Makeout Creek in the House

As it says on the tin:

sample copies of makeout creek

Last night I got my contributor’s copies for the Twin Peaks-themed issue of Makeout Creek, and the issue’s a beaut. I’m grateful to everyone at Makeout Creek who made the issue happen, and particularly to Andrew Blossom, who edits thoughtfully, communicates thoroughly, and makes Richmond a better place.

The Author Website: Build It to Build a Following

Hey Richmond! Come to The Writing Show tonight at the Firehouse Theatre!

logo for The Writing ShowA great author website doesn’t have to be complicated. Find out how to build a website that can showcase your work to publishing professionals and help you connect with readers.

Topics our experts will discuss include

  • What are the must-haves for the author website
  • When to bring in a professional
  • Blog subscriptions versus newsletter email lists
  • How to fund your author website, or use it to find funding
  • Adding social media and blogs
  • Press packages, FAQ documents

When: Wednesday, April 29, 6:00 pm

Where: Firehouse Theatre 1609 West Broad Street(Parking available across the street in the Lowe’s lot)

Price: $12 for Members, $15 for non-Members, $5 for Students


Justine_Headshot smJustine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a pre-publication platform that offers crowdfunding and pre-order options to authors and publishers. A writer at heart, Justine received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. A prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding, she is a regular contributor to The Future of Ink, Business Banter, and more.

AB Westrick sm

A.B. (Anne) Westrick is the author of Brotherhood (Viking 2013), winner of the 2014 Jefferson Cup Award, the Housatonic Book Award, the Jane Addams Honor Award, and the Notable Trade Book Award. Brotherhood also made the ALA’s 2014 list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. From 2006-2012 Anne was JRW’s Administrative Director. She lives near Richmond, VA, and blogs once a month about the craft of writing.

bod_joshua_caneJoshua Paul Cane is a web programmer living in Richmond, VA. For nearly 17 years, he has built, redesigned, and consulted on web applications for Federal and state agencies, non-profits, businesses, and authors. Not only does he write code, but he writes fiction: humorous short stories and now an urban fantasy novel. He serves as a board member and membership committee chair of James River Writers.

RavenCon 2015: Into the Breach

Yesterday RavenCon opened for its 10th year. I wandered around, talked to friends, and spoke on a panel entitled “Urban Fantasy: Using Real-World Settings and People in Your Fiction,” along with Gail Z. Martin, R.S. Belcher, and moderator Jean Marie Ward. We had a good time, the audience also seemed to do so, and my deep, dark confession about being a librarian who uses Wikipedia was met with an appropriate volume of laughter. Picture below by Katharine Herndon, my friend and JRW-co-conspirator.

j.t. glover, gail z. martin, and jean marie ward

RavenCon 2015

ravencon2015This year I’m delighted to attend RavenCon as a writer guest. I’ll be here and there throughout the con, probably wandering around the dealer’s room, art show, seeing panels and readings, chatting with friends old and new, etc. One place I probably won’t be is at any late night revelries: I start transforming into a pumpkin long before the stroke of midnight. My schedule looks like this:

5:00 p.m., Ballroom G, Urban Fantasy: Using Real-World Settings and People in Your Fiction
7:00 p.m., Ballroom E, Opening Ceremonies

10:00 a.m., Ballroom E, How to (Not) Ruin Your Writing Career
1:00 p.m., York, Ignite Your Worldbuilding (workshop; 1 hr, 50 min)5:00 p.m., Board Room, Reading

1:00 p.m., Anna, The Best Critique Group for You

ravencon 10thMost of those are panels. The reading on Saturday will be my first all-Glover reading setup. 50 minutes! Whatever shall I read? I’ve got a few ideas, and things are starting to come together.

The workshop on Saturday is an attempt to weld together my research expertise with my love of well-portrayed worlds. Should be fun. Description: “How do you create memorable worlds? Come learn techniques that combine research, inspiration, and your personal experience. Participants will leave with a list of resources to inspire their creativity, whether they want to create engrossing stories or paintings with lived-in worlds. We’ll discuss the limits of worldbuilding, and signs that it’s time to join Worldbuilders Anonymous. Be prepared to talk with your fellow creators, and bring a notebook, computer, or other writing device.”

The Great Southern & Twin Peaks Fiction

design for Twin Peaks festival in Richmond Virginia

Have you heard about The Great Southern? It’s a Twin Peaks-themed celebration happening this weekend (April 16-19) in Richmond, Virginia. You can also find out more about it at the official Facebook page. There’s going to be Twin Peaks VIPs, music, literature, art, and many events.

Why am I posting about it, aside from it’s frigging awesome? Local lit mag Makeout Creek is publishing a Twin Peaks-themed issue, and I’m among the contributors, with a short story about Twin Peaks obsession and violence entitled “Be Still, My Dear, and Listen.” It’s not available for order online quite yet, but I’ll post when it is.

If you’re in Richmond and like nighttime literary events, come out to Ipanema Cafe at 10pm on Thursday, April 16th, for a reading of works from the issue. Memory is a tricky thing, but unless I’m mistaken, this will be the first time I’ll have read fiction in public since, uh, 1992. Apparently that’s a part of literary culture or something? Anyway, I’m looking forward to it, copies of the issue will be available, and I hope to see you there.

