A non-teaching day for me today, so I spent some time this morning looking at the draft of what I hope will be my next novel. I finished the draft back in October, and I’ve been letting it rest all this time. I hadn’t looked at it until recently. Now I’m going through it chapter…

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Sundays often tempt me to give in to nostalgia. Probably because I’m getting older and there’s more to look back on than there used to be, or maybe there’s something about the day that’s still a day of quiet for me, the way it was when I was younger and Sunday meant church and then…

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‘Tis the blurb season. . .but then when is it not? Each book accepted for publication sets off a chain of editors and authors asking other authors to please read an advance copy, and, if they feel so inclined, offer a few words of support. A “comment,” or “a promotional quote,” is we’re being tasteful…

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The Spring issue of The Georgia Review arrived today. It’s a special issue that celebrates the fiction published in that journal during the past 25 years. I’m humbled to see my name included with the following writers whom I’ve long admired: Lee K. Abbott, Margaret Benbow, Kevin Brockmeier, Frederick Busch, Robert Olen Butler, Phil Condon,…

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I just got back from a visit to the University of Indianapolis where I did a reading and visited an Editing and Publishing class. Just like at my school, Ohio State, some of the undergraduates were already thinking about applying for MFA programs. We’re in recruitment season now, trying to convince those who received offers…

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There must be a joke in this story somewhere. It all started a few weeks ago when I received an email from a soldier stationed in Iraq. He explained to me that his girlfriend’s birthday was coming up, and he’d like to give her a copy of a book signed by her favorite author. That…

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I’ve been thinking quite a bit about silence lately and how little of it we have these days. We’re surrounded by noise, and so much of it doesn’t make an audible sound: the email we write and read, the web sites we check, the Facebook statuses we scroll through, even this blog post. All of…

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I’m very excited to launch my new web site and this blog to accompany it as we start counting the months until the June 14 publication of my new novel, Break the Skin. Galleys should be available soon, probably sometime this week, and foreign rights have already been sold to an Italian publisher. I’m keeping…

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