Category Archives: Tyrannia

Tyrannia is out, and there’s a lot to be thankful for

Well Tyrannia has finally come out officially, while in fact I was recovering from hernia surgery. So I’m doing a bit of catch up. But I wanted to thank the people (in the spirit of the week) who helped make the book possible. I’ve written the stories but any book is truly a collaborative effort as a physical (and digital) object.

    My wife Kristin for being the first listener for many of the rough, rough versions that these polished stories eventually came from.

    The writing group that I was a part of that included Kristin, Lena DeTar, Dave Schwartz and Haddayr Copley-Woods. Tons of great and thoughtful feedback for many if not most of these stories.

    The magazine and anthology editors who took a shot on many of these stories, including (but not limited to): Sheila Williams, John Klima, Susan Groppi and the Strange Horizons editors, Chris Barzak and Meghan McCarron, Jessica Crispin, and Doug Lawson. Actually I think that’s everybody. These blog posts are incredibly improvisational, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Gavin and Kelly and Jed and the rest of the Small Beer crew, copy editors included. Working with them has always been a joy and a true collaborative effort.

    Kevin Huizenga for the killer cover.

    The indie bookstores, particularly the local ones here in the Twin Cities, who have been supportive of local writers such as myself throughout the years. Special shoutouts to Magers & Quinn, Common Good Books, SubText, Dreamhaven, and Uncle Hugo’s.

    My day job. I work at a great ad agency that’s always been supportive of my writing endeavors and chooses to treat employees in a manner that doesn’t suck out their souls. Pro-tip: This is a good thing.

    My son and daughter who are turning two on Monday, which I absolutely cannot believe. Perhaps that’s a longer blog post, but I know that being a parent has, for sure, changed me as a writer–and putting them first has made me a better person. They are also hilarious.

    Readers. Readers, readers, readers. Without audiences for books–without that ongoing conversation–writing would be a very lonely craft indeed. So anyone who’s bought or lended one of my books, thank you.

    And I know I’m missing a lot of people: those in colleges and universities who have invited me to speak and teach, everyone involved at the Twin Cities Book Festival and Rain Taxi (I started writing for Rain Taxi in 1999! Seriously!), my family and wife’s family, all my writerly and nonwriterly friends…well, you get the picture. I’m incredibly grateful.

The Philip Sidney Game and reading

My story “The Philip Sidney Game” is now live at Interfictions Online. I had written a little something about the story for Small Beer Press:

Diving into the writing of “The Philip Sidney Game” was a strangely autobiographical process. I had to let my wife Kristin know that I was writing her as a character in the story. After she read it, she said that she didn’t sound like herself. I probably didn’t sound like myself either, but there was a version of me within the core of that story that was added to the many other layers of “me.” That, too, is a speculation, just as much as Philip Sidney’s use of magic. But as the rails fell off the story (by design) near the end, I entered a place where I wanted to write directly, as Alan DeNiro, to my readers—and a poem seemed to be the best way to do that. So it was fun to be able to incorporate that other side of me into a story.

It’s also the capstone story for Tyrannia, which should start to become available in bookstores.

And I’m reading on Wednesday night at SubText Books, in the basement of Nina’s Cafe on Selby and Western in St. Paul. 7 pm. Would love to have you come out; it will indeed be a lot of fun.

upcoming readings and events

With the new book Tyrannia coming out very very soon, I have a few events coming up. First off, last week I read and sat in some classes at Minnesota State-Moorhead and had a great time. I read “Walking Stick Fires”, mainly because I wanted to read a story from the collection that had a (mostly?) happy ending. So there’s that. Fargo-Moorhead is actually an interesting area, kind of a crossroads of the old frontier mentality and new world of oil money. It was a vibrant downtown with a lot going on. Moorhead proper still looked like it still was figuring out how to move forward and claim some sort of identity, for what it was worth. But on the way home I drove back the long way, through Detroit Lakes and came across a neat little bookshop in Wadena. Wadena was a weird mix of empty storefronts and some really interesting experiments in pavement culture (a teen cybercafe, for example).

Anyway…the big launching event for the book is the Twin Cities Book Festival! I’m really excited to launch this book here since I’ve been to nearly every Book Fest since it first launched and have volunteered in some capacity or another at most of them. This year I’m tying in a reading/presentation/cyber-thing with my interactive “game novella” (made in Twine) that I released a few months ago, We Are the Firewall. I definitely have seen that as a digital ancillary to the stories in the book, so it should be a fun pairing and very participatory. I’m also hoping to rope in social media without making it seem too, well, “new for the sake of the new.”

That will be Saturday October 12, and I will be there ALL DAY. In some capacity. Fried or not. But it will be awesome. Tricks up sleeve, etc. etc.

I’m also doing a reading with David Schwartz and Kat Howard at Dreamhaven for the Glitter & Mayhem anthology. My story “Unable to Reach You” has appeared in that fine anthology. This will be Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30pm.

Finally, I’ll be reading at Subtext Books in St. Paul (the old Common Good, underneath Nina’s), which will be the evening of Nov. 13

All these events are in my appearances tab. Hope to see you around soon!

new short story collection forthcoming: Tyrannia

I am really pleased to announce that my third book (and second short story collection), entitled Tyrannia, will be published by Small Beer Press in the Fall of 2013! I’m thrilled to be working with Small Beer Press again, and to go out and meet readers face to face in the world.

I’ll post more as more info becomes available (such as the cover, the final TOC, and so on).