Travels in Berkeley

08/14/2017 at 5:14 pm (Author Updates, Telegraph Ave.)

Last week I had my Book Launch at Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. What fun! I got to read sections from my novel, as well as pieces I wrote early in the process. Owen Hill at Moe’s was amazing, and I am very thankful to the people who showed up in support of me & the book.

Photos by Urmi Patel / D.M.

Prior to the Monday reading, I spent time trekking around the city with my family, and by myself. I grew up there, but now I live in L.A. I don’t get back up there as often as I like. It’s now both familiar and unfamiliar, but still just a beautiful, beautiful town.

Here are some of the “very Berkeley” sights I saw:

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All Photos by Justin McFarr

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What Were You Reading in ’76?

07/13/2017 at 10:57 pm (It was 1976)

I’ve had fun compiling lists and collages of the places, books, and songs (Yes, there IS a Playlist!) from the novel, so here’s another post – with the magazines, comics and newspapers that appear in The Bear. (more on that Playlist for the novel in a later post)

 

 

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Goodreads Giveaway

07/13/2017 at 10:31 pm (Author Updates, Publishing News)

So the book release date is mere weeks away (August 1st!). Time to give away the last of the Advanced Reading Copies I have. Would you like one? Enter the Giveaway below from Goodreads. Let me know if you’re one of the winners!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Bear Who Broke the World by Justin McFarr

The Bear Who Broke the World

by Justin McFarr

Being released August 01 2017

Giveaway ends in 13 days (July 26, 2017)

5 copies available, 111 people requesting

giveaway details »

 

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Books Inside of Books Inside of Books

07/07/2017 at 4:03 pm (It was 1976)

Another “just for fun” post, with a collage of images from The Bear – this time, it’s all of the books read or referenced in the novel. Feast your eyes …

 

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Gramma’s Moment to Shine

06/29/2017 at 11:48 pm (Author Updates, Novel Excerpts)

One of the gratifying parts of the editing process is finding ways to boil scenes and sometimes chapters down to the clear and straightforward essence of meaning and dramatic tension, which helps move the story along at a brisker pace. Now, The Bear is by no means a fast-paced, plot-driven novel in any traditional sense – it’s a slower, character-driven novel about thoughts, feelings, behavior and, ultimately, actions. With most of the scenes, or parts of scenes, that I excised from later drafts in order to bring my novel to just under 400 pages, there was a twinge of melancholy at losing them, but overall it was my sense that I was doing service to the book as a whole.

With the longish scene I cut where Gramma takes Steve and Demian to her church – during their stay in Fremont while Rose and Ken run off to Santa Cruz for a week away from the kids and their responsibilities – I felt that the stay with the grandparents was too long. My intention for the “trip to Gramma and Grampa’s” was to show a stark contrast to the unstructured, unsupervised life the boys live in Berkeley. It was also designed to give some insight into the childhood that Rose was still running away from, and provide a bit of reasoning for why her parenting style and approach to motherhood was the way it was. So with this scene cut, I felt the chapter accomplished what I wanted, without too much extraneous scene work or detours that weren’t entirely necessary.

This is a long way of saying that while I do think I made the right choice cutting out that section of the chapter, it’s a scene I still really like.

So here is that scene, in its excised entirety, which focuses on one of my favorite characters from the novel – 57-year-old Fanny Vivian Templeton Baxter, better known to Steve and Demian as “Gramma.” I hope you enjoy it.

 

From Chapter 10:

With Grampa off to work, she had plans for us. I showered and Demian told Gramma he wanted to take a bath after dinner. We had unpacked the night before, the two top drawers belonging to me and all of Demian’s clothes fitting into the bottom drawer. I was already dressed when Gramma came into our room. Demian removed his nightshirt while he decided between a striped shirt and the hand-me down “Free to Be You and Me” T-shirt that I always thought looked stupid yet he adored.

“Why, you’re barely skin and bones, dear.” We both looked up, but clearly she was talking to Demian. “You need some healthy meat on you or you’ll be able to fit pretty snugly into that drawer there before long.”

“I could fit,” Demian said, then started to climb on top of his folded clothes. She pulled him gently back, and he looked up at her with genuine surprise. “Don’t you want me to, Gramma?”

