They say that catching up is hard to do, and now I know…I know that it’s true.
Especially when I’ve been away from this blog for so long. But I’m going to try — with my apologies if this turns into a laundry list. The laundry, at least, is lemon-scented and clean.
I spent most of yesterday at Seton Hill University, doing what we writing mentors do, and meeting with Heidi Miller and Mike Arnzen, co-editors of the newly released and very impressive anthology of instructional essays, Many Genres, One Craft. I have an essay in the book, as do 50 or so other writers. If you are a budding fiction writer, you might want to take a look: http://manygenres.blogspot.com/.
For other recent essays from me related to creative writing, check out “Writing Out Loud” in the May issue of The Writer, and “Why I Read” in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s April 29 issue of The Chronicle Review. Another short piece, “Ten Easy Steps To Becoming A Writer,” will appear in a future edition (probably this summer) of The Chronicle Review.
Other news: The Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, June issue, is home to a recent short story of mine called “Snap”; my novella “The Indian” will appear in a future issue.
Meantime, if you are a collector of limited editions, my slipstream novella Flying Fish will be released in the United Kingdom from PS Publishing toward the end of this year. Nebula Award nominee Christopher Barzak said this about Flying Fish: “The setting, the characters and their working class background, the mysticism and philosophy that infuses it, and the completely natural and down-to-earth story of a young man learning how to see outside of himself into the rest of the world is a pitch-perfect story that shimmers like light on water.”
A comment like that is always very nice to hear, but what makes this book so special to me is that the cover art has been done by my oldest son, Bret Silvis. His artwork combines whimsy with dark forebodings, and makes for a cover that becomes increasingly startling the longer you study it. Bret was the first of my two most prized and priceless collaborations, and now he and I have embarked on our first artistic collaboration. Very satisfying indeed.
If you’re just into reading but not collecting, Flying Fish will also be available as a trade paperback. And if you aren’t inclined to make the trip to England for a copy, you will be able to order it from the publisher at http://www.pspublishing.co.uk.
The Boy Who Shoots Crows is scheduled for a December 6th publication by Penguin/Berkley, and the advance buzz is sounding very good: Grant Jerkins, author of A Very Simple Crime, calls it “a real stunner.” Says Harry Dolan, author of Bad Things Happen, “Silvis writes with an artist’s eye for detail, and his story is expertly plotted, traveling along unexpected paths on the way to its devastating conclusion.” From Thomas Lipinski, author of Shamus Award winner Death In the Steel City: “Silvis presents a mystery so beautifully written and with characters so alive that the mystery itself becomes immaterial. Read it just for the prose.” And from New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, “Poetically written, finely-wrought, richly imagined, and finally as surprising as it is devastating, The Boy Who Shoots Crows is a literary thriller of the first order. Randall Silvis gets to the hearts and souls of his characters like few other, if any, novelists.”
And that’s all the literary news I have to impart on this sun-splattered Sunday morning. I think I will spend the rest of the day cruising on my motorcycle: risking death for low flight/down a lonesome country road/shot with sunset/while the magic melancholic light of dusk/slips the grip of time and eases/gravity’s drag…/two wheels and the wind/and a continent between my hands.