Download the audio episode here to get all the current news from me on The Maltese Jordans audio, print version, and lots more coming soon!
Here’s the news: On April 1, the past episodes of The Maltese Jordans are going up to the $5 reward level. Now’s the time to hop in and download all the eps for just $3 a month AND that’ll keep you tuned in for the new content and updates. Enjoy!
Also, my next Office Hour is Coming Friday @3PM Eastern. Tune in!
Here’s my Southern Gothic style story “To the Bone” for your ears. Click here to download or listen.
This audio first appeared on CrimeWAV with guest host Mark L. Berry–my boy! Thanks, Mark!
“To the Bone” was first published in The Booked. Anthology back in 2013. Thanks much to the Booked. Podcast guys, who’re also on Patreon here. Backstory on the story: I don’t know where this one came from, but I wrote it back in SF about 5 years ago. It feels very Faulkner-influenced and, since I’ve just picked up Go Down, Moses again for the first time in a LONG time, I thought of it. Where did these characters come from, Duncan and Estep? Neither of them PC or forgivable? Perhaps the story “Pantaloon in Black” holds the answer. Also, if you’re looking for a good read you could do a lot worse than to start there.
Anyway, that’s my background on this one and a reading tip for the month.
Thanks for listening! If you’d like to find more of my new audio work, head to my Patreon page here.
In 1999 I had the good fortune to study with one of my heroes, the novelist and short story writer Denis Johnson. This happened at a workshop put on by the University of Montana at a place called Yellow Bay on Flathead Lake.
I took a two-day train trip out of Boston, on Amtrak, and stepped off a train in Whitefish, Montana, spent the night there, and arranged for someone to drive me the rest of the way to the lake. A couple hours, I think.
During that week I met other writers and had a great time. But the highlight was meeting and actually becoming friends with my hero, Denis Johnson.
He liked the pieces I put up for workshop very much, chief among these “When They Were Calling You in for Dinner.” Late in the week, he took me aside. We walked along the shore of the lake, skipping rocks onto the water. He told me (and here I’m paraphrasing), “if you take care of your craft and focus on writing well, everything else will work out.” He said it much more succinctly, clearly, but that was the heart of it. In short, he gave me the confidence to write. Even more than that, he gave me the seed of a faith that this could work. Not the start, but perhaps a foundation of my belief.
He encouraged me to apply to graduate programs, and a year later I wound up at his alma-mater, the University of Iowa, and the Writers’ Workshop. We corresponded for a few years after that and I had the pleasure of being his Iowa City tour guide when he came to read in 2002.
He was a friend, a teacher, and a great writer–the author of Jesus’ Son and the National Book Award-Winning Tree of Smoke, among others.
And now we have lost him. May Denis Johnson rest in peace.
This summer I searched out the tape I bought of his “craft lecture” at that conference and found it, bought a small auto-reverse cassette walkman with a USB output, and I converted it to audio. I hope you’ll enjoy this. I certainly taught me a lot.
Click here to listen or right-click to download the file: http://shoutengine.com/SethHarwoodCrime/SethHarwoodCrime-1999-denis-johnson-craft-lecture-1999-37622.mp3
Here’s the update. It’s me talking into the box you see at left. You can listen here at Patreon.
In this update I talk about what I’ve been doing here, writing and otherwise, the time constraints and technical challenges of a real writer in the world, and what I’m shooting for and gearing up toward regarding new content for everybody’s ears.
So I’m doing my damnedest and will have more free content for you all soon. Thanks for your support, for listening, for reading, all of it. I’m figuring things out.
I also ask a number of questions over on the Patreon page here and would love your responses, thoughts, feedback. Yours, SH
Now that I’m BACK, it makes sense that I’d start spreading the word. Well, first off pal Mike Bennett dropped this promo onto his latest episode of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That’s right, he’s reading from the good old book! And doing a damn good job of it, too!
He spread this promo:
See what you think, rejoice in the streets and come over to my new Patreon page if you want more goodies, including eBook versions of a new story featuring Snake Eyes from G.I. JOE and an oddly-named head of the Sinaloa Cartel. Ever heard of El Chapo? Well, this one is for you!
Have you wanted to study with me in the past but been put off by the high price tags and fancy reputation of Stanford and Harvard? Well, now’s the time and here’s the way to come study with me for four weeks in March via the site LitReactor. Check out the site and class’s page, think it over, and let me know if you have questions.
Here’s the full course description: You know the feeling when the sense of reading falls away, and you find yourself completely immersed in a book’s action? Seth Harwood is here to teach you how to do just that: Engage.
You’ll learn how to write the kinds of books that connect with the reader so strongly, the act of reading falls away and they find themselves immersed in a book’s action, tied to the narrator’s struggle, watching each scene unfold in their mind’s eye.
The first and possibly most surprising lesson: You don’t need a fascinating, multi-layered outline or a stellar plot concept to write like this. Instead you’ll look at how writers and readers connect, building the craft elements necessary to pull readers in and keep them turning the pages.
Students will develop work through exercises in the use of dialogue, visual action, and creating three-dimensional characters in scenes, examining the books of writers like Michael Connelly, Stacey Richter, and Jim Thompson, as well as craft essays by Stephen King and Frank Conroy. You’ll learn from your predecessors while building a vocabulary of analytical tools. Come on and check it out!