The Deep End

I’m proud to say you can now pre-order my new book, The Deep End: The Literary Scene in the Great Depression and Today.

I’ve worked on this project for the last ten years, exploring the different ways writers survived the Great Depression. Here’s more from the OR Books catalog:

“It’s tough being an author these days, and it’s getting harder. A recent Authors Guild survey showed that the median income for all published authors in 2017, based solely on book-related activities, was just over $3,000, down more than 20% from eight years previously.

“Roughly 25% of authors earned nothing at all. Price cutting by retailers, notably Amazon, has forced publishers to pay their writers less. A stagnant economy, with only the rich seeing significant income increases, has hit writers along with everyone else.

“But, as Jason Boog shows in a rich mix of history and politics, this is not the first period when writers have struggled to scratch a living. Between accounts of contemporary layoffs and shrinking paychecks for authors and publishing professionals are stories from the 1930s when writers, hard hit by the Great Depression, fought to create unions and New Deal projects like the Federal Writers Project that helped to put wordsmiths back to work.

“By revisiting these stories, Boog points the way to how writers today can stand with other progressive forces fighting for economic justice and, in doing so, help save a vital cultural profession under existential threat.”

Artificial Intelligence at Medium

I don’t post very frequently on this page anymore, but you can find me on Medium whenever I have a chance to write. Here are some recent posts to check out…

How the Creator of AI Dungeon 2 Used GPT-2 To Create Neverending Adventure Games

Game creator Nick Walton released AI Dungeon 2, using the full 1.5B parameters version of OpenAI’s superpowerful GPT-2 language model to build an infinite text-based fantasy game.

Publishers Weekly Stories

I am the West Coast correspondent for Publishers Weekly, and I like to share my stories on this page…

Formerly Self-Published Italian Author Lands Netflix Series

27-year-old Antonio Dikele Distefano is the child of Angolan immigrants, and his formerly self-published novels explore the lives the children of immigrants. “I show Italian kids that there is not only one way of being black and that our reality is different from what is shown in TV … Second-generation children born in Italy to African parents who moved to Italy are isolated and considered suspicious by the Italian kids.”

The Netflix Literary Connection
The streaming service is on a book-buying spree as it seeks more content for its ever-growing global subscriber base. I interviewed a few executives at Netflix about how adaptation works at the company.

Community Writing Sites Draw Hollywood Attention
In their search for material, producers are forging new relationships with online platforms. From the Writing Prompts subreddit to Wattpad to CryptTV, I spoke with the people leading the best community writing platforms.

Steven Rowley Tackles Jackie O’s Book Biz Years In His New Novel
Steven Rowley’s The Editor tells the story of a struggling writer whose novel is acquired by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I profiled Rowley on the book’s release, exploring a couple literary sites in Los Angeles at the same time.

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Free Born Reading Newsletter

school-kids-on-rug-listening-to-books-black-whiteIn Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, I share hundreds of books and apps that parents can use with kids. Now that the book is published, I still find great new apps and books every week.

To keep parents and kids informed, I launched a free newsletter for parents. Follow the link below to subscribe for free book, eBook, app and craft recommendations every issue.

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May Swenson on the Sad Men Podcast

Sad Men Podcast ImageThe third episode of the Sad Men Podcast is up, exploring the Great Depression writings of the great poet, May Swenson.

Swenson worked for the Federal Writers Project, a radical piece of New Deal legislation that put hundreds of unemployed writers back to work creating city guidebooks, cultural essays, and oral histories in the mid 1930s.

Swenson joined the folklore unit of the Federal Writers Project, interviewing a series of department store workers, immigrants and factory employees at the National Biscuit Company.

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