“I want you to do whatever your heart desires … within reason. But right now I want you to get dressed so we can go on a little field trip.” She removed my old shirt from Demian’s hand and dropped it into the open drawer, then helped him into the striped one. “We’re going to visit some friends of Gramma’s, down at the church. Do you remember when I took you both there? Was it last year?”

“Are there gonna be any other kids?” Demian sat on the carpet and forced his bare feet into socks that were too small for him. Gramma seemed to take notice of this, staring down at the floor until he’d tied his shoes.

“Well,” she closed the bottom drawer and then ran a few fingers through his hair, “there just might be. Some of the grandmothers are as lucky as me to have grandsons and granddaughters visiting them for the summer, and there’s a good chance they’ll tag along. Just like you boys.”

There weren’t any kids when we arrived, and when we left two hours later, we were still the only non-adults in the stuffy, airless room down in the church basement. We busied ourselves as Gramma and her friends discussed plans for a community bake sale and various other activities that the pastor’s wife read off a mounted chalkboard. Demian leafed through the hardcover picture books about Joseph and Moses and Job, while I entertained myself with a leather-bound New Testament Bible that had psalms underlined in pen all throughout the book. There were also unreadable scribbles in the small margins, some written with such fervor or haste that small holes and rips appeared in many of the pages. When my head began to hurt from the small type of the book, combined with all the marked up pages and biblical language that read like a foreign language at times, I nibbled on a few butter cookies set up on a card table and listened to the women.

They sat at a round table, all eyes on the only woman standing, Pastor Phil’s wife Sandy. She held a long pointer, like a pool stick but skinnier and with a fat, Hubba-Bubba-sized chunk of white plastic stuck to the end of it. Whenever a new topic was announced by the wrinkled, stooped-over woman with the school-like binder perched under her big Mr. Peabody glasses, Sandy whacked the blackboard, the end of it landing close to a numbered subject drawn in chalk. The sound echoed around the tiny room for a few seconds, and Demian leaned over slightly—as if he’d been asleep—the first two or three times Sandy swung her pointer against the board.

Gramma headed up the committee for a food program she said was designed for “the elderly and infirm,” and each time she used that phrase, the wrinkly woman they all referred to as The Secretary raised her thumbs up high before shaking them in her general direction. I watched my grandmother command the attention of the other women. I listened to her voice, so familiar yet with a difference in its tone. She had always been a confident, direct person—what Mom called “no-nonsense” as if it was the worst thing you could be—but surrounded by these women, her age and some much older, I was struck at how imposing and impressive she seemed. It felt strange, like I was eavesdropping on a private moment, stealing a glimpse into a world that was truly Gramma, but separate somehow.

I thought about the way I spoke around Mom and Gramma, and then the way I spoke around Demian, and around my friends at school. It was different with each of them, not just what I said but how I said it, even though I was always me. I didn’t feel like it was an act, a show I was putting on with all the people around me, but I knew that I was somehow different depending on who I was around. I tried to remember exactly how I acted around Seneca, who I was when we were together, and wondered if that was my best self, or something close to it. I didn’t necessarily think I was seeing Gramma’s “best”—I was convinced she saved that for Demian, me and Grampa—but I felt I was seeing another side of her bestness. It made me feel special that I could see her like this, that I knew a little more about her than I had known before this day.

Church Parking

photo by Justin McFarr

 

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A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing

06/21/2017 at 12:39 am (It was 1976)

 

Recently I was involved in doing last-minute proofs on the novel in anticipation of the August 1st publication date, and I was reminded just how many East Bay locations and specific places are either featured or referenced throughout. So, like my main character Stephen, I created a list with all of the Berkeley and Oakland landmarks, book stores, movie theaters, and restaurants that appear in the book – real places that existed in 1976 and most that still exist today.

Strolling From Northside through Campus to Telegraph Ave. and beyond:

  • LaVal’s Northside
  • UC Berkeley Campus – Sproul Hall, Strawberry Creek, the Campanile / Sather Tower, Memorial Stadium, Cheater’s Hill
  • Top Dog
  • Leopold’s Records
  • Rasputin Records
  • Mario’s La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
  • People’s Park
  • Moe’s Books
  • Comics & Comix
  • Caffe Mediterranean
  • Shakespeare & Co. Books
  • The Body Shop
  • Willard Park / Ho Chi Minh Park
  • Willard Pool
  • Emerson Elementary School
  • The Co-op

 

