COMING SOON!!!

COMING SOON!!! The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse - A disgraced Hollywood starlet, Donna Darling, and two-time German Army deserter, Séamus von Funck, meet in 1942 at an idyllic Ohio home for unwed mothers—or a Nazi abortion slaughterhouse, depending on who you talk to. Their love endures despite the efforts of a power-hungry congressman, an overzealous religious tabloid, and Donna's Hollywood past. (Psst, it includes Cary Grant.) They prevail despite Séamus being a suspected Nazi spy and America's first prisoner of the second World War—and also the first to escape.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

HOW DONALD TRUMP HARSHED MY BUZZ

It was November 7 and I had completed a reading at Magers & Quinn for my latest novel. I had a blast! Friends and even strangers seemed to enjoy themselves. I sold some books. The next morning—still riding the high from that reading, along with the prospect of the first woman POTUS—I set out for Franklin and Hennepin to vote. The euphoria I felt exiting the Scottish Rite Temple after casting my ballot was beyond description. I needed only to get home and write it all down...

Then things got murky. I came out of the haze just last night. I was at Eagles 34. A birthday party? I flashed back to a swamp being drained—only to be refilled with toxic waste. The phrase 'Bannon Sessions' reverberated in my head. Had I crossed over Hennepin Ave to LiquorLyle's that fateful voting day, laying to waste 10-plus years of sobriety? What did Alexander Hamilton have to do with anything? I stared up through bright lights to see Johnny Rey staring back, guitar in hand, and a sea of dancing women. Of course! Sharon Samels' birthday bash. It was next on my November calendar, but what had become of the previous ten days? Who cared? It was rock 'n' roll, love was in the air, and I was back! 

(With pictures to prove it.)



I may never know what fog set in and stole a week and a half of my life. North Carolina... I should maybe see my physician. Pennsylvania... I hope they understand at work. As I type the headaches come and go, hints of my unexplained hangover. Wis-wis-wisconsin?

President-elect—

Nooo00000000OOOO!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

On sale now!

THE GREAT AMERICAN SCRAPBOOK is physically available now at Magers & Quinn and located in a case (main aisle, just west of cash registers) featuring other upcoming events. Have at it—and my other novels, as well. Also, the release date for pre-orders of Kindle has been moved up to November 3—best I could do.



As if you need a reminder: Book launch is November 7, 7pm, Magers & Quinn.



I've changed my distribution so all my paperbacks will be available to purchase/order at any book retailer. To do so I had to raise the prices a buck or two. My apologies. Digital copies are still only available, dirt cheap, through Amazon (free Kindle app with purchase).

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On pre-order, launch news and some trepidation

THE GREAT AMERICAN SCRAPBOOK is now available for pre-order (Kindle version) and the paperbacks are winging their way here in anticipation of the launch at Magers & Quinn on November 7 (7pm). The pre-order business is only because it's complete and I promised the good folks at M&Q that it wouldn't go on sale before the launch. (Last time I did a pre-order nobody pre-ordered.)

For more launch info, and to catch up on the soundtrack for the novel, click here.

I've redone my humble website here to give notice of the new release. Have a look around see if anything interests you.

This new book seems to be a bit more stressful for me than my previous ones. The others were way more historical and all the real-life characters were dead. In this I'm using real live characters like Sherwin Linton, Anita from the Uptown Bar, Johnny Rey and Bill Murray, as well as friends who passed away far too young: Steve Foley, Kevin Foley and Kevin Calhoun Hazlett. Institutions like Bob Dylan and John Prine figure prominently without ever showing their faces.


Hope to see you November 7 and hope you enjoy the book(s).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

On November 7: A Book Launch

My latest novel, THE GREAT AMERICAN SCRAPBOOK (Americana #5), will launch on November 7 (7pm) at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Uptown Minneapolis. (Details will certainly follow.)


Beginning with George W. Bush's “Mission Accomplished” speech of May 1, 2003 and culminating on Election Night '04, The Great American Scrapbook follows more important things like Brock McCoy falling in love, the perils of three fictional Minneapolis rock 'n' roll bands, and two long-lost siblings' efforts to maintain the historical significance of a newspaper woman murdered in the 1920s.


Brock, 31, lives in his mother's basement near Lake Harriet. Newly returned from Toronto, he stumbles into a gig as bass player in an all-girl rock band. He falls in love with Jenna on lead guitar. Back home he does what he can to ease the burden on his sister Nancy and her Gulf War I-related PTSD, as well as comfort his mother and her back that just won't heal. On a table in the basement is an old scrapbook that Brock helps Peaches try to turn into something publishable.

Oh, did I mention they solve the mystery of D.B. Cooper?


