Podcast: The Rocky Mountain Writer
October 16, 2018 § Leave a comment
What a pleasure it was to spend part of a recent afternoon having this wide-ranging conversation with Colorado novelist Mark Stevens on The Rocky Mountain Writer podcast.
We discussed many topics of interest to writers and readers, including A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, travel and fiction, Ecuadorian volcanoes, Venezuela’s Orinoco basin, Eastern Cuba, fiction vs autobiography, the importance of place in fiction, dropping acid and pushing the bounds of objective reality, interiority and loneliness, The Grateful Dead and the Eleusinian Mysteries, fly fishing as metaphor, Ursula K. LeGuin, William Golding’s The Inheritors, Newport MFA & the Cuba Writers Program, and a recap of a talk I gave on “The Essentials of Voice” at RMFW’s Colorado Gold conference in September, 2018.
Listen to the entire podcast here. Mark also did a wonderful followup print interview here, in which we talked about life experience as a point of departure for fiction, the deep sources of story ideas, more on why I think dreams and hallucinations shouldn’t be off-limits for fiction writers, place-based writing as a response to environmental crisis, the challenge of endings, some of my favorite writers, and more. Enjoy!
Main Street Rag Reviews A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing
May 13, 2018 § Leave a comment
Very much enjoyed the new review of the collection by Evan Williams in the Spring 2018 edition of the venerable literary magazine Main Street Rag. It’s not available on-line, but here’s an excerpt:
“Each story is an exercise in high adventure. Cessna prop planes, dugout canoes, rattletrap sports cars, and hipped-out VW vans transport characters across America to Grateful Dead concerts, and up the Amazon River in search of a new species of frog. The author’s attraction for the outdoors in inescapable, with each installment a trip to another country, or occasionally, a mind trip on LSD . . . Weed writes as a realist, never coddling his stars. Teeth are kicked out, and hearts are broken. Perhaps gritty is the optimum word to describe his treatment of behavior and consequence, where even the innocent are not insulated from the impact of their decisions, nor the decisions of unkind others. In A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, no one is granted immunity from life . . . Provocative and memorable, this collection strikes all the right chords.”
You can see how this is a review to make an author happy. The collection just came out in paperback: click here for instructions on how to order!
“Tower Eight” nominated for a Pushcart
December 8, 2017 § 3 Comments
Pleased and very honored to report that Green Writers Press has nominated “Tower Eight” for the 2018 Pushcart Prize! “Tower Eight” is the story of a pair of teenage misfits who do LSD and put themselves into various dangerous situations in rural New Hampshire, establishing a tight friendship as they hurtle toward a tragic end.
It’s the second story in A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, published in hardcover in April, 2017, and coming out in paperback in April 2018. (An excellent stocking stuffer, by the way. Just sayin’.)
A conversation about writing with James Scott of TK Podcast
August 29, 2017 § Leave a comment
Really enjoyed my conversation with James Scott on the latest episode of his terrific series of literary conversations known as the TK Podcast. James is a bestselling novelist (The Kept) and an excellent interviewer, with a real knack for asking questions about writing and life that lead to interesting places.
We talked about travel, the writing life, the binary nature of solitude, National Geographic, short fiction, how to sequence stories in a short fiction collection, the Cuba Writers Program, Ingmar Bergman, drug writing, Green Writers Press, Denis Johnson, The Grateful Dead, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Paul Bowles, and much, much more. Highly recommended if you’re a writer and/or a fan of literary podcasts! Here’s the link.
Profile out in old hometown newspaper
July 1, 2017 § Leave a comment
Pleased to see this new profile in The Keene Sentinel, the newspaper of record for the town where I attended high school and spent much of my adolescence. Very grateful to the Sentinel’s reporter, Xander Landen, for his interest in the collection and for his admirable insistence on getting all the facts right. Among other things, Xander does an excellent job of laying out the local context for some of the stories in A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. Here’s the on-line version:
“From his Books to his Business, Vermont Writer Will Take You on a Journey.” The Keene Sentinel.
New interview up at Fiction Writers Review
May 8, 2017 § Leave a comment
Really enjoyed this wide-ranging conversation with the perceptive Art Hutchinson at Fiction Writers Review. We discussed, among other things, extreme sports, the supernatural, foreign and historical settings, pushing the boundaries of conscious perception, and why the inner landscape is something fiction can do better than any other art. Read the whole interview here!
Two new reviews: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER & FLY FISHING
April 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
Honored to notice the release of two new reviews of A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. I found these particularly gratifying because they zero in on two specific stories in the collection:
Seven Days takes a unique approach in a piece called “Page 32: Short Takes on Five Books by Vermont Authors,” excerpting a quote from page 32 of each book and using that as a jumping-off point for a brief review. For A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, the quote lands in the middle of one of my favorites, “Tower Eight,” a story in which, according to reviewer Sadie Williams:
“Weed delves into adolescent friendship and the idea of being an outsider with great care for his characters. The tale begins and ends with one character musing on the reality of the other. The surreal ploy is subtle enough to bring the story into the realm of good literature, making the reader question perceptions of reality . . . Weed’s prose is weightless, and weighty, all at once.”
