Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Two Year Novel Writing course at Forward Motion

I just realized that this was the perfect place to post a link to Forward Motion for Writers, and in particular the two year novel writing course that is due to begin again in 2010. It's free, it's highly structured, and this may be the last year it is available to everyone for free. I've done it once before, petered out a bit before it was all done, but still have material I want to work on from it. I'm planning to start 2010 off with a bang, and this looks like a good way to do it. The Two Year Novel course is here. Check it out.

But don't wait too long to decide, because January is upon us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fifty Best Lit Blogs

Emerging Writers Network, one of the blogs I watch (though not in as thorough a way as I'd like), posted a link to this "best of blogs" sort of list. EWN made that list. There's a lot here for the literarily minded. I post it now mainly because it makes it easy for me to return to it once I have an hour or two.

Of course, most of my favorite blogs aren't on it...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jamal Place

Although this blog was not originally started as a site of humanitarian postings, lately it's become such. Here's one more thing you probably have missed, and it's one that has a special place in my heart. Take a look at the website for Jamal Place, a home for at risk boys on the South Side of Chicago.

What's a Californian's connection to the South Side of Chicago, you ask? Good question. The short answer is that this is my Illinois cousin Ann Deuel's brain child--and in many ways, her heart child. After stints as both teacher and principal in various educational settings, she had a vision of building a place in one of the most challenged parts of the city, and making this house a home in a true sense to a small number of boys out of some of the most troubled family situations that any kid is asked to face.

It's hard for me to believe that Jamal Place opened its doors in 1995. The years do go by pretty fast. If you read her current director's letter, you will see that the organization has endured its share of challenges. But you will also see the amount of good and the difference it has made in some young lives.

One of the things I like most about Jamal Place is its philosophy of being involved with and giving back to the hard-pressed community it stands in. It has never viewed itself as something apart from the place which it stands, and the kids are often asked to do volunteer outreach themselves.

Of course for any readers who don't know me from Adam, my endorsement of this program doesn't mean much. But if you are looking for somewhere truly valuable to make those end of year donations, I will vouch for Jamal Place.

Although no one who knows Ann Deuel would question her convictions, her capacity for hard work, and her fundamental honesty and concern, one mystery does remain:

After growing up in a farmhouse with five brothers and no sisters--and suffice to say, she was neither a tomboy or agriculturely inclined--and then having four boy cousins as her closest and really only neighbors, what made her find her vocation challenging boys with few options to be their very best selves?

Hmm. "Challenging". I think I just answered my own question.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Amnesty International Global Write-a-Thon, Dec. 5-13

The weekend is almost upon us, but there is just time to put in a quick plug for Amnesty International's annual Global Write-a-thon, which is starting up this weekend.

Although I kind of miss the past focus of sending greetings to individuals and not so much notifying the powers that be of their situation, it's still a very cool thing to do at this time of year and kind of reminds you of the season's real priorities, whatever your faith--or lack thereof.

Here's the AI website.

Write one letter. What can it hurt?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yoani Sanchez

Although, I follow the blog of Yoani Sanchez on a regular basis, and anyone who happens to read my Confessions of Ignorance blog has been able to see new updates from it for quite some time, I must admit that I hadn't kept up to speed recently, so it was through Adrian McKinty's post that I learned of her recent abduction by Cuba's secret police, which I then read her own first person account of here . I have also just tonight added her blog to my blog roll here, on the off chance that that will gain her a few more readers.

For any of us in the blogosphere who post our thoughts as freely and perhaps frivolously as I do, it is good to sometimes be reminded that not everyone using this medium uses it lightly or without forethought, and that there are people who speak their truths, just as you or I would, yet face the constant fear that not only their speech may be summarily blocked, but their actual liberty to walk around unimpeded on the earth may be curtailed. Abruptly.

If you enjoy your own free speech, you might want to consider visiting these two blogs,and then if you are persuaded that Yoani's own right to dissent is being blocked, send an email to the Cuban Embassy in London at

edited to add: as this first email didn't seem to bear much fruit, I have also tried, where Amnesty International has frequently requested people send their responses. Good luck.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Derrick Jensen in Orion

I first learned about this article by Jensen in an Utne recap, and was surprised enough by its drift to want to read the whole thing, so was happy to find that Orion has published it in its entirety on line. Jensen's point is essentially this--people alarmed by the environmental crisis the world faces have wandered down a false alley in thinking that their personal consumer choices actually matter significantly as political statements. The reason is that individual human consumption is dwarfed by the consumption of industry, government, agribusiness, the military and so on.

