Read This Book: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Read This Book: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

I’m a pretty voracious reader – so far this year I’ve read 41 books, and the majority of them have been pretty good. Unfortunately though, up until yesterday, none of the books I’ve read in 2016 have been absolutely fantastic. Michel Faber’s 2014 book, The Book of Strange New Things, however, simply blew my mind. Supposedly his final book, he wrote it while his wife was dying, and it’s simply one of the most beautiful explorations of love I’ve ever come across. Set sometime in the future, the story follows Peter…

Every Writer Needs a Typewriter

Every Writer Needs a Typewriter

As writers, most of us perform our craft on computers these days – and have pretty much since household computers became commonplace. Due to the simplicity of being able to save and protect your work, to go back and make edits, to easily format your prose, and the modern conveniences of spell-check and grammar check, the choice to write at a computer is a simple one to make. That said, I strongly recommend anyone interested in writing to get themselves a working typewriter. In my writing space, my typewriter lives…

Philosophical Fiction: Writing Worth Reading

Philosophical Fiction: Writing Worth Reading

One of the troubles I tend to find when explaining my “genre” to people is that my writing doesn’t necessarily fit into a standard genre. One of the main goals with my writing is to write things that might make people think. Having been a philosophy major in college at the University of Wisconsin (I double-majored that with journalism), I tend to enjoy things that make me think – in particular about thoughts of ethics, self and morality. For that reason, I also tend to employ a lot of these…

Ghostbusters (2016) – A Review

Ghostbusters (2016) – A Review

Growing up, my favorite movie was Ghostbusters. I remember having a copy of the movie that we’d recorded off TV, and watching it like crazy. When I went to the library I always checked to see if they had a copy of Tobin’s Spirit Guide (yes, I now know it was a fictional book … but I did buy a copy of the tie-in product version they just released). I wanted to go to New York City, take pictures of the lions in front of the library, edit them to…

Reconnaissance on Roosevelt: Photos from a Writing Research Trip to Chicago

Reconnaissance on Roosevelt: Photos from a Writing Research Trip to Chicago

As I prepare to write the next section of my new novel, I’m finding myself needing to do quite a bit of additional location research. I mentioned the other day that I was in Chicago to get a better idea of the setting for this next part, and while I was down there I took quite a bunch of photos. My main character is going to be basically traveling from the Shedd Aquarium to the near west side of Chicago, via Roosevelt – on foot. I’d already spent some time on Google…

Early Cover Concepts for ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks’

Early Cover Concepts for ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks’

One thing I do while writing that tends to help spur creativity and get me into the proper state of mind for a project is to spend time trying out different cover concepts. The whole process of trying to accomplish the proper aesthetic helps me to better understand the feel I’m trying to bring across in the written product. As mentioned previously, I’m currently working on a fairly ambitious speculative futurist/sci-fi book that I’m calling ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks’ (although as you’ll see below, sometimes it’s…

“Kind of Like ‘Catcher in the Rye’ for Middle-Aged Men”

“Kind of Like ‘Catcher in the Rye’ for Middle-Aged Men”

One of my favorite parts of writing is the communication I have with my readers while or after they’ve gone through one of my books. For the most part, when I write I try to touch on topics that are important – and sometimes uncomfortable to talk about. For the most part I don’t write likable characters, and that’s purposeful. But along with that I don’t try to write unlikable characters either. I just try to write characters that I think could really exist. As my reader said in our conversation last…