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Archive for the ‘Blog Entries by D. H. Schleicher’ Category

Being a part of The Writers’ Block has been a truly rewarding experience.  Had it not been for Nancy O. Greene, I would’ve never started blogging.  I can’t thank her enough for asking me to join The Writers’ Block and showing me how a writer can reach readers, make friends, and create fans through blogging on a regular basis.  Now, in addition to the time I have spent here on the Block, as well as continued contributions to The Book’s Den, I have a thriving blog of my own where I post my thoughts on books, films, current events and my latest writing projects.

While I put the finishing touches on my next manuscript (a political thriller of sorts), my twisted hit The Thief Maker continues to gain acclaim as it was recently named a Finalist for the 2008 Eric Hoffer Award in Independent Books.

Readers can continue to find me at:  http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com

Originally written April 13, 2008

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The short story form is something I have yet to master, yet it’s a form I love returning to again and again in my reading.  As Kurt Vonnegut once said, short stories are like “Buddhist catnaps.”  While even the bad ones can be a form of escapism from day to day activities and easily forgotten, some rise to the level of art and can be as complex, challenging, and unforgettable as the greatest of novels.

Having just finished reading James Joyce’s short story collection, Dubliners, I was inspired to create a brief list of the greatest short stories I’ve ever read.

1.  “The Dead” by James Joyce

2.  “The Basement Room” (aka “The Fallen Idol”) by Graham Greene

3.  “Two Soldiers” and “Shall Not Perish” by William Faulkner

4.  “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

5.  “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe

I was also tempted to include “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James, though that is officially considered a novella, and at 80 some odd pages, it is rather torturous to get through (which is part of the suspense of it all). 

What stories would make your list?

For more on James Joyce’s “The Dead” and my current reads, click below:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/bring-out-the-dead/

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The Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday the 22nd, and three of the five best picture nominees were films adapted from equally popular novels: Atonement, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood is unique as it is not a traditional book to film adaptation like the other two films.  Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil!, director Paul Thomas Anderson has put his own perverse spin on the classic tome by the iconic muckraker.  The film stays true to the book’s period detail and basic backdrop (the early days of the California oil boom), but Paul Thomas Anderson works things up into a bold visual and aural frenzy anchored by the greatest acting performance so far this century from Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview.  The result is an astonishing cinematic work of art that will stand the test of time and likely outlive the novel upon which it drew its initial inspiration.

Below is my review of There Will Be Blood that was first published on my personal blog and the Internet Movie Database:

The World of Blood and Oil According to Plainview, 6 January 2008
10/10
Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

There’s a recurring nightmare of mine where I am falling down a well. Our reality is an illusion. This life is simply the dream we have while we are actually falling down a well. It always seemed as if the well was bottomless. After watching “There Will Be Blood” I discovered the well has a bottom. At the bottom of the well is one thing. Oil.

Also falling down this well was “The Performance.” Watching Daniel Day Lewis play the unstoppable, unshakable, unfathomably misanthropic and greedy oil man that is Daniel Plainview, one is left to imagine that “The Performance” was always out there. It always existed somewhere in the ether, in our collective unconscious, in our nightmares and anxieties. It took a visionary auteur like Paul Thomas Anderson to realize that if he did a modern film update of Upton Sinclair’s early 20th century novel “Oil!” and ominously renamed it “There Will Be Blood” then this performance could be channeled onto celluloid as a testament to the defining struggles of 21st century mankind.

Blistering cinematography of stark California landscapes from Robert Elswit, an evocatively organic and haunting music score from Jonny Greenwood (from the rock band Radiohead), and the beautifully fluid movement and framing of Paul Thomas Anderson’s maniacally calculating camera grab you from scene one and never let go. Daniel Day Lewis moves through the film like a cold burning firestorm combining and combusting with the technical elements and the fabulous ensemble cast around him to create a rising tension that is unlike anything experienced in cinema since the golden era of Stanley Kubrick.