Like my other books, we celebrate real-life characters in The Great American Scrapbook, most notably Brock's bandmates Kevin Foley, Steve Foley and Kevin Calhoun Hazlett, as well as celebrities still among us like Sherwin Linton, Johnny Rey, and Bill Murray in his role as part-owner of the Saint Paul Saints.


Please stop by on November 7 (before packing for Canada) and give a listen to the reading and whatever else transpires. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On Meeting Sherwin Linton

I had an ulterior motive for wanting to see Sherwin Linton last night at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Sure he's a country legend throughout the Midwest but he's also a character in my novel-in-progress, The Great American Scrapbook. Another character, Peaches, runs away from her Mount Rushmore home at 15. And 16. And 17. I really had nowhere for her to go until I saw this photo—lifted from sherwinlinton.com. I googled the guitar player, found that he had a radio show out of Watertown, SD back in the 50s, traveled all over the state playing his rockabilly and, just like that, Peaches was running away to see Sherwin Linton shows.

I made it over to Lake Harriet with the hope of talking to Sherwin and getting his okay to use him in the book. I was early and noticed Sherwin walking up the aisle, shaking hands and chatting with everyone in attendance. Perfect. I slipped onto a bench about four rows up from where he was. Row by row he laughed and shook hands and I practiced my quick pitch: Would you mind be a character in a novel? Have you ever met Bob Dylan? [In my book he encounters Dylan before Bob became famous.]

Sherwin made it to the row ahead of mine, reached out to shake a man's hand, then turned—standing right smack in front of me—and said: “Sorry I can't meet ya all but I got a show to do.” And he headed to the stage.

The show itself was a good old time. Sherwin's gruff voice, loving banter between he and his wife/vocalist Pam, plenty of pedal-steel guitar—even a 13 year old sweetheart of a guest singer.

I bought a couple of Sherwin Linton for President bumper stickers and hung around for a second shot at speaking with the man. Finally he turned to me. I shook his hand and said, “This might sound strange but I'm using you as a character in a novel and I'm hoping you don't mind.” He smiled broadly and asked about the book and if I'd written others. I explained Peaches running away to see his shows and them meeting again later in life. He handed me his card—as I handed him mine—and said he was “flattered” and “tickled pink” at the idea.

You can even use my real name, if you'd like,” he said a couple of times—possibly under the misconception that my books are widely read.

Thank you, Sherwin! I hope I can do you justice in the book.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

On Stocking Shelves


There's nothing quite like getting to schlepp a new supply of books over to Magers & Quinn after my readers all but cleaned them out. Satisfaction! Even discussed a book launch for my next novel with Annie, the book buyer, after I mentioned that there's at least one scene that takes place in their very bookstoreand several more down the street at the old Uptown Bar. We also discussed a new distribution option that will require a hike in my prices, which she admitted were pretty low. Hear that? PRETTY LOW. So, if you've been planning to buy, buy now or pay a couple bucks more later.

Did a reading the other night that I've failed to mention. Another Cracked Walnut affair, this time at Golden's Lowertown. Went over quite well.

Oh, and that Amazon page length snafu I mentioned in my last post was finally cleared up after only three short weeks. Thanks for tuning in!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

On the phone with Amazon Customer Service


A week ago I noticed that the page count was off on my last book, THE ADVENTURES OF HANK FENN—listed as 235 pages, actually 268. No big deal. And correctable, according to the immediate reply I got from my email to Amazon's customer service. Today I noticed it had yet to be corrected and pressed the 'Call Me' button on their feedback page. I explained my situation to the associate who called me back. I was asked for my email and billing addresses.

So, what is the name of the device?” she says.

It's not a device, it's a book.” I say and am put on hold. A while later another associate gets on the line, asks for the same addresses and the the name of the book. I comply.

So, when did you purchase the book?” she says.

I didn't purchase the book, I wrote it,” I say and am put on hold.
 A while later an associate from Author Central gets on the line.

So, Will,” he says, “I understand one of your books is listed incorrectly at 200 and some dollars?”

It'll be 3 or 4 days before the situation can be corrected.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

On May 23



Come Monday, May 23, I'll be reading at Golden's Lowertown with Ethna McKiernan and other fine local writers as part of Cracked Walnut's Spring Literary Festival. “Detached” is the theme and I'll try to be that.

Never did blog about my Lowertown Pop experience. I managed to sell 23 books, doubling my yearly total to that point (not counting those read through Amazon's library set-up). A successful and interesting endeavor to be sure.