Off the Avenue and down on Shattuck and University

  • Snoopy’s Ice Cream Parlor
  • The UC Theatre
  • Hink’s Department Store
  • Edy’s Restaurant
  • Berkeley Public Library – Central Library
  • Berkeley High School
  • Barrington Hall
  • Berkeley Seventh-Day Adventist Church
  • Giovanni’s Restaurant
  • Hare Krishna Temple
  • Bekins Storage
  • Pay ‘n Save
  • LeConte Elementary School
  • Ashby BART Station / Weekend Flea Market
  • Headquarters Barber Shop
  • The Starry Plough
  • La Pena
  • Flint’s Bar-B-Q

 

Other Places of Interest in and around Berkeley:

  • Codornices Park
  • Berkeley Rose Garden
  • Indian Rock
  • Ortman’s Ice Cream Parlor
  • Mahar Books (now Pegasus Books – Solano)
  • The Oaks Theater
  • Northbrae Tunnel
  • Live Oak Park
  • Chez Panisse
  • Fat Albert’s (now Fat Apples)
  • Mr. Mopps’ Toy Store
  • Ashkenaz
  • The Rialto Theater
  • The Berkeley Marina
  • The Claremont Hotel

 

And Out-of-Town – Oakland and The City and Beyond:

  • The Oakland Museum
  • Jack London Square
  • Mervyn’s
  • Children’s Fairyland
  • Bay Meadows Racetrack
  • North Beach / City Lights Bookstore
  • The Fillmore (a.k.a. Majestic Hall / Fillmore Auditorium / Fillmore West)
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Fremont BART Station
  • Great America

 

Thanks for strolling back in time with me. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Berkeley and Oakland locations, and memories of those places from your childhood. Feel free to share them in the Comments.

 

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Book Readings in August

05/16/2017 at 9:59 am (Author Updates, Publishing News, Telegraph Ave.)

I wanted to share some exciting, amazing news – Moe’s Books in Berkeley will be the official launch of The Bear on Monday, August 7. I couldn’t be happier and more grateful to have my childhood bookstore – where I spent many, many hours poring through the used book racks and salivating over the new releases – as the spot for my very first book reading and signing. I am beyond excited!

Moe's 70s by Nacio Jan Brown

(photo by Nacio Jan Brown)

And if that news wasn’t enough, I will also be having a reading – along with a Q & A session with my amazing mentor, Gina B. Nahai – in my adopted home of Los Angeles, at Book Soup along the Sunset Strip on Tuesday, August 29. Unreal!

book soup

(photo attribution Unknown)

 

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North Beach Blues

05/02/2017 at 9:33 pm (Exercises, Publishing News)

Very excited, and a little nervous, that my very first novel will be officially released in just 3 months from now – Tuesday, August 1, 2017! I have my Book Reading/Signing lined up at Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue for Monday, Aug. 7th, and I couldn’t be happier to launch my novel from a place that holds so many great memories for me.

While I was working on Bear, trying to figure out who my characters were and why they behaved they way they did, made the choices they made, I started writing short pieces about them. I have earlier posts about Rose, Stephen, and Ken here on the site.

The piece below is my take on Stephen’s abandoned-them-for-New-York dad, Thomas O’Neill. Here his name is David, and the locale is San Francisco.

 

North Beach Blues

Lily stood at David’s apartment door, still in her hungry i waitress uniform less than half an hour from when her lunch shift had ended. She listened to the strains of an acoustic guitar escaping from his living room, imagining his slender, forceful fingers making love to the strings. A Rolling Stones song, it sounded to her like “Prodigal Son,” accompanied David inside. Keith Richards finished his solo and when a break in the music ushered silence into the hall, Lily timidly knocked.

Another song, “Stray Cat Blues” started up with more of Richards’ guitar licks, and she knew this was the Beggars Banquet album she’d bought for him down on Embarcadero the week before. She was happy that he was wearing the grooves down and practicing his guitar along with it, but she wanted him to hear her, excited for him to let her into the apartment. Still wired from work, Lily needed to come down a bit, have her boyfriend of five months make love to her like he did to that six-string instrument.

After almost a full minute of her knocking, the music lowered to a mumble and she heard his bare footfalls as he moved over the hardwood floors and toward the door.

“Hey, babe!” David, bare-chested, stood before her with only a pair of ripped blue jean shorts on his skinny frame and the neck of his cherry-wood guitar in his hand.