The story is multilayered and allegorical. Led to an untapped area floating in dust on rivers of oil by a mysterious young man, Plainview soon comes face to face with that young man’s twin brother, Eli Sunday (a fecklessly manipulative Paul Dano). Eli is a wunderkind preacher at the Church of the Third Revelation and has the town wrapped around his finger with his claims to be a healer and prophet. Eli agrees to let Plainview buy his family’s land for the right price. The profits are to be used to build a bigger church. But when Plainview refuses to let Eli properly bless the drill site, a series of events unfold that Eli trumpets as acts of “God” while Plainview views them as results of meddling people he can scarcely see any good in and must crush.

The heart of the movie lies in Plainview’s relationship with his adopted son H. W. (a wonderfully naturalistic and quietly expressive Dillon Freasier). When the boy is injured on a drilling site and loses his hearing, Plainview, torn by his love for the idea of the boy looking up to him and the friendly face the boy has leant to the family business, abandons him only to latch on to a shady vagabond (Kevin J. O’Connor) who trots into town claiming to be his long lost brother Henry. Plainview’s replacing of a fake son with a fake brother shows his character’s deep-seeded and wounded need to connect to someone when insatiable greed has been his only driving force.

To explore in detail the film’s deeper message and resonance for today’s audience would be to spoil the ending. Suffice it to say, after the slowly infectious, nerve-shattering build-up, the film culminates with a soliloquy from Plainview to Eli that will make your jaw drop. In the end, it lives up to its title. There was blood. Whose was spilled is not a matter of debate, but what that blood says to its 21st century audience will be discussed and argued and studied for years to come. If you want to know what happens when greed guised in religious zealotry falls down a dark seemingly bottomless well with greed blatant as corporate capitalism, look no further than this film. There is a bottom to that well. There is a winner at the finish line. Meanwhile the blood is on the floor, the walls, the desert sand, the silver screen, the nightly news, and pumping through our bodies until we die.

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database:

http://imdb.com/title/tt0469494/usercomments-59

*Regular reviews of films can be found on my personal blog:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/

-David H. Schleicher

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Any writer worth their salt knows that social networking sites like MySpace are a great way to meet fellow writers and hopefully some readers as well.
I am currently featured on MySpace’s Word Weavers for the week of 1/13/2008.

http://www.myspace.com/weaversofwords

D. H. Schleicher holds a background in Psychology and Criminal Justice from his undergraduate days at Elon University in North Carolina. Always a crafty storyteller as a child, Schleicher honed his skills in college where his studies fueled his ideas and helped him develop his characters. Schleicher took many chances early on by self-publishing three psychological thrillers over a course of two and half years after graduating college in 2002. His projects were unmitigated disasters, but provided him valuable lessons. Sometimes a writer must learn the hard way and must write a lot of garbage before finally writing something worthwhile that will connect with audiences.

That breakthrough came in late 2006 with the publication of The Thief Maker. Here Schleicher finally found his voice and delivered a dark, psychologically complex, intertwining tale of love, hate, and crime on the streets of Philadelphia and New York City. The Thief Maker has been earning rave reviews and accolades (including Honorable Mention in the Genre Fiction category in the upcoming Writer’s Digest 15th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards) over the course of the past year. Schleicher has employed a slow-burning grassroots marketing campaign built on the strong word of mouth from readers and critics and his always lively blog where he discusses films, books, current events, and shares his trials and tribulations with self-publishing and living the writer’s life.

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com

The author finds endless inspiration from his love of films and books. He believes you learn to write well by reading as much of the classics as you can, but also by reading some of the bad writing (be it one’s own experiments from the past or current best-sellers that are less than stellar) to know what to avoid in one’s own writing. His favorite novelist is Graham Greene while his favorite film director is Stanley Kubrick. Schleicher is currently working on his next evolution as a novelist while residing in the suburbs of his favorite city and muse, Philadelphia.

