a weblog for readers and writers

Monday, February 28, 2011

June 30 is Tracks Day

Readers, mark your calendars! June 30 has officially been set as the release date for Tracks, a novel in stories.

June 30, 2011, is the date Tracks will be available at your local bookstore—whether it’s and independent book shop or one of the larger chains. Tracks will also be available at online booksellers such as Amazon, IndieBound, Itasca, Barnes & Nobel, and other online book stores.

Pre-orders will be available soon. If you pre-order your book, you can expect to receive it on June 30 as well.

Stay tuned to learn more between now and the launch date of June 30.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Get Your Last Rites Tonight

Get your Last Rites tonight at the Last Sunday, Last Rites reading series! The event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Baltimore Hostel, 17 West Mulberry Street, Baltimore, MD. I’ll be reading an abridged version of “One Last Hit” from my novel in stories, Tracks. Three other writers will be joining me for a night of crime fiction. Here’s the skinny from the event’s facebook page:

Four crime writers take Last Rites hostage! Who will make it out alive? How much beard will Pat have left? You'll have to come to find out:

-Dennis Tafoya lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is the author of two novels, Dope Thief and The Wolves of Fairmount Park, as well as numerous short stories, appearing in collections such as Philadelphia Noir from Akashic Books. The Chicago Tribune called Dope Thief “A classic story . .... . First-time novelist Dennis Tafoya has a nice sense of how and where his characters live, revealing in stark detail the hardscrabble life of the petty thief.” The Wolves of Fairmount Park received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which said, “classic noir readers…will hope Tafoya is their guide through the mean streets for years to come.” He is currently at work on his third novel.

-Born in New Jersey, Kieran Shea’s short fiction has appeared in many a dark venue including Thuglit, Dogmatika, Plots with Guns, Word Riot, Needle and Crimefactory. His first print-based crime story, "The Lifeguard Method" appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and his "Faith-Based Initiative" appeared in Thuglit's BLOOD, GUTS and WHISKEY anthology (Kensington, 2010). Also in 2010 he was nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award and didn’t win, not that he’s bitter about it, I mean, really. He divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39°17'N -74°35'W and is now hard at work on the longer stuff.

-Don Lafferty lives and writes in his hometown of Philadelphia, where even Santa Claus has to look over his shoulder. He’s a member of the Liars Club, the Social Media Director of the Wild River Review, marketing director of the Inspired Word of New York City, and sits on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. Look for his short fiction in the spring issue of NEEDLE Magazine and CRIME FACTORY #7. Find out more at www.donaldlafferty.com.

-Eric D. Goodman believes authors should write what they know… but he has never worked as a hit man. Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR, called him “a regular on the Baltimore literary scene.” His fiction has hit number of publications, including The Baltimore Review, The Pedestal Magazine, The Potomac, Grub Street, Scribble, and New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers. Eric’s novel in stories, Tracks, is being published by Atticus Books in June 2010. Hop aboard his website at www.TracksNovel.com.

Learn more at the Last Sunday, Last Rites facebook page.


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Alice McDermott's Happy Ending

“I’ve always wanted to write happy endings and my characters always deny them.” That’s what Alice McDermott said when talking to writers about the craft of novel writing a few years ago.

“Happy endings — any endings — can’t feel fake or made-up.” Astute readers just won’t buy it. A novelist must be true to the world created in a novel.

“Once you start that world spinning, you must exist within it. There is room for surprises, but they have to be believable surprises.”

Often, the writer is as surprised by an outcome of a story or novel as the reader. That comes from getting to the truth of the story instead of forcing a happy ending.

One of McDermott’s most popular novels, Charming Billy, has found its own happy ending by becoming the first of her novels to be adapted for the stage. (Or perhaps this is only the beginning!)

The world premiere of Charming Billy took place at Round House Theater this past weekend. It’s been held over and you can still get tickets for showings through February 27.

Visit the Round House Theater website for more information.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Tracks Cover Revealed

Can we have a drum roll on the train, please?

The cover for Tracks, a novel in stories, has been revealed! Take a look at the picture below.

The warm, earth-toned cover was designed by London-based designer Jamie Keenan. In designing the cover for Tracks, Keenan said, “The basic idea was to find an image of tracks that mirrored the ideas in the book — beginnings, endings, uncertainty, transformation, possibilities ...”

The image here is the cover for the advance reading copy, or ARC. There are other designs and variations on this cover, so stay tuned to find out whether this will be the final cover when it comes time for the actual print run.

Keenan knows his book jackets; he’s even filled auditoriums with his “Twenty Immutable Theories of Cover Design.” And he’s certainly put them to work with covers for authors such as: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephen King, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Junot Diaz, David Foster Wallace, Philip K Dick, Anthony Burgess, Tennessee Williams, Jean-Paul Sarte, Rudyard Kipling, Garrison Kellior, Nick Hornby, and A.M. Homes.

Learn more about Jamie Keenan and see some of his favorite cover designs at his website.


Visit the Atticus Books website for more about Tracks.


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saturday Night Reader

Its Episode Two of Season Four: of the 510 Reading Series — the event that takes place at 5 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month — for the rest of your life.

This weekend’s headliners include Jessica Anya Blau (The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home), Nik Korpon (Stay God), Pat King (Exit Nothing), and Tara Laskowski (2009 Kathy Fish Fellow and writer-in-residence at SmokeLong Quarterly).

So much good writing (and reading) happening all in one place at one time, Saturday, February 19th, at 5pm, at Minas (815 W. 36th Street, Hampden).


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Monday, February 14, 2011

Forbidden Love for Valentine's Day

This morning I passed by a church sign that read “Forbidden Love causes a number to jams.” And I heard that in Singapore young couples were encouraged not to be tricked by the trap of going on a date or buying flowers on Valentine’s day as it can lead to inappropriate behavior.

Forbidden love may not be the best lifestyle choice … but is sure does make for good story. That’s why so many books include a “forbidden love” story. Including Bathsheba Monk’s new novel, Nude Walker.

In her continuing series, “How to Write a Novel,” Bathsheba shares her thoughts on forbidden love. Learn all about writing a novel, forbidden love, and Bathsheba’s new book by watching the video below.

And happy Valentine’s Day.


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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baker Artist Award Nominee

I’m a nominee in the running for a Baker Artist Award! Check out my profile and nomination entry at the link below:


The Baker Artist Awards support Baltimore's artists, the city's rich and diverse cultural offerings and the participation of its residents in the region's creative life.

Visitors are encouraged to view the artists' galleries and to curate an exhibit by selecting favorite artworks from the site.

Last week, WYPR’s The Signal did a segment about the Baker Awards. You can listen to it—as well as catch a podcast of my own reading from Tracks from yesterday’s episode—at www.wypr.org/stationprogram/signal. My story, “Reunion,” closes out the last 20 minutes of the program.

Learn more about the Baker Artist Awards at their main page.


Check our my profile below, where you can learn more about Tracks (a novel in stories being published by Atticus Books this summer), Womb (a novel-in-progress), and other fiction. You can even listen to some other radio readings there.

Feel free to leave a comment or two!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

NPR Reunites with Tracks

This Friday, the story “Reunion” from Tracks will be featured on The Signal. This will be the first Tracks reading on NPR of the new year.

The Signal airs on Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR, every Friday at noon and again at 7 p.m. Tune into 88.1 FM for a tour of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.

“Reunion” is a story about love and grief. It’s an abridged story from Tracks, which is being published by Atticus Books this summer.

Tune in to The Signal this Friday at noon or 7 p.m. at 88.1 FM. Or listen to the podcast of the program at www.signalradio.org or www.wypr.org.

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