Jensen has nothing against people simplifying their life, but he's saying it is inadequate to the bigger picture. He also thinks it leads people into the false impression that a human being can only be a harmful presence and never a helpful one.

Anyway, what are you waiting for? Check it out.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nanowrimo 2009

Well, October has hit and the question is upon us: Nanowrimo--am I in or out.

Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month for those who don't want to be bothered to click on the link (who are you?) is a one month extravaganza of suffering, perversely fun, in which anyone who chooses to participate attempts to write a 50,000 word novel--okay, novella--for no reason except for the pleasure/agony of the thing itself. You can do it all alone, you can reach out to online pals for support, you can even connect up with people in your very own region and sweat it out together.

I have participated in this oddly exhilerating month three times and have just about made my mind up to a fourth. I highly recommend it to a few groups of people: the essentially lazy (that would be me), those who have always wanted to tackle a larger project but keep coming up with some excuse about time or whatever, and those who basically feel terrified--but intrigued--by the whole idea would be on the short list.

The animating force behind this whole enterprise is Chris Baty, and it's worth the price of the ticket (though it's actually free, unless you want to be generous and donate something) to get his pep talks once a week and be boosted by his characteristic humility and 'we can do it!' attitude.

Come on--at least take a look at the website. If you're wondering if this is for you, well, it is.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Martha Silano, poet

One of the blogs I've followed since I first got into this whole realm is Martha Silano's Blue Positive. Her blog talks about, among other things, being a poet while also teaching and raising young children. Occasionally, she'll even share a poem of her own, often one she's working on.

But don't let her down to earth approach fool you. Silano is playing in the big league of contemporary American poetry. And as the blog post you may have just clicked on will show you, you don't have to rely on my discernment about that. Her poem "Love" has just been collected in The Best American Poetry 2009. A copy of this book actually rather magically floated into my hands yesterday--well, I work in a bookstore, so maybe not that magically, but it did just suddenly appear without my having to hunt it out--so I quickly turned to the appropriate page.

Some readers might be put off by a title like "Love". All I'll say about that is, don't let it stop you.

Congratulations, Martha.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not Quite Lost in Translation

I just learned of the American Translators Association's compiled list of blogs on translation. Since the subject of translation does come up on some of the crime fictions blogs I visit, particularly on Peter Rozovsky's Detectives Beyond Borders (this link taking you to a case in point), I thought it would be good to pass this along.

Thanks to Erika Dreifus's Practicing Writing for the link, and in turn to her source, B.J. Epstein's Brave New Words, both worthy of your attention.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some Good News About Troy Davis

Occasional readers of this blog may already know the story of Troy Davis, serving time on death row in Georgia, and of my personal interest in his cause. I found the recent directive by the Supreme Court that a Georgia court reconsider his case to be not only hopeful but reaffirming of my own sense of the situation. The justices were not, of course, unanimous in their decision. It may be worth highlighting opposing points of view.

Here's Justice Stevens on the matter:“The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing.”

But then here is Justice Scalia: "This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”

I'm sure Justice Scalia and I don't match up very well on our ideas of jurisprudence in general, and I'm also sure he knows a lot more about matters of law than I do. Nevertheless, it was odd reading his statement just as I was in the midst of reading a novel of suspense by Tom Rob Smith called Child 44, which is set in the Stalinist era of Russia. True, it's 'just a novel', but I think Smith probably pretty well understands the mindset of those who are willing to sacrifice the innocent for some greater good. There are a great many people in Russia who "failed thrive" under such a mentality.

If Troy Davis is "actually" innocent, then he is actually innocent. And he should not only be "actually" set free, he should actually be set free.

Good luck to you, Troy, in presenting your case. For anyone who would like to be further involved, please go here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What The Guardian Knows that The New York Times Doesn't.

