Flesh and Bone author William Alton on ‘Why He Wrote the Book’

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By William Alton on Flesh and Bone

I’m prone to visions and voice, nightmares and flashbacks. There are times when I completely lose touch with reality. So I keep a journal. In my head, I see things. They’re detailed and sometimes frightening and graphic. Whether they are memories or imagined doesn’t matter. They become the emotional kernel around which I build my poetry and fiction.

While I am a survivor of abuse, sexual, physical, emotional, I no longer see myself as a victim. But I do remember sitting in my room in the middle of the night shortly after my mother died and things started happening. Flesh and Bone formed in my head like a migraine, full blown and vivid. The book is not a memoir but it is memoiristic. I was much younger than the characters in the novel. I didn’t go through the exact progress they go through. But I imagined and remembered and fought and wrote and the next thing I knew, I had a manuscript.

People ask about my creative process. I am an absurdist and a stream of consciousness writer. I live each chapter and each story with my characters. I become them and they become and for a little while, we each forget the lines between reality and dream.  My style of writing is borrowed somewhat from Sandra Cisneros, Suzanna Kaysen and a slew of flash fiction writers. I’ve tried to emulate John Irving and Tim O’Brien, but I do not think in narrative arcs or outlines. Things come to me piecemeal. I write what comes when it comes.

Part of it is because, at heart, I’m a poet. A Confessional Poet at that. But I like to write in series or inter related pieces. When it ends, it ends. Sometimes, it’s abrupt and nonsensical. Other times, it just peters out. Knowing when to stop writing, knowing when the story is told, is like knowing when to stop making love. It happens many ways, but it’s always clear and definitive.

Learn more at the Luminis Books website.

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Author Tracy Richardson – Work In Progress – Aliens and Earth in Crisis

Tracy Richardson, author of The Field and Indian Summer talks about her current work in progress.

I’m about a quarter of the way through with the very rough draft of my next untitled novel. Titles are really hard and I’m hoping for some inspiration to strike somewhere in the writing process!

As in my other books there is an environmental theme. I’m very concerned about what humans are doing to our planet with pollution, nuclear radiation, fracking, and burning fossil fuels. There is a lot of evidence that what we do harms the planet and I believe that there is a limit to what the Earth can absorb of our throw-away culture. There are better, healthier alternatives to plastic waste, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and fossil fuels. Don’t even get me started on antibacterial soap! Antibiotics are turning up in mountain stream water! We just have to show a commitment on a personal level. What you do does matter. Corporations and governments won’t change of their own volition. They change in response to economic pressures – buying habits of consumers – and public pressure – how we vote. My way of showing my commitment is to include these issues in my books interwoven with stories of normal teens.

In THE FIELD the characters learn about and interact with The Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness. This book will have aliens. Or star-beings, or extra-terrestrials – whatever you want to call them. If you think about the vastness of the Universe – billions of galaxies, billions of stars with billions of planets – I think it is naive, and really arrogant, as well,  to assume that we are the only form of intelligent life out there. Or that we are the most advanced form of life. These other life forms could be so advanced that they could already be here without our knowledge. At least the knowledge of the general population. There are certainly enough UFO sightings by credible sources such as airline pilots and military personnel to make one wonder about it.

A lot of books and movies about aliens have them attacking Earth. Then there are movies such as Interstellar, ET, Contact, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. What if that is the truth? What if star-beings don’t mean to harm us, but want to help us? Are we ready to accept their help?

Here are some sites with more information.

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute – SETI – Carl Sagan Center

Institute of Noetic Sciences – IONS Founded by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell – Science and Consciousness

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Al Riske discusses his writing process for THE POSSIBILITY OF SNOW

By Al Riske on The Possibility of Snow

As I look back, I see that I’ve often written about missteps and misunderstands, crossed signals and bad timing, usually between men and women. In The Possibility of Snow, it’s two guys.

They become friends and then, well, not.

Big deal, right? Guys tend to become friends almost by accident—some combination of shared circumstances and sensibilities—and drift apart as easily as they came together.

The characters in The Possibility of Snow, Steve and Neil, meet in college, where, away from home for the first time, guys find themselves in need of new friends as never before (and perhaps never again, not with the same urgency).

It’s also the place and time in which we are all looking to define ourselves, to decide what and who we want to be.

The combination of similarities and differences that bring Steve and Neil together makes it hard for them to either stay friends or simply go their separate ways. Each is unlike anyone the other has ever known.

To me, that dynamic proved fascinating, mystifying, and ultimately unsettling.

Through their story, I found myself exploring the limits of loyalty, compassion, belief, and forgiveness.