Lily pushed her body into him, her tongue taking command and wrestling around his mouth. She wasn’t normally the aggressor, but today her hormones compelled her to action and her mind floated upward and out of her head with elated thoughts. He tasted like cigarettes and hummus, with a hint of Chablis as well. That’s good, he’s eaten, she thought.  He’ll have plenty of strength for me.

David pulled her into the apartment, kicked the door closed with a hairy big toe and placed his guitar down on the dining room table. He collapsed with her on top of him into a rabbit-white bean bag. Pieces of mail fluttered out of her hand and onto the floor.

Lily whipped her head back and broke the kiss, her ponytail swishing behind her. “Oh, shoot, sorry.” She picked up the mail, then moved back into a straddling position over David.

“That mine?” David asked, his hands unbuttoning her uniform at the base of her spine.

“Your mailman was kind enough to let me deliver these to you myself.”

“Hey, Mr. Postman,” he said in a falsetto, his voice scratchy and deep.

Lily unfurled her ponytail and brushed out her leopard spot-black mane with her unpainted fingernails. “You really are a great father.”

“What makes you say that?” David finished unbuttoning her food-speckled uniform, peeled it off her arms to expose a white t-shirt of his that she’d borrowed the last time she’d spent the night in his North Beach apartment.

“Because it’s true.” She held up an envelope from the small batch of mail. “This is from your kids, isn’t it? Your birthday’s next week, this looks like a card or something.”

“Could be,” he lay back, leaving Lily half-undressed.

She leaned into him, grabbed his arms and helped him pull the shirt over her head. He threw it across the room, where it landed on a pile of books that she’d bought him when they’d first started dating. Books from City Lights, where David sometimes read his own poetry or played his guitar. She was thinking of a few other books she wanted to buy him, but they wouldn’t carry them there. She’d have to go to one of the bigger book stores, where the bestsellers by Harold Robbins, Erica Jong and Dr. Spock’s parenting manuals were plentiful.

“It’s so great how much they adore you, in spite of what a witch your ex-wife is.”

David unfastened his shorts and slid them down his legs, effortlessly lifting Lily’s body off his lap and then back down again. “She’s not so bad. Do we need to talk about her right now, Lil? Or anything, for that matter?”

She sprouted a mock-pout, then wriggled the rest of the way out of her uniform. “I just … it gets me excited when you talk about being a dad. I mean, your girls, they’re gorgeous.” She whipped her hair toward a framed picture on the mantle behind her. “And they love all the time you spend with them, whenever you can get back there to see them.”

“It’s been a while, though.”

She noticed he’d stopped playing with her nipples. She touched his face, caressed his full beard. “I thought you were in Oregon last week. You didn’t see them?”

David laughed, but Lily thought it sounded grim, mirthless. “Look, babe, I don’t … Jesus, let’s go down this road right now. I don’t want to lose it, you know.” He pointed down at his johnson, but she kept her eyes on his face. It was full of lies, she now saw. But which lies, about what?

She peeled herself off him, draped her uniform over her breasts and belly. David sighed, too loudly, and Lily picked up the envelope with an Oregon return address hand-written at the upper left-hand corner. She looked at the name. “This is from her, from their mom, but I thought it was from them …” She breathed in a large breath. It came out in chunks, confused and choppy, with a sob lurking somewhere in her diaphragm.

“You’re so goddamn curious, Lily, why don’t you just open it.” David lifted himself out of the bean bag chair and slipped his shorts back on, his penis flaccid and uninterested now.

She looked up at him, unsure. He waved an arm at it, like what the fuck, and then took his guitar over to the window. He turned the ear-like metal lock, lifted the heavy wooden frame, and allowed the traffic sounds off Columbus into the studio apartment. A pack of cigarettes lay by the windowsill and she watched him tap one out before slipping it between his lips.

Lily sliced open the back of the envelope with her thumb and removed a letter. It looked formal, and she noticed it was a law firm’s stationary, like the kind her uncle in Newark had. He was a partner in a big lawyer’s office back east, and he had sent her letters from time to time, always using their letterhead. Lily didn’t think David’s ex-wife worked for a law firm, she thought he’d told her she was a beautician.

“So what does it say?” David asked when she sat with the unread letter for more than three full minutes.

She touched the embossed lettering at the top, pressing down hard on it with her forefinger in hopes of rubbing it off and making the letter itself just disappear. Her eyes met the first line of the second paragraph, the word “divorce” jumping out at her. She read on, her mouth suddenly dry bedrock, hard and filled with silt.

