Over the past few months, we at Atticus Books have discovered the real-world paradox that the busier and more exciting this little press of ours gets, the less it shows on our website. Sure, we’re blaming it on all sorts of things, from the launching of our online journal, Atticus Review, to the signing of a slew of new authors for 2012, to an ever-more-rapidly-growing spreadsheet of book queries labeled “Unevaluated.” But the fact of the matter is that our authors are active and interesting guys (still looking to sign that elusive female author…) and to prove it, we’re sharing all the goings-on of this buzzing hive once a month. But first, let’s get caught up on August and September, shall we?There are two things we pride ourselves on. Who are we kidding, there are a lot more than that, but Steve Himmer (The Bee-Loud Glade) has taken on a couple of them in an essay that explores what makes us readers and one that questions what we all mean when we brag about being “indie.” Over at The Millions, Steve argues that “[i]t’s a mistake to rarify reading and put books out of reach…That kind of thinking not only makes fewer readers, but might unmake the ones already forming. In an era of reduced library budgets and hours, closing bookstores, declining sales, and lost readers, discouraging anyone, of any age, from picking up a book they’re interested in seems like the last thing we should be doing.” Steve’s also reviewed Stacey Levine’s story collection The Girl with Brown Fur. Speaking of reviews, we have to give serious kudos to Alex Kudera (Fight for Your Long Day) for turning a lukewarm review of his own book at The New Dork Review of Books into an enlightening exchange on the blogger/novelist relationship, what makes for a good review and whether bad ones have a place in the small press world. Be sure to also check out Part 2 of the interview, an investigation of the profound impact bloggers have on today’s publishing industry.
John Minichillo (The Snow Whale) is sowing his creative seeds all over the internet with a new story at Smokelong, a musical playlist for his novel at Largehearted Boy, an interview at the Nashville Scene, and a piece at 3 Guys One Book titled “Why I Wrote a New Moby Dick.” Oh, and an interview at Fictionaut in which he points out the essentially competitive nature of both writing workshops and mentors. Minichillo fans in the Nashville area can catch him reading at the state capital on Friday, October 14 as part of the Southern Festival of Books.For readers closer to the D.C./Baltimore area (howdy, neighbor!), Tracks author Eric D. Goodman will be hosting Lit and Art at the Watermark on Saturday, September 24 (5:30- 8 pm) as part of the Baltimore Book Festival. We’re especially excited about the upcoming Tracks Release Party, 5-8 pm at the estimable Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point, Baltimore (a pub with an excellent beer selection which makes an appearance in the novel!). And if you can’t make it to see Eric in person, you can always catch up with him on the airwaves: tune into the podcast of Eric’s interviews with NPR’s Maryland Morning and From the Inkwell.
Bookstores across the country have been graced with the presence of Atticus authors throughout August and September. At The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY, Joe Zeppetello (Daring to Eat a Peach) and Tommy Zurhellen (Nazareth, North Dakota) teamed up with poet, writer and Atticus Review contributor Djelloul Marbrook for a reading and discussion of their latest works.
For now though, Tommy has fled New York for the upper midwest to research his forthcoming sequel, Apostle Islands (August, 2012). So far, his misadventures with bears, border patrol and the Bad River reservation have been well worth following on his tommyzurhellen.com.
And he’s not the only jetsetter among us. J M Tohline (The Great Lenore) has just wrapped up a whirlwind of a book tour, making stops all up and down the east coast, from North Carolina to Nantucket. We’re looking forward to his settling back in and picking up his ongoing “What I’ve Learned” series at jmtohline.com.
Caught up yet? Not quite. While our already published authors are clearly kicking up some dust, we’ve got some serious (and not-so-serious) tricks up our sleeve for 2012. Keep your eyes open for updates on the authors we’ve signed, the books we can’t wait for and the projects we can’t get enough of.