Learn more about The Possibility of Snow at the Luminis website.

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LitPick gives Amy’s Choice 4 Stars!

Anjel, an 11 year old reviewer, loved Amy’s Choice!

“I really liked this book. I usually read fantasy so this was a new experience for me, but I learned that fantasy isn’t the only genre I like. One of my favorite parts is when Pup comes back to say hi because It sounds like my dog when she runs away but then (minutes or hours later) we find her standing on the front porch ready to come in. I also liked that Finn was an artist because I am one as well. However, I disliked that some of the kids smoked but I also feel as if it was necessary to keep the story going. All in all I would recommend this to middle school students, summer book lists, people who like historical fiction and people who like Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco and Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundel.” – 4 Stars.

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Read the full review here.

Visit the Luminis Books website to learn more!

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Glowing Review from Literary Aficionado for Entrevoir

“Like the poetry and philosophy of William Blake, Katsaropoulos has mastered his craft and elevates our mind, our spirit, our thirst for meaning that is so often pushed aside in contemporary literature. Entrevoir is an exceptionally fine work, and highly recommended.” ~ Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado 

 

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Get your copy of this extraordinary novel today!

Full Review

‘It exists. It lifts him up, to the top of that mountain, up and out of himself’

Review by Grady Harp

‘Reading’ is the wrong verb to describe coming into the presence of the words of Chris Katsaropoulos on the pages of his new novel ENTREVOIR. Stepping into his creation of pages is an experience the likes of which we rarely encounter. He ignites a quiet flame of an idea, protects it with story – touching real credible situational details – and pulls his palms away from the fragile flicker to let the themes and melodies and images and flights of thought to disambiguate as he accompanies us on an enlightening journey of philosophy.

The themes of Chris’ books each focus on a field of thought in which he seems completely informed: in FRAGILE he immerses his reader in psychology – the realignment of fractured characters; in ANTIPHONY his starting point is physics and suggests an untested view of the universe; in UNILATERAL he unveils the effects of war on people coming together; in COMPLEX KNOWING he makes the realm of the subconscious into poems; in ENTREVOIR he embraces philosophy with the theme of created art as the guide. Like all of his works, this new book thrusts us into thought patterns that blaze trails of original ideas, not lectured, not pontificated, but bathing us with ideas of the meaning of being few of us have explored so intensely.

In attempting to discuss this luminous book it is best, possibly, to first offer the brief ‘synopsis’ to align the reader with where Chris is taking us. Jacob Marstellar is a gifted artist, a man whose successful career began as a figurative painter but who found the language from brush through pigment to canvas limiting and he chose to embrace conceptual art – and his drive is to create work about light. In this new vein he has been highly esteemed, but he longs to take his art further than the money, the applause of his critics and collectors. Jacob travels with his wife Mayra and teenage children to a rock peak of a village in Southern France, a place called Entrevoir (translated, ‘a brief glimpse’) and there, away from galleries, critics, and viewers and to Marya’s chagrin he creates a conceptual work he calls Entrevoir – ‘a work of art that will enable human beings to see the face of God.’. For Jacob the experience is a mission, a destiny he must follow. As the unveiling is scheduled to begin Jacob has an out of body experience and it is that experience or revelation or coming into the meaning of the universe that spills over the pages of this splendid novel. Jacob enters ‘another dimension, where he becomes the watcher, the witness, and experiencer of lives he lived six decades ago and thousands of years ago, on other planets and as the highest forms of life. In the span of one instant and over the course of millions of years, Jacob comes to understand that he is not his body, he is not his mind, and he is not even his soul. By the end of the amazing unveiling of Jacob’s true self, he will experience the greatest transfiguration any human being has ever known: the realization of the ultimate nature of human life, and of spirit itself.’

The journey to which we are invited is sculpted with mythology, astrology, philosophy, the implosion of the universe, music, art, transcendental variations, brushes with existentialism – every path toward discovering the meaning of life, of being – and ultimately Light.

Having read all of Chris’ novels and published poetry, this reviewer once commented, ‘Chris Katsaropoulos’ mind is so attuned to poetry, classical music, metaphysics, physics, science in general and man’s search for meaning that his book has portions, not unlike cadenzas in a piano concerto where the artist takes a pause from the orchestral score to expound on a note or phrase or thought that shows muscular and spiritual dexterity before returning to the work as a whole, that sing like few other authors can write. It is this gift that Katsaropoulos displays in this masterful work: while weaving a richly imaginative story he perseverates on a thought, relishing the character’s time and the reader’s indulgence to delve deeply into thoughts not usually found within the covers of a novel.’

