has a new book trailer! Check out the short video to get a feel for what the new novel is all about, and to find out why other writers and readers are buzzing about the new novel.

Complete with sound effects, music, and video images representing the novel, this short video may be just what you need to put you in the reader’s seat.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sally Whitney on Wrecks and Ruins: “Entertaining and enlightening”

“Great novels inspire readers to see things in a different way. After reading Wrecks and Ruins, I will never see shards of glass, twisted bumpers, raw relationships, or tattered souls in the same way again. Stu’s quest to make sense of the pieces of life is entertaining and enlightening. With a cast of sympathetically human characters, it spins its way to a wholly satisfying conclusion.”

—Sally Whitney, author of 
When Enemies Offend Thee and Surface and Shadow

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Friday, April 22, 2022

Release Day Buzz






During the release of my latest novel, Wrecks and Ruins, I happened to be traveling internationally for the first time since before the pandemic. That's something that can easily happen when you compartmentalize life. 


That didn't stop the publication day buzz! Thank you to those who helped keep the cicada buzz going while I was away!


Wrecks and Ruins was featured in the TBR [to be read] series!


Deborah Kalb featured an interview with me about Wrecks and Ruins in the Book Q&As Blog!


A thoughtful and positive book review of Wrecks and Ruins was featured on B. Morrison's Book Blog.


Another great review by Charles Rammelkamp was published in the UK literary magazine, London Grip


Loyola's Apprentice House Press announced the release of Wrecks and Ruins in a press release


And Apprentice House Press featured an author interview with me about Wrecks and Ruins.


WBJC included Wrecks and Ruins as it’s monthly Book Notes feature. You can tune in to Judith Krummeck’s interview with me at the link.


Find out what all the buzz is about! Get your copy at your favorite bookstore, or get it online from one of the links below!


Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrecks-ruins-eric-d-goodman/1140976629


Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09RWJRFHF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i4


Bookshop (supporting independent bookstores)

https://bookshop.org/books/wrecks-and-ruins/9781627203845





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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Wrecks and Ruins Day!

Yesterday Wrecks and Ruins was released by Loyola University's Apprentice House Press!

Stu strings together more than broken relationships, seeking art in the defective. After finding love, sabotaging it, and rekindling the fire again, Stu comes to understand that his drive to end relationships prematurely and his attraction to damaged goods are connected to his fear of being broken himself. Part romantic comedy, part buddy novel, Wrecks and Ruins finds beauty in the most unusual places.

Order Wrecks and Ruins now from your favorite book seller or one of the links below:


https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrecks-ruins-eric-d-goodman/1140976629

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09RWJRFHF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i4

https://bookshop.org/books/wrecks-and-ruins/9781627203845

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Charles Rammelkamp on Wrecks and Ruins: “Goodman is a talented storyteller”

“Music is an important element in Wrecks and Ruins. Stu is like the protagonist of the old Rolling Stones’ song, “Sitting on a Fence.” Part of the charm of the novel is that chunks of time are related out of place, filling in the blanks of our understanding. Goodman is a talented storyteller.”

          —Charles Rammelkamp, author of The Secretkeepers and Catastroika

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

Judith Krummeck on Wrecks and Ruins: “Flinty empathy”

“In a prose style that evokes Stuart’s compulsion about things that are broken and fleeting, Eric D. Goodman pieces together with flinty empathy the conflicted psyche of a man who finally confronts his fragmented life.”


—Judith Krummeck, author of Old New Worlds and Beyond the Baobab

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Monday, April 04, 2022

Robin Black on Wrecks and Ruins: “Quirky and surprisingly endearing”

“Caught between the reality of life’s impermanence and his suspicion that the dream of everlasting love is not a bit real, Stuart is as quirky and surprisingly endearing a figure as you’ll find anywhere. Through him, and — oddly — through the life-cycle of cicadas, Goodman takes on the big questions, the ones about life’s meaning and about where beauty is best to be found. The result is this charming and moving story of one man’s evolution, his loves, and his gradually dawning realizations about it all. I enjoyed every page!"

—Robin Black, author of Life Drawing and If I loved You, I Would Tell You This

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Wrecks and Ruins Available Now


My new novel, Wrecks and Ruins, will be released by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press on Tuesday, April 19, 2022—but you don’t have to wait until then. You can pre-order the novel as an ebook, trade paperback, or hardcover right now!

