a weblog for readers and writers

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From the Inkwell

From the Inkwell is a literary talk show hosted by author and poet Sheri Wright. Each week Sheri sits down and talks writing with a guest author. This coming Saturday, September 3, that author is me.

Tune in on Saturday, September 3 at 1:00 p.m. for a literary conversation. Sheri and I talk about writing, where stories come from, how they evolve, and why we write. She also asks me to share a few excerpts from Tracks: A Novel in Stories. If you’re in Louisville, KY, you can listen live at 1 on Crescent Hill Radio, 1650 AM. If you’re not, you can tune into From the Inkwell online at

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Words and Trains on Video

It may be a little late to share a “teaser trailer” for a book that has been out almost two months. So consider this a trailer for one of the upcoming events, like the Baltimore Book Festival.

If you like words and trains, check out how producer Gary Wood put them together in this short teaser trailer for Tracks: A Novel in Stories.


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Maryland Life's Summer Reading List

School starts next week here in Baltimore. That signals the coming end to summer. Quick, get in on some fun summer reading before the season ends!

A great place to start is the Summer Reading List published by Maryland Life Magazine. I was happy to see that Tracks: A Novel in Stories was on the short list!

Climb aboard this compilation of stories set on a train from Baltimore to Chicago. Each story is told from the perspective of one of the passengers. The cast of characters includes a soldier, a salesman, a former mobster, a Holocaust survivor, a couple in love, a woman grieving her parents, a poet, and a hit man. The stories stand alone but link together to form a cohesive, exciting novel.

Coincidentally, I also happen to be featured in the anthology that made their must-read list.

See Maryland Life’s Summer Reading List here:


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making Tracks on NPR

Earlier this month, Tom Hall interviewed me about writing, literature, and Tracks: A Novel in Stories. Our 10 minute discussion aired on Maryland Morning, the popular radio program from Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR.

Here’s how Maryland Morning described the segment:

Eric Goodman is a Baltimore writer who recently published his first novel. It’s called
Tracks, and it examines the personal stories of passengers on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. Tom talks with Goodman about the book and how it came to be.

If you missed the broadcast on 88.1 FM or at
www.wypr.org, here’s your chance to listen to it on your schedule. The podcast is below.


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Monday, August 22, 2011

Check Out the Baltimore Book Fest

Looks like the Baltimore Book Festival—the Mid-Atlantic’s largest celebration of the literary arts—already has a library full of events on the schedule. It takes place September 23, 24, and 25 from noon to 8 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Place. Take a look at www.baltimorebookfestival.com.

There are more than 100 authors and participants on this year’s lineup, including Sherman Alexie, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Terry McMillian, Laura Lippman, Susi Wyss, and many others. You can see the complete lineup here:


I’ll be busy with two gigs at this year’s book fest.

On Saturday evening, stop by as the Lit & Art reading series presents an expanded program, Lit & Art & You, featuring fiction, poetry, nonfiction, memoir, live music, original art, open mic, and refreshments. It takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Baltimore Free School Lit + Language Tent. See all of Saturday’s events at the following link.


On Sunday I’ll join Susi Wyss at the CityLit Stage to talk about Novel in Stories as a form. Susi will read from The Civilized World and I’ll read from Tracks. The reading and discussion takes place from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn more about it and all of Sunday’s events at this link.


Whether you can make one of my gigs, be sure to enjoy part of the Baltimore Book Festival where you’ll find books, readings, discussions, plays, food, drinks, music, and lots of literary fun. See you there!


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Friday, August 19, 2011

ForeWord Magazine—A Compelling Novel

Another positive review, this one published in ForeWord Magazine, which reaches 26,000 librarians and book buyers each. Here’s what ForeWord had to say about Tracks: A Novel in Stories in the July/August issue.

“Like a collection of one-act plays, each scene is a tightly scripted vignette highlighting the life of a single character. And while each chapter of the novel is a standalone story, characters have roles to play in several. “The author has a knack for easily and quickly evoking a sense of place, here deftly describing the seasonal life in Baltimore's Inner Harbor: "In the humid days of summer, descending from the hill into the harbor was like sinking into a familiar hot tub."

“The literary device of having the principal characters launched on a journey is well established, calling to mind examples as divergent as Chaucer and Zane Gray. If not done well it can be a cliché. Goodman handles the device deftly and the result is a compelling novel.”

Read the full review of Tracks in the online version of ForeWord Magazine below.


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tune Into NPR's Maryland Morning Today

Tune into NPR’s Maryland Morning on Tuesday, August 16 for a segment about Tracks: A Novel in Stories. It airs around 9:30 on Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR, 88.1 FM. For those out of range, you can tune in at www.WYPR.org.

Tom Hall interviews me about writing, the Baltimore literary scene, research, trains, and Tracks: A Novel in Stories. The interview lasts about 10 minutes and should broadcast between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

Tune in Tuesday at 88.1 FM or www.WYPR.org.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Pen In Hand Features The Conductor

It’s not too late for a little summer reading. So sit back and enjoy some short bits of fiction in the summer issue of Pen In Hand.