Reading ENTREVOIR (there is so much information about this work in the art on the book’s cover that gradually reveals as you read), thoughts of the art and poetry and philosophy of William Blake (1757 – 1827) who said, ‘I know that our deceased friends are more really with us than when they were apparent to our mortal part. Thirteen years ago I lost a brother, and with his spirit I converse daily and hourly in the spirit, and see him in my remembrance, in the region of my imagination. I hear his advice, and even now write from his dictate.’ enter the arena. And like the at times enigmatic Blake, Chris has mastered his craft and elevates our mind, our spirit, our thirst for meaning that is so often pushed aside in contemporary literature. An exceptionally fine work, and highly recommended.

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Spring Title Preview ~ THE POSSIBILITY OF SNOW by Al Riske

“Roommates Steve Bourne and Neil Fischer have a lot in common and enjoy their time together until Steve’s growing attachment to Neil creates tensions that reverberate not only in their own lives but in the lives of their friends and fellow students at the small college they attend. In The Possibility of Snow, Al Riske explores the boundaries of male friendship, inviting the reader to consider the limits of loyalty, companionship, and love.” ~ Barbara Shoup, author of An American Tune and Looking for Jack Kerouac

The Possibility of Snow (May 1,2015) is Al Riske’s his third book with Luminis Books. This one promises to be his best work yet.

Pre-order your copy today!

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Description

An engaging, lyrical, and, at times, disturbing novel, The Possibility of Snow tells the story of a once-promising friendship that dissolves into antagonism. Steve and Neil room together at a small college in New England and soon become fast friends, until things go strangely wrong. Steve is eccentric, slightly paranoid, and too perceptive for his own good. He knows the difference between what people say and what they do. Neil is reflective, sincere, and not as together as he seems. There’s not much he’s sure of anymore. They know each other very well and understand each other not at all.

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AMY’S CHOICE receives four stars from San Francisco Book Review

Amy’s Choice depicts the satisfying tale of love, hope, friendship, and life choices. In essence, Amy’s character fights as she struggles to find her true voice in the outside world. Her companions Cat, Ricky, Craig, Finn, and so on are unbelievable and unforgettable characters throughout the story, leaving the readers with a sweet-natured feeling of the power of believing in one’s self. ~  Four stars

San Francisco Book Review ~ Reviewed by Jyotsna, Age 11

We love getting great reviews from actual readers!

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Chris Crutcher calls FLESH AND BONE “Truth”

We’re pleased to share this wonderful quote from much loved and respected author Chris Crutcher on Flesh and Bone  by William Alton.

“Conventional wisdom says a book is great when the reader says, “I couldn’t put it down.”  You will put this book down.  And you will pick it back up.  Again and again.  In my days as a therapist Flesh and Bone  would have been on my bookshelf labeled “Truth.”  Alton’s book is the reason no book should be censored.”

~ Chris Crutcher, author of Whale Talk, Deadline  and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

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FLESH AND BONE ~ a Raw and Real YA Crossover Novel

Flesh and Bone by William Alton is a literary novel for young adults that deals with a despairing teen uncertain about his sexual preferences who turns to drugs, alcohol, and unreliable friends for solace. Available May 1st.

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“In a style that manages to be both stark and lyrical, Flesh and Bone is an unflinching portrait of one young man’s pain, desire and search for self.”  ~ Julia Watts, author of Secret City and Finding H.F.

“Alton delves deeply into the dark and desolate side of adolescence where the lost boys and girls—the outsiders—endure the emptiness of existing, wanting so much to fill the void, but not knowing how. Bill describes himself as a small-town boy, a baby queer, neither courageous nor outrageous. He’s a 21st Century Holden Caulfield that troubled teens can embrace and that those in authority will surely want to ban.” ~ Laurie Gray, Award winning author of Maybe I Will, YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee

Description

Told in a series of images and fragments, Flesh and Bone is a raw and real portrayal of a teen struggling to find love in his life. When Bill’s father leaves and he and his mother move far away to live with her parents, his whole world implodes. His grandparents are cold and distant, his mom is distant both physically and emotionally as she deals with her own struggles, and his dad is just gone. Bill explores his sexuality with multiple partners as he searches for love and compassion and turns to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain of loneliness. Flesh and Bone is a powerful tale that sheds light on the dark places of the soul.

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LitPick calls THE FIELD ‘electrifying’ ~ 4 Stars!

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The Field is an electrifying …[and] imaginative book full of action and mystery. I liked that the author blended a believable story about a regular high school boy with just enough sci-fi to make it enjoyable. … if you are a soccer fan who also likes a little bit of sci-fi, this book might be for you.” ~ LitPick, 4 stars

View the full review here.

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