Stu strings together more than broken relationships, seeking art in the defective. After finding love, sabotaging it, and rekindling the fire again, Stu comes to understand that his drive to end relationships prematurely and his attraction to damaged goods are connected to his fear of being broken himself. Part romantic comedy, part buddy novel, Wrecks and Ruins finds beauty in the most unusual places.

Order Wrecks and Ruins now from your favorite book seller or one of the links below:


https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrecks-ruins-eric-d-goodman/1140976629

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09RWJRFHF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i4

https://bookshop.org/books/wrecks-and-ruins/9781627203845


 

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Sunday, March 13, 2022

Designed to Keep You Out


Before Silence of the Lambs or CSI came to light, Robert W. Walker was already writing popular mysteries about serial killers and forensics. With more than 50 novels to his name, Walker knows the publishing business.


When I spoke with Robert Walker years ago at the Maryland Writers' Conference, he offered this bit of encouragement to new writers: "The publishing industry is designed to keep you out." More about business than art, he explained that the industry is more interested in sure sales than potential new writers. There are tricks to help crack the door, but it can be as difficult as catching a serial killer—something he does often in his writing.


Learn more about Robert W. Walker at his nook on the Harper Collins site.

http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/28139/Robert_W_Walker/index.aspx

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Aim Off Target

 

Writing the book is merely the top of the iceberg, as every new author will tell you. After writing, there's revising, rewriting, editing, finding a publisher, and the long, tedious task of selling it. You can't just create a book and expect the masses to rush to you these days. To succeed, you must take your book to the masses.


While the obvious options (local media, book reviewers, editors, and authors who specialize in the subject area or genre you've written in) are usually overloaded with review copies, certain media sources aren't used to receiving book releases. And that is why I’ve found a bit of success with an alternate strategy: aim off target.

Keep in mind that you're not shooting at random; you should aim and polish your pitch. Here’s how we did it with Flightless Goose years ago.

When sharing the book with publications in the medical and disability fields, we spotlighted that this is a book that teaches children how to deal with disability and difficult situations. When we went to automotive magazines, we highlighted that the goose is playing too close to the road and has an auto accident, so the book promotes road safety in play areas. When we went to style and fashion publications, we shared images of outfits worn by the geese and touted the style of the illustrations.

Flightless Goose received as much attention from these non-literary markets as it did from the traditional book reviewers.

Read my full article on the topic at Writers Weekly:

https://writersweekly.com/this-weeks-article/aim-off-target-by-eric-d-goodman

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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Wolfe on Steinbeck


When Tom Wolfe spoke about the state of the American Novel at the National Book Festival years ago, he was adamant that the state of the novel was not good.

Wolfe believed that modern American novelists — especially the young — have nothing to say. He also described what he considers the Europeanization of the American novel.

"America has been Europeanized. America believes that the novel should be psychological instead of being about something. But this is an astonishing, unexplored country — go to it!"

He explained that many great American novelists were actually reporters. "Take John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. He worked as a reporter to get his material. He needed to be a reporter for the material and exposure to the types of characters and situations he was writing about."


Tom Wolfe encourages today's novelists to get the scoop before attempting to master the craft.

Visit Tom's bookshelf at the link.
http://www.tomwolfe.com/bookshelf.html

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Wrecks and Ruins Full Cover Revealed

 

For Valentine’s Day, here’s more about my forthcoming novel that’s been described as an anti-love story that corrects itself.

You may have seen the front cover for the forthcoming novel, Wrecks and Ruins. Now, I’m pleased to share Apprentice Houses Press’s full cover, front and back.

The front and back covers both feature a Cicada sketch from Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural history, with wood photography by Patrick Fore. The back cover provides a brief description of the novel and a briefer author’s bio.

This will be the cover for the advance reading copy, so there may be slight variations before the final release. But chances are, this will be close to what you’ll see on bookstore bookshelves—online and in person—this April.

Learn more at www.EricDGoodman.com.




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Sunday, February 06, 2022

Cover Reveal: Wrecks and Ruins

Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press has revealed the cover for my forthcoming novel, Wrecks and Ruins.

The cicada sketch featured as a woodprint on the front cover is a variation of a cicada sketch from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural history, with wood photography by Patrick Fore.

I’m excited to share the book cover. Stay tuned for more news to come on Wrecks and Ruins.

www.EricDGoodman.com

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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Watch for Cicadas This April


My forthcoming novel, Wrecks and Ruins, now has a launch date. The short novel, being published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press, will be released on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.

