a weblog for readers and writers

Monday, April 30, 2007

NPR Features My Fiction!

When Aaron Henkin of local NPR station WYPR found out about TRACKS, my novel in stories, he called me and invited me to read from the book for the popular program, The Signal.

Intrigued by the concept of a novel in stories with interacting characters traveling on a train from Baltimore to Chicago, Aaron asked me to select an excerpt to read on the air.

Tune in to Baltimore’s WYPR at 88.1 FM this Friday to hear me read an excerpt from TRACKS. The Signal airs at 12 noon and 7 p.m. every Friday. TRACKS will be featured on the programs of Friday, May 4 -- This Friday.

You can learn more about Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR at their website.


Or learn more about The Signal here.


UPDATE: I just got a call from WYPR producer Aaron Henkin informing me that my reading has been rescheduled for NEXT Friday, May 11. Tune in to 88.1 FM at noon and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11 to hear me read my excerpt from TRACKS!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ticket to Ride

I’ve got a ticket to ride! Next week I’ll be in Chicago for a conference. And guess how I’m getting there? By train!

I’ll be traveling on the Amtrak Cardinal line from Baltimore to Chicago -- the very setting of TRACKS, my novel in stories.

While I’m riding the line, why don’t you hop aboard too? Read and rate the second chapter of TRACKS at the link below. TRACKS already beat out more than 2,600 entries and is one of 20 semi finalists in what’s being called “American Idol” for writers.

Now, it has a good shot at making round three -- a step closer to the prize of a publishing contract with Simon and Schuster!

Since there’s plenty of room on the train, please invite friends, family, colleagues, coworkers and anyone you know who might be interested to read and rate it too.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register with Gather to vote. It only takes a minute.

Voting is open until April 25, so don’t miss the train. Read and rate TRACKS chapter two: A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein, today! After reading, use the gold stars between the chapter and the comments to rate on a scale of one to 10.


If you need a quick link to write down, here’s one you can use. Just visit the first story on this page for the direct link to Chapter two of TRACKS.


Enjoy the ride!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Maryland Writers' Conference

It’s not too late to register for this weekend’s big event -- the Maryland Writers’ Association’s 19th annual conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Exploring the Many Worlds of Writing.”

Local literary great Rafael Alvarez will deliver the keynote address. This writer has certainly explored the many worlds of writing – from short stories to books, from HBO television to newspaper writing. Alvarez will also participate in a question and answer session.

Other sessions during the day-long event cover writing for adults, children, using strong dialogue and humor, romance writing, travel writing, screenwriting and a multitude of topics. There are even sessions on how to market your writing, how to best use your critical ten minutes with an agent or editor, and how to select and create successful workshops

Literary agents, publishers, and professional writers will be on hand. So will a number of speakers, such as Loree Lough, Austin Camacho, Lauren Davis, and Gregg Wilhelm.

Awards for the Maryland Writers’ Association writing contests will also be awarded as well..

To learn more about the conference, taking place this Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., visit the MWA website.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This One's For You

In the mood for some refreshing fiction?

This round's on me.

If you haven't already, stop by the link below and enjoy a tall one. Chapter two of TRACKS, my novel in stories, is called "A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein." And since TRACKS was one of the 20 finalists (out of more than 2,600 entries), the story is published online for you to enjoy.

Because TRACKS is a novel in stories, you can read chapter two even if you didn't catch chapter one. Although the stories in TRACKS eventually come together, they also stand alone.

This story in particular has a bit of success behind it. It was featured at last year's Baltimore Book Festival -- the Mid-Atlantic's premier celebration of the literary arts. That even was standing-tent only and even got some local press coverage.

An abridged version of this story won third place in an annual short fiction contest. And an excerpt from this story was accepted for publication in an anthology.

So have a good beer on me. Read, rate, and comment on TRACKS, chapter two: A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein. Here’s the link.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Alvarez Keynotes Maryland Writers' Conference

This year’s annual writers conference put on by the Maryland Writers’ Association is certain to be informative and entertaining. After all, they keynote address will be delivered by Baltimore’s own literary star, Rafael Alvarez.

Nationally known for his work writing for the HBO series, The Wire, and NBC’s The Black Donnellys, Alvarez is known in Baltimore as a literary renaissance man.

He served as a City Desk reporter for The Baltimore Sun for 20 years, specializing in Baltimore folklore. The Sun published two anthologies of his newspaper work: Hometown Boy and Storyteller.

He’s written two collections of short fiction: The Fountain of Highlandtown and Orlo and Leini, published by Gregg Wilhelm’s Woodholme House. Alvarez also wrote a collection of essays about The Wire called True Wire: Truth Be Told, published by Pocket Books. He even contributed scripts to Homicide: Life on the Street.

Don’t miss Alvarez’s keynote address. Learn more about the conference and how to register for it at www.marylandwriters.org.

In the meantime, keep up with Alvarez in his monthly “Mister Baltimore” column at www.maryland.com.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Goodbye Vonnegut

One of America’s great authors, Kurt Vonnegut, has died.

Vonnegut was one of the most influential American authors of his generation. Some of his best-known works include Slaughterhouse Five, Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and Mother Night.

Vonnegut used unusual and fantastic stories to showcase the discontent, boredom, and frustration of average folk. Absurdity, humor, science fiction, and fantasy were all ingredients of his satirical novels.

He published his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952.

Kurt Vonnegut was 84 years old when he died on Wednesday.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

TRACKS Makes Round Two!

TRACKS, a novel in stories, has move ahead to round two of what has been called, in a New York Times article, the “American Idol” for writers. The winning entry will be published by Simon and Schuster.

Out of more than 2,600 entries, readers and judges selected 20 semi-finalists. Chapter one of TRACKS was one of them!

These semi-finalists have risen above what some are calling “America’s slush pile.”

But the contest isn’t over yet. Between now and April 25, readers from around the world will read, rate, and comment on the second chapters of these 20 entries. Ten of the semi-finalists will move on to the final round.

Since TRACKS is a novel in stories, you can read chapter two even if you haven’t read the first chapter. Each story in TRACKS stands alone, but they connect with other stories to form a larger narrative.

Read and rate chapter two, “A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein,” now! Your support is sincerely appreciated.

Here is the link to chapter two of TRACKS. Enjoy the ride!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Nobel Laureate Soyinka at Bowie State University

Today, National Book Award Winner Alice McDermott at Loyola; tomorrow, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka at Bowie State University.

A couple of literary-heavy days in Maryland!

For more details on Alice McDermott’s event, see my post from yesterday. Here are the details for Dr. Soyinka’s event.

Dr. Wole Soyinka will give a lecture on literature and Nigeria at 2 p.m. tomorrow, April 4, 2007. The event, taking place at Bowie State University, is free and open to the public.

Dr. Soyinka won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. Soyinka will sign books following his lecture.

For more information read the press release from Bowie State University.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Alice McDermott at Loyola Tomorrow

Bestselling and award-winning author Alice McDermott will appear at Loyola College on Tuesday, April 3 as part of Loyola College’s Modern Masters Reading Series. She will read from her work, talk about the craft of writing, and answer questions from the audience.

McDermott won the National Book Award for her novel Charming Billy. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for the same novel. She is also author of The Bigamist’s Daughter, That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and most recently, After This.

The event begins at 5 p.m. in the 4th Floor Program Room on the College’s North Charles Street Campus. The event is free, and the general public is invited to attend.

Visit Loyola’s press release to learn more.