Hey, loyal readers. I hope you’re doing well. Things have been busy here around the Wheeler homestead, what with a few more readings to promote Kings of Broken Things, I spoke with Mary Hartnett on Siouxland Public Radio about Tom Dennison’s legacy in Omaha, saw Kings named as having one of the best book covers of the year by Book Riot, and most recently appeared on the Writing Fun YouTube channel to talk about the process of writing historical fiction and whether or not I’m into the MLB post-season even though the Royals didn’t make it this year. (Meh.) Along with teaching fiction writing at UNO again this fall, starting Dundee Book Company, and that whole full-time job and family thing, I’ve been busy.
A couple more things.
First, I’d like to point out that the hardcover edition of Kings of Broken Things is now 49% off at Amazon. I know many of you already have the book, but if you don’t yet have a copy, or don’t yet have the beautiful hardcover version, and have been waiting for the price to drop online, here you go.
Lastly, Carrie Meyer from the Durham Museum was kind enough to send along some images from our awesome Objects of Inspiration event at the museum a few weeks ago with my fellow Omaha historical novelists Timothy Schaffert and Andrew Hilleman. It was such a fun event, made even more special by the select artifacts that Carrie had pulled from the Durham’s archive. Specifically related to Kings, there was a WWI-era doughboy uniform and an amazing zither. See below for the full gallery. (All photos were taken by Dawn Myron and appear courtesy of the Durham Museum.)
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going in-studio with Lincoln City Libraries director Pat Leach to talk about my new novel Kings of Broken Things on NET’s All About Books program. On Wednesday the interview aired statewide on Nebraska’s NPR affiliates!
If you happen to be out of broadcast range, fear not, you can take a listen to the podcast version on the NET website.
This is the third time I’ve done a radio interview, this being the biggest by far, all of which have been recorded in studio. It’s a lot of fun, specifically learning some of the tricks of the trade and of course getting the exposure. Actually hearing my voice on the radio was a little jarring at first (The producer promised he’d make me sound smart!) though that too was pretty cool. The reception to Kings of Broken Things has been great so far, in particular having the opportunity to talk about the book in venues like this.
Stay tuned, as I spoke with Mary Hartnett of KWIT Siouxland Public Radio over the phone on Friday and will be making my Iowa public radio debut soon.
Here are a few more photos from my events this month. Between the release of Kings of Broken Things and the launch of our “roving” bookstore (Dundee Book Company) I took part in an even ten events this month, ranging from traditional readings to launch parties to street fairs, radio spots, a cocktail party, and finally setting up last Sunday at my grandparents church. It’s been exhausting and exhilarating to talk to so many people about the book, and the events start up again this Friday when touring-author Zachary Schomburg and I will read from our debut novels at Solid Jackson Books. See you soon!
Special menu for 1887 Society event at Mercury Lounge. (Photo by Omaha Public Library)
A warm welcome to the Lincoln launch of Kings at Indigo Bridge Books.
Working the room at the 1877 Society cocktail party. (Photo by Omaha Public Library)
Gallery of authors at the 1877 Society event, including Tosca Lee, Cat Dixon, myself, Liz Kay, Lydia Kang, and Leo Biga. (Photo by Omaha Public Library)
Waiting for studio time at NET before recording my NPR debut.
Some exciting news for a Tuesday, as Kings of Broken Things was recognized by Book Riot as having one of the best book covers of the year! Check out the full list for what look like some great books, and kudos to Book Riot for going there and judging a bunch of books by their covers. As I mentioned last week, it’s a beautiful cover, so I’m glad to see it get some much deserved recognition.
Some other news:
-An excerpt from Kings was posted this morning on Schloss-Post. Thanks to Akademie Schloss Solitude and online coordinator Clara Herrmann for putting together the post. Most all the promotion for the novel has focused on the race riot, so it’s nice to bring a little focus to one of the more character-driven elements. In this case, the chapter introduces Evie Chambers, the female lead in the novel, and sets up her life as a kept woman on Omaha’s Capitol Avenue.