Wrecks and Ruins will be my sixth published book, and my third consecutive book released by Apprentice House Press. Scroll down to previous blog for more information.

While you’re waiting for Wrecks and Ruins, learn more about my last novel from Apprentice House, The Color of Jadeite, at the link below.

https://www.apprenticehouse.com/?s=jadeite

 

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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Shakespeare's Bad Side

 


Think form rejection letters are bad? Just be glad you don't have Shakespeare as a critic!

"Thou crusty botch of nature," he said. "(Thou hast) not so much brain as ear wax." He could be rather harsh. "(Thou) hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults."

Check the link below, where Shakespeare will be happy to taunt you with lines like "There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune," "(Thou art) a wretch whose natural gifts were poor," and "(Your) brain is as dry as a remainder biscuit after a voyage."

"Methink'st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee." More literary insults await!

http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Shaker/index.html


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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Making a Book out of Wrecks and Ruins

 


What, exactly, inspired my forthcoming novel, Wrecks and Ruins? Well, a few things.

This book was actually the joining together of two separate inspirations. I keep a file of ideas and concepts for future books and stories. One of those ideas was that of a husband and wife deciding to divorce and making it a celebration—still good friends, but letting one another go. In their new searches for new mates, they came to understand that what they were looking for was one another.

It was 2018, and I was entering a contest to write a novel in three days. I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of intricate plotting, like my last novel, The Color of Jadeite. This relationship-steeped story seemed like a good choice.

As I began to think of character development, it occurred to me that the characters from a story I had written years before, “Cicadas,” would perfectly fit the roles for the characters in this book. And I realized that Brood X would be back in a few years, making it a perfect “check-in” time. So the idea of a sequel, of sorts, for “Cicadas” meshed with the concept I had originally envisioned as more of a comedy under the working title of “Divorce Courting.” Wrecks and Ruins evolved into something different.

The best way to learn more about Wrecks and Ruins is to read or listen to the original story, “Cicadas.” You can hear or read an abridged version on WYPR or Syndic Literary Journal at the following links.


https://www.wypr.org/show/the-signal/2015-04-23/the-altar-of-innocence-baltimore-mandolin-orchestra-and-fiction-from-eric-d-goodman


https://www.syndicjournal.us/cover-syndic-no-14/story-leaving-by-eric-d-goodman/

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Sunday, January 09, 2022

Prose is Never Finished

 


National Book Award Winner Alice McDermott describes writing prose as a never-ending endeavor. "Prose is never finished. It's a process that only ends when you allow it to. You can always improve your writing."

She suggests writers feel their way through a novel rather than target a specific destination. "Writing fiction is intuition, the sculpting of material and selection of words. There are turns in a story that writers don't expect, that they don't see coming."

It's that mystery—the not knowing where she's headed—that McDermott finds fascinating. In fact, she always begins without a plot and develops it as she writes.

"There's the danger of losing enthusiasm if you know the plot before you start writing. With literary fiction, it's best to begin without knowing exactly where the story is going."

What do you think: is prose ever perfectly complete? If you are a writer, do you prefer to plot or feel your way through a novel?


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Monday, January 03, 2022

Buzz for my New Book


Wrecks and Ruins will be my sixth published book, and my third consecutive book published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press. 

The short novel was inspired, in part, by the Brood X. Or, more specifically, the return of the cicadas after writing a story with their songs as backdrop the last time they emerged.

 

About 17 years ago, 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 abridged 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.

 

https://yourlisten.com/edgewriter/cicadas

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Sunday, January 02, 2022

Welcome, 2022



Hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

Here's to a bright, new 2022!




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Sunday, December 12, 2021

Fiction or History?

 

Whether he’s writing fiction or history, E.L. Doctorow believes in telling the truth. His novel, The March, was popular with critics and the masses alike. What was Doctorow's intention as he mixed fiction with history?

            

"My purpose for writing this book was to finish writing this book," the writer said matter-of-factly.

 

Doctorow found the subject of Sherman's march worth exploring. "Sherman's march uprooted an entire civilization. Freed slaves attached themselves to the march, and so did white people whose lives were disrupted, both poor and wealthy alike."

 

Among U.S. Generals, Doctorow says Sherman and Grant are the best writers. "Their memoirs are well worth reading." And more so than some memoirs, they attempt to tell the truth.

 

Learn more about E.L. Doctorow and his writing at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._L._Doctorow 

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