I’m thrilled to announce that I have finally secured a literary agent—Paula Munier at Talcott Notch Literary Agency. Paula has over twenty years of experience in the business and has been a real pleasure to talk to as we discussed my second novel, the neo-noir, transgressive thriller Disintegration.
I can’t explain how exciting it is to talk to an agent who understands my work—my voice, the settings, the plot—and can see a place for this novel (and other projects down the road) at major publishing houses. So not only do we want to land a big press, but we have also been talking about film rights and foreign book sales as well.
Keep your eyes and ears open, and I hope to have more great news for you all real soon. Thank you all for your support, everyone who has read and critiqued and supported this book, Disintegration, as well as all of my writer friends who have been so instrumental in helping me to get my work published. My success is contingent of a tight-knit community of writers, friends and family, and I’m happy to welcome Paula into my literary family.
My review of Wild (Knopf) by Cheryl Strayed is now live at The Nervous Breakdown. This is a fantastic memoir, one that takes out into the wilderness, so that we can hear the song and pain that emanates from her broken heart. A mother that dies too soon, a life that is falling apart, and one hell of a long trail to hike. The old Boy Scout in me loved the outdoors, and the poet that lives in a little chamber of my chest sat with her observations and listened to them hum.
I remember the first time I heard Amelia read, at Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas release party here in Chicago. It was the first time I’d met her, or Blake, or Zach Dodson, Sam Pink, lots of people. She read one of my favorite stories of hers, ever, “Go For It and Raise Hell.” And that was when I became a fan. I ended up reading with her and Blake, Lindsay Hunter and Aaron Burch the following night, if memory serves me correctly. Lots of talent, really set the bar pretty high. I think Amelia read her snippets of threats that next night, that or another Quickies! a year or so later, but either way, those threats really stayed with me—upsetting, but funny, dark and yet with a hint of love at the center. Much of that applies to THREATS. Head on over for the full review. It’s a great book.
If you’re a fan of Charles Bukowski (and who isn’t) then you’ll probably like this seedy, depressing and ultimately touching and redeeming novel, Damascus (Two Dollar Radio), by Joshua Mohr. I had the pleasure of reading with Josh a few months ago in Chicago as part of The Nervous Breakdown reading series run by Gina Frangello. In addition to Josh and myself, we were lucky to have Kate Zambreno (Green Girl) as well. Josh is almost the exact opposite of his writing—kind, soft spoken, and generous, even when tatted up and reading dark passages from his novel. He has several other titles with TDR as well, so be sure to check out his other work too.
Kate Zambreno’sGreen Girl (Emergency Press) is a wild ride though London. Her protagonist, Ruth, is detached and a bit of a sadist, and yet, at the same time, lost, vulnerable and endearing. Head over to The Nervous Breakdown for the full review. Loved it.
My review of Zazen by Vanessa Veselka (Red Lemonade) is now up at TNB. Great book, great new press. Funny, touching, sad, frightening, this book puts you through the emotional wringer. Well worth the ride.
My review of Jessica Anya Blau’s hilarious, touching and heartbreaking novel, Drinking Closer to Home, is now live at The Nervous Breakdown. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book. It starts off with a ton of characters, and I kept thinking, oh man, this is going to be too soft, to sweet and nice, I hope it doesn’t turn into (dare I say it) CHICK LIT. Well, it’s far from that. This is a loving portrait of family, with all of its warts and dirty laundry. You know the old cliche, I laughed, I cried? True. The stories are so vivid, so real, that you feel like you are hearing a friend recount her childhood misadventures. And Jessica isn’t afraid to get dirty, cussing up a storm and giving us all of the cum-stained details. But in the end, it’s really the love that shines through, the way that we keep our family close, even when they screw up, and love them in spite of their mistakes. I really loved this book. Head over to TNB for all of the details.