Matthew Sirois at Necessary Fiction, weighing in with what is without doubt the most academic and “literary” perspective on the collection so far, focuses on a story that hasn’t otherwise received much mention:
“Perhaps the greatest story in Field Guide is “The Money Pill,” whose white, American narrator operates a tourism business in Cuba, not long before its official opening to US visitors . . . “The Money Pill” feels like essential literature—for its self-awareness, its bold impeachment of globalism, and its sultry, sticky atmosphere of arousal and shame.”
Sirois doesn’t pull punches in his criticism either, which I find for the most part fair— though he does take a few ideologically reflexive shots at poor dead Hemingway, whose contributions to world literature are manifold and who was, despite his many flaws, a vigorously anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian figure who was not afraid speak truth to power even at great risk to his career. Nevertheless, Sirois ends the review on a generously effusive note:
“But if we malign Hemingway and his progeny—a bloodline to which A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing could be said to belong—it’s because the archetypes of power from his day have remained in power all along. Tim Weed is a writer who knows how to interrogate those archetypes, smash them open, see what they bleed—and, if necessary, take them fishing.”
My sincere humility and gratitude goes out to the authors of both these reviews.
Order the collection from IndieBound, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble — or request it at your favorite local bookstore. (ISBN# 978-0997452877)
Vermont Public Radio Interview
April 7, 2017 § Leave a comment
“What I was trying to do was first of all just to tell a good story.”
Really enjoyed my recent conversation with Vermont Public Radio’s Mitch Wertlieb! We discussed writing, fly fishing, avalanches, the Grateful Dead, and other topics related to my newly released short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing.
Here’s a link to the podcast and transcript of the interview. Have a listen if you’re curious: the whole thing is just under seven minutes long. And here’s a link to the collection, which can be purchased at Amazon, B & N, or by request from your favorite local bookstore!
New craft article out at Fiction Writers Review
March 20, 2017 § 2 Comments
I’m a big fan of Fiction Writers Review and it’s an honor to be welcomed home from a trip abroad with the news that they’ve published my article, “Shadow Play: Dreams, Visions, & Hallucinations in Fiction.” Here’s a brief excerpt:
A vibrant inner landscape is something fiction can offer far more fulsomely than any other narrative art, which is the reason novels and stories will never be fully supplanted by movies or TV or video games. Fiction is irresistible because it offers the reader a defamiliarized version of the universal mind, in all its wisdom and agony and strange, conflicted beauty.
For fiction writers, this is where it gets fun. The inner landscape is our native domain, and we have certain freedoms and privileges within it that are not readily available to other artists. Our stories unfold primarily as refracted through our characters’ minds, meaning that we’re uniquely positioned to push against the outer limits of objective reality. We can play around with space and time and perception in really interesting ways—including via dreams, visions, and hallucinations.
Read the full article here.
Advance praise & early reviews: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER & FLY FISHING
February 17, 2017 § 4 Comments
Deeply honored by these early reactions to my forthcoming short fiction collection, which launches officially on April 7, 2017. Excerpts linked to full reviews:
“From the mountain lakes of the Colorado Rockies to cobbled streets of Spain, this fascinating collection of short stories by Vermont-based writer Tim Weed (Will Poole’s Island) never disappoints. The stories are more about choices than they are about fly fishing or murder, but time and again Weed’s vivid characters in these thirteen tales of dark adventure are forced to confront a vision of themselves—or others—that’s not quite as positive as they’d hoped . . . A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing is a collection you’ll be happy to get lost in.” Julie Reiff (full review at Ploughshares).
“Tim Weed’s A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is a fiction collection of the first order. I found myself parceling out the stories to make them last. These are stories that will live a long time both on the page and in your heart.” —Joseph Monninger, author of The World as We Know It.
“In his first short story collection, novelist Tim Weed shows his stunningly impressive range—transporting readers from the heights of the Andes and the depths of the Amazon to the backstreets of Rome and Granada. Many of Weed’s stories have a hint of the mysterious, even the supernatural, but they are all grounded in sharply-rendered material worlds so fresh one feels one might step directly into the literary photographs he has created and stroll around for a while. A top-notch debut, not to be missed.”—Jacob Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House (full review at Goodreads)
“Each story is a jewel, cracking open what matters most: love, family, and our big beautiful planet.” —Ann Hood, author of The Book That Matters Most
“A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is more than a collection of adventure stories. It is a significant and moving collection of ideas, snapshots, and visions that leave a lasting impression . . . Never predictable, this collection is a must for travelers, adventure seekers, and anyone who cares to examine the depth of [Weed’s] varied and flawed characters.” —Ron Samul (full review at We Are the Curriculum)
Stay tuned for the official announcement of the April 7, 2017 release on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the email newsletter. No need to wait though! Pre-order the collection at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.