Back from vacation round up

I was gone 8 days. Sis’s beautiful wedding (where I said I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry…) followed by a week in Dennisport (cape cod). The first 4 days were nor’easter wind and rain. 7-9 of us (depending upon the day) were stuck in the house. Still we had fun.

I was only gone for a week, but it feels longer, in some ways. So, a mishmash of stuff to announce, or things to just point at and blab about:

–Dave Zeltserman’s new novel (his best to date, I think), THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD is now out. I wrote a blurb for it:

“The Caretaker of Lorne Field is a wonderfully weird, gritty, and pitch-dark legend, perfect for New England. Weaved in the compulsively readable narrative is a heavy dose of our current society’s meanness, unease, and ambiguity: kind of a nightmare-noir zeitgeist. The thing of it is, the reader is never safe in Dave Zeltserman’s hands. I love that. You should too.”–says me.

Crime fans will recognize Dave’s noir ‘tude and style. Horror fans will dig the real or imagined beasties. Lit fans will dig the dark humor and allegorical story. Go read a copy already.

–My new short story “Our Town’s Monster” is finished, 5500 words, and ready to find a home. Had a lot of fun writing this weird, deconstructive thingy. My agent described it as “arch.”

–Speaking of arch, or Archie! I read Steven Gregory’s The Cormorant over vacation and absolutely loved it. First published in 1986, it’s the story of a young suburban family (mom, dad, baby boy) inheriting a cabin in the wilds of Wales, along with the eccentric uncle’s pet bird, a cormorant. They must care for the bird or they don’t keep the home. Dark, funny, weird, and ultimately, horrific, this is a book too smart, and simultaneously too subtle and too over-the-top to be published today, sadly. A sly and powerful statement on suburban ennui, parenthood, and what it means to be civilized. Certainly a book worth tracking down.

–Hey Boston-area folks! Sign up for Mike Marano’s “Writing the Smart Page Turner” class. Details:

Noted fiction editor, Stoker and International Horror Guild Award-winner, crime and SF writer Michael Marano will be offering a new class this fall on “Writing the Smart Page-Turner” at Grub Street, Inc. (www.grubstreet.org ), a non-profit creative writing center dedicated to nurturing writers and connecting readers with the wealth of writing talent in the Boston area. The class is geared for writers who work in all kinds of genres, from SF/Fantasy to Romance to Suspense/Thrillers to just about any other genre you can name, and is designed to help authors find their own distinct literary voice while working within those genres. Classes, which will meet over 10 Thursday nights from 7 – 10 PM in downtown Boston, will also be dedicated to practical concerns, like finding the right publishing venues to send your work, and how to work with editors and agents. **An overview of the course topics and readings can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/274hzj3**. For more information, contact Marano directly at profmike AT mindspring DOT com

“Mike knows what makes a great story. In his classes, he shares selections from his enormous library of references – novels of all types, TV shows, movie scripts – to showcase powerful writing techniques. He gives detailed, perceptive feedback to student writing. He holds us to the integrity of our stories, to say what we mean to say.’–Carolyn R., former student.

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