Just out May 15!

Just out May 15!
[^^click] BONUS MAN is an offbeat literary novel, a picaresque—CANDIDE climbs the lighter side of COLD MOUNTAIN, perhaps—that explores the life of Adam “Bonus Man” Bonifacius, former Great War medic and participant in the Bonus Army March of 1932: a gathering of veterans in Washington D.C. protesting bonuses promised but not paid; a march turned back by the U.S. Government with tanks and tear gas. Bonus Man hits the road determined to find a way into medical school—the bonus would've done the trick—and maybe a little revenge along the way. ¶ The thing about revenge is, well, he's just not very good at it. He is good at removing bullets, a skill acquired under fire during the war and put into practice when a moonshining raid leaves a federal agent with a slug in his gut and later when Bonus Man runs smack into a John Dillinger prison break—leading to a gunpoint invitation to stay on as sawbones to the gang. It may not be medical school but it's certainly an education. ¶ And Bonus Man falls in love. Twice. If that doesn't complicate things enough, the FBI has an agent on his trail who is convinced not only of Bonus Man's complicity in the Dillinger escape but also in the Lindbergh kidnapping.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Einstein + Churchill = Tinkham



They say Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I recently saw a quote from Winston Churchill saying: “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Aren't these the same equations with different answers?

Take me and these books I've written: each novel failed miserably (with agents and small presses), yet I started right in on the next one with mind-boggling enthusiasm (Success! says Winnie) and most certainly expecting the results to be different (Lunatic! cries Albert). Who do we believe?

Am I successfully insane? Chronically enthusiastic? Confident or delusional?

If I catch his drift, Churchill tells us that enthusiasm itself is success. But to strive for more than just the joy of doing—like succeeding—and failing repeatedly, according to Einstein, is just plain nuts.

Okay, I writing myself into a corner here, so I'll get back to working on my fourth book—which, I'll have you know, I'm so deliriously thrilled about I must be friggin' crazy.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ON REUNIONS AND BOOKS

Attended my 40th high school reunion this past weekend. A wonderful time. Having self-published three books this year, any conversation I engaged in involved either compliments on a book someone read (thank you!) or congratulations at such an accomplishment (drinking having been my only claim to fame over the years). I soaked it up, believe me.

I had promised myself I wouldn't bring along any books to sell (no teacher classmates of mine had ever brought along their students, no medical professionals their patients). Jim Pokorny, a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while, demanded on the first night that I bring him in a book to buy the second night because his wife had demanded that he bring home a signed copy. Best I could do was steer him toward Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Uptown, which carried two copies of each book. He swore he'd buy 'em all. (Did I mention that both nights were held in bars?)

I coaxed a ride on the second night from my buddy Greg Grahek. He showed up with all three books, asking me to sign them for his sister's birthday present. Now I believe all the compliments I received over the weekend were sincere but you can't beat having someone give your stuff as a gift to someone who probably doesn't even remember you as a kid growing up. At the bar, Dale Fujimoto told me how proud his mother was to have had one of my characters modeled after her and Pokey showed up with a bag of books—he had indeed bought 'em all out. (M&Q has since doubled their order. Yeah!)

My literary successes may be meager, my fame may be limited to these good folks every five years, but it sure makes all the time before this computer well worth it. Thanks, all!

Friday, June 12, 2015

On bookstore shelves

Magers & Quinn Booksellers, that fine Uptown establishment, has agreed to carry my novels—two of each, for starters. Doesn't seem like much but I've probably exhausted my FB friends and those where I work. This means selling to strangers. We'll see how that works.

One thing I have discovered through this bookselling journey: The surest cure for writer's block is researching self-publishing, promotion and marketing. Twenty minutes of reading articles or opinions on Facebook ads or review sites is enough to drive anyone to write. Consequently I've made great strides in getting my fourth book done by the end of the year.


Until then, expect to be inundated with 'suggestions'—here, on FB, maybe even that Twitter if I figure the thing out—that you shop M&Q for my books. Promotion is part of our agreement. And it's a wonderful store.


Friday, June 5, 2015

On the Radio

NO HAPPIER STATE (Americana #2) is set to be read and recorded for airing on Radio Talking Book (a part of the MN Services for the Blind) by legendary Twin Cities' actor William P. Studor. RadioTalking Book is a network for people with impaired vision. They have special receivers which allow them to listen to books recorded by volunteers.

No timetable just yet, but I'm honored to have the book be part of such a wonderful program.


Also: Special thanks to Satish P. Jayaraj, Cracked Walnut and everyone involved in Fractured Fairy Tales at The Lift Garage (see May 21 post). I, for one, had a great time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On May 21

Fractured Fairy Tales -- 2015 Cracked Walnut Literary Festival
May 21 at 7:00pm
The Lift Garage, 5925 Nicollet Ave. Featuring: Ethna McKiernan, Jennifer Hernandez, Jeanne Lutz, Lewis Mundt, Will Tinkham and Thomas Rohde, with special musical guest Muus.

I'll be reading a "missing" chapter from my latest novel
Bonus Man. How it all turns out is anybody's guess...



Thursday, May 14, 2015

On to BONUS MAN

My third novel, BONUS MAN (Americana #3), will be out May 15 (on Kindle, followed shortly by the paperback, also available on Amazon). It goes like this:

BONUS MAN explores the life of Adam “Bonus Man” Bonifacius, a former Great War medic and participant in the Bonus Army March of 1932. The march, a gathering of veterans in Washington D.C. protesting compensations promised but not paid, is ultimately turned back by the U.S. Government with tanks and tear gas. Bonus Man hits the road determined to find a way into medical school—the bonus would've done the trick—and maybe a little revenge along the way.



The thing about revenge is, well, he's just not very good at it. He is good at removing bullets, a skill acquired under fire during the war and put into practice when Bonus Man runs smack into a John Dillinger prison break—leading to a gunpoint invitation to stay on as sawbones to the gang. It may not be medical school but it's certainly an education.



And Bonus Man falls in love. Twice. If that doesn't complicate things enough, the FBI has an agent on his trail who is convinced not only of Bonus Man's complicity in the Dillinger escape but also in the Lindbergh kidnapping. 


Also: May 15 & 16, my second novel, NO HAPPIER STATE, will be FREE (Kindle version). 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Free AWP



Attended a free, off-site AWP (writers' schmooze-fest currently in town) reading put on by the Black Earth Institute (their About Place Journal published my No Happier State excerpt, "Sculps") and hosted by my friend Ethna McKiernan. If that wasn't enough, Linda Hogan was one of the readers. Years ago I was drawn to a poem called "The Hands" that I'd read on the bus. Literally. It was up there among the adverts for free clinics and fake business colleges. I went out and purchased her book, Savings, and--until last night--it was the only book of poetry I owned not written by someone I actually knew. A wonderful and interesting evening.

Just wish I was better at schmoozin'...