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Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

Maynard James Keenan

All Work, No Whine: Turning Grapes Into Gold
Christopher Stipp
Maynard James Keenan

Straight up, I was frightened. I mean, this guy just does not like talking to the press.

Maynard James Keenan, front man for Tool and A Perfect Circle, has always proved to be elusive to me as an artist. I've appreciated, more than anything, his reticence to bask in the warm white glow of the floodlights that seem fixated on our rock gods. On one extreme you have the Bonos of the world, cavorting in front of snapping cameras and stumping for issues that they appear to be wholly in favor of and asking for your help in supporting them. And then on the furthest point on that spectrum, you have people like Maynard. Someone who eschews publicity, talking, communicating with a press that just needs another interview, another headline to get through the day. Guys like him, artists like him, it is all about the music, the creation of it.  And he doesn't need a ounce of your soy ink, thank you very much, to promote it because he has legions at his back who are there willing to find it and embrace it.

One of the things that Maynard was doing with the time afforded to someone who doesn't have to check into a 9 to 5 job everyday and has enough disposable income to make smart decisions about what he needs to do to support his way of living is...

...He decided to grow some grapes.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

No Sleep Till Wonderland

'No Sleep Till Wonderland' by Paul Tremblay
Joshua Chaplinsky
Narcoleptic dream warrior Mark Genevich is back, and he don't wanna dream no more.

Mark Genevich is a PI with a past. A past chronicled in a previous book, which I have not read.  Entering his world for the first time, I wondered- would it be a smooth transition? Or would I be left disoriented and confused, like our protagonist after a hypnagogic episode? Despite a nice recap of past exploits for the newcomers, allusions to Mark's personal history are vague. Almost as if an important piece of information were missing. Fortunately, as the mystery unfurls- the mystery of who Mark is, not just the machinations of the plot- all pertinent questions are answered.  

Dennis's picture Posted by Dennis

EP 5: Do People Really Get Tumors That Grow Hair And Teeth?

Here is our latest installment of 'Sorry You Asked' with Dr. Josh Bazell.  As you may recall, Josh is the author of Beat The Reaper, easily one of the best books of 2009, and soon to be a motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  He also happens to be a doctor that is willing to answer all the terrible those questions that make you... sorry you asked!

If you'd like to ask your own question for Dr. Bazell, please email us at, or post you question here and we'll send it Josh's way.

Also be sure to check out episodes 1-4 of 'Sorry You Asked' in our Features section.

Posted by Dennis

'Tell All' Tour Dates Are Here!

'Tell-All' by Chuck PalahniukHey, everyone.  The day you've been waiting for (since last week at least), is here!  Chuck's publicist at Doubleday just contacted me with the tour dates for Tell-All.  Keep in mind, these dates and some details are always subject to change.  So if you have very specific questions, don't post them here.  Instead, contact the stores.  We've included website and phone information for all the events.

Posted by Dennis

Chuck Palahniuk's Men's Health Article: 'Live Like You're Dying'

Illustration by Matt DorfmanOne of the best things that happens when Chuck gets close to releasing a new novel (besides the book tour, obviously), is that the journalist in him re-awakens.  This usually leads to a slew of articles and interviews he'll do for magazines such as Maxim, Playboy, BlackBook, Esquire and more.  You might remember that these articles were all captured in his 2004 collection Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks

"The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" by Max Brooks
Joshua Chaplinsky
The Zombie History of the World Part II

Those who don't learn from zombie history are condemned to repeat it. Fortunately, those who didn't learn from the Recorded Attacks section of Brooks' original Zombie Survival Guide have been given a second chance, in illustrated form.

Which is one of the major complaints skulking around the web. I personally have never read The Zombie Survival Guide, but hear tell these depictions are just graphic retellings of the faux-historical accounts found therein. Not having read said book, my potential for geek outrage is rather low, so there will be no vitriolic backlash here. I quite enjoyed Brooks' followup, the epic World War Z, in which he documented the world-wide battle against the reanimated flesh eater, so I am feeling rather charitable towards him at the moment.

Posted by Dennis

'The Devil In The Details' - Essay On Writing By Craig Clevenger

The moleskin black notebooks of Craig Clevenger
*The moleskin black notebooks of Craig Clevenger

By now you all know Craig Clevenger.  He's beloved on this site for all his contributions to us over the years.  He started out as just an author we all quickly became obsessed with.  His debut, The Contortionist Handbook, was a landmark novel, a book you'd see fans of Chuck's clutching at readings, with dogeared pages, creased up spines and pen scribbles with quotes and underlined passages all throughout.  The book eventually made its way before Chuck's eyes, and he flipped for it.  You might remember there was a year where Chuck barely did an interview where he wasn't pimping Craig's debut novel.  He even offered this quote for the paperback edition:

"I swear to God this is the best book I have read in easily five years.  Easily.  Maybe ten years."

Soon after completing his second novel, Dermaphoria, something great began to happen with Craig and he became more than just an author.  The dude got hungry.  Hungry to teach.  Recognizing what a natural proclivity he had for tutoring people, through his thorough, essay-length Forum posts, we decided to harness that knowledge and offered him up one of our ground breaking Master's Program Workshop Intensives.  Craig's writing workshops on our site soon became some of the most popular entries we'd offer.  From three hour conference calls to sometimes 24/7 feedback with his writing students, Craig was quickly becoming something of a guru.

Today, we unveil the next incarnation of that raw knowledge the guy seems so good at sharing:  the writing essay.  And this one's on the house, folks. 

Here's a quick tease of what lies in The Devil In The Details:

What follows are some fundamental techniques for letting your reader visualize rather than visualizing for them. We'll achieve this by choosing only a few select details (in spite of the temptation to grab more) and pitting those details against each other, so their contrast creates a depth which cues the reader on filling in the rest. We'll end by experimenting with syntax and sentence structure first, then using modifiers second.

This is a thorough essay that scratches the surface of what you'd get in the beginning phases of an MFA creative writing course.  Craig's become something of a pro at this, so do yourself a favor and study this thing.  Then, if you want more, consider joining our next Writers' Workshop.  Craig's already taught a bunch of them and will probably be teaching more in the future.

Read 'The Devil In The Details'

mirka's picture Posted by mirka

William Lashner

William Lashner’s Metamorphosis
Rob Hart
William Lashner AKA Tyler Knox

So, funny story: Tyler Knox is not actually a real person.  

After reading his fantastic "debut" novel Kockroach, I consulted Tyler's Web site and shot off an e-mail to his agent, asking if I could set up an interview.  She gave me contact info for William Lashner.  I figured he was a publicist.

Posted by mirka

Win A Bunch Of TELL-ALL Publicity Posters!

Doubleday needs YOUR help choosing which 50s-style movie poster to produce for Tell-All

And to thank you for your help, they are offering 50 (FIFTY!) fans a quantity of the winning poster!  This means that you don't get just one Tell-All poster, but a bunch that you can share with friends that are also Chuck fans. How cool is that? All About Eve

How to enter to win:

  1. Please review the following link carefully, and vote accordingly! Doubleday  is looking for a very specific type of poster as detailed in that link. (There are a lot of great posters, but not all are following the criteria.)
  2. Vote!
  3. Send one email!

- The subject line of the email should have the artist's name (It is below the posters).

- The body of the email should contain your full name and mailing address. (Your email may be disqualified if you don't follow those directions)

- Only one email entry per person and no amendments or do-overs

Email to: