thomas hardy, another sky press, and my debut novel

I first submitted to Another Sky Press on 17 November 2007, central China time.

On the 20th, I was asked to resubmit my synopsis and a longer excerpt. It was my thirtieth birthday. To me, this was significant.

All of us who write probably have some writer or writers we’ve somehow wanted to model ourselves after. In my brooding early twenties, the nineteenth-century novelist and poet Thomas Hardy became an obsession. I read everything of his I could find, even enjoying the apex of Mister Gloom and Doom’s gloom and doom in Jude the Obscure.

Hardy’s author bios always interested me. A skilled musician. An architect. A writer who torched his first, failed novel. But also a writer whose first novel was published when he was thirty.

Ash Dogs is to be published this summer. The book in a small way pays homage to Hardy. Book 1 of Ash Dogs, Grievance, was thematically inspired by Hardy’s poem “Specters that Grieve.”

I went to London last year to visit Hardy’s grave at Westminster Abbey. I accidentally went on a Sunday, when the Poet’s Corner was off-limits. Maybe I should’ve visited his heart interred in Stinsford.

It’s always fascinating for me to hear which writers are inspiring the writers of today. Who’s inspiring you?

Many, many thanks to all the folks at Another Sky Press for believing inĀ Ash Dogs.

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