Sorry, American newspapers. You had your chance, but you got scooped. You could have been the first to give a rave review to Fifty Grand, the wonderful stand alone novel by Adrian McKinty. And it had everything a good American paper might want: celebrities, a thoughtful critique of Cuba, an American setting, even the illegal immigrant issue. Frankly, it was made for you.

So where did I read the first major newspaper review? Here.Some sort of English rag. You might have heard of it. It's called The Guardian.

Yeah, I've got a bit of an ax to grind. I'm a bookseller, and I've been trying to sell this book all summer. And actually, I have sold a few. Not as many as I would have liked, and definitely not as many as I could have or would have if American newspapers, despite their financial woes, had gotten behind this one. I know everyone wants to read Michael Connelly and John Grisham and the tried and true, but isn't anyone looking to the future? Isn't anyone thinking, maybe we ought to be cultivating some other excellent writers?

As our Guardian reviewer mentions, McKinty has already written a major crime series focused on a very complex character, Michael Forsythe. Unbelievably, the first novel in this series, Dead I Well May Be, is out of print in the U.S. (Don't let that stop you, though--once again, the Brits have picked up our slack, and you can get a very nice paperback edition from Serpent's Tail.)

I have to say that when a writer this good doesn't get the attention he merits, it really makes me wonder about the state of American publishing. I know that editors and even editorial assistants still can spot great writing, so where is the bottleneck, exactly? Is everyone in publishing so attuned to what the televised media says that they don't pay any attention anymore to people who actually read?

Well, I'm puzzled, and am likely to remain so. But luckily, our friends across the pond are not likely to remain in the dark about this talent. We can rely on Serpent's Tail to keep some wonderful writing in print.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Know Privacy

I picked this up courtesy of local muckraker Bruce Bratton, and thought I would disseminate it for whatever that effort's worth. It's a site called Know Privacy, which monitors web privacy, information sharing and data collection. It's a little weird to post this on Google, which is apparently one of the main players in this game. I think what's odd is that we all know so much of this already. But instead of deciding to abandon the web, credit cards and all the conveniences that make us so very easy to monitor, we shrug it off as one of the 'costs of doing business'. I'm not so happy with all this data being stored somewhere, quite frankly. But I'm even less comfortable with my own passive acceptance of it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Carte Noire

As all my regular readers know...okay, as I alone know, I am a bit lazy when it comes to the blog posts and will look for almost any excuse to avoid doing any extra work. So I am quite happy to offer random vistors a clue about a great reading series sponsored by Carte Noire. Dominic West of The Wire fame reading a shall we say polemical scene between Lizzie Bennett and posh Mr. Darcy? Do I have to say more than that? Oh, you poor, benighted sots. Just click the damn link.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An essay by Georgine Balassone (But she doesn't like the picture, so ignore it.)

Sometimes I think too hard about something that should have been obvious all along. Here I was, realizing that I hadn't posted here for quite some time, and wondering what little essay or story or whatever I could mention here, when I realized the answer had been staring me right in the face.

My good friend, co-worker and larger than life personality in her own right, Georgine Balassone, has recently published an essay about the forces that made her what she is today. Or, getting right to the heart of the matter, maybe we should just say, The Force.

A little shy to let the world know of this, her first web publication, she first swore me to secrecy, but has since freed me from the vow of silence.

Here, forthwith, What I Learned From My Mother, by Georgine Balassone.

Did I mention she was funny?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Am Troy Davis

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. The Talmud tells us that by saving a single human being, man can save the world. We may be powerless to open all the jails and free all the prisoners, but by declaring our solidarity with one prisoner, we indict all jailers.--Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture, 1986

I must admit that, initially, I failed to understand the reasoning behind the Amnesty International T-Shirt that bears the words that head this post until I read this quote from the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech by Elie Wiesel the other day. I had previously thought it presumptuous to express an identity between myself and a man who has spent decades in prison, under the shadow of death, most probably for a crime he did not commit.I am not Troy Davis, I thought. I have never had to live through what he has and it is naive to think I could simply 'empathize' my way into his situation.

All true, of course. But what the shirt is really saying, at least if I understand Wiesel correctly, is that in expressing solidarity with another human being, we are showing ourselves willing to share an identity with them, and even to stand in for that human being in situations where he or she can not themselves stand.

