Tom Spanbauer: A Primer, and A Review Of His Latest Novel, ‘I Loved You More’

Over at LitReactor, I reviewed Tom Spanbauer’s latest novel, I Loved You More, and looked back at his first four novels, and talk about how much his writing has meant to me. You should check it out. It’s the only earnest thing I’ve ever written.

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News roundup!

The second round of Path to Publication ran at LitReactor yesterday. I wrote about AWP and readings and book trailers and a bunch of other stuff. You can read that here.

The LitReactor podcast is back! That’s exciting, considering how long it’s been since we recorded an episode. I spend a little bit of it talking about my book deal with Exhibit A. We also talk to Anne Jamison about fan fiction. It’s a good time. Give it a listen.

Finally, newsletter! I figure, for the two or three times a year I have something worth announcing, it might not be a bad idea to start one up. So you can click here… or click on that super-fancy envelope icon in the right-hand column, if you’re into that kind of thing.

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New ‘Path to Pub’ column at LitReactor: This Thing Is Actually Happening

For my first installment of The Path to Publication 2.0 at LitReactor, I talk about my first failed attempt at writing this column, and explore my thoughts and emotions related to this thing actually happening for real this time.

Check it out!

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Party time at AWP

Are you going to AWP? I’m going to AWP. In beautiful, sunny Seattle!

LitReactor is teaming up with and the Booked. Podcast for some super happy fun times for Thursday, Feb. 27.

Mark your calendar. Details here.

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Achievement unlocked: Book deal!

It’s official: Exhibit A Books is going to publish my first novel, New Yorked.

I’ve been sitting on this news for a few weeks, so it feels pretty damn good to get it off my chest. And it’s still a little surreal. There’s a part of me that’s waiting to wake up.

There’s a lot to be happy about right now. The folks at Exhibit A are very enthusiastic. They put out awesome books. They’re affiliated with Angry Robot, which also puts out awesome books. They’re open to the idea of turning New Yorked into a series. They’re forward-thinking on issues like DRM-free eBooks and print/digital bundling. They’re distributed by Random House, so they’ve got the guts of an indie and the reach of a monolith. This thing will be in bookstores.

Take all that together, it’s a slam-dunk-home-run-touchdown type situation.

There are a lot of people to thank. Friends and family members and fellow writers who inspired me, or gave me comfort, or offered me counsel. A lot of people. I could spend the next week doing just that. Their time will come. There are a few people I need to thank right now:

My agent, Bree Ogden, who worked extremely hard on this, and is a rockstar superhero, and just that she spent the last 10 months putting up with me probably qualifies her for sainthood.

The acquiring editor at Exhibit A, Bryon Quertermous. We met up before they made the offer, and I left our breakfast meeting convinced this was the kind of person I wanted to work with. I got my wish.

Cheers to the folks at The Cult and LitReactor. Everyone. That’s where I cut my teeth on this writing thing. Without those communities, I wouldn’t be here.

Most importantly, thanks to my wife, Amanda, who is a constant source of love and support, and is also really good at smacking sense into me when I’m glum, which is something I sometimes need.

That’s it for now. More soon. And, save your pennies, because about a year from now, this book that I’ve been hammering away at for a big chunk of my life is finally going to be a thing that you can buy. And I expect you to buy it, so I can keep myself in Whistle Pig rye.


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Noir at the Bar, Baltimore edition


There’s going to be a Noir at the Bar reading in Baltimore next month—and somehow I made it onto this killer lineup!

It’s a bit of a drive, sure, but I’ve driven way more for way less. I once drove three hours for a sandwich. So for something like this, with a bunch of cool people and booze and noir, yeah, I can justify that. Easy.

If you live in or around Baltimore, come to this thing. We’ll read awesome stuff at your face.

Posted in Events, Short stories | 1 Comment

Top 5 Reasons You Should Buy Suzy Vitello’s New Book

Today is the official release date for The Moment Before, the debut novel from Suzy Vitello. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy, and I read it in one sitting. Well, two sittings, because I read it on a flight home from Portland and had to change planes in Chicago, but the point remains: I really liked it.  

So, since everything on the internet needs to be written in list format to get people to read it, here’s the top 5 reasons you should buy this book. 

1. Suzy is a fantastic writer. I’m proud to have her on our regular roster of instructors at LitReactor, where her lectures and comments are incredibly enlightening. And as for the book: It’s funny and sad and mature and heartbreaking and beautifully written. 

2. Suzy drinks martinis. Have you ever met a person who drinks martinis and isn’t cool? Seriously, think about that for a moment. 

3. It’s important to read outside your wheelhouse. As someone who reads, writes, and publishes crime fiction, I know how important it is to pick up other genres. If you’re looking to try something a little different, this is perfect: It’s a YA title that’s mature and thoughtful. 

4. The publisher, Diversion Books, looks like they’re doing some very cool stuff. And from their website, it seems they’re very pro-author. Which is great! As readers and writers, that’s the kind of behavior we should support. 

5. Seriously, shut up and go buy it

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