Cesar Torres interview

On the eve of the release of his short story collection The Twelve Burning Wheels, I had a chance to chat with writer, gourmand and strongman Cesar Torres. Read on for Cesar’s views on writing and snout-to-tail-cuisine. You can read my review of Torres’ collection here. Continue reading


The 12 Burning Wheels review

As many writers know, waiting for inspiration to strike is not the best recipe for creative productivity. Having some time between novel manuscripts, author Cesar Torres challenged himself to pen twelve stories in twelve days. Armed with nothing but a handful of ideas and some serious writing chops, Torres crossed the gap between desire and the dreaded blank page to produce The Twelve Burning Wheels. The reader is led by the hand down into the rabbit hole to discover a mescaline-tinged world filled with wonder, strangeness and dark things rippling just below the surface. Continue reading

E-book/iPad news roundup

Macworld asks if publishers are finding iBookstore terms hard to swallow, and also thinks Amazon’s e-book marketshare could plummet. Meanwhile, Ars Technica reports that newspapers and magazines are less keen on the iPad than book publishers, and also has an interesting piece on the White House embracing e-books. Continue reading

Finding that creative space

Losing my MacBook Pro two months back was devastating. That may sound like hyperbole, but bear with me — I spent at least 8 hours a day on my laptop. I easily banged out over 1,000,000 words of fiction on it, two non-fiction books, dozens of freelance projects and countless emails, blog posts and tweets. It traveled with me on photo shoots below sea level in the Mojave desert and hitched a ride when I hiked to 11,000 ft in Colorado in near-zero conditions. I’ve professionally edited terrabytes of photos on it. As a Mac user for 20 years, my entire creative mindset is tightly integrated with the OS X environment. Continue reading

New story published, works in progress

My latest story can be found in M-Brane Magazine Issue #13. Follow the previous link for subscription info, or individual PDF/print copies can be purchased via M-Brane’s Lulu store (I believe Amazon.com order info is still pending). Gracing the cover is Naura Hayden.

Other stuff — novelette (that’s such a cute word) A Terrible Splendour is being shopped (read: sitting in a slush pile) to multiple editors, and my newest story is in revision.

Why we need publishers

I was going to craft ‘the iPad post’ but thankfully told my urge to go stand in a timeout corner for two weeks. As it turns out, it’s not about what the iPad is/is not, but how Apple’s entry into the e-reader market is changing the industry. The buzz quickly focused on the Amazon/Macmillan dustup and the general notion that writers do not need evil corporations to publish our work. No longer will writers like John Kennedy Toole die in obscurity, with their genius posthumously (tragically!) recognized decades later.

Which is bullshit. I was going to write a screed on why we won’t be insta-publishing our masterpieces, but Cat Valente has already written a wonderful post on why traditional publishing is not dead.

My post on annoying self-promotion via twitter is still in the timeout corner; I can’t seem to strike the right balance without sounding whiny on one hand or preaching to the choir on the other. Besides, every other sentence contains the phrase ‘social media douchebag,’ which is not a good thing.


Picked up “2666” to participate in the group read hosted by Las Obras de Roberto BolaƱo. At 912 pages, I won’t be tackling other books on my to-read pile any time soon…

Rien du tout, mes amis

After nearly a five-year hiatus, I decided to resume blogging. The timing is right: with upcoming stories nearing publication and other creative projects in the chute, I needed a ‘homebase’ for my writing, personal and professional. I had considered Facebook but can’t stand the twee/cloying barrage of kissie badges, winks, pokes and deluge of Mafia War invites. Swartzfeger.com could be resurrected, but I’m too lazy to muck with .asp or spend the time to convert my server over to linux/apache/php — plus ‘vanity’ URLs seem so self-referential/narcissistic/early 00’s to me. WordPress seems to be the perfect balance of form and function. And it’s free.