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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Remembering Thurber, Vesta, and the Story Behind the Story

Redux is an online literary journal devoted to given second life to stories that have been previously published in print journals. When I was asked late last year to submit, the first story that came to mind was “Out for a Walk.”

I was not a dog-owner when I wrote “Out for a Walk” ten years ago, and hadn’t been for nearly ten years, although I’d grown up with family dogs throughout my childhood and knew what it felt like to lose a dog. A friend of mine had recently told me about her difficult experience: her dog had bitten someone and she had to have the dog euthanized. Her experience inspired me to write this story, because it was an interesting situation, and it conjured up that sense of loss—a reminder of how strong the bond between a person and a pet can be.

“Out for a Walk” was one of those rare experiences for me in which the first draft felt good enough to submit—and was accepted by The Baltimore Review when they were still a print journal. In fact, it was my first short story published in a non-academic print journal. The raw emotion I felt while writing the story may be why it was so well received, and so quickly accepted.

It’s mere coincidence (with perhaps a bit of the subconscious mind at work) that when my wife, two children, and I went to the SPCA rescue shelter to adopt a dog, we were immediately drawn to Vesta, a black lab-vizsla mix, much like Thurber, the dog in my story with a “brown-black coat” and “chocolate eyes.” It wasn’t until my recent reading of “Out for a Walk” that I realized this connection.

When I pondered which previously published story I should submit to Redux, “Out for a Walk” immediately came to mind.

Then, another coincidence came this week when, for medical reasons, we had to make the difficult choice to put Vesta to sleep.

Life and death both imitate art.

This Memorial Day, I’d like to share “Out for a Walk” and the story behind the story, as published earlier this year in Redux.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Womb Featured at Book Expo 2017 in New York

The annual North American Book Expo is the biggest book convention this side of the globe. My first book, Flightless Goose, was featured at Book Expo nearly 10  years ago, and Nataliya (my wife and the book's illustrator) and I even signed about 100 copies for people waiting in line in the autographing area—we actually ran out and had to turn people away.

Womb: a novel in utero is being featured at Book Expo 2017, located at the Javits Center in New York City. Womb will be on display along with other titles from Merge Publishing as part of the Independent Book Publishers’ area, located at booths 2839 and 2938.

Headliners featured at Book Expo 2017 include Stephen King, Clair Messud, Neil Patrick Harris, Lemony Snicket, Scott Kelly, and Scott Turow.

If you happen to be at Book Expo 2017, be sure to stop by booths 2839 and 2938 to snap and share a photo or two of Womb: a novel in utero!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Podcast for Enoch Pratt’s Writers LIVE: Eric D. Goodman, Womb: a novel in utero

The Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore hosted the launch of my new book, Womb: a novel in utero, in March as part of their popular Writers LIVE series. 

Gregg Wilhelm, founder of the CityLit Project, introduced me (and Judy Cooper, head of the Enoch Pratt, introduced him). 

Then I got up and spoke, read a few excerpts from Womb, and took questions and answers.

The library has released a podcast of the event, which you can find at their website. You can stream it from their website or download it as an mp3.

Enjoy the podcast now at the Enoch Pratt’s website.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Gregg Wilhelm on Womb: Complete with its anxiety, joy

I met Gregg Wilhelm at the Baltimore Book Festival about a decade ago, when he was just starting what would become a cornerstone of the regional literary arts scene: CityLit Project. 

CityLit Project programs acclimated me to the local literary scene, coached me as I sought to better my writing and get it published, and later featured me and my fellow writers at such venues as the Baltimore Book Festival and CityLit Festival. So, to borrow his words, it was with a bit of “anxiety” and “joy” that I received his thoughts on my latest novel, Womb.

“The precocious prenatal narrator of Eric D. Goodman's novel, Womb, examines one of humanity's most common experiences — the nine-month drama of expecting parents—complete with its anxiety, joy, and adjustments. When a secret threatens to tear apart Jack and Penny, the arrival of this imaginative novel's in utero sage might be the ultimate solution.”

-- Gregg Wilhelm
Founder Emeritus, CityLit Project

Learn more about Gregg at www.greggwilhelm.com.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pregnancy Journal Author Finds Womb "Amazing"

Katherine Cottle's published books include I Remain Yours, My Father's Speech, and Halfway: A Journal through Pregnancy. What does the author of a journal through pregnancy have to say about a novel looking at pregnancy from the inside out?

"It is amazing, what awaits in Eric D. Goodman's latest full-length fiction. Womb, an inventive and eye-opening novel-in-utero, is a cocktail of all human emotion, presented through the impressions and knowledge of the most internally omniscient and instinctual of narrators.  Goodman bravely stakes out uncharted routes in his endearing and enduring account of life, both before and after birth. Fear, love, pain, desire, and longing drive the human minds and voices of this literary crossroads, and their unstoppable drive toward and from each other."

--Katherine Cottle,
author of Halfway: A Journal through Pregnancy

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Evolution of a Cover (Part Two)

 Recently I wrote about my experience working alongside my publisher and designer in selecting the right cover for a novel. 

When Atticus Books hired Jamie Keenan to design the cover for Tracks: A Novel in Stories, I came eye-to-eye with the fact that, despite the adage, people can and do judge books by their covers. A good cover can draw a reader to or away from a book on display. A good cover that conveys the feel of the book is important.

When Merge Publishing hired Leslie Taylor of Buffalo Creative Group to design the cover for Womb: a novel in utero, I was pleased with the results. That said, not all of the results fit. Together, with input from me and my publisher, Leslie designed the perfect cover.

Here’s an early cover concept that, although very creative, just didn’t seem to capture the mood of the book. We were afraid it may look just a little too much like a What to Expect When You’re Expecting sort of book.

Here’s an early version of the cover, closer to the one we ended up with.

Finally, here is the cover that we went with. We all felt that it conveyed just the right look and feel for Womb: a novel in utero. Soft, slightly rounded lettering, a warm, fluid, womb-like feel without going clinical or to literal, and just the right spark of awareness to it.

Yes, you can judge a book by its cover.

Learn more about Leslie Taylor, Creative Buffalo Group, and some of their covers at http://buffalocreativegroup.com/

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Viva Smyser-Bair! Music, Margaritas, Readings This Friday!

TheSmyser-Bair House / Historic York InnBerkshire Hathaway, and the Lit And Art Reading Series invite you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style this First Friday in this historic mansion from the 1830s in the heart of the revitalized South Beaver Street block of downtwon York’s historic district.

The evening will include free snacks, margaritas, a beer tasting, palatial tours, original art, and a full program of readings by local and regional authors from the York and Baltimore areas. Not to mention original artwork by Manzar and live music by Red Sammy.

Featured poets and authors include Barbara DeCeasar, Sid Gold, Sam Schmidt, Laura Shovan, Nitin Jagdish, and Eric D. Goodman.

The free event takes place at 30 South Beaver Street as a part of Downtown York’s First Friday festivities from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 5!

Enjoy house margaritas and accompanying finger foods in the palatial parlor and formal dining room, surrounded by gilded Pier mirrors, breathtaking wood and plaster work, and electrified chandeliers. Pick up a book, painting, or CD from a local or regional author, artist, or musician—and get it personally inscribed or autographed.

Or, if you’re in the mood for a larger souvenir of the evening, the mansion is up for sale!

Join us at the Historic York Inn / Smyser-Bair House, from 5 to 9 p.m. at 30 South Beaver Street, York, PA 17401 for York First Friday on May 5!

Learn more about the history of the Smyser-Bair House / Historic York Inn at www.YorkInn.info.

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