My flash fiction story “Beyond the Horizon” was recently published by edificeWRECKED. If you like, you can check it out here: http://www.edificewrecked.com/.
Nancy O. Greene
There’s something about seeing your work in print that screams, “You’re a writer!!!”
I know that ezines and podcasts are the wave of the future in the writing world. There are hundreds of websites that have become literary powerhouses. It’s wonderful to be published by them–because they’re easily accessible; in some cases, their stories are free to view. It’s an good way to break into a market when you don’t have any publishing credits to your name.
And yet…and yet…
There’s something strangely tangible in picking up a literary zine and seeing your name printed on it. You can physically touch it, trace the letters of your name with your fingertips. Open it up and see the words you slaved over for several months bonded on glossy, smooth paper. It even smells real.
This month, I got a story printed for the first time. On paper. In ink. And it’s a mind-blowing experience, let me tell you.
I read somewhere that it’s important to get your stories out not only in print, but also on ezines too. Both have their place in the literary world. Both have their own particular tastes and their own sets of readers. A writer needs to learn how to cater to both groups. Still, I think there’s something about a printed story that pounds it into a head that you’ve broken into the writing business. You can hold it directly in your hands. If the power goes off and you can’t access the Internet, it will still be there. You can take it and show it to that uncle who always scoffed at you and shove it into his beady little eyes. “See? I told you I can write!” You know, that uncle who boasts about getting online every night, when actually he means line-dancing at Murray’s. Yes, that uncle.
So if you want to read my story, head on over to Kaleidotrope and purchase Volume #3. It’s only 4 bucks: the same cost as a cup of coffee (in some cases, even less). Then curl up at your favorite coffeeshop/library/park bench/closet in the basement that you go to escape the kids/toilet and give it a read. Can’t do that with a computer…unless you got one of those fancy phone…and even then, you’d probably have to squint…
Me? I’m going to go smell my name again.
If I never win an award, if I were to stop tippity tapping on my laptop tonight…I would consider myself a success. I’m not being egomaniacal by any stretch. I feel so proud of what I’ve done and accomplished personally with Alan Solomon on “The Mango Tree” book that it has inspired me to write from a deeper place. Write until it hurts and causes me to walk floors at night. I want to dig deep and be uncomfortable…not that I enjoy feeling the familiar pangs of turmoil and confusion.
But, I do enjoy sorting it out in a strange way. I want to clarify my experience…fictionally speaking of course. I want to punctuate the sentences that I hurriedly wrote as I danced across the years of my life. I want to fully remember others that I observed and spoke of to no one. And, I want to write.
My next novel I aspire to write more along the lines of Hemingway rather than Grisham….not that I put myself in that category or class. I think of Maya Angelou’s joyful yet forceful refrain….Rise!
“Invisible Fences” a novel that details the journey and angst of one man who fails to take chances early in life which result in missed opportunities. He ultimately leaves behind everything he has acquired to find the reasons he lingered too long in his comfortableness.
Posted in About Our Work, Advice about Writing, Authors, Blog Entries by Taryn Simpson, Book Promotion, Book Reviews, Books, Books We Love, China, Fiction, Marketing Experiences and Insights, New Fiction, Thailand, The Mango Tree Cafe’, Loi Kroh Road, Thoughts on Publishing, Upcoming Author Events, Writing on August 21, 2007| Leave a Comment »
What a fascinating time I had with Taryn. Originally we were going to have her co-author join us from China yet, unfortunately he was on call on his regular job yet Taryn has a wealth of knowledge about whether to self-publish or not, what a ghost writer is, collaborating by email ~ which she and Alan did; not yet having EVER spoken with each other ~ and then, the story of their book ~ The Mango Tree Cafe; Loi Kroh Road.
What a fascinating story I had the pleasure of reading. Taking place in Thailand the story weaves around the main character Larry and how he went from living on a farm to being gently urged by his father to do more with his life. With that, the tale begins and centers around the characters on Loi Kroh Road; his love for Heather and Noo, having the “sight” and what he learned in that time. This is a definite “must read”. Please enjoy our interview.
