Fun with Alternate Covers

Omaha1919_S.gifEarlier 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!

Lost in Iberia

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.

 

Kings of Broken Things Cover Reveal!!!

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!wheeler-kings-of-broken-things-final-front-cover

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.

 

Omaha’s Armistice Day Parade, 1918

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.omaha001

 

Photos from the Road: Bad Faith Book Tour ’16

The summer photo dump spectacular continues! Here are a bunch of photos from the bookstore readings I was a party to this summer while out promoting Bad Faith, my debut collection of short fiction.

On to the photos in a second, but first, thanks to all the booksellers, book buyers, and bookstores along the way for your hospitality and hard work. And a special thanks to Dave Madden, Amina Gautier, and Tyrone Jaeger, my compatriots out on the road. This was such an amazing experience and I couldn’t have found any better people to share it with.

Photos of Trains

Amid all the great news lately about my forthcoming book publications, I’ve still been hard at work on my next novel. The novel is something I’ve mentioned a few times here and read some work-in-progress excerpts at Solitude Nacht and Fair Use reading events. This novel is set mostly in 2008. This makes research a little easier than it was for Kings of Broken Things, of course, which is set during World War I, so we’ve taken advantage of this mild Midwestern autumn to head outside and scout some locations that figure in the book. Railroad bridges in Plattsmouth, Nebr., various eateries and locales in Chicago. Fun stuff! It’s been a while since I did a travel post and I like some of these shots. Here you go.

 

 

Omaha Uninitiated: Live from Solitude, 2.19.15

A couple months ago I posted some photos from my February trip to Stuttgart and performance of “Omaha Uninitiated: Stateside Race Riots & Lynching in the Aftermath of World War I.” Now the art, science & business program of Akademie Schloss Solitude has posted some video of the performance on their web site for the ongoing “Quotes & Appropriations” series. Unfortunately the video and music montage portion of Omaha Uninitiated–basically Darren Keen’s part–can’t be put online because of copyright laws. That’s really too bad, as Darren did some great work. However, if everything goes as planned with the novel that’s based on this same material we’ll be reprising Omaha Uninitiated before long in even more venues.

Thanks so much to Jean-Baptiste Joly, Lotte Thieroff, Valeska Neumann, Hagen Betzwieser, and everyone at Akademie Schloss Solitude for making this possible, and more specifically for producing this video. Also, a special thanks to The Durham Photo Archive, Omaha Public Library, and Omaha World-Herald for the use of images presented in the video.

Check it out!