We're All Damaged

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Reading From The Books of Matthew and Jessica

Back in June, I had the pleasure of reading with the very hilarious Jessica Anya Blau at the Pratt Library in Baltimore. It was a fun night. I told a story about how my eyeball kind of exploded recently, and then I read the first chapter of We're All Damaged. Jessica told a story about her most recent trip to the lady doctor and read the first chapter of her latest, The Trouble With Lexie. The whole thing was captured here on a podcast. Check it out.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Music

One of the best things about publishing novels is getting to write playlists for Largehearted Boy, which is a wonderful website that explores the beautiful overlapping of music and literature. Check out my playlist for We're All Damaged, which appeared on the site earlier this week. Any songs you wish I would have included?


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Twitter Questions

On Sunday, I asked the Twitterverse if they had any questions for me about, well, anything. Here they are, along with my answers.  

@MatthewHanover asked:
What are your desert island all time top five novels? 

This is the kind of question that a guy like me could spend hours and hours suffering over. I'm not going to do that, though. Instead, I'm going to answer quickly and just go with it. Straight Man by Richard Russo, The Catcher in the Rye by Mr. Salinger, The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter, Mary and O'Neil by Justin Cronin, and Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. And, honorable mention...The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever because there is so much brilliance there. The story The Swimmer will tear your heart out.

@MatthewHanover also asked:
Does Lad Lit have to be comedy?

When it comes to writing, generally speaking, I'm uncomfortable with classifying things by certain genres. It feels very limiting to me. I'm even more uncomfortable with the idea that something "has to" be something. However, that said, if you're a male writer and you write about a male character and you don't do so with comedy, readers will be far less likely to categorize your book as "Lad Lit." They'd probably just say it's literary fiction.

@blackstuff1991 asked:
How did Daisy's character develop? Better yet, what inspired her character?

It's tough to talk about Daisy in detail without unleashing spoilers. However, I'll say this: of all the characters I've written, none have changed as much as Daisy from first draft to final product. When I started writing the book, Daisy lived in New York, had no tattoos, and owned a perfectly harmless backstory. The Daisy that ended up in the final draft was the product of me trying very hard to shake up a story that needed to be shaken up. I wanted the "new" Daisy to do three things:

1. Leave the reader conflicted. Ultimately, is she good or is she bad?
2. Force Andy as far outside of his comfort zone as possible.
3. Reveal a level of depth to the story of Henry, Andy's dying grandfather. 

What inspired her? I honestly don't know. I just pieced her together over time, I guess.

@LadyGDuran asked:
What music do you like? Favorites? 

U2, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, The Stereophonics, The Black Keys, The Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Rolling Stones would probably make up my all-star team. However, over the last few years, I've tried to branch out and let some different types of music into the mix, like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift (thanks to my daughters, mostly), and Bruno Mars. I also recently discovered an incredible band called Legends of Country. They're an all-Brit group who plays old school country-inspired music that is just wonderful. Check them out here!

@idgieatthedew asked:
Will reviewers be able to get their hands on it? DV was reviewed on the Dew and I look forward to more Norman.

Such a businessy question. Yes! Reviewers are a big part of the communications strategy for any book in this day and age, and We're All Damaged is no different. I'll DM you my publicity contact right now. She's very nice. Check your inbox.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Lad Lit Q&A

In the UK, which is among the greatest places on Earth, they have this term called "Lad Lit." It doesn't take a Comparative Literature major to figure out that it refers to the male equivalent of "Chick Lit."

Like a lot of writers, I sometimes take myself too seriously, and I've been known to get all prickly and self-righteous in the face of labels.

But...whatever. I'm a youngish guy, my main characters have all been youngish guys, and who the hell am I to question the word choice of the very people who brought us William Shakespeare, Nick Hornby, Mick Jagger, and Love, Actually?

Click here to read my Q&A with British author Steven Scaffardi on his Lad Lit Blog. And, be sure to check out Steven's books on Amazon.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

The 3Ws

Last week, my writer friend Allie Larkin asked me to be a part of her incredibly cool 3Ws series in which writers answer three simple questions:

1. What do you create?
2. Why do you create?
3. What do you consume? 

Here are my answers.  Do yourself a favor and check out the rest of the series, too. Some really great stuff there from some of the best writers working today. And, I definitely recommend following Allie on Twitter, because she is very funny.  


Thursday, June 2, 2016


Five years ago, I gave my very first public reading as a professional novelist.  It...it didn't go as planned. 

Here's my essay about that humbling little evening, which appeared yesterday on Lit Hub.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Writer's Bone Podcast: 45 Minutes of Me Talking

About a month ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out in a bar in Baltimore with the writer Gary Almeter from Writer's Bone. We chatted about all sorts of book things, like inspiration, autobiography, and my favorite swear word. Here's our conversation in full, bar sounds included. And, after you've listened, go check out the site. It's fantastic.