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I am the author of the novels Icebergs (2006) and The Countess (2010).
Interests: poker, blogs, movies, gardening
Recent Activity
Some of you know my friend (and the co-director of my Harry Potter Study Abroad program) Paul Booth runs the DePaul Pop Culture Conference every year. This year I'm popping in to talk about how SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE refreshes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2021 at Illiterati
"For a long time I worried whether or not people were going to take me seriously as a writer, if I would earn their respect, and I think it did more harm than good. You can’t control what other people... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Illiterati
"The books that really touched me as a kid were works of historical fiction (the Little House on the Prairie books) and speculative fiction (The Lord of the Rings, etc.), and I still have a lot of love for stories... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Illiterati
Summer reading list compiled for Chicago Tonight on WTTW, Channel 11. They only asked me about three on my list, but don't forget to check out LITTLE KNOWN FACTS by Christine Sneed, BOBCAT AND OTHER STORIES by Rebecca Lee, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2013 at Illiterati
I love Richard Bausch, especially his little snippets that he posts on his Facebook page. But of everything he's ever said, this may be my favorite, and possibly the most true: "When you feel global doubt about your talent, that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at Illiterati
I am very excited to have my first piece published in Narrative magazine, a piece of flash nonfiction about my first time the rodeo. Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2013 at Illiterati
When I started working on my first novel, used to be that I would bump into people in real life--at the coffee house, the bookstore, the library. And class. I was still in school then, and if there was something... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2013 at Illiterati
Kayla Posney, the historical fiction editor at The Examiner, kindly asked me to answer a few questions about my favorite time period, castles, etc. Check it out here. Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2012 at Illiterati
Originally posted at Cooler by the Lake, the StoryStudio blog. When you go to a bookstore without a particular title in mind you’ll likely thumb through a number of books, skimming thefirst few pages to get a sense of where... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2012 at Illiterati
If you liked the excerpt of The Resurrectionist at WordPlaySound, here's a short interview I did with Ryan Singleton about the genesis of the new book and other things writerly. Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2012 at Illiterati
Ryan over at WordPlaySound was kind enough to ask me to read a little something recently, so here I am reading the first chapter of The Resurrectionist, my current work-in-progress--hence the long silence here. Novel-writing takes precedence over blogging. Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Illiterati
I'll be at Printer's Row both Saturday and Sunday. Come by and say hello! June 9, 2012 Book Sale & Signing PRINTER'S ROW LIT FEST South Loop, Chicago Society of Midland Authors tent 10 am-noon June 10, 2012 Book Sale... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2012 at Illiterati
Updike knew how to criticize with style. Wish more reviewers would pay attention, especially to #1: Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at Illiterati
Excited to have a chapter from my beloved but not-much-read first novel now appearing at the fab new WordPlaySound litmag. Please ignore the lispy annoying chick reading the thing, though. Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2012 at Illiterati
Here's a few events I've scheduled so far in 2012: January 23, 2012: Creating Interesting Characters 7-8:30 p.m. Warren-Newport Public Library Gurnee, IL January 25, 2012: Research for Fiction Writers 7-8:30 p.m. Warren-Newport Public Library Gurnee, IL June 16 &... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2012 at Illiterati
Here's a fun short article of the craft of narrative time I wrote when I worked for The Editorial Department. For readers, students, and especially aspiring writers! Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2011 at Illiterati
Thanks to Alexandra over at Historical Tapestry, who let me go on at some length about one of my favorite subjects: the unreliable narrator. Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2011 at Illiterati
Great news! The Countess is now available as an Audible audiobook, in an unabridged edition read by the amazing Leslie Bellair. Now you can hear the proper pronunciations of the Hungarian names and cities in the book. Ignore the artwork... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2011 at Illiterati
Over at Niche, an exciting new litmag, I did an interview on the perennial MFA question. Check it out here. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2011 at Illiterati
Here's a third deleted scene from The Countess, in which Erzsbet's son-in-law comes to tell her the news after her arrest: That morning a visitor came to me: My son-in-law, Gyorgy Drugeth, was suddenly outside my wall. I recognized the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2011 at Illiterati
Over at Historical Fiction Connection, find my guest post on trying to find a new perspective on the old, familiar Bathory story and enter the contest for a free copy of the spanking-new paperback. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2011 at Illiterati
Not in nearly the decent shape that Sarvar is in, Csejthe (chey-tey) castle is a ruin, infamous as the site of the tower where Erzsebet was walled up for the last 3 1/2 years of her life. The entrance and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2011 at Illiterati
As part of the celebration for the paperback launch (whee! I actually have a book coming out in paperback--hallelujah!) here's another scene I deleted from an early draft of The Countess, when Erzsebet is first walled up in her tower.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at Illiterati
Over at Read It Forward, they've posted a deleted scene from The Countess in anticipation of tomorrow's launch of the Broadway paperback edition. Check it out, then check back here tomorrow for another scene that ended up on the cutting-room... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2011 at Illiterati
For the paperback release of The Countess, I thought I'd do a little trip around the internets to introduce some of the sites featured in the novel related to the life of Erzsebet Bathory. First stop: the little town of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2011 at Illiterati