-I have a few events in Omaha and Lincoln coming up in the next week or so, which includes being on a panel of historical novelists at Oak View Barnes & Noble on Sat Aug 19, a reading at Indigo Bridge Books in Lincoln on Tue Aug 22, and a cocktail reception with the 1877 Society and Omaha Public Library Foundation at Mercury Lounge on Wed Aug 23. If you’re in the area, come on out and say hi.
Earlier in the process of putting together Kings of Broken Things as a book, there were a number of sketches from artist Christina Chung that we went through before the team zeroed in on the concept that would become the image that’s on the cover. Personally, I really fell in love with the idea of the riot igniting a fuse that runs under the institutions of the city, in particular the level of detail that went into depicting actual buildings from that era of Omaha. The kind of attention makes the cover so very special to me, and, along with the image being mirrored on the actual hardcover itself, takes the packaging to a new level. All the great work put in by Christina, my editor Vivian Lee, and title sequence designers Faceout Studio is very much appreciated. Still, it’s interesting to think about the other early concepts we didn’t pick and what it would have looked like if one of them had evolved into the final cover.
Talking over email this week, Christina Chung sent me a gif of another of the sketches that she developed into a full-fledged piece of art. It’s so cool I wanted to share it with you all as well!
Of the image, Christina said, “A personal piece drawing parallels between the events of the summer of 1919 in Omaha, Nebraska to the problems we face as a society in 2017.” Check out a sharper version of “Omaha, 1919” on more of her work at www.christina-chung.com/2017/2/7/2017/2/7/omaha-1919, and, in the meantime, wonder what might have been.
Have a great weekend! I’ll be back with much more in this space soon, including some photos from my book launch party and my first Kings of Broken Things reading at the Bookworm on Sunday!
Here are some choice photos from my last couple weeks hanging out in Portugal and Spain! The Disquiet International Literary Program is what brought me to Lisbon–and I had a blast with the other participants with all the events and bar nights–but I was also able to fit in a couple side trips too. It’s been pretty great to recharge spiritually before my first novel comes out in a few weeks. (Have I mentioned Kings of Broken Things yet? Order now!) On the spiritual restoration score, mission accomplished! But my body is a little beat up. So much fun though.
Golden Gate Bridge, sort of, Lisbon.
Church at Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Lisbon.
Beautiful views in Cascais.
Beach drinks, Barcelona.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, just around the corner from my place in Lisbon.
On the Tagus River with Amina Gautier.
2D sculpture, Barcelona.
Mural in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
Beach in Cascais.
Jamón in Barcelona.
Cais das colunas, Lisbon.
Sagrada Família, Barcelona.
Sardine tapas at Sol e Pesce, Lisbon.
Praça do Comércio, Lisbon.
Green sea rocks, Cascais.
The rocky outcrop we sunned on at Cascais.
Crazy sea boulders, Cascais.
View from Aljube, Lisbon.
At Sole e Pesce with CCB, Lisbon.
Miradouro breakfast, Lisbon.
Bookmobile parked outside our visit to the US Embassy, Lisbon.
I’m so excited to share with you the front cover of my new novel Kings of Broken Things, out from Little A on August 1!
The cover turned out so well, I couldn’t be more pleased and excited to share the book with you all this summer. Thanks are due to Christina Chung, who did the illustration, and Vivian Lee, my editor at Little A, who painstakingly worked through many versions until this was just right. Their hard work paid off big time, in my opinion. What do you all think?
The book is now available for pre-order in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audio editions. The audio edition is a new addition, for all you road warriors and commuters out there. If you’re so inclined, put in your order now and have the book arrive on August 1.
I found this photo of the Armistice Day parade in Omaha on the awesome web site Influenza Encyclopedia, which has an extensive archive that details how the Spanish Flu epidemic decimated the US during the height of World War I. It’s really an impressive archive and is beautifully put together. Given that it’s Veterans Day today, it seemed appropriate to share a glimpse of what Omaha’s streets would have looked like about 98 years ago.