“You’re not … divorced.” She heard the meekness in her voice, the hurt and fear and confusion all rolled up into a Persian rug, the dead body of their relationship stuffed inside.

“Those must be the divorce papers,” David said, sucking in a mouthful of smoke.  He exhaled and shrugged his bony shoulders. “Well, don’t that fuck all. Her timing was always pretty great that way.”

“What else, David? What else have you lied to me about? Where have you been going the past few months, if not to see your kids?”

“Listen, we never said we were a solid item, right? No exclusivity or anything? At least, I never said it.” A large truck’s horn bellowed on the street below them, as if to emphasize David’s words.

Lily sat on the floor, staring up at her boyfriend, sick to her stomach. Nausea came in on a wave, but she forced it away. There would be time for that later. Now, she needed him to tell her a few truths.

“So what about your girls? Do you ever see them?”

“When’s the last time …” David stared out the window, his back to her. She hoped he was feeling shame, but assumed he probably felt nothing but caught. Lily hated herself right now for misjudging him, for trusting the word of a failed musician who worked nights as a barker for Carol Doda at the Condor Club. For trusting in his word that he was a good and loving father, a dependable man for his girls. And maybe a dependable father for her … child.

David took a drag off his cigarette, blew a set of rings out the window, the late afternoon sunlight illuminating them like angelic halos. “Probably been at least a year and a half. I stopped calling them a while before that. Too much hassle, trying to deal with Susan and her garbage. I guess she finally got fed up, saw herself a lawyer. No blaming her, I guess.”

On her feet, Lily lifted the T-shirt from the pile of books, then dropped it back down. She fed her legs into the waitress outfit, cinched it up her waist, and buttoned herself up. Found her shoes and when she was all dressed looked up at David, his head still turned away from her and staring out the window. He flicked his cigarette out the window and she turned toward the door without a word.

As she exited his apartment, she held the tears in, determined not to lose it, not within hearing distance of David. She would cry later, back in her own room, where she would make plans about the baby, who would definitely have a great mother, if not a great father.

 

North Beach 1973

 

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Reading is Fundamental

03/26/2017 at 4:48 pm (Author Updates, Publishing News)

From a very young age, I’ve always been someone who loved to read books, and that desire and practice continues to this day. Even with all the necessary distractions of childhood – school, chores, playing with friends, watching that rerun of The Brady Bunch or Hogan’s Heroes for the umpteenth time while I may or may not having been doing my homework in front of that boob tube – I always found time and physical space to read Beverly Cleary or the latest Guinness Book of World Records, or, as I got a little older, a Stephen King or S.E. Hinton novel. As I matured and gained a bit more education and well-earned wisdom, my pleasure reading expanded into pockets of deeper and more complex reading. For a time, in my early 20s, I consumed books; I read bestsellers, non-fiction, and classic texts in equal measure. The library and local bookstores were my second homes, as were the parks and cheap restaurants that I frequented with a book (or two) in hand.

I realize now that my 20s and 30s were my peak reading years, when I worked full-time but still had the freedom and energy (and single-minded focus) to devote myself to a 200-page, 400-page, or even 900-page book without worry that I would ever actually finish it once I began the journey with “Page 1.” Even when I had girlfriends, demanding jobs, writing projects that I gave myself strict deadlines for, and an obsessive compulsion to watch every single movie (including the foreign ones) ever made, I still found time and an urgent need to read books.

Then, in my 40s, it all changed. I had a lovely wife, three rambunctious, demanding, beautiful little boys, a house, a full-time job, and the aching desire to finish and have published all of the fiction I had been toiling over those many, many years. I still had pockets of free time, but now the landscape of how to spend that free time (even snippets of it) had changed: cell phones gave access to the Internet, where Facebook, news feeds, YouTube, and all the rest were accessible by just reaching into your pocket and tapping a few keys on the touch-screen; Netflix and Amazon and Hulu and all those multiple movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) offered hours upon hours of viewing and bingeing possibilities; Kindle ushered in the digital-reading experience, and the options for what to read and how to read them became as overwhelming as everything else that fell under the banner of “entertainment content.”

