All posts in Books

  • Three Days of Night is Now Available!

    I’ve been attempting to play the slow game of book-selling. In what may or may not be viewed as somewhat dickish behavior, I have purposefully been letting the news about my novella release come in dribs and drabs. If I’m completely honest, this may be rooted in a bit of fear. Fear of what, I’m not sure. But sometimes we get afraid of our successes, and this might be that for me.

    Anyways, the happy news is that Three Days of Night is available on Amazon. I’ve already had some success with it, which is incredible. It’s been on two Top 100 lists, and still clings onto one of them. I’ve also already made back a little more than 10% of the money I sunk into its publication, so that’s reassuring. I’m optimistic that I can break even on it before the year ends. What? I never said I was an optimistic optimist.

  • Book Talk: Start With Why

    As a devourer of books, I end up with all kinda of things on my To-Read list. There’s usually a disproportional amount of science fiction, fantasy, and social justice books on my list. Occasionally, there are random outliers that fall into the category of “You’re Reading WHAT?!” Start With Why by Simon Sinek is one of those books. It is, at its heart, a book on business management.

    I Am Not A Businesswoman™  ← This is probably the first and foremost obvious thing about me. There is no planet in the universe where I would ever be mistaken for a businesswoman. Even if wearing a suit.

    Especially if wearing a suit. That is, in fact, me doing my best impression of a lady wearing a suit. I even did my hairs. If we’re all honest, I couldn’t even pass off being a businesswoman on TV, and have you seen what TV-land thinks businesswomen look like? It’s hilars.

    I might have business cards (Fun Fact: I have business cards!), but that doesn’t make me a businesswoman. So it’s somewhat perplexing that I’m currently reading a business management book. Right before Christmas, even. I mean, what the hell?

    Start With Why was recommended to me by my favorite librarian and farm-enthusiast, Colleen. She is also not a businesswoman, which continues to make this whole thing very perplexing. As far as I know, neither of us even harbor secret dreams of running away and then running a business. We both would prefer to run away and pet some sheep. See? We’re both totally too irresponsible to ever be businesswomen.

    I actually forget why she recommended me this book. I’m beginning to worry this may, in fact, be a problem considering the whole book is about Why. And yes, Sinek does capitalize Why because it’s just so gosh darn important.

    I haven’t finished reading it yet, so I can’t vouch for or speak to the second half of the book. The first half, however, is surprisingly good. Relevant, even. Sure, thus far every example is about how ~awesome~ Apple is and how sad and whiney and pathetic every single other business on the planet is, as well as one random example of how Hitler and JFK are brothers of another mother. Though seriously, this Simon guy has a huge boner for Apple, Inc. Disclaimer: I do too.

    Start With Why is all about flipping the design and communication processes on their heads in order to be more inspiring. Inspiration is apparently a way better customer than bribery. As someone who has worked quite a bit in the Special Education field, I find this interesting. I always start with the why of things when dealing with difficult behaviors. Why is x-behavior happening? How are we going to fix it? What are we going to do specifically? Badabing, badaboom.

    The Why → How → What model is actually an incredibly effective problem solving tool. In fact, it’s pretty much one of two options, and is the vastly superior one. So why is this some major revelation for dudes in the business field? Are people who go into business really that inept at solving problems? Wait–don’t answer that.

    In other news, the second serial of The Immortal Circus, written by the irreverent Alex Kahler came out today.

  • Alex and The Immortal Circus

    This is still really hard for me to process sometimes, but a whole ten–yes, ten, one-zero, 10–years ago, I enrolled in a fancy shmancy boarding school to study writing and film. It still feels surreal to realize that was over ten years ago. I feel like I haven’t been alive long enough to have had meaningful life experiences ten years ago. But here we go. Ten years ago I embarked on the journey to become the person I am today.

    I’ve met a lot of people on this journey. Some people have played bigger parts than others; others have occupied minor roles in the playbook of my life. In my life’s movie poster, there are very few people who would preempt this guy:

    That there is Alex Kahler, aged 19, circa 2006. And he’s probably going to kill me for posting this picture for the universe to see, but I give zero shits about that. I love this man, and when I think about him, I think of him exactly as he is in that picture: happy and refusing to grow up (at least on anyone’s terms but his own). We met at Interlochen, and spent much of our junior and senior years attached at the hip. There was definitely one semester there where literally all but two of our classes were together. We spent a lot of time fantasizing about our future lives of being super serious writers of esteemed literature while simultaneously dreaming up punk gay Peter Pan adaptations. I’m not quite sure how we resolved one with the other.

    Anyway, most of my happiest memories from high school involve that guy. Whether it was my first foray into hair-cutting which resulted in what would become a signature hairstyle of his for awhile, or eating ice cream in sub zero temperatures while standing in four feet of snow, each moment we spent together shaped who I am today. And while our friendship has drifted and stretched as we both went to college, and then he ran away to Europe, each time we reconnect, it’s as if no time has passed at all.

    Even with me telling you all this, I don’t think you can even begin to comprehend the joy I had (and still have!) when this happened exactly one week ago:

    Yes, it’s true. One of my bestest friends in the whole world has been published. Like, for real published. Which is amazing. And what’s even better is, thus far, the book is also amazing. Not that I would expect anything less of Alex.

    The Immortal Circus is currently being published as an Amazon Serial over at–you guessed it–Amazon. As of today, only the first couple chapters have been released. And if you love the circus and magic and maybe even a little sex, then this book definitely fits the bill. I’ve always had a very healthy respect for Alex as a writer, and so I was expecting very wonderful things from his first offering. And I wouldn’t be lying if I said he exceeded even my incredibly high standards for what I consider worthy of a “good work, Mr. Kahler.”

    I’m a very impatient reader, and I was skeptical I’d be willing to put up with the serial release, even for one of my nearest and dearest. It’s killing me, but it’s worth it. He’s definitely done a fantastic job of introducing his characters and sucking me right into his world of carnies, circus freaks and faeries. So far the only thing I don’t like is the A.R. Kahler business. Sorry sir, but you’re always gonna be Alex to me.