Posted in About Our Work, Advice about Writing, Authors, Blog Entries by Taryn Simpson, Blogs, Book Promotion, Books, Books We Love, China, Entries, Fiction, Ghostwriting, Lit News, Literature, Marketing Experiences and Insights, Meet the Writers, New Fiction, The Mango Tree Cafe’, Loi Kroh Road, Writing on August 7, 2007| Leave a Comment »
Welcome Readers! Have I got a treat for you. Recently, I caught up with authors, Alan Solomon and Taryn Simpson and asked for an email interview. Solomon and Simpson teamed up to write The Mango Tree Cafe’ Loi Kroh Road. What is stunning about this union, is Solomon makes his home in Asia, and Simpson resides in the USA.
Here’s what Taryn Simpson and Alan Solomon had to say:
How did you come across this project?
TS: A writer friend of mine got a lead from a gentleman that had written a rough draft of a book and needed someone to “punch it up”. She forwarded the book to me because it was fiction and she knows that it’s my speciality. I thought it was going to be ‘just another writing job’. Enter Alan Solomon and The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road. I read the synopsis he wrote for the book and was immediately taken with it. Why did you write this book?
AS: I received the power to write this novel from the moment I entered Loi Kroh Road and felt the mysterious magic of the street.
What was it like working with another author from a different part of the world? Were there barriers? Name one?
TS: Absolutely! Being an American, it’s hard for me to fathom that people in other countries don’t have the same freedoms that we do. Even when it comes to something minor such as the internet. If you have lived in the USA your entire life, you tend to adopt the mindset of “If I have a certain freedom, surely everyone else has it too”. Although watching the news I know differently. It’s just different when you become aware of how rich our freedoms are in this country when you hear people from different parts of the country talk about certain limitations they have. For example, when I created the blog for the book, Alan wasn’t able to see it online for quite some time due to China’s strict internet laws. TS (continues): Another barrier was I had a certain time frame where I could catch Alan on line. Remember, if the time in Nashville, TN USA is 8pm, it is 8am in Beijing. So, when I’m winding down from the day, Alan is beginning his. From 7:30pm my time until however late I could make myself stay up is when we had brief conversations about the book. Once I logged off for the night, Alan would leave me emails for the next morning (which is his night!). It was crazy!
AS: No barriers working with Taryn, Taryn was so enthusiastic and so helpful, for me it was like we were seated in the same bar side-by-side discussing our next move.
How long did it take you to write The Mango Tree Cafe’? Were friends, family members supportive?
TS: Well, that’s hard to say. Although the book was written, I re-wrote roughly half of it and added/deleted sections of the book. Generally a novel takes 2-3 months or maybe more. That’s not including editing. Yes, my partner endured many conversations about the book. When I become enthralled with a book, look out. I talk about it non-stop!
AS: The novel from start to finish took around 4 years, however the ‘pull’ to write was in my head for as long as I can remember, probably in High School. My family and friends never knew I was writing the Mango Tree Cafe, however if they had known they would have been supportive with a roar of laughter.
Without giving too much away, what is your favorite part of The Mango Tree Cafe? Do you have one?
TS: Oh, this is going to be difficult. Overall, I loved the fact that I got “lost” in this book as a reader. I’ve never been to Thailand and never had a yen to go. But, the events of the novel were so real to me that I felt like I have been there. It was a very strange feeling. And, meeting people in Nashville that had actually been there was just surreal. TS (continues): I love many sections of the book. The ones that stand out in my mind is the metamorphisis the main character goes through. It covers from the time he is a child to current age of around 50ish. He is able to gain a realization about himself and his father which is very melancholy at best. It’s a sweet, sad, and all too painfully familiar feeling of knowing what it feels like to be so ultimately different from others and realizing that regardless of the lifestyle you lead, you can’t run from what is inside yourself. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a very poignant story. I promise you will be in tears at the end. Not to mention that the setting includes visions of a lush jungle full of exotic fish, elephants and street dogs. I tried to put that feel in the You Tube video I did for it.
AS: In the novel there are many personal favorite parts I enjoy, however I guess if I had to identify just one part I would have to say it was when Larry realized he lost his only love Noo and to the end of the novel believed he was hearing her and seeing her and that someday she would return to him.
Did you accomplish everything you set out to do when writing this story?/strong>
TS: I think so. This question would probably be better served if answered by Alan Solomon. But, after he read the final draft I sent him. I could tell he was quite pleased.
