ShyaScanlon2014List ten things that scare you about being an author.

Being bad. Being stupid. Being unworthy. Being unread. Being misunderstood. Being irrelevant. Being out of my depth. Being overlooked. Being complacent. Being bad.


That’s nine.

One counts twice. One is two things.


Speaking of being bad, the early reviews of The Guild of Saint Cooper seem pretty mixed. Do you think they’re fair?

Of course.


You tend to be kind of long-winded in interviews but I’m not getting that here.

I usually become loquacious when I’m nervous because I try to cover up the fact that I don’t really know what I’m doing.

1426784423085Day 9


Russell drove us up 65th to Phinney Ridge, his white stomach stuffed behind the wheel of the quick blue convertible Porsche. He accelerated over the cross streets, and Alice, who’d flagged us down outside her parents’ house, made girlish sounds as she floated, momentarily, above the tiny back seat while Russell leered at her in the rearview mirror. He’d shown up unannounced that morning, had simply pulled up and honked out front until I came to the door. Two minutes later I’d been convinced to “see something.” We crested Phinney, dodged left, and leapt into the air on our way down the other side.

“Are we in a hurry?” I asked.

“Try to be alive,” he shouted over the buzz of the car’s high revving engine. “You will be dead soon enough!”

This sounded familiar. I tried to remember who’d said it, and watched Green Lake disappear behind the trees as we fell back to its level.

“I’m fine here,” said Alice, and the car stopped more quickly than I would have thought possible.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Benjamin Percy:


In New York? We hope you’ll come out to TNB editor Shya Scanlon’s big event on January 26th. The line-up is amazing–including TNB contributor Amy Shearn–and for the pre-order ticket price of ten bucks, you get a free copy of Shya’s debut novel. That’s half-off the cover price! A great event, and a book that Peter Straub has called “a bright, dazzling world that might have been plotted by a consortium of William Gibson, Philip K. Dick, and Don DeLillo.”

Here’s a link to more info about the show, and to pre-order tickets. The event is at the beautiful Le Poisson Rouge on Bleeker. Come party like a literary rock star!

See you there!

The weather outside was frightful.  Wind was strong-arming a small group of saplings huddled together for protection at the end of the street, snow was immobilizing a car two houses down, and the sun was punishing Helen’s front yard with an unremitting heat that reminded her of the drought they’d had that morning just before another monsoon had swept through the neighborhood, flooding a couple of storm drains and drowning all the iguanas. Helen was glad to be rid of the iguanas, frankly.  They don’t get along well with dogs.

Let’s start here: I’ve read everything you’ve ever written.

My biggest fan!


And I’ve got to say, I’m finding it a little difficult to find a pattern.

You must have been talking to my agent.

With so many amazing book trailers coming out, Flatmancrooked decided to get fancy. I’m very pleased to present this amazing book trailer for Forecast, which launches on Monday the 15th.


Forecast by Shya Scanlon | Booktrailer from Flatmancrooked Publishing on Vimeo.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 2010) –

At the start of October 2010, TNB Fiction Editor Shya Scanlon officially transitioned to a new role as Fiction Reviews Editor.

“This is a great time to be a reader,” Scanlon says. “With big presses going through major transition, more small and independent presses are picking up the slack, and there’s a real deluge of innovative, exciting work being published in a variety of new ways.”

But without traditional gatekeepers, all these new arrivals can be difficult to navigate. That’s why expanded books coverage is more important than ever, especially when it meaningfully includes coverage of non-mainstream presses, authors, and movements.

In addition to providing broad fiction coverage of the best the major houses have to offer, The Nervous Breakdown Fiction Review department is going focus on fiction that deserves public attention but may not have received it otherwise.

Fiction reviewers currently include Dika Lam, Angela Stubbs, John Madera, JP Smith and Richard Thomas. “But we’re always looking for more people to cover all the deserving fiction out there,” says Scanlon.

To contribute to the Fiction Reviews section, please send a query email, in which the project is described, to [email protected]

The same email address may be used by authors or presses who would like to submit work for coverage.

The great Molly Gaudry interviewed me for Keyhole Press. We look at five specific videos done for poems from In This Alone Impulse by the likes of BL Pawelek, AD Jameson and Ryan Bradley.

Please give it a read.

Much-loved TNB contributor Irene Zion adds her two cents (and two dogs) to the growing list of folks taping themselves reading from my book of poetry, In This Alone Impulse. Watch her read here.

Other TNB peeps who’ve read include Greg Olear and Jeffrey Pillow.

Wanna play along? Email me and I’ll send you a free copy of the book!

Writer, Editor, and TNB family member Jeffrey Pillow stands in water to read from In This Alone Impulse. His dog seems less than thrilled. Watch the less-than-one-minute video here.

Want to play along? Read a poem from In This Alone Impulse, and get a free copy of the book. Contact me for details.

TNB Senior Editor Greg Olear reads a poem from TNB Fiction Editor Shya Scanlon’s book of prose poetry, In This Alone Impulse.

Shya Scanlon is giving away free copies of his book to anyone willing to post a video of themselves reading a poem from it to YouTube. Wanna go for it? Contact Shya.

Say you’ve had a story/poem/whatever accepted for publication by a journal. First of all: congratulations! You really deserved that. Soon, you’ll be famous. But that’s not my point. Say the journal in question keeps postponing the release of its next issue. You inquire and the editor assures you that it’ll be soon, maybe tosses out a likely publication date. But that date passes. And another one passes. Do you feel any compunction whatsoever from pulling the accepted work to resubmit elsewhere? How soon is too soon? When is it no longer rude, but reasonable? When are you a fool not to?

I have 25 copies of my debut book of poetry, In This Alone Impulse, and they’re burning a hole in… well, the box they came in. SO! I’ve come up with the following offer: record yourself reading one of the poems (on video), post that video to YouTube, and I’ll send you a free copy via snail mail.

Here’s the skinny:

  1. Express interest by emailing/sending me a Facebook message. (email address can be found through my site: www.shyascanlon.com/contact
  2. I will send you a pdf of the manuscript.
  3. You choose one you like, record, and post the results.
  4. I send you a book in the mail.

The results are already coming in! Take a look at the videos that have been made by generous, fun-loving folks like you–-some I’ve posted myself, and others I’ve “favorited” and are thus linked to my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ShyaScanlon

Again, please consider passing this offer around to anyone who you think might appreciate a free book of poetry.

A: A Night Together!

Okay, there’s no real joke here. But there is a great event coming to NYC on April 6th, cosponsored by The Rumpus, Tin House Magazine, and Flavorpill. “A Night Together” features authors Sam Lipsyte, Colson Whitehead, and Lorelei Lee (yes, THAT Lorelei Lee),This American Life’s Starlee Kine and comedians Michael Showalter and Dave Hill. It will also have music by Jeffrey Lewis and Alina Simone.

The preorder price for tickets is ten bucks, but if you tweet, blog or post about the event to your Facebook page, you’ll get four dollars off. Now, I’m not great at maths, but I think that’s 6 dollars. Which–again, this is shaky–comes out to a dollar per featured person, not including the musicians. Rock solid, if you ask me.

So you should really think about doing that posting thing. And if you don’t live in NYC, you should post anyway, and like give your discounted ticket to someone you know in the city. Because shit, you totally owe them a favor. To get your discount, post a comment here, linking to your tweet/blog/etc.