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River Boat Books

Anal-retentives

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1RickHarsch
Nov 12, 6:50am Top

Sure, there is a promotional aspect to this thread, but many of you have read one of their books (or more), for they published my Skulls of Istria and The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas, and The Mad Patagonian, which was really written by Peter Damian Bellis, the publisher. They also published Larry Riley's translation of the second half of Roberto Arlt's novel The Flamethrowers, an historic event in Latin American lit for English readers. And I have invited George Salis to join, the author of Sea Above, Sun Below, due out this May.
George's book is his first published novel, and it is interesting to see how first novels are treated. If they get enough attention there is much excitement: a new novelist has arrived! But then there is a built in drag: it's ONLY a first novel, he's young, not bad for a young feller that book.
Other first novelists are also going to be published this May: two of them friends of mine over 60 years old, Deben Roy with Brown Man in White Light, an Immigrant Romance and David Vardeman's short novel An Angel of Sodom, plus seven of his shorter works. AND then there is a middle aged first novelist from Slovenia who writes in English, Bori Praper, with Cynicism Management, a Rock and Roll Fable, which is what I would call a romp.

Last year the press did a horrible job promoting the books, but this year the release date is being pushed back repeatedly for the very reason that promotion is necessary and they keep needing more time. Goodreads turns out to be a better place for promotion than LT, but my aim here is to speak with friends about my books and those of my press, written by my friends, and even by me.

I have a second book coming out with Eddie Vegas, my baseball book, written last year, a diary following my son's season: Walk Like a Duck, a Season of Little League Baseball in Italy. We're looking for advance readers, but the ideal reader is a bookman who knows baseball, literature and has an interest in history and culture. On the flap, one reader, the only one so far, has said it is an antidote to George Will, which is exactly how I would like it to be known.

2baswood
Nov 12, 7:00am Top

Looking forward to the new release date for the re-print of The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vargas

3RickHarsch
Nov 12, 7:40am Top

What you'll get is a table of contents, which is missing from the advance version. In a book that has 'Rabelaisian lists' culminating in a RL that is strange, funny, and absolutely accurate (the names of every nuclear test the US performed on itself, 1070 of them), the table of contents to my mind constitutes the first list. 50 plus chapters with fun names.

4RickHarsch
Nov 12, 7:48am Top

Writer sensitivity.

Recently a lamented the fact that Mac couldn't GIVE my book away. I actually viewed that wryly and also understand why some would rather Mac not pay for a book they can pay for themselves.

But here's my favorite tale of the world telling a writer to give it up.

I wrote a book about all the streets on the island portion of Izola called Wandering Stone: the Streets of Old Izola. The Slovene translation was dedicated to a recently dead local artist. The English was dedicated to my brother John. The publication became a race. Would the book be finished in time for me to bring one to the US, where my son and I were going in August of 2017? The publisher made many promises he didn't keep, the final one being that if he didn't get it done before I left he would send a few books to the US by rapid post so I got it in time to give one to my brother, whom I would be seeing my last weekend there. He did send it, but about 5 days after he needed to. So the books went to a friend in the US, who mailed the copies out to the intended recipients, one of them my brother, who lives in an apartment building in Milwaukee. In that building the packages are left in the vestibule and are often stolen. So it went with my book, dedicated to him. We don't talk much so I only asked him several months later what he thought of the book. Never got it, he said. Several months later, the apartment manager approached him with my book, asking if it might, given that our family name is the same, belong to him. Yes, by golly, that was the book. It had been stolen by another tenant, who left it behind when he moved. So I was forced to deal with the fact that someone stole my book and thought so little of it that he left it behind when he moved.

5RickHarsch
Nov 13, 10:23pm Top

Our man George Salis has spoken up. Let's see if he has anything to say about RBB? George?

6George_Salis
Nov 14, 2:11am Top

RBB was only one of 2 presses that gave my first novel a chance (I sent the manuscript to around 100 presses). I chose RBB over the other press because of The Mad Patagonian, which speaks for itself. And I have stayed because of a great writer you may have heard of. His name is Rick. It is a great feeling to be on the same roster as ol' Harsch.

And yes, my novel is a first novel. But think of it as a prelude or an hors d'oeuvre to tie you over for the massive tome that is in the works and halfway done. Titled Morphological Echoes, it has sumo wrestlers battling atom bombs, preemies flying paper airplanes out of burning buildings, Neanderthals hunting a mammoth made of smoke and fog, a boy born from the core of the moon, Pharaohs with incestual mutations, infant kings, singing glaciers, and much more.

Until then, there is my first novel which could exist within the cosmos of the work-in-progress.

Here is the description:

Upside-down lightning, a group of uncouth skydivers, resurrections, a mother’s body overtaken by a garden, aquatic telepathy, a peeling snake-priest, and more.

Sea Above, Sun Below is influenced by Western myths, some Greek, some with biblical overtones, resulting in a fusion of fantastic dreams, bizarre yet beautiful nightmares, and multiple narrative threads that form a tapestry which depicts the fragility of characters teetering on the brink of madness.

It is available to order here (the first 100 copies are signed limited editions): https://store11170962.ecwid.com/Sea-Above-Sun-Below-p156052359

For international orders, there is a special price that includes shipping here: https://store11170962.ecwid.com/Sea-Above-Sun-Below-Special-Order-International-...

