The event schedule for the launch of my novel Kings of Broken Things is coming together for the next couple months, with a dozen regional events already on the books. Check out the events page to see where you can find me, with new events being added through the end of the year.
In the likely case that I’m not coming to your town and you’d like to purchase a signed-copy, just email firstname.lastname@example.org at the Dundee Book Company and it can arranged for a personalized copy of Kings of Broken Things to be sent your way. Or if you’d like to send one to a friend, just let me know who to inscribe the copy to and where to send it.
Fyi, Dundee Book Company is the roving bookstore that my wife Nicole and I are starting this fall. We’ll be setting up our new custom-made barnboard bookcart (newly built by our friends at Barnboard & Salvage in Des Moines) that we’ll be setting up at three or four events each month in Omaha. For a while we’ve lamented the need for an indie bookshop in our neighborhood, and hopefully DBC helps fill that need in some way. We’ll see where it grows (we’ll have an online store open soon) but for now we’re excited to get our cart and its six shelves of awesomeness out around Midtown!
Some more good news to share, as my novel Kings of Broken Things was named by Barnes & Noble a “must-read indie book coming this summer” on their B&N Reads blog. It was a surprise to find this one out and a nice honor. With pub day coming in exactly one week I’ll take all the help I can get. Plus, it made me feel justified in Googling my name right before bed last night. Ha.
Here’s what B&N Reads has to say about the book:
In a story set in 1919 that informs our understanding of the events of today, Wheeler focuses on three distinct characters as they make their way in post-World War I America. An immigrant finds prosperity and belonging in the new sport of baseball, a woman being kept by a married man searches for a way out of her constricting life, and a rootless man is drawn into a life of crime. As waves of traumatized soldiers stream home from Europe and black migrant workers head north seeking a better life, everything leads up to the Omaha Race Riots, an explosive moment in America’s history ripe for a literary examination.
Check out all the author copies and other amazing goodies that were waiting for me at home when I returned from Lisbon. As you can see, the hardcover, paperback, and audio editions of Kings of Broken Things are ready to go for the formal launch date of August 1. In the meantime, a couple weeks remain in this month’s Kindle First program, if you want to get a digital version of the novel early for only $1.99.
I’m so happy with how the book turned out, in all its different mediums. From the small details on the cover (and on the inside hardback) to the feel of the paperback to the cadence of the audio edition. It really is a touching experience to see the level of attention paid to getting these things right. Thanks and kudos to my editor Vivian Lee and everyone on my Little A team.
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.
Praça do Comércio, Lisbon.
Cais das colunas, Lisbon.
Church at Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Lisbon.
Crazy sea boulders, Cascais.
At Sole e Pesce with CCB, Lisbon.
Beach drinks, Barcelona.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, just around the corner from my place in Lisbon.
Beautiful views in Cascais.
Sardine tapas at Sol e Pesce, Lisbon.
Beach in Cascais.
View from Aljube, Lisbon.
Bookmobile parked outside our visit to the US Embassy, Lisbon.
Sagrada Família, Barcelona.
Miradouro breakfast, Lisbon.
Jamón in Barcelona.
Mural in Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
Golden Gate Bridge, sort of, Lisbon.
2D sculpture, Barcelona.
Green sea rocks, Cascais.
The rocky outcrop we sunned on at Cascais.
On the Tagus River with Amina Gautier.
Amazon Publishing and Little a are conducting a Goodreads Giveaway this month for my novel, giving away 100 free Kindle editions of Kings of Broken Things to those who are selected.
For the uninitiated, you have to join Goodreads in order to enter the contest; once you’re a member just click the “Enter Giveaway” button on this page. It’s pretty easy.
I’ve only ever won a book once, but I love Goodreads Giveaways. Free books! Well, possible free books. Anyway, you can’t win if you don’t play.
This is some special news I’ve been sitting on for several months–so it’s with great pleasure that I share that my novel Kings of Broken Things is a Kindle First selection for July!
For those who don’t know, Kindle First is a free program that offers early access to select books from across Amazon Publishing at a discounted price. So, while my publication date remains August 1 for the print and audio editions, anyone in the US can get the Kindle edition early for $1.99, or for free if you’re a Prime member.
Anyway, click on the link for more information. It’s a great deal and a special honor for APub authors. Only six books a month are chosen and they must be nominated by their edition to be considered. Thanks so much to my amazing editor Vivian Lee and the rest of the team at Little a for pulling this together.
Here’s what Vivian had to say about Kings and why she nominated it for the program:
“It is 1917 and Omaha is home to a diverse array of refugees and immigrants from war-torn European countries. Jake, Karel, and Evie are coming of age in a time of increasing nationalism, xenophobia, and political corruption. And with wounded soldiers returning from war but finding their jobs have been filled by black migrants from the south, Omaha now looks to be a tinderbox of racial resentment, gleefully stoked by the corrupt, moneyed politicians running the town. Wheeler masterfully creates multiple layers and hidden depths in these characters and the worlds they inhabit in restrained, yet powerful language. Intertwining scenes of the annual Interrace baseball game, a town navigating a false accusation that leads to the real-life lynch mob that burns down parts of Omaha in what is now called the Red Summer of 1919, and the characters’ acts of love and survival in all their complicated forms, Kings of Broken Things is heavy, yes, but will stay with you for a very long time. To quote PEN/Faulkner finalist Julie Iromuanya, ‘This book’s relevance, in the context of today’s concerns, cannot be overstated.'”
Check out today’s Omaha World-Herald, which named Kings of Broken Things one of 13 must-read books for this summer! We’re less than six weeks out before pub day and it’s amazing to see this go out across the city and interwebs.
Thanks so much to OWH for calling Kings a novel of “special interest to locals” that’s getting “national attention.”
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Check out this latest interview about my story collection Bad Faith that was posted today on the Emerging Writers Network!
EWN: Where do short stories fit within your life as a reader?
TW: I enjoy magazine or journal short stories as sorts of beautiful found objects. My house is often littered with magazines and books that come in the mail, and it’s a certain pleasure to pick up an object and read a short story inside without knowing what the story is about or even who the author is most of the time. My reading list is often crowded and probably too carefully curated, so that sense of surprise and wonder that comes from spontaneously jumping into something new is often lacking. Short stories, particularly stand-alone stories, fill this need in my life as a reader.
The first short review of my forthcoming debut novel Kings of Broken Things was published this morning on Kirkus Review! A thoughtful and generally insightful review, it’s pretty exciting to see my book being critiqued after working for nearly a decade researching and writing. Only 77 days until pub day! Let the sleepless nights begin.
Read the full review on Kirkus–and pre-order your copy now if you haven’t already. Here’s a sample of the review:
“Underlying the novel is a taut racial division, illustrated by the yearly interrace baseball game and culminating in a false accusation which incites a sickeningly vicious lynch mob. For its descriptions of the violent outcomes of prejudice and political misconduct, this novel at once illuminates a savage moment in history and offers a timely comment on nationalism and racism. An unsettling and insightful piece of historical fiction.”