The Thief Maker is on the shelves at Philadelphia and South Jersey area Barnes & Noble stores and available for purchase worldwide through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

Purchase Now from Barnes and Noble

Purchase Now from Amazon.com

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Would you like to win a personally signed copy of an award winning novel? 

In honor of The Thief Maker‘s critical success and the upcoming one year anniversary of the launching of my blog, I will be giving away free autographed copies of my novel in time for the holidays.

Follow the link below to find out how to enter and win, and spread the word!

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/11/01/win-a-free-autographed-copy-of-the-thief-maker/

-D. H. Schleicher, author of The Thief Maker

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There’s something about the sky and the light in October…the retreating days…the cooling ground…the twilight that seems to last forever…the falling leaves.

It makes one contemplative and thinking about taking inventory.

Here I have made a list of my favorite novels of all time:

10.  The Prince of Whales, R. L. Fisher (1986)

9.  An Accidental Man, Iris Murdoch (1971)

8.  In the Hand of Dante, Nick Tosches (2002)

7.  A Gun for Sale, Graham Greene (1936)

6.  To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (1960)

5.  Jazz, Toni Morrison (1992)

4.  Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky (2004-French edition, 2006-English Translation)

3.  Dracula, Bram Stoker (1897)

2.  The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene (1940)

1.  Light in August, William Faulkner (1932)

What books would make your list? 

Follow the link to my blog for further explanations of the choices and the reason for the list:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/10/27/the-greatest-novels-of-all-time/

-D. H. Schleicher, Author of The Thief Maker

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Follow the link below to find out more…

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/the-thief-maker-to-be-honored-by-writers-digest/

-D. H. Schleicher

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The debate still rages on the viability of self-publishing through POD (print-on-demand) outfits.  Some say authors who use these avenues instead of traditional publishing as a “stepping-stone” are in a state of denial.  Others feel it is a perfectly legitimate option for those wanting more personal control over what happens to their book, and a certain level of success is possible with self-publishing.

I recently weighed in on the topic. 

See Below:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/the-verdict-on-self-publishing-and-the-thief-maker/

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Summer is a great time for catching up on reading.  This summer has seemed endless to me, as have some of the novels I’ve devoured during these lazy, hazy days.

Check out what I’ve been reading:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/my-summer-with-graham-kurt-and-william/

…and feel free to share what you’ve read this summer–other than Harry Potter!

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Last month, my novel The Thief Maker was featured by “Book of the Moment.”  The novel was yet again praised for its shocking plot twists and multiple-point-of-view style of storytelling:

full of twists and turns, July 3, 2007

By  book.of.the.moment “reviewer” (USA) – See all my reviews

I finished reading “The Thief Maker” about an hour ago, and since then have been turning over in my mind ways to go about adequately summarizing and reviewing this book…its a twisted complex story and therefore, tricky to effectively summarize in a brief way.

The characters in this story intertwine in a way that leaves me at a loss for words. Like I said, its complex, and very twisted. Through the whole story I kept shaking my head…I knew there was a kick coming, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. And when it did come, it was like a slap in the face, and suddenly all the actions and motivations of all the characters became crystal clear.

“The Thief Maker” is a story about losing your identity and struggling to find redemption and revenge in a cold harsh world. The characters are fatally flawed and at the same time, tragically endearing. While they possess characteristics that are far from admirable, a reader can’t help but identify with them — be it through sympathy, empathy or downright admiration. I enjoyed this book from the first page.

The story is told through alternating characters, and sort of jumps back and forth in time. Through the alternating time settings we are filled in on the childhoods and pasts of the present day characters we are following. The chapters in the past help set the tone for the characters’ overall personality and motivations–and will leave you shaking your head at times. While the story is told in both alternate times and through alternate perspectives, it is an easy one to follow, and you’ll soon be caught up in its pages.

Learn more about BOOK OF THE MOMENT by visiting:

http://www.myspace.com/book_of_the_moment

Purchase The Thief Maker from Barnes and Noble

Purchase The Thief Maker from Amazon.com

POSTED BY D. H. SCHLEICHER

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com

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