My work-in-progress, The Great American Scrapbook, is turning into pretty much of a regional novel, as it's set mainly in south Minneapolis and the Uptown Bar back in 2003-04, though trips to Mount Rushmore and back into the 50s connect it with the other four books in my Americana series. I'm about halfway through it and, I must admit, have no idea where it's really heading.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On Lowertown Pop

Preparing for the Lowertown Pop event Saturday in Saint Paul. I'll be there at the Union Depot trying to sell my books. I wish I was doing a reading, maybe from a high-wire, naked, over a flaming gorge—something less stressful. I believe I'm the only writer selling. The advertising makes no mention of booksellers. I'm an experiment.

I already asked the woman who gave me my tax ID # if I still had to file if I made no sales. Yes, I do. At least I got that covered.

Zero sales aren't my worry. At least then I wouldn't have to worry about the damn Square Reader stuck into my phone that seems to work with every fifth swipe of a credit card.

My sister, Susan Tinkham, has worked hard on a looping video with photos and blurbs about the novels. Even now she's scrambling to create a poster to bring the customers in. My boss, Carin Olson, volunteered to assist me in this venture. Here's hoping she doesn't spend six hours watching me hand out a bunch of business cards—the cards, again, my sister's work.

Okay, I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Got the card reader. Check. Stole easel and table from work. Check. Priced books at $9.29, $10 even with tax to limit change making. Check. Business cards. Check. Books. Check. Signed. Check.

I keep thinking, I'm a writer not a retailer! Guess it's time to lose that attitude.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tell your friends!



Got my MN tax ID and sent in all the forms, so it looks like I'm set to peddle my wares at LowertownPop in St. Paul on April 9. Here some info. It features: “local artisans and craftspeople, brewers, bakers, distillers, street performers, artists, and musicians,” which may leave me as the only writer there. We'll see how that works out.

Just finished up a 24-straight-day period where 3,000+ pages of all four of my books were read on Kindle Unlimited. I get paid something per page from a pool of some amount divided by a multiple of pages, readers and writers, minus the square root of Amazon's take and rounded down to the nearest penny. I know it sounds complicated but it is. My thanks to the fellow in Wisconsin who liked a sample of Hank Fenn he read, read the whole book and then the other three, and told his friends—who all seem to enjoy Unlimited's $10-a-month, all-you-can-read deal. Tell your friends!


Wanna flip rather than swipe? Shop paperbacks in store and online at Magers & Quinn, Uptown, Mpls.

Monday, January 18, 2016

HANK FENN on sale!

My latest novel, The Adventures of Hank Fenn (Americana Book 4) is out in paperback and digitally at Amazon. Paperbacks are also available in store & online at Magers & Quinn, Uptown Minneapolis. It goes like this:

For Hank, Sam never became Mark Twain. As a riverboat pilot, Sam saved young Hank from the crushing paddle wheels as the boy stowed away on the City of Memphis. Sam returned Hank to Minnesota when news reached downriver that Hank's mother was on trial for killing the father Hank had run away from. Years later, in a barber's chair prior to his mother's funeral, Hank reads a frog story that's awful close to a tall tale Sam once told. The magazine claims it's written by a fellow named Mark Twain.

The Adventures of Hank Fenn sends Hank searching the West—and then the East—for Mr. Twain. All along he and Sam exchange letters and make plans that never seem to get them together—Twain always on the road or abroad. Hank does find hatred and brutality while railroading and mining throughout this new frontier. He finds Calamity Jane in a Wyoming mining camp and Custer breaking treaties. He finds the Emperor of these United States. Ultimately Hank finds love, boys to raise and gold to unearth on a Black Hills mountaintop.

Thanks, Will

PS: An interview from last month concerning an earlier novel, Bonus Man.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On sale now!

The Adventures of Hank Fenn is out and available in paperback and digitally at Amazon. The hope is that Magers & Quinn will be carrying it by the end of the month (I'm not even due to receive my copies till Jan. 27).

2015 saw me publish three books which all started out fine sales-wise then fizzled over the last half of the year. Somehow I have to get beyond Facebook and business card word of mouth and move on to another level. All in all, the 103 copies sold were far more satisfying than the 100-plus rejections I likely would've received had I continued on the more traditional path.

There's talk of a trade show this spring (at which I may be the only writer) at the Union Depot in St. Paul. I'd have to figure out how to set up some sort of slide show (been watching Youtube videos) involving book covers and blurbs. And what if someone wants to buy one? Taxes, credit cards... And what if no one buys one? Then I'm stuck with a bunch of books... So much to learn.

Meanwhile I work on book #5, The Great American Scrapbook. It's the long-awaited sequel to Alice and Her Grand Bell. The much-anticipated sequel to No Happier State, too. And The Adventures of Hank Fenn, for that matter. Come to think of it, if you're worried about those quadruplets born on that train, it serves as a sequel to Bonus Man, as well. And a prequel to more...