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Archives: Books

Let’s Get This Done

Let’s Get This Done

Visiting Facebook these days is like trying to walk around downtown: Everybody’s got their hands out. Like you, I tend to avert my eyes from the beggars (and the posts) and scan the block ahead for something less guilt-inducing to focus on.

Here’s the thing: Some people really need the money, and not just for a beer. But how do you know that unless somebody tells you? That’s why I’m here.

The high quality and constantly underfunded New Rivers Press, publisher of A STAR IN THE FACE OF THE SKY, has launched an Indiegogo campaign in support of the publication of its 45th anniversary anthology. This is going to be a terrific book, and not only because it has an essay by ME in it.

Ironically enough, the essay concerns this very subject–the ongoing and constant struggle to keep our arts institutions afloat. You want to read it? The ONLY way that will happen is if you step up and send in a few dollars to get this thing on the press.

Click on the image below to go to the Indiegogo site and to make your donation today.  There’s some great swag available and it’s for a great cause.

Tell them “Dave” sent you.  Seriously.  Do.  They may send me a free bookmark.

The E-Book Has Landed

The E-Book Has Landed

AStar in the Face of the Sky is now an e-book.  Resolving (slowly) to an electronic book retailer near you.

Turns out there’s a lot more to converting a print book to an e-book than simply pushing a few buttons.  Lots of behind the scenes business related to formatting and margins and the fact that some readers allow you to do things such as “stretch” the screen and change fonts and font size.  Also, as it happens, we’re still in the “VHS vs Betamax” days of electronic books.   Different readers require different conversion formats.  

This is already more than  you or I needed or wanted to know about this subject.  For those of you who have been waiting, the kindle edition is up and other formats will appear over the next few hours/days.    Of course, you can’t sign an ebook, but I would be happy to deface your Nook with my Sharpie.

AWP 2014 — It’s a Wrap

AWP 2014 — It’s a Wrap

Imagine one of those ven diagrams: three intersecting circles where one circumscribes introverts, the second agoraphobics, and the third misanthropes.  That little dot where the three intersect: that’s me.  They could do a “Hoarders” episode on the way I covet private time; I loathe crowds of any kind (a crowd is any more than two other people who I don’t know within ten feet of my person); and as for the misanthropy part, well I don’t hate people nearly as much as some other writers I admire or your garden-variety politicians do, I just wish they’d go do all that rude obnoxious crap they do over there some place.  Preferably next to you.

What Is It Called When a Star Births a Star?

What Is It Called When a Star Births a Star?

Because I had been too literal in my own imaginings of what the cover of A Star in the Face of the Sky should look like, it took me a minute to fall in love with it.  But only minute, and I have remained smitten ever since and brag more shamelessly about the cover than I ever would about what lies between. (I get my picture taken with it and everything!)


BIG congratulations to Rachel Brixius for being a finalist for the prestigious da Vinci Eye Award, an annual prize awarded to independent and small press books with outstanding cover art.  Eternal gratitude to Rachel for wrapping A Star in such beauty.

Pictured above: Rachel schooling us on the art of great cover design.

The Dallas Morning News Weighs In

The Dallas Morning News Weighs In

Book review: ‘A Star in the Face of the Sky,’ by David Haynes

“A Star in the Face of the Sky,” by David Haynes

Published: 17 January 2014 06:39 PM

Updated: 17 January 2014 06:39 PM

It’s a macabre headline: Keisha Davis murders her preacher husband and three of her children to save them from the devil. “They’re like angels, Mama,” she reports in a phone call to her mother. “Wrapped in white, that He may receive them.”

Keisha’s oldest son, Daniel, was in his grandmother’s care when she killed the rest of the family, and the grandmother’s efforts to give him a full, normal life are the foundation for this beautifully scripted novel.

David Haynes’ story is a study in resilience and strength; it’s about coming to terms with the past. But mostly, it’s about love — between friends, family, lovers, even between those who love and the ones who fail to reciprocate that love. It’s about how this force pulls us through dark times and buoys us in good.

Haynes, author of six other novels and several children’s books, is Southern Methodist University’s creative writing director. His prose is rich, multilayered and often lyrical with lines worthy of re-reading. But his greatest strength is the depth he gives his characters. Man, woman, black, Jewish — all are nuanced and believable.


Heathens is NOT a Novel

Heathens is NOT a Novel

New Rivers Press is currently housed somewhere just north of 1000 miles due north of me, so Suzzanne Kelley was spared the pleasure of having me sit in a little chair next to her desk and try not to roll my eyes as she pointed out the substantive problems with my manuscript.  I’ve been known to roll my eyes.

Some Numbers

Childrens Books Infographic 18 24 V3

Circulating on the web today is a blog post from the children’s book publisher Lee & Low.  The post documents the fact that over the past twenty years there has been no significant change in the percentage of books published for children by or about people of color.  The data reported in this post were gathered by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s at the University of Wisconsin and can be found here: Childrens Books by and About People of Color.


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