Solid Jackson Reading on Nov 4; More News

14606434_2126155184276951_2120107325737057729_nHi, all. A few notes to update, including that I’ll be reading on Friday November 4 at the new Solid Jackson Books location at 3925 Farnam Street in Omaha, starting at 7pm sharp. (See here for more info.) Joining me on the bill are poets Trey Moody (author of Thought That Nature) and Jeff Alessandrelli (author of This Last Time Will Be the First). The three of us were senior readers together for Prairie Schooner a few years back–more than a few now, I guess–so it will be great to share work from our first books and a special night all around, as Jeff and Trey recently moved back to Nebraska, and are new to Omaha.

In other Bad Faith news, a strong review of the book recently appeared on Necessary Fiction. Many thanks to Greg Walklin for his analysis here and excellent riffs off of the Nebraska Nice ad campaign. “Most of the characters in Bad Faith aren’t nice, and Wheeler plumbs that not-niceness throughout. The Pythagoreans talked of good as definite and finite, and evil and indefinite and infinite. Niceness may make for a slogan, and a friendly face to provide directions, but it is often just a veneer.”

Check out the Bad Faith book page here on the site for links to all the reviews and press the collection has received to date. I’ve been pleased with the reception the book has received, especially as a small press book, and am very grateful for the coverage. The book has been out for three months now, with a couple events still on the agenda. In addition to the November 4 Solid Jackson reading, I’ll also be reading at East City Books in Washington DC on Wednesday February 8, 2017, an off-site during the AWP Conference. This is the Key West Literary Seminar Workshop Alumni reading with Amina Gautier, Paula Whyman, Jay Desphande, and Sam Slaughter, something I’m thrilled to be a part of.

Also, if you check out my events page you’ll notice that I’ve already booked the first appearance to help launch my debut novel next year, as I’m scheduled to read from Kings of Broken Things on Friday, September 15, 2017, at the Writers Place in Kansas City.

Speaking of Kings of Broken Things, there’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes to get the book ready for publication next year. You can pre-order the Kindle edition for one thing, if you’re so inclined, with the bones of the page coming along over there. The publication date is set for mid August, and an audio edition of the novel is going into production too. How cool is that?! Copyedits were finished up last week and the process is moving along apace, with a cover and galley editions not too far off. !!! !!!

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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.

Bad Faith Now on Kindle (Plus a Request)

Bad Faith, my collection of short fiction, is now available in digital form via the Kindle format! And at the bargain price of $4.95. Click here if you’re interested.

The print version is still for sale, of course, at the still reasonable $15.14 for such a collector’s item, also over at Amazon. If you’d like to buy the book in person, check out the book page here for a listing of independent bookstores who have Bad Faith in stock. Many of these stores should have signed copies, fyi. (Or, if you’re tight on cash, you can always request that your local library purchase a copy. Or enter my currently open Goodreads Giveaway contest.)

If you can, please rate and review Bad Faith on Amazon and Goodreads. It may not seem like much, but having the book rated on these forums really does help a lot with the algorithm that suggests books to others and how much attention my novel will get next summer when it comes out. I’d really appreciate the help.

Thanks so much to everyone who has bought a copy of the book, either online or in person, and to those who stopped by at an event this summer. It’s been an exciting first month for Bad Faith. Traveling 17 out of 30 days, to 12 different cities, in 10 different states, for 11 lit events and readings. I had so much fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones, all while learning the ropes of what it’s like to be on book tour. Thanks for sharing the experience!

Bad Faith Cover Preview!

Bad Faith final pngCheck out the awesome wrap-around cover for my short story collection Bad Faith! The cover was designed by Brian Mihok with artwork by Michael Mihok. Brian does all the covers for Queen’s Ferry Press, and I’m really excited about what he’s done with Bad Faith. This definitely has the QFP feel to it while also representing the book pretty well too. Thanks to Brian and Michael, and to QFP Editor Erin McKnight for all her hard work in helping to get everything just so.

PS: I heard that the advance reader copies went out to book reviewers last week, so we’re getting there.

PPS: Check out my events page, as some book tour dates have been added. I’ll be out on the road reading with Tyrone Jaeger (So Many True Believers) and Dave Madden (If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There) in early July, with stops in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Iowa City, and Des Moines, in addition to Omaha and Lincoln. Thanks so much to QFP publicist Kelsey Hall for setting these up. I’m hoping to secure a few dates on the coasts soon too, so stay tuned.