What some others have said:

“While his characters struggle in their own ways to find transcendence in the transient passage of their earthly lives, Salis crafts transcendence in the very language of his poetic novel.”

– David David Katzman, award-winning author of A Greater Monster

“Sea Above, Sun Below is a second coming of demoted wanderers and is made of the starstuff needed to extend the life that doom guarantees.”

– Barton Smock, author of Ghost Arson

“I have never been more tempted and never more afraid to fall than after reading Salis’ creation. Sea Above, Sun Below engulfs you into the thoughts, fears, and lives of the complex individuals he has created. Winding through fallen skydivers and lost legends, every page brings an intense captivation that leaves you craving the next. Salis weaves myth and fantasy through science and rational thought so intensely, you are left believing that they should have never been ripped apart in the first place. There truly are no words for the experience to be had through these pages, and I urge everyone to take the leap themselves.”

– Kaleigh Dandeneau, author of Something Akin To

7RickHarsch
Nov 14, 8:41am Top

Some inside the business info: I wrote a blurb for George based on the manuscript, which I didn't read, but I have paid for the book, and should the printers ever release I have every intention of reading as good or better a book than the one I blurbed.

8blackdogbooks
Nov 14, 10:33am Top

I'm one of those people who didn't want Mac to pay for a book for me, even though I considered the offer briefly. I do intend to get Eddie Vegas - I already have two Harsch's in my library, one from RBB. Just didn't want you feeling those feelings, Rick.

Welcome, George - the book sounds really interesting. We're glad to have you here.

9RickHarsch
Nov 14, 11:21am Top

Thanks, McDoggie. Vis a vis the writing business, have you read the French Jean-Claude Izzo? His character is Miles Davis fan, hence the title Solea, one of a trilogy. Good stuff. Like yours, his main character listens to jazz all the time.

10George_Salis
Nov 14, 1:31pm Top

Thanks, blackdogbooks!

11George_Salis
Nov 16, 1:30pm Top

Hello, my fellow anal-retentives.

I can now attest that River Boat Books did a beautiful job producing my first novel. 3 years to write, 3 years to find a publisher. Check it out: https://tinyurl.com/t5x3wnq

12Macumbeira
Edited: Nov 16, 1:43pm Top

Congrats, can't see it however; I am not on face book

13RickHarsch
Nov 16, 5:41pm Top

I have 'insufficient permission' so can't see it...

14RickHarsch
Nov 18, 11:45am Top

Saw George's book on video--looks great.

15George_Salis
Nov 19, 3:44am Top

16RickHarsch
Nov 19, 8:54am Top

Did you vote on the Latin America thread? No? What's wrong with you?

17George_Salis
Nov 20, 12:59am Top

I don't feel qualified to vote on that. I'm not well-read enough, being a young buck and all. You know Borges is one of my top favorites. Ask me again in a few years or so about my tops. Borges will never change of course but I need to read more of the others.

18RickHarsch
Nov 22, 9:07am Top

Berthirsch in my condolences section preceding the actual novel The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas:
"Bert Hirsch (humble humanitarian caught up in the Latin
American revolutions…the Astrologer?)"

19RickHarsch
Nov 23, 6:48am Top

Bori Praper's Cynicism Management should be ready soon. Anyone remember him from his days in Tropics as Ray Kosmick?

20baswood
Nov 23, 7:13am Top

Yes I do, I think I read a novel of his - at least I got over half way through - it was very witty.

21George_Salis
Nov 26, 10:56pm Top

If anyone's interested, you can find some reviews of my novel here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46291589-sea-above-sun-below

I'm grateful for all my readers.

22berthirsch
Edited: Nov 27, 3:25pm Top

> 18 I am honored

23blackdogbooks
Dec 2, 4:58pm Top

Since Rick announced a bit of a promotional aspect to the thread, I'll put this here and hope the Riverboat guys don't mind me hijacking things temporarily since I don't yet have a thread started in these new environs. So..

I learned today that one of the journals I published a story in last year has nominated the story for a 2019 Pushcart Prize.The journal was phoebe and the story was BONES. Some of you from the Tropics might have read it. Don't know when the stories will be picked, but kinda cool.

24Macumbeira
Dec 2, 11:30pm Top

more than cool.
crossing the fingers for the prize

25George_Salis
Dec 3, 6:30am Top

Congrats!

26RickHarsch
Dec 3, 6:56am Top

This is a thread for publishing, writing, reading, whatever. We are honored to have a Pushcart nominee among our ranks.

27blackdogbooks
Dec 3, 11:07am Top

Thanks guys! The story is still available online at this link - click the link on the page that is ISSUU and you can read it online, if interested.

http://phoebejournal.com/48-1-winter-2019/

28berthirsch
Edited: Dec 3, 2:21pm Top

>27 blackdogbooks:
nice story, perused your book lists and not noticing Denis Johnson's Train Dreams (but his Jesus Son) if you have not read this I am pretty sure you'd like it.

great acknowledgement from Pushcart.

29blackdogbooks
Dec 3, 2:47pm Top

Thanks, bert - I do, indeed, have that one and read last year or the year before - you're right, I did like it. And thanks for reading the story, glad you enjoyed it.

Group: Anal-retentives

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