Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2016!

Few exceptions aside, the most compelling, challenging, absorbing literary art is being produced by small presses and their respective writers. I asked a number of writers, editors, and publishers to send me a list of small press books to look out for in 2016. Below you’ll find my own list, which is informed by Kate Angus, John Cayley, Lauren Cerand, Samuel R. Delany, Rikki Ducornet, Andrew Ervin, Lily Hoang, Sean Lovelace, Scott McClanahan, Hubert O’Hearn, Jane Unrue, and Curtis White.

Below you’ll also find lists from Jeff Bursey, Tobias Carroll, Gabino Iglesias, Janice Lee, Dawn Raffel, Nick Francis Potter, John Reed, Adam Robinson, Michael Seidlinger, Terese Svoboda, Jason Teal, Angela Woodward, and Jacob Wren. All the abovementioned people are small press heroes and great writers in their own right. My thanks to all of them.

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#AuthorFail 2: Sean Beaudoin

Welcome to #AuthorFail (want to get in on this thing? Check here for guidelines.)

This week’s installment (cue old-timey radio-play music), traces Sean Beaudoin’s novel-that-never-was-which-almost-became-an-app-that-never-was. Picture Sean right now, perhaps playing around with one of the project’s sprawling sentences the way a cat beats about a bloodied mouse.

Lawd, take pity on us poor writers.  See you next week.

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Six years ago I began a crime novel called Render Janes Is Dead, in which Render Janes, a cheapjack desert evangelist, is killed in the first scene. It was (is) a murder mystery with over a dozen characters that converge on the fictional New Mexico town of Madred, where Render’s cult-like flock awaits his return in blue teepees. The novel mainly follows a pair of hapless ex-cons whose car breaks down on the Madred exit ramp, as well as Sheriff Nyall Riggs, formerly of the LA police department, a man disgusted by the Rodney King riots and now looking for a little peace of mind. There’s a crystal meth sub-plot, sister cults in Sweden, a hot blonde assassin named La Marcel, a psychotic bookie named Car Lester, a few million in laundered cash, and more permutations than most people are inclined to stuff into any given 400 pages. Continue reading