“The Conductor,” a short excerpt from Tracks: A Novel in Stories, was published in the summer issue of Pen In Hand. You can find “The Conductor” on page six, along with a story by Sonia Linebaugh.

Pen In Hand is the official newsletter of the Maryland Writers’ Association and is published quarterly.

See the summer issue at the link below—and skip to page six for the fiction.


If you’d like to read more about the Conductor and his passengers, read Tracks: A Novel in Stories. It’s available in print and as an eBook for you Kindle, Nook, or other electronic reader. Find out more at www.TracksNovel.com

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nathan Leslie—Tracks is a Tour-de-Force

Author Nathan Leslie knows a thing or two about short fiction collections—he’s written six of them, including Believers, Madre, and Drivers. He’s also the fiction editor for The Pedestal Magazine, has been editor for two anthologies, and teaches creative fiction at Northern Virginia Community College. Here’s what the prolific fiction expert had to say about Tracks.

“Eric D. Goodman's scintillating first novel-in-stories travels along several parallel plot-lines, introducing the reader in mesmerizing fashion to men and women and the train tracks which serve as the object of their reflections and obsessions. Tracks is a tour-de-force, mirroring in its original structure perhaps train tracks themselves. The Westward expansion of our country, the grind of the daily commute, urbanization, the Holocaust—Goodman encapsulates all of this, so much of history and contemporary living. In the process, Goodman captures something almost ineffable—trains are us and vice versa. If one of the goals of great fiction is to set forth into new fictional territory, Tracks is that. And then some.”

Learn more about Nathan Leslie and his own fiction at his website.


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Saturday, August 06, 2011

York Daily Record Sunday News Features Tracks

Last Sunday, the Portsmouth Daily Times wasn’t the only daily newspaper to run a feature about Tracks in the Sunday edition.

The York Daily Record / Sunday News ran the feature story “Train passengers’ stories become a novel.”

“When Goodman watches a movie or reads a book, he always wants to know more about the side characters. Writing a novel in intertwined stories seemed like the ideal way to learn more about different characters,” wrote Susan Jennings.

“Gathering an eclectic group of passengers -- which includes a salesman, a soldier, a former mobster and a Holocaust survivor -- also meant Goodman could have darker and lighter stories mixed together in one book.”

Susan not only interviewed me for the feature. She also interviewed my publisher, Dan Cafaro of Atticus Books, and Pennsylvania novelist Bathsheba Monk.

“It fills that space between commercial and literary fiction,” Cafaro said.

“The thing about "Tracks" is that, after I was finished, I found myself looking around at my fellow passengers on a plane and wondering at our interconnectedness," Monk said in an email. "So while the story itself was compelling, what it said lingered on in me. That's the sign of a good book.”

Missed the print edition? Read the feature online at the York Daily Record / Sunday News book blog.


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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Rebecca Barry—Hopeful and Well-Imagined

You might say Rebecca Barry is an expert on the novel-in-stories. Her own novel in stories, Later, at the Bar, was praised by everyone from People to Vanity Fair and was even selected as New York Times notable book. Here’s what Rebecca Barry had to say about Tracks: A Novel in Stories.

“A terrific use of the novel-in-stories as form, Eric D. Goodman’s Tracks does what so many of us wish we could do in our travels: peer beneath the surfaces of the lives that intersect ours, if only for a moment. As his narrative winds from car to car, Goodman explores the ways our urge to isolate ourselves is often in direct competition with the way we long to connect, as well as the many layers of love lost and found we carry with us wherever we go. Hopeful and well-imagined, Tracks skillfully captures what makes rail travel so compelling: that while cars or planes might be about traveling from place to place, the train is a place.”

It’s happy hour now: take a look at two novels-in-stories that are sure to make you long to go where everybody knows your name, whether it’s the neighborhood bar or the train’s lounge car.

Later, at the Bar


Tracks: A Novel in Stories


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Monday, August 01, 2011

Sunday's Portsmouth Daily Times Profiles Tracks

Did you happen to read the Sunday edition of the Portsmouth Daily Times? It includes a story about my connection to Portsmouth and the publication of Tracks.

Here’s an excerpt of the feature:

Shawnee State graduate Eric D. Goodman has already received accolades for his book “Tracks: A Novel in Stories,” which was published June 30.

Goodman said that, in a way, his experiences here in Portsmouth helped to influence his latest book.

“I lived at Celeron Square, just next to the parking lot on the far side from the (University) Center. That was before SSU had dorms. Just behind the apartments was a floodwall covered in grass. I used to sit up there in the evenings and watch people on campus and imagine their lives, much as I did for the passengers in ‘Tracks,’” Goodman said. “I remember thinking, back then, that one day I’d like to write a novel about the intertwining lives of the people on campus or at an apartment complex. That memory didn’t intrude while writing ‘Tracks,’ but it occurs to me now that, in a sense, ‘Tracks’ is that novel — the story of me looking down over Portsmouth from the floodwall and imagining the lives of other people.”

Read the full story at the Portsmouth Daily Times.


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