Book Review – Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan

So this is the end of my relationship novel. Due to its self-aware writing style, Occasional Soulmates might be called a metanovel. Immediately, this may turn off some readers, but for me, it’s one of the reasons I love Kevin Brennan. He’s an author that can take traditional tropes and make them interesting again. Dr. Rachel Phelan is a single, …

Book Review – 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

That’s what the world is, after all; an endless battle of contrasting memories. I don’t mind usurping another reviewer’s thoughts when they strike a chord, so I’ll shamelessly steal the idea that this is Murakami’s marathon novel. The man writes and runs, so at 1,157 pages, 1Q84 appears to be a fusion of the two. Running a marathon takes endurance, …

Book Review – How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

A reader’s imagination is the act of one creative intelligence engaging another. With How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster does a commendable job of introducing “surface readers” to a more fruitful type of reading. Foster is, surprise(!), an English professor and decades of student interaction inspired him to write this book. What’s that? You have an …

Book Review – Our Children Are Not Our Children by Kevin Brennan

Author and all around most excellent guy, Kevin Brennan, has compiled and published five short stories that hover a magnifying glass over the family unit. Sure, it’s been done before, but the magic is in the execution.  Brennan provides just enough focus to show us the good and the bad without burning the subjects to a crisp. Each story rings …

Let's Write Together, Redux

Firstly, thank you to everyone for such a huge response. Instead of replying in the comments, I thought I should follow up on the original post and clarify an important point being brought up, specifically: 12 hours? Are you !#*$!* kidding me? I should have realized that talking about a 12 hour writing session needed to be qualified often, and in bold. I …

Let's Write Together, but Apart, but Together

Over the past weekend, I read The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook (click on the cover for an Amazon link). I picked it up several months back, and to tell you the truth, I can’t remember exactly how I came to purchase it. I think I read a comment somewhere, probably reddit, and was intrigued. I do remember the person mentioning they used …

Author Interviews

While looking for some insight from one of my favorite authors, I came across this goldmine of uncut author interviews from Don Swaim’s defunct CBS radio show, Book Beat. I hope you find something of interest. -Phillip

Liquid Literature – #1 & #4 – The Pale Ale Induced Brutal Hangover

This is an entry for Oliver’s Liquid Literature contest over at Literature & Libation. I may have cheated by using two of the topics instead of one. I didn’t plan it that way, but I think it worked out. — The ale, ’twas pale. The liquid, insipid. Or so he thought, until havoc was wrought. The flavor remained, no matter …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Fiction Strategy

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain This series of articles assumes you want to write stories and find an audience of loyal readers, who then influence new readers, who then themselves become loyal readers.  You can do that in your sleep, right? In order for us to tackle this, we have …