Pop has a publisher!

This is BIG news! My pop has gotten to the point where he’s pretty happy with the polish he’s applied to his first novel, The Boxcar Kid. He’s been working hard on it for quite some time now, and he has serialized it into three separate books. He’s taken the job of finding a publisher very seriously, researching the “right” way to go about it, attending writer’s conferences to get networked, and even working up an extensive marketing plan.

It’s finally all paid off, as he’s been approached by ArcheBooks Publishing with a serious offer to get published! I really like the look of the publisher – they’re targeted at helping new writers establish long-term careers. They publish only nice hardcover editions, but complement that with ebooks with generous licenses, and have lots of other smart approaches to publishing. Way to go, pop! I’ll update this as more news rolls in. In the meantime, check out the website I set up for an introduction.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! Love ya! Hope that free lunch at Iguanamia hit the spot!

UPDATE: Not content to share the spotlight with me mum, my dad decided to smash his car into bumper-to-bumper traffic, causing the three cars in front of him to take damage. Poor guy! Talk about your roller coaster day. He’s recovering now, with a sore chest thanks to hitting the seatbelt and airbag pretty hard. I know you’re on a roll, pop, but slow down and take it easy for a bit! Hope you feel better soon.

9.0 44 Scotland Street, Espresso Tales

These two Alexander McCall Smith novels were originally written as a serialized newspaper column, just like Robert Louis Stephenson used to do. I’ve really enjoyed his light touch and wonderful character development – he floats effortlessly between dozens of characters, with lots of interesting perspectives on life.

In one of Alexander McCall Smith’s short stories, I remember him talking about a poet who wrote under different pseudonyms, each with a different personality. The protagonist stated that in our day, the poet would have been psychoanalyzed as a schizophrenic and his poetry would have been sterilized into diagnostic fodder. Luckily, Smith can get away with displaying multiple personalities in such a masterful way that we can all just indulge.

9.5 Great Expectations

Now that I added a “books” category I might as well fill it up a bit with stuff I’ve read recently.

A rich look at life in a different time, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations will take you to a place where class really mattered, but then shows that regardless, people are people, and the richest and most affluent can be the poorest and least happy, and vice versa.

Other recent quick-reads: Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs series (hilarious), H.G. Well’s The Time Machine (which stands against the test of time), J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye (will be a great re-read for the rest of my life), and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped (pure fun).

8.5 Freakonomics

A lot tighter than Junk Science, this book targets a few completely random subjects with statistical analysis, most often with unpredictable results. Crime related to abortion rates, the true hazards of daily life (e.g., wet bathroom floors – ala Gavin de Becker), nature vs. nurture, etc. What makes the book resonate is the truth that bubbles up from the clinical statistical approach – any presumption is fair game, resulting in some great insights. I wish Junk Science had felt that true.

P.S. Thanks to Gary, he’s been my source for current popular nonfiction lately. :>

4.0 Junk Science

This book proposes an interesting premise – in corporate-owned capitalist America, we all know we’re constantly bombarded with deceptive exaggerations and even bold-faced lies. When the lies are packaged as “scientific expertise”, a(nother) rather fat ethical line is crossed. This book attempts to defuse those who would profit from such manipulations. Read More