Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lief: Sixteen

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“I know,” Dad said. “I know.”
    He repeated this a lot. It was his response to everything.

Lief: Forty

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    Lief, are you alright? You seem like you’re a million miles away.

Lief: Thirty-Two

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    The sun was warm across her face when she woke.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lief: Thirty-Six

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    Earliest memory. She read the underlined phrase from her small notebook by the lamplight. The toilet flushed in the other room. She put the notebook down.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

LIEF: Twenty-Four

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It was so noisy in the bar that nobody could use their real voices.

Monday, April 25, 2011

LIEF: Eight

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   “Why is today a special day?” Dad asked.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

LIEF: Twenty

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She was too close to it; she couldn’t really see what it was.

LIEF: Twelve


    The bus rumbled down the road. Lief bounced unwillingly in her seat, holding her books close to her. Laurie looked out the window.
    “I hate the bus,” Lief said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

LIEF: Twenty-Eight

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    She inexplicably needed to spit.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We Are Wonderful People

This is my wife. She is awesome. I am beside her. I am awesome.

This is my wife's new shop. She sells one-of-a-kind, hand-stitched animals. One day she will make me an awesome dragon.

This is my new novel. It is actually 3,628,800 novels in one. I did the math.

Please check out the wonderful things we do.

While you're at it, you should check out the wonderful things our wonderful friends do.

I've been best friends with Jesse Thomas for over 20 years. His new record came out last week and it is awesome. You should check it out here

My new novel has a wonderful cover designed by Joelle McKenna. I've known her a long time, too. When she was in high school, she asked me to photograph her portfolio when she was applying to college, and sometimes her artwork pops up on my screensaver, and it always makes me smile. Her design work is awesome.

Another young artist I was lucky to work with is Kristin Texeira. She did the cover and illustrations for a short story collection I put out in the fall that I didn't do a good enough job letting people know about. Her newer artwork is incredible, and I love when she posts new pieces.

I will never get tired of seeing pictures of our friends Jen and Alex's kids at her blog. Jennifer is relatively new to blogging, but has still somehow managed to blog more since January than I have in the past two years. I think if she had a couple more people reading her, she would write more, and that could only be a good thing.

And I would be remiss without mentioning my dear friend, Katie Rosenberg-O'Farrell. She's read all three of my novels as I wrote them, page by page, and contributed the cover artwork for The While. We both got married this past summer, and Li and I were lucky enough to have her and her awesome husband Mike photograph our wedding, and she was lucky enough to have me solemnize her and Mike's wedding. Which sounds gross, but it's not. Some of her work can be viewed here. And I've yet to really fall in love with twitter as a medium, but I only started an account there to follow Katie, and I recommend following her there because no matter how terrible I feel (like say when it snows the first four days of spring) her 140-character bon mots never fail in cheering me up.

I keep waiting for the snark to filter through. But I've made it all the way to the end and I'm just really amazed at how amazing I am, my wife is, and all our friends are.

Suck it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You Can Reach Me By Aeroplane (Lief available today!)

Print copies of 'Lief' available here. It should be available on Amazon within the next few days, so I'll keep you posted.
It's real and it's here, folks

Also next week I should have a limited number of copies on hand to sell. So if you'd prefer handing me your gross, sweaty cash personally, feel free. I don't care how you get here just get here if you can.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lief "Twelve" Soundtrack

Here is "Twelve" (download here), and here is the accompanying soundtrack! We're less than one week away from the physical book release! Thanks for checking in!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Print is Dead

So I've heard, at least. Me, personally, I'll always like printed books, if only to be able to display them in my home and intimidate guests with my intellectual prowess. But for others, eReaders offer convenience and ease, and so for you--the tech-savvy, I am happy to announce the release of my new novel 'Lief' in Amazon's Kindle Store.

(If you use a different brand eReader, let me know, and I'll try and arrange a digital copy of Lief for that platform. I'll admit that I don't know all of the different formats each of these different eReaders utilize, but if you have a Nook or Kobo or whatever, give me a shout-out and we'll figure something out.)

