On Kurt Vonnegut's Passing (April 11, 2007)

As I'm sure you've now heard, I recently waded deep into Kurt Vonnegut land/world to write my recent novella As Much Protein as an Egg. I have a short story coming in the same vein soon as well. But what you may NOT know is that yesterday marked the 7-year anniversary of the great writer's passing. It got me to finally post what I've been meaning to for a few weeks. I encountered the following quote in his non-fiction collection PALM SUNDAY, published in 1981. Boy, did he hit the nail on the head. Read it, see what you think, share your thoughts. I'm eager to know what you think:

I am a member of what I believe to be the last recognizable generation of full-time, life-time American novelists. We appear to be standing more or less in a row. It was the Great Depression which made us similarly edgy and watchful. It was World War II which lined us up so nicely, whether we were men or women, whether we were ever in uniform or not. It was an era of romantic anarchy in publishing which gave us money and mentors, willy-nilly, when we were young--while we learned our craft. Words printed on pages were still the principal form of long-distance communication and stored information in America when we were young.

No more

Nor are there many publishers and editors and agents left who are eager to find some way to get money and other forms of encouragement to young writers who write as clumsily as members of my literary generation did when we started out. The wild and wonderful and expensive guess was made back then that we might acquire some wisdom and learn how to write halfway decently by and by. Writers were needed that much back then.

It was an amusing and instructive time for writers--for hundreds of them.

Television wrecked the short-story branch of the industry, and now accountants and business school graduates dominate book publishing. They feel that money spent on someone's first novel is good money down a rat hole. They are right. It almost always is.

So, as I say, I think I belong to America's last generation of novelists. Novelists will come one by one from now on, not in seeming families, and will perhaps write only one or two novels, and let it go at that. Many will have inherited or married money.

Yes, he wrote this in 1981 or likely earlier. What do you think? Is it true? 

Sure looks to me like he knew what he was saying.

Bay Area Residents: Join me for a Crime Novel course at The Grotto!

Writing the Crime Fiction or Thriller Novel: Practice Makes Plot Perfect with Seth Harwood (4/26 & 5/3)

Hey folks, this month I'm teaching a class on how to write the first draft of your novel (crime or otherwise) at the legendary SF Writers Grotto in downtown San Francisco. I'll be talking about how to develop a practice for your writing that both keeps you producing new pages and helps you explore the story of your novel when you may not even know where it's headed. What's really exciting is that you can find your own novel's story just like a reader does -- and that it can be just as thrilling!

Here's further info on the class: (feel free to comment here or email me for more information)

Number of sessions: 2
Meeting times: 2 Saturdays 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Dates: April 26 and May 3
Class Limit: 15 students
Course Fee: $165, $100 required to register
Description: Do you outline and pre-plan your novel or write boldly into the void? This class exposes the reality that you can write a book when you don’t know its ending. What’s more, this practice will generate lively and exciting writing for writer and reader alike. Don’t let your book idea die on the vine because you haven’t envisioned where it leads. This class goes over the steps to writing a novel and demystifies the process of finishing your first draft. By challenging you to write 5-days a week to a reachable goal each day, you’ll see the way to uncover your book sentence by sentence.  Come to believe and trust in your own creative process; stop staring at your screen and start getting your book done.Readings from Stephen King, Frank Conroy and Flannery O’Connor accompany in-class exercises, lecture and examples from published work.

Instructor Bio: It's your boy! Seth Harwood has published four crime novels—Young Junius, This Is Life and the bestsellers In Broad Daylight and Jack Wakes Up, as well as the short story collection A Long Way from Disney. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught creative writing at Iowa, University of Massachusetts – Boston, Stanford Continuing Studies and City College San Francisco. Serialized versions of his work as audio podcasts have been downloaded over one million times.