Now here I am, inundated with so many choices, with less “free” time than I’ve ever had in my entire life (a life that I am blessed with and, please don’t get me wrong, most grateful for), and my reading habit has become more of a reading afterthought. I still read, but it has, quite frankly, become more of a task and less of a pleasure than it ever has before. I find it more difficult to stay engaged with longer books (and there are so many longer books being released every year), and when faced with reading for an hour before bed or watching a new episode of This Is Us or old episodes of 30 Rock, I’ll admit that the HDTV up there on the mantle invariably wins that fight against the paperback on the bedside table more times than not. It’s something I take no pride in, but after a day filled with early-mornings spent getting the kids ready for school and the rest of the day devoted to work, work, and more work, followed by helping with homework, baths, dinner and bedtime – well, frankly, I’m exhausted. And it’s much easier to turn my brain off with something visually arresting than to inhabit a world of words where my imagination and cognitive functions are forced to be activated.

So now that I am an actual author, a writer with my first novel being published this August, the reality of my situation and relationship with books and reading is suddenly more fraught than ever. I recognize the commitment that reading asks of and actually needs from its audience of one to finish a completed work of fiction or non-fiction that a writer on the other side of has spent countless hours thinking about, crafting, rewriting, editing, sending out to agents and publishers, and then promoting in the hopes of reaching interested, curious readers. I know the time I spend reading a book is infinitesimal when compared to how long it took for its construction, and the level of my attention to it can never match the desired expectations the author has for my commitment and reaction to it. As writers, we want our readers to feel the same love and admiration for our work as we gave so many, many of our conscious and unconscious hours to during its creation.

But that’s an unrealistic expectation, and an unfair burden to place on even our most “ideal” readers, much less on a person faced with a constant barrage or responsibilities and choices which wrench them from here to there and this way and that. So now that I am in the process of doing marketing prior to the release of my debut novel, these realities are inescapable, and demand from me the proper understanding and acceptance.

Now, every time that I send out an email to a stranger requesting they read and possibly review this novel by a complete unknown, I am hyper-aware that mine is just one of a multitude of requests they likely receive on a daily basis. Every time I ask a friend, fellow writer, or cohort to read my novel and to please write a blurb or online review for it (always with the sincere caveat that if they decide to accept the novel and read it, if they don’t like it or are not comfortable associating their name and reputation with it, I will not take it personally), I realize exactly what that request means for them. I am almost painfully aware of how much of their time my book demands – the time they will need to take from any number of life tasks, or from entertainment options that they are guaranteed to enjoy and unwind with – for them to read all 400 pages, and then to make the decision whether or not it merits any further energy to spend even more time writing about it. So when there is rejection of that request, or simply no response at all, I understand, empathize and try not to ever take it personally. Free choice, to say yes or no to any request or to simply ignore it outright, is one of the few things in life that still remains free. Sacrificing that “free time” to do one thing over another means constantly assessing not only time but freedom itself.

In assessing my own free time and the choices that vie for the golden ticket wristband in the seemingly endless, option-filled queue, I honestly try not to lose sight of all the supreme joy that falling into a great book affords; past experience has taught me that the promise of “my next favorite book” may lie right around the next spine. Even if a book fails to meet my preconceived expectations (based on reviews I’ve read or recommendations I’ve been given), no book read is time wasted or lost – there is always something I find to appreciate, admire, have fun with or learn from every single one of them. Again, it always comes down to time: if only I had more, that voice inside my head loudly proclaims, think of all the amazing books we would read, and how many worlds we would inhabit with every turn of the page.

Oh, if only …

Broken time

photo from The Boston Calendar

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Doing a Little Advanced Reading

01/22/2017 at 4:35 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi again! I have more book reviews I want to share with you, but for now I’ve been focusing on the August 2017 release of Bear. In order to get a jump on all that marketing for my very first novel, Wheeler Street Press has printed a number of ARCs (or Advance Reading Copies) that will be sent out for possible blurbs, reviews and any other publicity for the book.

Here’s a peek at the Back Cover of the ARC, that they are sending out in anticipation of advance readers. If you have a blog that reviews novels – and feel like this is a good fit for you and your readership – please contact info@wheelerstreetpress.com and they will be happy to send you either a PDF, eBook or Paperback version of my novel.

If anyone has other ideas for me on how best to prepare for the coming of summer and the release, please email me at justinmcfarr@wheelerstreetpress.com.  Thanks!

 

arc-back-cover-the_bear_who_broke_the_world-justinmcfarr

 

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