I have posted here about Troy Davis's case before. It is not my general intent to make this blog a soapbox for issues of the day. But the plight of this one particular human being moves me deeply, and his fate hangs heavily on me. As Wiesel says, there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time we fail to protest. In Troy Davis's case, there are a great many people in the world who have protested a great many times, and after such a long drawn out issue, where one is handed defeat time and again, the spirit languishes and there is a temptation to step back and not raise your own tiresome voice yet one more time. But by Wiesel's lights, this is exactly the time when you must lift it, and shout loudly.

Martha Silano has a thoughtful meditation on her blog about a poem by Emily Dickinson and Abu Ghraib here. It seems appropriate in this context as well.

Apparently with no surprise
To any happy flower,
The frost beheads it at its play
In accidental power.

The blond assassin passes on,
The sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another day
For an approving God.

Troy Davis may be innocent. He deserves a new trial in the aftermath of witness recantations. All channels of justice may now have been closed to him. But that fact in itself doesn't make him any less deserving of it.

If you would like to check out the Amnesty International position on Troy Davis, and see what you can do, please go here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Is Anyone There?

No, I don't care all that much if there is anyone there or not--that's the title of a movie I saw this weekend. It's set in a home for the elderly, and initially portrays the strained circumstances of the family that is trying to run this place, including a very malcontented little boy named Eddie. The old people die around him from time to time and his response to this is the scientific approach--he'd like to find out what happens to them next, and he uses their death in his esoteric experiments.

Into this slightly depressing scenario careens the Amazing Clarence, a.k.a Michael Caine, almost mowing down Eddie before they ever meet. Clarence has come to the end of his days and is a very reluctant new addition to the old age home, for which, as he well knows,there is really only one exit.

Although there are some aspects of the movie which seem pretty standard and predictable, there is a lot that breaks out of the mold. But the main thing about this movie is Michael Caine as our aging, remorseful, caged magician. The portrayal he gives of the end of life is so profound that there is really no possibility of a happy ending. Yet, because we feel we have been told the truth about something, we walk out of the movie feeling readied in our spirits for the reality that lies at the end of all lives.

I won't give too much more away about the story, though I would say that even the more predictable elements contribute to the subject in a meaningful way. And I will add that if you go to this movie only for the moment where the Amazing Alexander stands in front of a mirror hopefully, skeptically, mournfully addressing the spirit of his dead wife, you will feel it was worth the price of the ticket.

Here's the story my friend told me about waiting for me after the movie ended. She was sitting outside on a bench surrounded by other viewers of the film. Everyone was silent, stunned mainly. One couple was addressed by a cheery new couple, their friends, apparently, with a chipper "Oh, what movie did you see--Adventureland?"

"No," the man of the couple said, "I just saw Michael Caine," he said, and started crying.

I could say more, but really, just go see this little movie with a big part for a great actor. It's likely to be lost in the wake of larger things, but it's well worth the price of the ticket.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Unearthed by Brian O'Rourke

Normally, I would probably put this over on my Not New for Long blog, but that's already got a new post about another hot new title, so I thought I would use this blog to not only mention Brian O'Rourke's new horror novel, The Unearthed, but to talk a bit about the E-Book revolution as well.

The Unearthed is in part the story of a paranormal investigation. You've seen all those accounts of people who spend their free time going around trying to photograph ghosts in old barns and other abandoned places, right? Well, Tim and his sometimes reluctant brother, Eddie, are those kind of people. You'll recognize this type of brotherly duo, I bet--Tim's the serious one, the methodical one who is trying to impose just a little order on the universe, if it wouldn't be too much to ask, and of course Eddie in reaction to him acts the perennial screw-up. Yet he's got talents that Tim lacks--he's good with women and children in ways that Tim is not. There's a long-festering scar and sorrow in the brothers' lives--their parents died in a car accident at which both brothers were present. Eddie was apparently the screw-up in that one, too.

Not much of a horror story, you say? Oh, I was just leading up to that. Tim has taken a job at the infamous Moriarty house, where three out of four members of a family died in a single night, leaving only the youngest brother, Eamon, to tell the tale--and he has been shocked out of remembering. The house seems to be carrying some interesting trace memories, which are what the McCloskey brothers have come to investigate. A new family, the Rosellis, have seized a 'real estate opportunity' and moved in. But after a series of mysterious events, including odd behavior by Billy, the Rosellis' only child, they may find that a cheap house is not necessarily always a bargain.