Read about Artemis Kellog now

Big Hug Mug ReduxBig Hug Mug ReduxMore from the prelude and bonus content for As Much Protein as an Egg. You can get the complete novella for your Kindle here now. And I'm also back to offer more free content bonuses featuring the characters from the book. Here's the full preview of Artemis Kellog, how he got his name and what his ancestral and literary history are. BOTH! How about that?

It's here for you to read as a FREE PDF (click to download), as well as in the form of a mobi file (click here) that you can read on your Kindle or Kindle App. Enjoy!

Artemis Kellog is a young writer living in San Francisco. He teaches sixth grade at the Waldorf School, dreams of writing a screenplay and making it big in Hollywood. He's one of the heroes of As Much Protein as an Egg.

Enjoy! Also, know that Ann M. Smith of Pearl City, Hawaii! has earned herself the choice of a book from the library inside the writing room here in San Francisco. Ann, contact us to say which you'd like (signed)! Congrats!

Listen to the podcasts to find out how you can get a free copy of something signed for yourself! Another one is coming soon.

Bonus Content: Artemis Kellog, a history

Kirkland BrandKirkland BrandThis is part 1 of the backstory of Artemis Kellog, star of As Much Protein as an Egg. In this episode, we find out how he got his last name. 

Click here to download or listen to Artemis Kellog: A History.

See left for Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog

Bonus Content: Protein Prologue (Vonnegut World)

Kurt Vonnegut (the doll)Kurt Vonnegut (the doll)In the next few weeks, I'll be dropping bonus content from As Much Protein as an Egg into the feed--both as audio and as free text files. I hope you'll enjoy them.

The hottest news of all is that there's a new Jack Palms short story in the works. I hope to be bringing it to you this spring in audio. Stay tuned!

If you haven't already downloaded As Much Protein as an Egg, you can get it for Kindle only here.

Click here to listen to me reading the book's Prologue, which isn't featured in the Kindle version. It's a special bonus just for you guys!

You can also download the Prologue as a free PDF to read on your devices OR as a Free .mobi file for your Kindle right here. That, or just start reading...

“As much protein as an egg” is an expression used on the front of cereal boxes in the year this book was written. It is the property of the Kashi brand company. This use is not meant to imply any relationship, impropriety or connection to the good people at Kashi. They do make a nice breakfast cereal. {Read MORE}

Amazon talks about As Much Protein as an Egg

While I'd bill As Much Protein as an Egg as a mashup of Vonnegut, 9/11 novels, the quest to be a famous author and a love story, Amazon says it's this:

Artemis Kellog struggles to write his first screenplay, find love in San Francisco, and maintain his coffee consumption. Bainbridge McGee aspires to play golf, write his fourth Great American Novel, and dabble in the online dating scene. Each man is indebted to and inspired by Vonnegut, a passion that plays out as McGee works on his masterpiece and Kellog finds writing is his true religion. When they both land on a select committee tasked with choosing the winner of a prestigious sci-fi and fantasy writers award, the choice is clear—to them—and both become determined to ensure Vonnegut is honored with the award. At turns spellbinding, suspenseful, and full of love, this story comes down to the finish to reveal if, on science fiction’s grandest stage, Vonnegut will be remembered with the appropriate reverence the master deserves.

Sound good? Buy it, rate it and Facebook-like it here. Rock on! Listen here to get my pitch for the contest I'm running now.

New Fiction: As Much Protein as an Egg

Hey folks, hey folks!

New fiction is here! I've been working for a while on a project that inhabits both the world of my own fiction (see Tony Vitelli's appearance) and the World of Kurt Vonnegut as part of a collaboration witih Amazon's Kindle Worlds. It a mashup of fan fiction, new stuff and social criticism in the vein on old Vonnegut himself.

The book is called As Much Protein as an Egg, after an homage to KV's Breakfast of Champions as well as my own predilection for Kashi cereal. Yum yum. And for eggs. It's available now for the Kindle as well as readable on virtually device using one of the many Kindle Apps

I hope you'll give it a try. It's fun and funny, even a touch of Sci-Fi. For those of you who like time travel and Vonnegut's work and meta-fiction, or even just love coffee, this one's for you. Give it a shot!

