Category Archives: Books – The City Novel

15 Views: Volume II

Today is Wednesday, March 27.

Tomorrow night, we will celebrate the release of 15 Views Volume II: Corridor, a book which collects stories about the Metro Orlando region, and stories about the Tampa Bay region, all written by writers representing those areas. (“Corridor,” if you’re unfamiliar is the name given to the stretch of I-4 that runs between Orlando and Tampa…commuter hell.)

This is a book that I co-edited with the talented John Henry Fleming, whose Fearsome Creatures of Florida (a literary bestiary of all the legendary and mythological creatures said to inhabit our weird state) is a true undiscovered gem. Definitely a must-read for anyone who–like me–loves the strangeness of this state, and thinks that there’s something dark and ancient and maybe-evil lurking about.

We were lucky to get a fantastic roster of established/ award-winning writers, including Peter Meinke, Jocelyn Bartkevicius, Jeff Parker, David James Poissant, and Susan Hubbard. But there are also a number of emerging writers whose names you might not know today, but who will certainly become household names in no time: Jaroslav Kalfar, Leslie Salas, and Ed Bull. Seriously. Great. Writers. The collection also features a number of comics (one written by Robert Venditti, of The Surrogates fame), and a script from the bizarre and awesome Pat Rushin (whose film, The Zero Theorem, directed by Terry Gilliam, will be released sometime around awards season). And the interior of the book is decorated with paper-cut art from the super-talented Lesley Silvia. Some of it needs to be seen to be believed. My name is on the cover of this book as “editor,” but really, I’m just lucky to be mentioned in the same breath as some of these folks.

The pre-sale (in which you can order the book at a discount) runs until tomorrow at Burrow Press’s web site.

After that point, you can buy the book on Amazon and other major retailers.

The release party is tomorrow: Thursday, March 28, at 6 PM, in Urban Re-Think in Downtown Orlando. Here’s the link.

Buy a copy. Have a drink with the authors. Celebrate the literature of Florida’s I-4 Corridor.

15 Views of Tampa

Over the past year and a half, I’ve made a lot of postings about our 15 Views of Orlando project (published at The Burrow Press Review, and collected into a print collection from Burrow Press). Well, there’s further good news about the collection: we’ve started franchising!

Well, that sounds maybe too-corporate and too-McDonald’s.

But we’ve recently tackled our second city/region, with the awesome John Henry Fleming serving as editor of 15 Views of Tampa Bay. Fifteen Tampa-area writers writing about the Tampa Bay region in one long, winding, sequential story. Some big names, too, that–if you have any interest in Florida Lit or the Bay Area–you’ll want to check out. You can read his introduction to the series here, and new installments are available weekly at The Burrow Press Review. I honestly can’t say enough about Mr. Fleming; he’s a stellar writer and a stellar editor, and it’s a true honor that he’s helped to make the 15 Views series into a true Florida institution.

We’ve had some good press already, too, from the University of South Florida, and the Tampa Bay Times. Run, don’t walk, to BPR to get started reading. You won’t be disappointed.


Best of Orlando

Tremendous news from here in the heart of the City Beautiful:

15 Views of Orlando, the collection that I compile and edit with Burrow Press, was recently recognized by the Orlando Weekly in their annual “Best of Orlando” issue.

There was no “Best Book” category (which really speaks volumes about the perception of Orlando literature, even here in our fair city where we should be aware of the talented writers who call the area home), but the editors did give a great write-up of 15 Views of Orlando, labeling “Best Local Mirror.”

Check out the link here.

Interestingly, Orlando’s famous “Mr. Gold” (who was mentioned in Ashley Inguanta’s short story in 15 Views of Orlando…best mirror indeed!) graced the cover of the Orlando Weekly and earned a full feature-length profile as “Best Sport.” Mr. Gold is a town fixture, and never fails to cheer me up as I drive that wretched stretch of Colonial creeping out of downtown. It’s great to see him go from conversation piece (known to locals, discussed over beers, etc.) to the cover of a magazine, which sort of solidifies his place in the Orlando mythology.

15 Views of Orlando

Over at the Burrow Press blog, we have officially launched the “15 Views of Orlando” project, a collaboration between fifteen different Orlando authors which will provide a multi-faceted characterization of a city that we all—as residents, past and present—know has a lot of character, but which is too often acknowledged in the same bland and one-dimensional way. For the project, we’ve recruited authors young and old, established and aspiring; we’ve got teachers and students, novelists and editors; the project is to be a work of fiction, but we’ve got authors whose background or expertise comes not simply in fiction, but also in poetry, memoir, journalism, and blogging; the 15-part story will take place entirely within the Orlando metropolitan area, but some authors are lifelong residents, some are transplants, and some have moved as far away as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The authors’ views of the city will be both dark and light, sad and funny, optimistic and cynical, epic and tiny, as scattered and (yes) schizophrenic as the city itself. Quite simply, this will be a literary portrait of the city, but also a showcase of the town’s literary talent.

To read more, check out my introduction to the project (the above was a short excerpt) at the Burrow blog.

I guarantee: this will be the most fantastic thing ever created.