Saturday, April 15, 2017

All you want to know about "Revenge of the Star Survivors"

If you're looking for information about my freshly published book, Revenge of the Star Survivors, look no further than You'll find a short bio, a listing of events and even another blog.

If you'd like to interact with me, you can try the Revenge of the Star Survivors Facebook page.

If you've had enough of me, you can also skip straight to my publisher's page.

And if you're wondering whether the book is worth your time, I'll refer you to Publisher's Weekly or the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mike? Are you still there, Mike?

Yes, although you wouldn't know it from this Archive. So here's a brief update for all my fans. (I know you're out there, I can see you clicking here by accident.)

Anyhow, I'm still at The Dallas Morning News. Still editing book reviews. I write them now and then -- here's one I did of a biography called Sonic Wind, by Craig Ryan, and here's a lovely title called The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built, by Jack Viertel. I also had time to interview Loving Day author Mat Johnson. And I just had the honor of moderating a panel at the Dallas Book Festival with the excellent Sarah Hepola and Merritt Tierce. You can see all the coverage my colleagues and I pulled together at this site.

  (Atmospheric photo via the Twitter account of my colleague Christopher Wynn.)

I guess that somewhere in there, I also managed to weigh in on that "new" Harper Lee book and even got my out-of-office reply reviewed in The New York Times. Really.

All of which is a prelude to explaining the main reason why I haven't been updating this archive much in the past year: It's because I've been busy writing something else. OK, technically, I have been rewriting. And then rewriting some more. And the result is ...

My first novel, Revenge of the Star Survivors, which was sold last fall to Holiday House books. As of this moment, it is not listed in their catalog, but they have signed papers and let a very good editor spend a whole lot of time thinking about how my manuscript could be better, so I'm hopeful it will actually happen, perhaps by next spring.

When that happens, I'm pretty sure I will not be so quiet about updating you. And everyone else.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Emily St. John Mandel, James Bond, computers and Mr. Spock

Last fall, I talked with Emily St. John Mandel at the Texas Book Festival. Later, I reviewed Walter Isaacson's The Innovators and recently wrote about Goldeneye - Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica, by Matthew Parker.

That was shortly after I said farewell to Leonard Nimoy.

As a reminder, if you're really keen to see how I spend my days (hint: it's not all writing about things I was obsessed with as a teenager), please examine the books pages of The Dallas Morning News or the Healthy Living coverage in the same.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chatting with Lev Grossman, and becoming a HONY

Earlier this year, I covered BookExpo America, which was the usual blur of activity -- quick chats with authors such as Eula Biss, Jesse Burton and Tom Robbins, plus a particularly enjoyable interview with Lev Grossman, which I turned into this story. As a bonus feature, I shared his advice on how to murder your darlings while self-editing, particularly if it involves Fraggle Rock.

Of course, all anybody wants to talk about was that encounter with the Humans of New York guy. Which I blogged about here. (It's a good tale. Not so good that it should eclipse every other piece of writing I have done in my life. But 150,000 or so Facebook users can't be wrong, can they?)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Let me introduce you to Khaled Hosseini, Timothy Egan and Rick Atkinson – and an amazing young artist

It was a busy season for author events in Dallas. I was a part of three of them: I interviewed Khaled Hosseini as part of the Tate Lecture Series (the SMU student paper did  a nice writeup here.) I also introduced Timothy Egan at the Dallas Museum of Art (and mused about it in this blog post.) And last week, I introduced Rick Atkinson in the same venue. (I interviewed Atkinson about The Guns at Last Light here.)

Away from the books page, I was the conduit for the remarkable work of local artist Sara Stahl, a high school senior who told the story of her adoption through a series of remarkable images. I had worked with her mother, Lori, and conducted a series of interviews and coordinated the efforts of a bunch of really talented designers (Lisa Veigel in print, Paul O'Donnell and John Hancock online) to bring the tale to readers. You can see the finished product here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Elizabeth L. Silver, Bill Bryson, Terry Teachout and Jennifer duBois

In recent months, I got to chat with a couple of exceptional young writers, meet some masters of history and biography, and get paid to think long and hard about Muppets.

I am reminded that my job could be a lot worse.

Anyhow, here's my interview with Elizabeth L. Silver, author of "The Execution of Noa P. Singleton."

And this is my interview with Jennifer duBois, author of "Cartwheel" and "A Partial History of Lost Causes."

I spoke with Bill Bryson about "One Summer: America, 1927."

Terry Teachout and I discussed his newest, "Duke." 

And here's a review of "Jim Henson: The Biography," by Brian Jay Jones. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Philipp Meyer, Khaled Hosseini and everyone else in publishing

In recent weeks, I've pushed the ever-encroaching piles of papers to the edge of my desk for just enough time to chat by phone with Philipp Meyer and Khaled Hosseini

I also ran away from my desk long enough to cover Book ExpoAmerica. (Chris Vognar teamed up with me on the story. Also led me to a good Indian restaurant, for which I am grateful.)