AS: Yes I believe so.
What do you want readers to come away with after reading your story?
TS: I have to remind people that the story was created by Alan. But I want people to come away with whatever makes them think about the book. It has a lot of messages and there is one for everybody. I loved how the book describes the misfits of Loi Kroh Road as beautiful and exotic. Yet, the lives they lead were very gritty and difficult.
AS: Questioning life and how things happen to us as we travel through life which we can miss unless we are alert and seize the moment.
Are you working on anything at this time? Can you share what it is? TS: I’m having to FORCE myself to move on from this book! LOL. I’m marketing the heck out of it as we speak. But, I have a couple of ideas for books that I am working on. The Mango Tree book has created a real desire in me to start writing “literary fiction” much in the same vein as “The Color Purple”, or “A River Runs Through it”. This book is pivotal in my career. My next book is tentatively entitled “Invisible Fences”. Although it can change.
AS: I am thinking all the time, I watch and listen and keep a notebook. Something may happen. I am not too sure.
Any advice to a writer in the process of writing her own book?
TS: Some writers will say write at any cost. I say write when you have alone time and if you don’t have it, make time to write. Even if it is for 10 or 20 minutes a day. Don’t be discouraged. Get it down. Worry about deleting or editing later. Listen to music or do an activity such as people watching that will help you get in the mood for what you are writing because I think it bleeds through.
AS: Place a mirror on your writing desk and as you write occasionally look up and you will see what your next line is to be, because looking right back at you will be the lines, the eyes sending you the message and experience of life.
Thank you, Taryn, Thank you, Alan, for your time. Much success with The Mango Tree Cafe Loi Kroh Road. I’m off to do get a mirror and do the 10-20 minute-a-day writing thing!
You have permission to contact Linda Della Donna to do an interview at firstname.lastname@example.org
BE SURE TO BUY YOUR COPY OF THE MANGO TREE CAFE, LOI KROH ROAD HERE
Posted in About Our Work, Authors, Blog Entries by D. H. Schleicher, Book Promotion, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, Literature, Mystery, New Fiction, The Thief Maker, Thriller on August 5, 2007| Leave a Comment »
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:
POSTED BY D. H. SCHLEICHER
Posted in About Our Work, Agents, Authors, Blog Entries by Taryn Simpson, Blogs, Book Promotion, Book Trailers, Books, Books We Love, booksellers, China, Conferences and Workshops, Fiction, Ghostwriting, Inspiration, New Fiction, News, Newsletters, Thailand, Thoughts on Publishing, Upcoming Author Events, Writing on July 17, 2007| Leave a Comment »
My partner and I have decided to self-publish and with good reason. The Beijing Book Fair is coming up in August and my partner would like to pander our wares to book sellers.
We also decided to self-publish because of a newsletter I received yesterday. It was from a well-known author that stated she published with Lulu.com because no one, including agents and publishers would pay attention to her because she was a “nobody”. She began self publishing her book and sent it to another author with better connections and she was blown away.
This blown away author sent it to her agent who in turn sent it to a large publishing house who decided to buy it. That’s the way it is these days…unless you have the collateral to appease a Simon and Schuster or Random House, authors have to fend for themselves and show that “the proof is in the pudding”.
This powerful book (if I do say so myself) will be offered shortly on Barnes and Noble and Amazon as well as the blog. When that happens, you can rest asuured that I will blab all about it right here.
Just think; 1 author in Beijing, China; the other in Nashville, TN, 1 internet connection = 1 helluva good read.
Taryn Simpson is a professional ghostwriter and has recently completed a novel with her writing partner, Alan Solomon, “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”. Keep up with the latest on the book and how it fares at the Beijing, China Book Fair. http://www.MangoTreeCafe-LoiKrohRoad.blogspot.com
Posted in About Our Work, Articles, Authors, Blog Entries by D. H. Schleicher, Book Promotion, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, Literature, Mystery, New Fiction, Thriller on June 17, 2007| Leave a Comment »
The Thief Maker A Novel by D.H. Schleicher (iUniverse Press)
Review by Kent Manthie for Reviewer Magazine
It’s been said that the events of September 11, 2001 forever altered America in profound ways as well as the individual psyches of its people. Most Americans, but especially those who were directly affected, can chart their lives as “before 9/11” and “after 9/11”, using it as an ugly milestone to put other, tangential things in perspective.