And for you lovers of print, my copy of Lief arrived today in the mail, which means it should be available in my online store and Amazon soon. I'll keep you updated.
Dear lord, are my hands fat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lief "Twenty" Soundtrack

Something else we're trying here for 'Lief'.
Music is obviously a big part of my life, and a big part of my writing. When brainstorming different ways to make the 'Lief' experience different from the previous "buy my book, read it, and then leave me alone" approach we came up with the idea to include a soundtrack to each chapter. This isn't the music I listened to when I was writing. (Typically, I favor instrumental music while working. I doubt I would own as many different Ambient records by Brian Eno otherwise) This is instead music that I could imagine playing underneath the story. There was some debate about whether the soundtrack should be period based or just whatever music I thought fit best. In keeping with the puzzle-like narrative, I have opted to only include music that existed at the time of that chapter's events.

I read faster than most, so I'm not sure if this playlist will get you through the entire chapter or not. If you run out of time, just listen to the playlist again. And if any of the tunes strike your fancy, please give a click over to iTunes or Amazon to grab your own copy.

And feel free to share your own soundtrack suggestions in the comments!

Here is a link to read "Twenty" Enjoy!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Free Sample Chapter from 'Lief' Available Now

The release of my new novel Lief is imminent, and to continue to whet your appetite, here is a second sample chapter, "Twelve".  Lief is a modular novel, and while all the chapters connect to create one story, they can be read in any order. So dive right in!

Download "Twelve" Here

Friday, March 11, 2011

More "Lief" Details

We're inching closer to the release of my new novel 'Lief', and today we're proud to show off the final cover image for the book, created and designed by the immensely talented Joelle McKenna. I've known Joelle for at least the last seven years, if not longer, and being able to watch her progress as an artist and as a young person in the world over that time has been a singular pleasure for me. So regardless of what you think of the interiors of my books, I think it's fair to say the outsides have all been gorgeous, and Joelle did a great job continuing that tradition. You can check out more of her design work here.

Hopefully you've all been able to check out the first trailer video for the new book. If not, why don't you do that right now? It's easy enough to do. Just press play, sucka!
The music is "Int'l Distress Signal"by my best friend Jesse Thomas, from his 2008 eponymous record. It's the best record modeled after Led Zeppelin IV ever.You can listen to more of his stuff at feedbacula.com.

We'll have more stuff in the coming weeks as we ramp up for the big release. And then there'll be even more cool stuff after that, so keep checking back!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Novel 'Lief' Available This Month

When I was in eighth grade I failed my first term paper. My English teacher’s critique--and not an unfounded one, in hindsight--was that while it was clear I knew a lot about the subject matter, I didn’t give the readers enough information. I assumed they knew enough, or that they would endeavor to fill in the blanks where I had left them. I was allowed to rewrite the paper, and I fixed it to the best of my ability, but ever since then I’ve been secretly inching my way back to obliqueness.

I knew I wanted to write a story that mirrored the way we knew people. You meet someone one day, feel like you get a pretty good read on them. You run into them a few years later, and they seem different, stranger. Some people you see every day and you realize you don’t know where they work, or how many siblings they have. How well can you really know a person? How well can you really know yourself?

Add into this my childhood fascination with “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Actually, I was a bigger fan of the rip-off “Which Way?” books that featured DC superheroes. At each juncture of the story, the reader was asked to select where they wanted to go next. “If Batman is suspicious and goes to talk in person with the Commissioner, turn to page 63. If he takes the Batplane to Washington, turn to page 49.” I don’t know if what I liked so much was the control it offered, or that each book was really dozens of different books, that could be read over and over again with different results. I thought it would be interesting to try that with an ersatz literary novel for adults.

Out of this stew comes my new novel, Lief. It tells the story of Lief Schwartz, born on February 29th, the 366th day added to each fourth year to make up for the six extra hours it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun. Leap years, they’re called. Each chapter takes place on one of Lief’s once-every-four-years birthday, and are printed out of order. You meet Lief when she is twenty, then read about when she is eight, then thirty-six, then twelve, and so on. But truthfully, the intent is for you, the reader, to select the order you experience Lief’s story. Obviously, meeting her every four years means there will be lots of her story that will be left out. The reader’s job will be to fill in the blanks, to make the connections between the different people and moments in Lief’s life, and what the whole thing means.

I sat down with a couple of my math major friends one night to make sure that it is mathematically accurate when I say this: Lief is over three million different books in one. 3,628,800 different books to be exact. Is it possible to have a better value than that?

I’m really rather proud of this story, and am excited to see what people think. The book should be available within the next two weeks, sporting a cover designed by the terrific Joelle McKenna. We’ll have a sample chapter up soon, as well as a couple other cool things to enhance the experience. Thanks for checking in.