“Write What You Research”

This weekend I have the pleasure of moderating a panel at the James River Writers conference here in Richmond. The panel I’ll be moderating is entitled “Writing What You Research,” and it’s all about research for writers. If you’re able to make the conference, this panel will be on Sunday, October 19th, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. We’ll be talking about everything from the “aha” moment in research to what happens when your research takes a surprising turn. You’re going to get to hear from panelists writing in very different genres, with different (or are they similar?) research needs…


tarfia headshot

Tarfia Faizullah

Born in Brooklyn and raised in west Texas, Tarfia Faizullah is the author of Seam (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), winner of the 2012 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems appear in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter,New England Review, Washington Square, and anthologized in Poems of Devotion, Excuse This Poem, The Book of Scented Things, and Best New Poets 2014. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Project Award, a Ploughshares Cohen Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Copper Nickel Poetry Prize, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop and Vermont Studio Center, and other honors. Tarfia is a poetry reader for New England Review and is a contributing editor for Four Way Review, Failbetter, and Asian American Literary Review. She lives in Detroit, where she is a writer-in-residence for InsideOut Literary Arts and co-edits the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press & Video Series with Jamaal May. In Fall 2014, she will join the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program as the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor of Creative Writing in Poetry.


headshot hugh

Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey: “Born in 1975, I spent the first eighteen years of my life getting through the gauntlet of primary education. While there, I dabbled in soccer, chess, and tried to write my first novel (several times).

Out of school, I became fascinated with computers, repaired them for a brief stint, then moved to Charleston, SC and attended college. To save money, I purchased a small sailboat to live on, and nearly got myself killed bringing it down from Baltimore with a friend.

After my junior year of college, possibly out of fear of the real world, I left my safe little harbor and sailed South. I hopped around the islands for a while, went through two hurricanes, and spent the last of my cruising funds re-stepping my mast. It was time to head back to the States, where I began a career as a yacht captain.

This began an exciting phase of my life, traveling all over the East coast and Caribbean, from Barbados to Chicago. I worked on boats in New York, the Bahamas, even Canada. One of these adventures brought me together with my wife, who was able to lure me away from my vagabond ways, dropping anchor and buying a house.

Physically settled, my mind continued to roam, concocting adventures and whisking me off to fantastic places. Some of these tales seemed worth sharing, so I tapped into my love of books and decided to write them down. My first stories detail the life of a character that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. Her name is Molly Fyde, and she draws inspiration from the awesome women in my life.

My Wool series became a sudden success in the Fall of 2011. Originally just a novelette, the demand from Amazon reviewers sent me scurrying to write more tales in this subterranean world. The resulting Omnibus has spent considerable time in the Amazon top 100, has been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film. The story of its success has been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and Deadline Hollywood among many others. Random House is publishing the hardback version in the UK in January of 2013.

When I’m not writing, I like to go for hikes with my family, take a stroll on the beach, and keep up with my reading. I currently live in Jupiter, Florida with my wife Amber and our dog Bella.”


headshot brian

Brian Jay Jones

New York Times bestselling biographer Brian Jay Jones spent nearly two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter, before turning to biography full-time in 2007. He presently serves as president ofBiographers International Organization.

Brian’s most recent book, Jim Henson: The Biography (Ballantine, 2013) was a New York Timesbestseller, and chosen as the Best Biography of 2013 by Goodreads, as well as one of the year’s Top Ten books by CNN viewers. The first full-length biography of the iconic creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson: The Biography was hailed as “illuminating” (The Atlantic), “insightful” (Parade), “masterful” (Kirkus) and “compulsively readable” (The AV Club).

Brian’s first book, Washington Irving (Arcade, 2008), was praised as the definitive biography of American literature’s first popular author and pop culture icon. The Associated Press deemed it “authoritative,” the Washington Post called it, “engaging, clearly written, and well researched,” while the New York Times summed it up simply as “charming.” Which pretty much made his year.

In 2010, Brian was awarded the St. Nicholas Society of New York’s Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence, joining David McCullough, Ron Chernow, Christopher Buckley, and William Zinsser on the list of medal recipients.

Born in Kansas and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Brian has a degree in English literature from the University of New Mexico, which he immediately parlayed into a brief career as a manager of a comic book store before getting into politics and writing.

For nearly ten years, he worked as a policy advisor in the United States Senate, serving in the office of U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici, and then on the U.S. Senate HELP Committee for Chairman James M. Jeffords. He has also served as an associate state superintendent of education for the state of Arizona, and a policy analyst for a county councilmember, officially giving him the government service hat trick.

Brian now lives in Maryland with his wife and a very excitable dog. His daughter is presently away at college, majoring in physics–or, as Brian calls it, “foreign language.” He is presently at work on a biography of filmmaker George Lucas for Little, Brown, to be published in 2016.



Places Between Places

Lately I’ve been trying to get out and see more of Richmond that I wouldn’t otherwise see. Part of this is going to neighborhood, businesses, and attractions I’ve never visited. Part of it is seeing the places between the places,  scenic or otherwise. This past Sunday the sky was changeable, the city felt quiet, and the air was soft.

trees by roadside


wall with creeper


paved lot