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Catching Up With Our Current Authors 4: William Maxwell

January 7, 2013


William Maxwell is the author of our up-and-coming dark fantasy thriller, Shadow Path.

LLS. What writing project are you currently working on?

WM:  “Taste for the Dark” is a pulp detective novel set in a present-day occult Los Angeles. In a world where magic has replaced technology and gods and spirits run rampant, Peregrine Dunn is the one you want on your side if you want to find out why a crime occurred. When a Templar Knight hires Dunn to look into a simple Possession & Entering, Dunn understands it’s more than just a simple job. From pacts with ancient spirits to gods created by committee, it’ll be a miracle if Dunn can keep his skin intact on this case, let alone keep his soul.

LLS: What book are you currently reading?

WM: “Mongolian Cloud Houses” by Dan Frank Kuehn. Because my wife insists that I need to build myself a Hemingway Hut.

LLS: What is your favorite bookstore or library?

WM: I love going to the Los Angeles Public Library (any of them really) with the kids. It’s magic for them and a treasure for me. I can request any book in the immense system and have it sent to me or I can just root around in a strange branch and see what I pick up.

LLS: What are you busy with when you’re not writing?

WM: A few things!

a) I’ve been hired as the Operations Coordinator at the TAMIT program, which means I’m helping the local tribe run a high school after-school program for American Indian youth striving to get into college.

b) I’m working on founding a Makerspace in the San Fernando Valley, basically a place where people can get together and make all sorts of cool and interesting gadgets for fun and business.

c) I’m chipping away at an open-source educational project that invites teachers and students to create a game-space, where they can use role-playing (both live and simulationist) to study what they’re supposed to learn in school.  It’s RPGing for fun, but in a way that everyone feels comfortable coming in and playing.

LLS: Bonus question: What’s the best snack to have while reading?

WM: Seaweed. Liking gnawing on tiny whispers of the ocean. 🙂


Catching Up With Our Current Authors 3: Ron MacLean

November 14, 2012

Ron MacLean is the author or our up-and-coming literary thriller, Headlong.

LLS: What writing project are you currently working on?

RM: I’m working on a new group of short stories (eventually a collection) which explore reactions to danger, loss, and fear – in both intensely personal settings, and as these things affect entire communities. Two examples: a small western Canadian town with a troubled history tries to come to terms with an unsolved mystery as a series of human feet wash ashore one autumn; a story that takes place in a butcher shop, told entirely from the perspective of a blind (talking) rabbit as he tries to escape the blade of the butcher’s cleaver.

LLS. What book are you currently reading?

RM: Mink River, a novel by Brian Doyle

LLS: What is your favorite bookstore or library?

RM: So many local bookstores I love, so I gotta shout out for two: my home away from home, Tres Gatos in JP (wine and tapas, too); and Porter Square Books, such a good friend to writers

LLS: What are you busy with when you’re not writing?

RM: Creating the perfect fish taco, plus, oh yeah, teaching and the day job

LLS: Bonus question!: What’s the best snack to have while reading?

RM: Hmm. I tend not to snack while reading. I’ll have to investigate. (Best snack for writing = pistachio nuts)

Catching Up with Our Authors 2: JC Miller.

October 16, 2012

JC Miller is the author of Vacation.

LLS:  What writing project are you currently working on?
JCM: I recently completed a solid draft of Believing in Bigfoot, a novel.
LLS: What book are you currently reading?
JCM: Because You Have To, a Writing Life by Joan Frank… HIGHLY recommend this brave and heartfelt work to anyone living the paradox of business of creativity.

LLS: What is your favorite bookstore or library?
JCM: My local Copperfield’s Books
LLS: What are you busy with when you’re not writing?
JCM: Teaching at the community college, day-dreaming about traveling to England to promote my forthcoming Vacation, enjoying the arrival of fall.

LLS: Bonus question: What’s the best snack to have while reading?
JCM: Hands down, a protein smoothie—everything else mucks up the pages.

Catching Up With Our Current Authors: William Vinson

October 10, 2012

William “Santa” Vinson is the author of Vinson’s Christmas and Other Oddities

LLS. What writing project are you currently working on?
WV: Launching a Christmas-themed comedic work of non-fiction. This one. And writing spec scrips for random folks (goddamn Los Angeles).
LLS:  What book are you currently reading?
WV: None! I’m a filthy philistine! I’ve been catching up on the last few years of Vertigo comics and graphic novel thingies (Fables is great, who knew? Everyone but me, that’s who). I also chronically re-read Poe, but does that really count?
LLS: What is your favorite bookstore or library?
WV: Ha, good one! I’ve been addicted to Amazon and eBay since 1997, so I’m part of the problem. I guess I like Soap Plant / Wacko.
LLS: What are you busy with when you’re not writing?
WV: Working on random projects, and fixing networks and computers and people’s attitudes. Lately I’ve been trying to convince myself that the clicking sound when I drive isn’t a CV joint.
LS:  Bonus question: What’s the best snack to have while reading?
WV: Whiskey is good. Redbreast if you’re buying… Jamesons if I am.

Rest In Peace Mr. Engeldrum

August 2, 2012

David Engeldrum died on July 29. I did not know the man personally, but I know his writer’s voice, a refined blend of comedy and self-consciousness, often mixed with a hint of sadness. I know his writer’s perspective: a belief in the surreal, that life might take a wicked left turn at any moment and pull the rug out from under you, a belief in the messiness and ambiguity of life. His writing showed that he carefully weighed his word choices, that he was willing to make words his art.

I was first contacted by David in 2011, when we were open to submissions, and he sent us his short fiction collection, Adulterated.  Adulterated was kicked around here for a while. The writing was clearly sophisticated, but- from my editorial perspective- some of the plot elements just weren’t working out for us. Three different people read it with three different takes. Finally, I contacted him and made an offer; we would publish Adulterated after cutting a few stories and asking him to revise a few more.

David and I engaged in some email dialogue and finally came to an understanding. It was only after we both had committed that he let me know that he had  Glioblastoma, brain cancer. That was in April.

Over the next few months, we exchanged a few emails, and he sent updated versions of three if his stories, then on May 3, he sent me a correspondence that he was going to be participating in a clinical trial at the National Cancer Institute. That was the last message I received from him.

On July 30, a family friend sent me a note that he had passed away.

Despite the fact that I spend a lot of my time writing and communicating, I have a hard time framing a narrative about my feelings towards death, except to say that it stings, and that it makes life feel stripped-down and hollow. He was 45, and I’m sure David had many dreams and plans for his future. I am so sorry and sad to hear that he is gone.

If you would like to make a memorial donation help support Mr. Engeldrum’s daughters in the wake of his passing, please send a check to:  D. Engeldrum Children’s Education Fund, at Box 1197, Bellmore, NY 11710.

– Armand Inezian

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