“Attend the Way” Published in Heavy Feather Review’s “Vacancies” Anthology

Photo by Jason Teal.
Photo by Jason Teal.

Hey, everyone. The editors of Heavy Feather Review now have in their possession the actual copies of their most recent anthology–“Vacancies”–and are shipping out orders. If you didn’t pre-order the anthology, now’s your chance to order one for yourself.

Vacancies just so happens to contain a short story by Theodore Wheeler titled “Attend the Way.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Most all he has now are clothes and most of them are ratty. Olive work pants the city gives him, a bunch of tee shirts. Rodney mows grass in parks and vacant lots, around abandoned houses. He has a hot plate in his room, on a table next to his bed because he likes to cook lying down. There’s a pine closet that sticks out from the wall by the door and his twin bed is angled so he can look out the window. His girl had a TV and paid for cable. Rodney kind of misses watching what was on each night, especially in the summer after mowing was finished. He misses lying on the couch with his girl too, even though he won’t let himself miss her. Most of the time it’s more comfortable to be alone, that’s how he sees it. Rodney’s legs are hot and he doesn’t like being shut up in a room with somebody else whose legs might also be hot.

Thanks to Jason and Nathan for selecting the story, and to everyone who helped this one along.

New Stories from the Midwest 2013: Honorable Mention

Same as last year, I’m a little slow in posting this, but nonetheless I’m happy to note that my short story “The Current State of the Universe” was named as one of “Thirty Other Distinguished Stories” in the latest edition of New Stories from the Midwest.

This is the second year in a row that my work achieved notice there. I’m pretty proud of that, as this year’s edition features fiction by Mary Morris, Rachel Swearingen, Roxane Gay, Steve De Jarnatt, Ian Stansel, and a bunch of other great writers.

“The Current State of the Universe” was originally published by The Cincinnati Review as winner of their Robert and Adele Schiff Prize in Prose. Buy the issue here.

Be sure to check out New Stories from the Midwest 2013, from New American Press. Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham do a great job putting this together, and it’s something Midwestern writers in particular should be proud of and support.

New Stories from the Midwest, 2012: Honorable Mention

I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but I should note that New Stories from the Midwest 2012 (aka Best of the Midwest) has been released from Indiana University Press and is ready for your consumption. While none of my work is included in this fine anthology, “The Approximate End of the World” (published by Boulevard of all places) is included as one of “Thirty Other Distinguished Stories.” Never let it be said that I wasn’t distinguished in defeat.

The anthology does include work from such luminaries as Dan Chaon, Charles Baxter, Anthony Doerr, Lee Martin, Christine Sneed, and Mark Wisniewski, among other great writers, and was guest edited by John McNally. According to the jacket copy, “The stories, written by Midwestern writers or focusing on the Midwest, demonstrate that the quality of fiction from and about the heart of the country rivals that of any other region.” Damn right!

Be sure to check it out if you’re interested. Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham do a great job putting this together, and it’s surely something Midwestern writers in particular should support.

of Love & Death

I’m not sure how I missed announcing this earlier–seeing as I did mention, last year, that a digital version of my “The Housekeeper” is for sale on Amazon as part of the Mixer Countdown–but, better late than never, it bears announcing that Mixer’s debut print anthology, of Love & Death: heartburn, headaches, and hangovers is now for sale on their website!

If you haven’t yet read “The Housekeeper”, or are looking for a print version, the anthology is a good one. Here’s more:

of Love & Death: heartburn, headaches, and hangovers features award-winning writers Kate Braverman, Kirstin Allio, Myfanwy Collins, Tom Bonfiglio, Danny Goodman, Sam Decker, Daniel Grandbois, and many, many more. Structured in three parts, the anthology first explores the joy and pain of early relationships, then marriage, and finally family. of Love & Death is subtle, profane, tragic, lewd, thrilling, insightful, sad, provocative, painful, hilarious, insane, occasionally murderous, and authentically powerful–capturing the beauty and ugly of real life in all its variations. 15 stories in three parts–a rare thematically structured anthology that can be read as a composite novel of life.

I’m usually better about announcing these sorts of things–so I apologize for being late to the party on this one. For more about “The Housekeeper” and its multivaried path to publication, check out what I wrote about the story here, here, and here.

[Ed. note: It looks like my review of Christopher Narozny’s novel Jonah Man is scheduled to go up on Kenyon Review Online on November 7. So forget all those annoying election post-mortems and instead opt for some timeless literary criticism.]