The story amps up steadily with several surprising revelations along the way. For me, though, the underlying themes of conflict between brothers, half-brothers and pseudo-brothers remains one of the most intriguing aspects. Is the whole history of masculine life the story of one brother telling the other what to do, and the other suppressing the desire to kill him for it? I am strongly tempted toward this conclusion...

The Unearthed is available through Lyrical Press in E Book format. Fans of the old print medium will be happy to learn that it has been picked up for printed publication by British publisher Ghostwriter Publications. While this is gratifying for dinosaurs like me, who find reading a book in e-format on my computer somewhat cumbersome, I do think the e-book world is a wonderful new stream for emerging writers like Brian. The editing is every bit as professional as the 'big houses' and by minimizing their initial outlay, publishers like Lyrical Press can take chances that more established houses are averse to. These new outlets are good news for everyone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More shameless self-promotion

I have mentioned this to a few people already, but I am finally getting a moment to catch my breath and give a link to an on-line journal that graciously accepted one of my stories and has recently published it. The story, "The Living" is in the California College of Arts and Crafts lit mag, Eleven Eleven. You can find the link here.

Now, I don't know if the story is any good or not. And I do mean that sincerely. I am not sure how anyone ever can detach themselves enough from their own effort to view it objectively. The one thing I will assert, however, is that there is something more going on here, or maybe trying to go on here than the writer really knew. And I find that interesting.

Considering that I'm the writer.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mary Holmes on Eduardo Carrillo

My teacher and mentor, Mary Holmes, had this to say about the artist, Eduardo Carrillo.

And he got the money together and he went to Spain because that is where Bosch is. He simply submitted himself to Bosch and in that submission, of course, he became enormously powerful as a painter.

The worst thing that can happen to people is they never submit themselves to anything, and there they are floating in a kind of limbo and it doesn’t matter what they do. The power to submit yourself and through that become strong is the greatest thing anyone, a painter or anybody, can do, certainly anyone in the arts at the present time when there is no powerful tradition to make you this or that. You are on your own to create not just yourself but the whole meaning of your life, in terms of art.

I discovered these words of hers, spoken at a memorial service for the artist, quite by chance today. Although I knew her, or rather, observed her, over a long period of time, I did not know of this moment, or her relation with this artist, many years her junior, but also some years my senior. As is said, the hand of the artist is revealed in everything they do, so the voice of a wonderful speaker is apparent even in the less lively lines of type. It is maybe not so apparent without her voice. But I, blessed that I am, can still hear it. For the complete (and short) speech, check here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Troy Davis

I've been trying for a couple of unsuccessful evenings to somehow get the YouTube video to load here, but I'm going to override either my or my connection's inadequacies and just post the link.

The Troy Davis case is a cause celebre, which may or may not help save his life. I'm opposed to the death penalty on principle, but this case is a bit different. As they say in all those shoot 'em up revenge movies, 'This time it's personal'.

For a few years now, I've participated in the Amnesty International holiday card write-a-thon. It's a nice thing to do to remind you of some of the true values of the season, but though I send cards off to people in far parts of the world who are imprisoned or beleaguered, I don't know if they ever get them, or if they get them whether they ever see them, or if they see them, whether they can read English or understand what I'm trying to express even if I do.

Two Christmases ago, though, I got an answer back from one of the people I had written to. It was from Troy Davis, who was, and is, sitting on death row in Atlanta, Georgia, after being found guilty in the shooting death of a police officer.

I, of course, have no idea what his involvement was that night. I do know that a lot of the witnesses have since recanted, but you can read all about that here.

Having exchanged a few letters with Troy over the intervening time, I do consider him a friend, and if asked to place a bet, would bet on his innocence. What I do know is that this is not some depraved and hardened individual who deserves to die. And I also know that what he has been seeking over time is not just clemency, but a new trial, where witnesses who were young, poor and vulnerable might be called again to tell what happened that night. Again, there is much more information on the Amnesty site than I can articulately post here.