Also, I'll be holding a contest for the first of you to post reviews on the book's Amazon page. That's right, those 5-star bad boys really do help. So, for the first 5 of you to read it and review, I'll send out signed copies of a book that you choose. For the next TEN of you, I'll hold a drawing to send out two signed copies chosen at random. Pretty good odds. So get to it: download, read, enjoy. You might even be able to get your Kindle to read it to you out loud! Let me know.

Here's a quick shout from me about this new by audio (click to listen). And I'll be back soon with a few podcasts of selected sections of the book. Deleted scenes, special content and the like. Stay tuned!

Your boy -- SH 


More CrimeWAV - Reece Hirsch reads from The Adversary!

Hey hey hey! I'm back and hosting CrimeWAV this month. No, not Fat Albert. It's your boy!

Hello and welcome to more of the CrimeWAV! This month we've got my fellow Thomas & Mercer author Reece Hirsch reading the first two chapters of his novel THE ADVERSARY

Click here to download or listen to this month's episode.

Believe me, once you hear this start, you're going to want to read the rest of this book. So here's where you can go pick it up on Amazon: in paperback and for Kindle. Oh, turns out you can also buy the audiobook as read by some fancy actor. 

Reece Hirsch is a San Francisco man. Like many of his characters, he is a lawyer specializing in privacy and data security law. Unlike his characters, Reece has never been pursued by the FBI, the CIA, the San Francisco PD or Russian mobsters -- yet.  

Today's Kindle Daily Deal: YOUNG JUNIUS and THIS IS LIFE

Check it! check it! check it! And cue the Theme Music! BIG news today:

It's none other than Your Boy for today's Kindle Daily Deal. This means discounted eBooks for THIS IS LIFE and YOUNG JUNIUS for you and everybody you know!

What an event! Believe me, this is like a writers' Holy Grail. I couldn't be happier and I have YOU to thank. So Thank You!

Last time this happened (with IBD), I wound up inside the top 20 authors on all of Amazon, ranked higher than Scott Fitzgerald! So I'm stoked for another meteoric rise up the charts. Follow all the progress here on Twitter @sethharwood.

I can also use your help. The more word gets out, the better this sale will do. So please head out to your local social networks and spread the word! Share the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_2?ie=&=1000677541 Tell 'em your boy Seth Harwood's books are available today on the special!

Spread it! Go tell 'em! And get your copy, if you haven't already.

If you're in Canada, you can get the same discount with this link: http://www.amazon.ca/ebooks-kindle/b/ref=sa_menu_kbo?ie=UTF8&node=2980423011&?tag=ran020-20 Canadians! Yes!

Stay tuned!

CrimeWAV for October is my story To the Bone!

Free audio fiction this month comes in the form of my story "To the Bone" straight from the Booked. Anthology and featured in the latest episode of CrimeWAV.

Click here to download or listen to this month's episode: Harwood "To the Bone"

What's more? The Booked. Anthology is for sale here and at Amazon. If you buy it from the Booked folks, just use the code "CRIMEWAV" to get 50% off the eBook when you hit that store link in the upper right. Right on!

What else? If you're in SF and want to come ROCK this Friday 10/18, come see me throw down at Literary Death Match 300 or No 50 for San Francisco! This show's always a blast and with it being a part of this year's LitQuake--get on that!--it'll be even bigger and better. Be there! 

You can also see me read as a part of Lip Service West at this year's LitCrawl on 10/19. Lip Service West is a “gritty, real, raw” true-story reading series produced by Joe and Justine Clifford. Featuring Joe Clifford, Seth Harwood, Lisa Martinovic, Tom Pitts, Josh Stallings, Will “the Thrill” Viharo, and Holly West. Gonna be a great time. Lots of cool crime folks there. Venue: Luna Rienne Gallery 8:30-9:30PM

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