Pale Hearts reviewed in Compulsive Reader

I am thrilled to share Compulsive Reader’s review of PALE HEARTS.  Reviewer Ruth Latta had many kind things to say about the book.  She also took the time to write in detail about some individual stories. The stories she focused on were somewhat different than the ones that occupied the greatest part of my attention, and it was refreshing to see the book through someone else’s eyes.

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I particularly appreciated the assessment that “the fifteen thought-provoking stories in Pale Hearts are both literature and entertainment.”  I’m starting to realize that I sit right in the middle of the great supposed “literary” and “genre” divide.  I love Melville, Flaubert, and Faulkner.  I also love Stephen King and Michael Crichton.  I find a lot of so-called literary fiction pretentious and boring, while many great genre fiction books are overlooked by the literary world.  Some of my favorite contemporary authors, like Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, and Donna Tartt, are people who don’t fit neatly into genre/literary distinctions.  I hope I can achieve that balance in my own work.

Upcoming writing workshop

Calling all central Minnesota writers and readers! Join me this Thursday for a writing workshop and reading at New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in New York Mills, MN.  Here’s the workshop description from the Cultural Center’s website:

Join author and visiting artist Emily Eckart for an interactive writing workshop. After discussing basic elements of fiction common to all stories and novels, participants will get to try their hand at creating characters and story settings. After the workshop, Emily will read an excerpt from her new book, Pale Hearts, to kick off the Center’s monthly Open Mic night (7-9pm). Both the workshop and Open Mic are free to attend and open to all!

The workshop runs from 6-7, and afterwards there’s an open mic from 7-9.  All ages and levels of experience are welcome to attend!

Out and About With Pale Hearts

It’s been a fun first month for Pale HeartsMy first reading was at Trident Booksellers in Boston.  The atmosphere in this bookstore is especially nice because they have a cafe, so reading attendees can relax with a glass of wine or a snack.  Although I had a cold, I forged through and had a great time.  I’m so grateful to all the enthusiastic people who came!

Next up was a book signing at Richards Memorial Library in North Attleboro.  I was there as part of their Local Authors Fair.  It was wonderful to meet other authors from the area and see their books.

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In other news, Pale Hearts is now available at Norton Public Library.  Richards Memorial Library will also be adding a copy to their collection.  I was so excited to see my book right in the middle of Norton’s new books shelf.

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It’s great to see Pale Hearts listed in the library catalogs.  (Also, how fitting that Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” comes up as a related result!)  If your library is part of the SAILS network in Massachusetts, you can request Pale Hearts.  But you’ll have to wait–the book is currently checked out!

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Dispatch from book launch

Pale Hearts is out in the world! The books are printed, orders have shipped, and my first book signing went wonderfully yesterday.

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I’m so grateful to the readers who stopped by!  I was impressed to hear that someone already read the entire book on Kindle.  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to say hello, and thanks especially for buying the book.  I am truly appreciative.

My next event is on November 7, when I’ll be reading at Trident Booksellers in Boston (7 pm).  I’m looking forward to it!

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In other great news, Pale Hearts made it to the shelves of Harvard Library!  I’m very thankful for and excited about this development.

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Putting a few copies on my personal shelf realized a lifelong dream.

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Independent publishers that accept fiction submissions

Looking for a publisher?  Here are some independent publishers that accept submissions of fiction.  Note that for most of these publishers, you first submit a query, synopsis, and sample chapters.  If they are interested, they will ask for the full manuscript.  Some small publishers have started hosting contests with substantial reading fees.  The winner of the contest gets their book published.  I do not recommend this strategy, as odds of publication are low and the fees add up quickly (usually they are at least $25).  The publishers listed below do not have submission fees.

For further research, Poets and Writers has a list of small publishersWriter’s Market (published yearly) is also a helpful resource.

Black Lawrence Press — free open reading period is June 1-June 30

Black Rose Writing

Bronze Man Books

Coffee House Press — watch for their open reading period

Dock Street Press

Dorothy

Educe Press

Hopewell Publications

Insomnia Publishing

Jellyfish Highway (UPDATE 5/4/18: Defunct)

Leapfrog Press (UPDATE 5/1/17: A commenter notes that Leapfrog now charges $33 for fiction submissions, which they’re only accepting through a contest. This is an unfortunate development.  Once again, I don’t think writers should pay to submit to contests, as chances of publication are slim.)

Louisiana State University Press (Yellow Shoe Fiction Series)

Outpost 19

Persea Books

Rescue Press

Tailwinds Press

Twisted Road Publications

Two Dollar Radio ($2.00 fee–I included this since the fee is small)

Vandalia Press (imprint of West Virginia University Press) — reopening for submissions in 2017

Zumaya Publications

Pale Hearts is available October 4th!

My long-anticipated short story collection will be available for sale on Amazon exactly one week from today!  The collection includes 15 stories: some that appeared only in print, a few online favorites, and 5 all-new, never-before-published stories.  In this book, I explore the idea of crime, from the newsworthy (arson, kidnapping) to the everyday (lies, betrayal).  You’ll read about a young girl who poisons her best friend, a college student who steals a classmate’s ring, and a journalist who contacts the girl she once bullied.  What causes these ordinary people to make such bad decisions?  You’ll have to read the book to find out!

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First book, first residency

I am very excited to announce that my first book, a crime-themed short story collection titled PALE HEARTS, will be released by Insomnia Publishing later this year.  Stay tuned for more specific updates!

In addition, I was just awarded my first artist residency.  I’ll be spending a month at New York Mills Regional Cultural Center to work on my novel, a story about the rivalry between two teenage classical musicians.

Recommended reading: The Privileges by Jonathan Dee

Picture of book coverThis novel examines the ambitions of Adam and Cynthia Morey, who ascend from the middle class into the realm of the wealthy–thanks, in no small part, to Adam’s adventures in insider trading.  The Moreys are narcissistic, shallow, and materialistic, but somehow compelling in their shameless grand devotion to vice. Yet the characters never become caricatures.  Despite all their flaws, the Moreys remain loyal to each other as a family.  Adam and Cynthia both have opportunities to cheat on each other, but choose not to.  Cynthia is a caring mother, not only to her own children but also to her daughter’s troubled best friend.   (I found these to be surprisingly touching developments; dysfunction is in vogue as a literary subject, and it was nice to read about a fictional family that actually stays together.)  The Privileges is at once entertaining, unsettling, and beautifully written, making for an enjoyable and memorable read.