I'm posting this here, not because this blog has any big following, but because I've already written to the Parole Board and the Governor and emailed friends, etc. This is just one other small thing I can do, and so I'm doing it.

This is a man who has come down to the wire on being executed three times. Talk about your cruel and unusual punishment. Even Dostoyevsky only had to go through that once.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Sentence is a Lonely Place by Gary Lutz

There's a wonderful, thought-provoking essay in the January issue of 'The Believer' by Gary Lutz. Originally, it was given as a lecture at Columbia University this fall. (I confess a certain love for lectures printed afterwards). What Lutz does is break down prose into one of its most basics units, the sentence, and attempt to analyze what goes on there. He's a very close reader, and the study of literature can only benefit from the likes of such as he. If I'm remembering aright, Lutz also likes words, and likes to add them rather than subtract them from our vocabulary, which I applaud.

All that said, my real reaction to Lutz's essay on sentence was to say to one of my co-workers and recent holder of an MFA, "What it really makes me feel is that I don't know anything at all about writing." She was quick to chime in that studying for an MFA made her a better reader. She hadn't yet weighed in on whether it made her a better writer.

To remove it a little from the personal sphere, Zadie Smith said much the same thing, I think, in an interview--where she was the interviewer--with Ian McEwan.

My personal theory is that many if not most writers like to read other people's discussion of the craft. But I believe that the way that they actually learn is not through analysis, but through osmosis. I am not sure that thinking about their sentences ultimately helps them. But feeling their way through them, pausing, lingering, working for some better phrase or intonation might.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Zoetrope All-Story Vol. 12, Number 4

For those of you who don't know Francis Ford Coppola's contribution to the world of literary magazines, well, you should. But this is a standout issue among the already exceptional. The stories, including those by April Wilder, Rachel Cusk and even old F. Scott F. himself look fantastic, but the reason that you're going to want to go and seek out a copy of your very own is so that you will have the photographs of rock musician Lou Reed in excellent prints in your own hot little hands.

I hope the cover photo I downloaded is at least tantalizing...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New to Me, 2008

Just about a month ago, Peter Rozovsky 'tagged' me to challenge me to come up with a list of authors that were new to me that I had read in 2008.You can read about the challenge here.

I got out of it at the time by citing Adrian McKinty's refusal of a similar challenge, where he pointed out that the year was not yet over. But as he has now posted his own Books of the Year, and 2008 is even now receding quickly into memory, I guess my excuses have now faded away.

In no particular order, then:

Gregoire Bouillier
Joseph O'Neill
Samuel Butler
Sara Gran
Shirley Abbott
Julian Rubenstein
Micah Perks
John Hubner
Heinrich Boll
Cory Doctorow
David Park
Jonathan Coe
Glenway Westcott
Adam Mansbach
Patrick McGrath
Zoe Heller
Matt Haig
Alaa Al Aswany
Amara Lakhous
Jean-Claude Izzo
Adrian McKinty
Gene Kerrigan
Declan Burke
Lorna Sage
Meg Rosoff
Zoe Heller
Rabih Alameddine

Slightly sketchy:
David Sedaris--I'd certainly read an essay or two before, but had never sat down and read through an entire book of his before.
Arthur Phillips--again, I'd made a start on a couple of things in the past, but hadn't gotten very far. Come to think of it, I didn't this time either. But paradoxically, the difference is that now I get him. So I think that rates something.
T.H. White--I know I read something as a kid, but The Once and Future King was a revelation to me as an adult.

Even more sketchy, because in some ways just more shameless self-promotion since these are my fellow authors in the Carpathian Shadows, Volume 2 anthology. But strictly speaking, it's true:

Carol A. Cole
Kevin Tipple
Kristin Johnson
Christine Barber
Donna Amato

Oh, and I shouldn't forget reading an entertaining novel by our publisher, Rob Preece.

Being somewhat lazy, I am not going to try to figure out the debut novelists here--I think this might be technically difficult to ascertain, and for the most part wouldn't apply anyway. As for tagging, well--if you even so much as glance at this blog, consider yourself tagged. And it's your solemn duty to report back here. Anonymity does not shield you from having to fulfill this requirement. It's in the blogger contract when you log on.

Just kidding, oh ye of trembling heart.