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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Color Of Jadeite on Goodreads Giveaway!

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway today for a chance to receive a free trade paperback copy of THE COLOR OF JADEITE! More than a thousand readers have entered, but there's still time for you to enter, too! 



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Story Chooses the Writer

According to novelist John Irving, a writer does not have the luxury of deciding on a story; the story chooses the writer. "I've always felt my subject chooses me. Even if I don't like the subject, don't like what I'm writing about. The subject chooses you."

Irving admits that the writer is not off the hook. Novels don't write themselves. "I choose the tone, the names, the language, the structure—but not the subject or the story. The story chooses the writer; the writer chooses the structure."

But Wikipedia chooses Irving’s story on their site.


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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

A Book is Born


When I told my agent about my second book, she knew as well as I that it would be a tough sell. On the plus side, I was following up my novel in stories with a straight novel, which was good. On the other, I was toying with something out of the ordinary.

What makes Womb so unique is the unusual narrator. Set in the city and suburbs of Baltimore, Womb is narrated from the point of view of a narrator in utero. He describes his own reality, his connection to the collective consciousness, and the drama of his mother and her circle of family and friends.

But, after reading the manuscript, she fell in love with the characters and the concept. She compared it to Room by Emma Donoghue and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold due to the creative perspective. And we were right: it was a long pregnancy.

The reviews show that it was, like a birth, worth the struggle. Jennifer Miller called it “utterly unique ... humorous, thoughtful, unexpected” and Michael Kimball called it “Strange and wonderful.” Yona Zeldis McDonnough said Womb was “Engagingly original” and Jen Grow called it “a tenderhearted story laced with grace.”

Experience life from an unusual perspective. Womb is available as a paperback or an ebook.



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

E.L. Doctorow: Historical Novel? No Such Thing


E.L. Doctorow is another novelist I had the pleasure of meeting at a book festival.

Doctorow is often pegged a historical novelist. His Ragtime visits the intertwining lives of immigrants in the early twentieth century. The Waterworks is set in the dark corners of 1871 New York City. Billy Bathgate takes place in the New York of the 1930s. And The March, follows General Sherman and his army of 60,000 troops as they march through Georgia, destroying homes, demolishing entire towns and displacing former slaves and slave owners alike who attach themselves to the serpentine march of 1864.

But, according to Doctorow, there's no such thing as a historical novel. There are just novels set in history. "I don't consider myself a historical novelist. I write novels that are sometimes set in other times."

Doctorow uses Nathaniel Hawthorne as an example. "His novels were set in times 50 years before he lived, but they are not remembered as historical novels. Just novels."

Doctorow holds his copy of The March in hand. "When the book is written, the history falls away and there's really only the book."

E.L. Doctorow (Author of Ragtime) (goodreads.com)

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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Even Strangers on a Train Can Touch One Another in Meaningful Ways

After years of trying, it was a thrill when my fiction was accepted by a literary agent. I remember the excitement of meeting with her in her Columbus Circle office in New York City.

Just as exciting was when, less than a year later, she told me that she had found a publisher—Atticus Books—for my book.

Tracks: A Novel in Stories is set on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. Each chapter is a stand-alone story about a passenger on the train. The stories connect to form a novel. A side character in one chapter becomes a main character in another, and different perspectives cast familiar passengers in new light.

Madison Smartt Bell called Tracks “a most cunningly crafted tale.” Thomas Steinbeck, son of John Steinbeck and a successful author in his own right, called Tracks and me “a terrific collection ... an exciting talent.”

Tracks also received good reviews from authors like Mary Beth Keane, Victoria Patterson, Jessica Anya Blau, Bathsheba Monk, and many others. You can find these and other reviews at www.ericdgoodman.com/tracks.html.

The best thing about the book is that it is still available on Amazon and at other booksellers as an original trade paperback and an ebook!


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