JC: After the Workshop centers around Jack Hercules Shannon – yeah, Hercules, no shit – he had a story published in the New Yorker when he was at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He was working on a novel, a rising star. Anthologized. He had the pedigree and the stuff to make it big. Somewhere, however, something went wrong. Twelve years later, he’s given up on that novel, and on writing altogether, scraping an income together by squiring authors around town for book signings and dinners, forgetting, when possible, what might have been.

Then he picks up an author who disappears just before a shitstorm of bad pr, and later the same day plays chauffeur/metaphorical punching bag to the literary flavor of the month, all while feeling a personal upheaval he’s been avoiding for years.

This is funny stuff. Jack wonders the snowbound streets of Iowa City hounded by a maniacal publicity manager from NYC, a hot-and -cold ex-fiance, and a former literary star now down on his own luck. They drink and scheme and lie their way from bars to book signings.

There’s a lot to like in After The Workshop, especially the hilarious cast of characters, who you know from your own workshops, bookstores, publishers, and quite possibly the comments section of this site. Lots of fun, reminescent in lots of ways to Wonder Boys.

Check back tomorrow for John McNally’s contribution to the the When We Fell In Love Series.

jc

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3G1B is the collaboration of four friends and colleagues in the book business. Together, they review books and stories, interview authors, and maintain an ongoing conversation about publishing, bookselling, writing, pr, and nearly anything else.

JONATHAN EVISON is the author of All About Lulu and West of Here and TNB's Executive Editor. He likes rabbits. He also likes being the ambiguous fourth guy in the “Three Guys” triumvirate. He is the founder of the secret society, The Fiction Files (if he told, he’d have to kill you). He has a website, but it’s old. Just google him.

DENNIS HARITOU has bought books for Barnes and Noble for seven years, for warehouse clubs for five, and has led a book club. He is currently Director of Merchandise at Bookazine.

JASON CHAMBERS has been in the book business for over fifteen years, including tenures as General Manager/Buyer at Book Peddlers in Athens, GA, and seven years as a Buyer and Merchandise Manager at Bookazine. He now works as an bookstore consultant and occasional web designer.

JASON RICE has worked in the book business for ten years at Random House in sales and marketing and Barnes & Noble as a community relations manager. Currently he is an Assistant Sales Manager and Buyer at Bookazine. His fiction has appeared in several literary magazines online and in print. He was once the pseudonymous book reviewer Frank Bascombe for Ain’t It Cool News. He’s taught photography to American students in the South of France, worked as a bicycle messenger in New York City, and for a long time worked very hard in the film & television business in NYC. Production experience includes the television shows Pete & Pete, Can We Shop ( Joan Rivers' old shopping show), and the films The Pallbearer, Flirting With Disaster, and countless commercials---even a Christina Applegate movie that went straight to video.

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