Some people had their lives turned upside down and were forever altered by 9/11 and others who were thousands of miles away were also affected, those images having been seared onto the consciousness of millions of TV viewers.
Now that we’re a ‘safe’ distance from the actual event, six years on, there have been a couple movies, lots of non-fiction books, websites, tons of commemorative this and special issues of that as well as that horrible made-for-TV travesty last year, not to mention the legions of conspiracy buffs who’ve made their neuroses a cottage industry.
If anything positive emerged out of the mountain of dreck that 9/11 spawned it was the third novel by one D.H. Schleicher, entitled “The Thief Maker”, an inventive, stylistically nihilistic novel that uses the events of September 11, 2001 as a backdrop and even then in the latter half of the book. It’s only on the peripheries that the realities of that day interpolate, making bad situations worse or complicating matters further, but nonetheless it’s an essential element of the novel.
“The Thief Maker” jumps back and forth, from the mid-1980s to the 1990s, up to the present and even into the future – as far forward as 2008. It may sound confusing but when one is immersed in the novel it actually works quite well as a literary device.
Seemingly disparate sets of highly complex people are introduced and their character traits are developed in front of our eyes only to slowly morph into something unexpected; there’s a thread that connects these people, they all seem to be intertwined in this intricate web of humanity. The characters in the novel are all so vividly portrayed and developed so well that you come to not only visualize them in your head while reading the book but you begin to feel like you know them.
There is William Donovan, the con man whose past is never far behind him; Felice Morrison, the cold as ice lesbian psychiatrist who grows up to hate humanity and for whom love and hate are interchangeable, Frank Morrison’s a man with a secret past and a dark future. Looming above it all, haunting everyone in the story is the recently deceased Marie Gail, a hopeless young junkie with AIDS whose hate was so strong that it contaminated those around her. She died in a lonely, dark rage from the pneumonia not uncommon to those with AIDS. Marie left behind Rex, a young son who was initially taken away from Marie in her days of heroin addiction and general bad craziness, which leads us to the foster parents that take care of Rex for a few years until shortly before her death, Catherine and Rodames Fowler, two psychologists who are doing a long-term experiment with their deaf children in psycholinguistics and into which Rex had been enveloped. Marie had gotten clean and with Felice, her lover, won back custody of the boy and together they lived as much like a normal family as they could for the short time they had before Marie succumbed to her disease. Just before she died, Marie had asked Felice to take care of Rex, to raise him as if he was her own. Felice willingly accepts this responsibility and agrees to adopt him as a final act of love for Marie before she dies. This is all so complicated and I’m afraid there’s much more but instead, you’d better just read the book.
Towards the end all bets are off and suddenly the “post-9/11 world” has turned into Bedlam and realities are getting destroyed left and right; things aren’t as they seem, they never are. The climactic buildup is a shrieking anxious ride that gets thick with complexity and before you know it you’re being hit in the head with a dynamite denouement. I won’t spoil things by describing it any further, but let me just say that you’re in for some rollercoaster-style twists and turns.
You know, originally, I wasn’t really in the mood for having to read another book – I’m already juggling three books as it is and so, when they gave me “The Thief Maker” to review I didn’t look forward to reading it. I went into the book with an unenthusiastic drudgery and I wanted to hate the thing just for being made to read it. Nevertheless, I kept on and while I never thought Schleicher’s writing was without great style or that the clarity and precision wasn’t there I was just – oh, I don’t know…I mean, at first the book wasn’t what I’d call a “page-turner” but when I got to the midway point the excitement was turned up a couple notches and pretty soon I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I can’t tell you exactly what sort of action makes it pick up because that would spoil much of the plot – I probably shouldn’t have even said that; therefore, you’d better just go buy the book to find out.
I thought D.H. Schleicher wonderfully captured a lot of nuances surrounding modern-day American living spot-on. He brings these characters to life; I found myself really identifying with characters; I really felt emotional about them, amazed by some and hating others, empathizing with some of them too and disgusted by others. Schleicher draws the reader into this smartly crafted parallel universe – one that is remarkably like our own world. The action takes place between Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and even [banjo music playing] takes a detour down to North Carolina for a spell.
