Path to Publication 2.2: On Being A Writer And Having Poor Impulse Control

My first novel is the start of a series. In my last column, I talked a bit about the process of researching the sequel, City of Rose. You’d think, in the month since that column ran, I would have gotten a lot of work done. And you would be wrong!

If I were a smart person, I would have used my impending purchase of an XBox One as an incentive to work harder. I should have said: “Self, you can buy the XBox One only when you finish the first draft of your next book. Then you can play a straight week of Titanfall as a palate cleanser, before you have to get into the editing process.”

But I have poor impulse control. So I bought it. And really, it’s the definition of a catch-22: I wanted to use my advance to treat myself to something, and in the process turfed my chances of having the free time to write another book. And you know what? I’m fine with that. Titanfall, man. There is something so viscerally satisfying about being pinned down by enemy fire and then summoning a giant robot from the sky and then climbing inside it to fire rockets at people. Especially after a long day…

Read the rest here!

Noir at the Bar!

10250185_561791343935031_1708656971761208744_n-1Are you ready for another installment of Noir at the Bar NYC?

I hope so. Because I’m not. I’m still not sure what I’m going to read. But I will be there, with a story of some kind, and if you’re around, you should swing by.

Sunday, April 27
6-9 p.m.
Shade in the West Village

There will be noir. And booze. And crepes. There are some great readers on the slate: Tim Hall, Jack Getze, Jordan Harper, Scott Adlerberg, Gary Cahill, Jason Pinter, and Anthony Rainone.

It’ll be fun!

(more) Top favorite reads of 2013

LitReactor just posted an end-of-the-year roundup, for which I provided my top five favorite books that were released in 2013. Narrowing it down to five was tough. I did my best. Here’s the list I gave them:

  • The Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson
  • Graphic the Valley by Peter Brown Hoffmeister
  • Country Hardball by Steve Weddle
  • Junkie Love by Joe Clifford
  • Dare Me by Megan Abbott

You can click over to the site to see why I picked these books. Plus, you’ll see the books my LitReactor cohorts picked, and there are some great reads in there.

But there were a lot of other books I read that I really enjoyed and I want to give them their due. So, here are the rest of my favorite reads among books released this year:

And, here are the books I read that were not published this year but I loved the living shit out of anyway:

He still hadn’t looked up, and she had no intention of venturing farther into his territory until he’d seen her and she could assess his reaction. From here she could still make it back to safety before he could get out from behind the wheel and catch her, but going too far would be like misjudging the length of chain by which some dangerous wild animal was secured. She waited, thinking of this and conscious of the incongruity or even the utter madness of the simile. Dangerous? This nice, well-mannered, unbelievably handsome boy who might have stepped right out of a mother’s dream? That was the horror of it, she thought. Conscious evil or malicious intent you could at least communicate with, but Warriner was capable of destroying her with the pointlessness and the perfect innocence of a falling safe, and with its same imperviousness to argument.

And… that’s all I’ve got, folks! Until next year, happy reading.

Someone asked me to blurb a book!

So, this is cool: A few months back some dude asked me to blurb his book. I didn’t know him, but the plot summary was pretty cool, and I was in a good mood when I got the e-mail, so I figured, hell, let’s try this thing.

And I really liked it! Which would have been awkward if I didn’t, no? If the book sucked then I don’t know what I would have done. Written back with a blurb that read: “This is in fact a book.”

Instead, this is the blurb I came up with:

Toxic Garbage is like that perfect punk song: Dirty, propulsive, immediate, infused with anarchist spirt. And it’s carried by a rag-tag central cast that, despite their flaws and scars, clearly care for each other. The balance Losack strikes between light and dark is killer.

And he put it on the cover! Which is awesome. (It’s not on this version of the cover, but it is on the version over at Amazon, where you can buy it.)

Go read Toxic Garbage. If this is Kelby Losack’s debut, I’m excited to see what he has coming up next.

April news round-up

kwikI wrote an article for LitReactor called Top 10 Storytelling Cliches Writers Need To Stop Using. It’s gotten more than 35,000 hits. Insane.

There’s a new podcast episode up, featuring special guest Patrick Wensink, author of the fantastic Broken Piano for President. Give it a listen.

My online marketing class starts in less than a week. It’s going to be fun! Check it out.

Speaking of classes, we’ve got a packed slate, with some really cool workshops lined up. Don’t believe me? Go take a look.

Finally, galleys are in for Kwik Krimes. Fancy!

Go see ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

Last night I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is a movie, and also completely and utterly amazing. I’m still in awe, just thinking about it. I’m not even going to tell you about it; this is one of those things that would be great if you could go into it pure.

It’s currently in limited release but supposed to be opening wider tomorrow, I think. The official website could probably be of some help there. If this is playing anywhere near you, for real, drop what you’re doing and go see it.

There’s a million reasons to see this movie. The stirring soundtrack, the badass little star Quvenzhané Wallis, the stunning poetic imagery, the compact-yet-expansive storytelling. But the most important reason is to support good art.

So many movies that hit theaters are dreck. It was nice to see something brilliant and beautiful and original. We need more stories like this. Vote with your dollar; pay to see a movie that isn’t stupid.