Friends, Family, Readers, Drinking partners... Last fall I sent out the first of what I intended to be an occasional update on my books, but then got

Friends, Family, Readers, Drinking partners...

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Last fall I sent out the first of what I intended to be an occasional update on my books, but then got bogged down in the final stages of rewriting my Robert Ripley biography. (At this two-a-year newsletter rate, spam-wary readers shouldn’t worry). But I do have a few small updates to share, most immediately regarding my book, Light This Candle: The Life & Times of Alan Shepard, which I’m pleased to say isn’t ready just yet for the remainder bins, going on seven years since publication …

Light This Candle… anniversary + book giveaway

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Yesterday, May 5, was the 50th anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became the first American in space. I visited the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, to talk about the man I believe is the most overlooked of the astronauts - a view I also shared in this Op-Ed for USA Today.

The folks at Crown/Random House have been helping me re-promote Light This Candle. The result of their efforts and mine has been a series of fun interviews, Q&As, and blog posts with/by, among others, the BBC,, and Universe Today. Here’s the Op-Ed I wrote for the Huffington Post about the persistence of the moon hoax conspiracy theorists. (Links to these and other Candle/Shepard stories can be found on the 50th anniversary Facebook event page I created.)

To further commemorate 50 years of space exploration, I’m giving away two signed copies of Light This Candle. Using a totally unscientific selection process (involving a hat, my sons, and strips of paper). I’ll pick names and send out two autographed books. To enter the drawing, the book-seller in me asks you to do one of the following: take 60 seconds and go to Amazon and rate or review Candle; forward this newsletter to a friend and encourage them to sign up for my newsletter.

Ripley bio… sneak preview + publication soonish

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After an intense rewrite session last fall with a wonderful editor (Richard Florest), the manuscript is complete. But no word yet on a publication date. (It’s a long story.) Meanwhile, I’ve uploaded a sample excerpt to my website. And if anyone wants to weigh in on the list of titles, I’m happy to offer a future freebie of some sort to those who help me narrow these down - or offer an alternative.

* The Curious Mr. Ripley
* A Curious Man
* Believe it
* World’s Strangest Man
* The Oddest Man in the World
* The Believer
* Unbelievable

Here’s a link to some Ripley photos, and two previously shared videos.

Driving with the Devil… new director + producer

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I’m always hesitant to share news about possible film/TV interest in my books (having learned my lesson from HBO’s last-minute canning of the Hurricane Season film, after investing a ton of money and at least two scripts). But there does seem to me some momentum on Driving with the Devil, which has been optioned by Alloy Entertainment (creator of the Gossip Girl). Alloy has brought in a production team, Rough House, which includes actor Danny McBride and director David Gordon Green, and they’ve attached director, Rob Cohen, who directed “The Fast and the Furious” and “XXX.” Though it sounds like a dream team, I’m wary, but trying to be hopeful. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, read more about Devil here or become a 'fan' on the new Devil Facebook page.


The paperback edition of Hurricane Season was released last fall. (Read more about the book here or watch the promotional book trailer.)
I’ve created an author profile on the cool Goodreads site, and have updated my Amazon author’s page. I’ve also started using the “public notes” feature on my Kindle. It allows people to view highlights and notes I’ve made on books I’m reading or have read.
I recently wrote this story for Seattle Met magazine, about a Native American woodcarver shot and killed by a Seattle cop. (Other freelance stories are on my website: here.)
And here’s a fun interview I did with Seattle’s Warren Etheridge on his show, The High Bar.
If you missed it, here’s a link to my previous newsletter.
Finally, I’ve continued to conduct interviews with other writers at, including Karen Abbott, Steven Johnson, Gary Schteyngart, and Jonathan Evison.

If you've read and really enjoyed one of my books, please help spread the word… go to Amazon, click a book, and take a minute to rate it, review it, or “Like” it. If you liked one of my books, try another - or tell a friend. Books are available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audio editions at Amazon.

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Thanks for reading and feel free to touch base if you have anything to share - reading suggestions, website improvement ideas, glowing praise, personal grooming tips, cash, liquor…

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