It was hard to tell at first where the story was going to go; whether it’d be to a boring, clichéd neighborhood from which you’d want to exit ASAP or a fabulous world where you want to stay around as long as you can. The latter was the case for “The Thief Maker”; in fact, I purposely took my time reading this novel. I didn’t want to flip through this too quickly; it’s only 214 pages, easy to read, not at all verbally confusing or convoluted in its prose. Mystery man, Dave Schleicher, who graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in psychology in 2002, seems to have found his voice, developed a style of his own; it’s not an ostentatious one, though; the book reads quite easily, smoothly, not too rough or stilted, making the storyline roll along with no bumps or obstacles, no extraneous riff-raff built up throughout the paragraphs either, making the basic story stick out that much more. Schleicher’s currently living in Voorhees, New Jersey, where he takes time out to smell the roses between writing binges. He also keeps a pretty regular web log at http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com – check it out, there are plenty of things to read: reviews, opinion pieces and so on.
What with the hot season coming up, “The Thief Maker” would be a great addition to your summer reading list. Check out the publisher’s website:. http://www.iuniverse.com – KM.
Reviewer Magazine has been covering the cutting-edge of the music scene, idependent film, and books since 1996 from their home offices in San Diego, CA. They have a circulation of over 10,000 in the U.S. and Canada. For more, check out:
Posted in Art, Authors, Blogs, Book Promotion, Book Reviews, Books, Creative Non-Fiction, Culture, Current Events, Entertainment, Entries, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Inspiration, Interviews, Life, Literature, Marketing Experiences and Insights, Mystery, New Fiction, Philosophy, Poetry, Politics, Readers, Reading, Religion, Science Fiction, Sports, The Classics, Thoughts on Editing, Thoughts on Publishing, Thriller, Writing on June 1, 2007| Leave a Comment »
This is an announcement that the popular group blog, The Writers’ Block, is seeking new members.
In order to join:
1) You must be a published writer with verifiable credits.
2) You must be able to post a minimum of one entry per month.
3) You must be proactive.
If you are active in promoting your work and your thoughts on various issues, and can spare the time to participate in a group blog, this can be a great opportunity for you. So far authors on the blog have generated increased sales and have been interviewed based on their posts on the blog. We are an eclectic group and all viewpoints are welcomed!
If you are interested, please send a reply to this message.
Posted in About Our Work, Advice about Writing, Authors, Blog Entries by D. H. Schleicher, Book Promotion, Book Reviews, Books, Culture, Entertainment, Fiction, Life, Lit News, Literature, Local Writers' Scene, Marketing Experiences and Insights, Mystery, New Fiction, Readers, Reading, Thriller, Writing on May 23, 2007| 3 Comments »
The following is a re-post from my official blog:
-David H. Schleicher
Upon just arriving home from vacation (stay tuned for an upcoming travel log), I’ve learned that THE THIEF MAKER is now “in-stock” at some additional Barnes & Noble locations in the greater Philadelphia area.
In addition to being in stock and on the shelves at the Marlton and Moorestown, New Jersey locations, steady sales mean my novel will now also be in stock at the Deptford, New Jersey location and also in the Philadelphia and Valley Forge locations in Pennsylvania. If you go to any of these locations to pick up a copy and they are out of stock, tell them to order more. It means a local author is selling and they should jump on the bandwagon.
Thanks to all who are helping my grass-roots campaign to turn THE THIEF MAKER into a success! If you are among those who live in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area and have not been able to purchase a copy because you prefer not to shop on-line, now you have no reason not to get a copy!
“An ambitious, intricately structured novel that resonates with emotion and suspense,” heralds Daniel Jolley, an Amazon.com Top 50 Reviewer.
“Schleicher has done a good job of creating a mystery that is mysterious, thought-provoking, entertaining, and sometimes shocking,” hails Joe Graham from ReaderViews.com.
Welcome! This blog is an experiment to see if a diverse group of writers--many that have not met in person--coming from different backgrounds, and writing in different genres, can come together to form something worthwhile.
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We would love your feedback and participation. If you have any comments, questions, or want to trade or add links to your blog or website, leave a message and we'll check it out. Thank you for visiting and come back often. - The Writers' Block Authors.
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