Unlike hobos, you weren’t born to walk alone! We begin with some riffs from Derek from Shader, talking about such record nerd subjects as Zappa, rock critics, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Following this, we are treated to some observations on a Whitesnake concert as well as a crucial lyric difference between the 1982 and 1987 recordings of the band’s anthemic ballad, “Here I Go Again.” Then, two readings from two different Daniel Nester books: the “Mr. Bad Guy” chapter from God Save My Queen II, and “Notes on My First Girlfriend” from Shader. Music provided by UrbanSurfer, written by Eric Schnorr.
Speaking of podcasts, I talked with writer/editor Dan Higgins about Shader for hew new Dan Reads Books podcast.
I had fun digging into discussions on writing, the retrospective voice, interviewing family members for research, and how working class memoirs lack bourgeoisie group-hug endings. It should pop up on the podcast’s iTunes feed soon, and the Soundcloud link is embedded above.
Got some good news en route to AWP last week and am only getting around to announcing it here: Shader has been nominated for a Firecracker Award!
The Firecrackers have been around for more than 20 years and they promote indie publishers and small presses that put out books. I remember when Soft Skull used to get a couple Firecrackers, back when it was an indie press–this is almost 15 years ago–and it was a big deal for them. Well, it’s a big deal for me now as well.
Check out the list of nominees here.There are a lot of great fellow nominees in the Creative Nonfiction finalists, so actually winning the thing is another matter altogether. Like the people at the Academy Awards say, it’s just great to be nominated.
The National Book Critics Circle has this great website called Critical Mass, and I’m thrilled to have an essay published there are part of their “Second Thoughts” series, where authors “write about books they’ve had reason to reassess over the years.”
My essay is adapted from a chapter in Shader on The Good Bad Boy, a book by a priest and published by a Catholic press, which I remember loving. I had a much different reaction to it, however, when I bought a copy 30-odd years later for research purposes. Read the whole thing here.
One semi-interesting sidenote: for a hot minute, I was going to call my book The Good Bad Boy, as sort of an homage. But after telling a couple people at a reading said they didn’t like it, and one of heckled me while I read, shouting things like “That’s a terrible title!” and “I do branding for [name of energy drink here], so I know!” I decided against it.
Check it out! Shader lands at #2 for Small Press Distribution’s bestseller list for October-December 2015. And that’s only after being released on November 15. Thanks to everyone for supporting, reading, and buying the book! You’ve made this a great 2015, and 2016 is looking pretty good as well.