Barnes & Noble online now offers book discussion pages for readers to share thoughts and opinions with each other and with the author. This month, they are featuring Alan's latest work. It looks like readers are a little hesitant to begin posting - definitely check it out and maybe help get the conversation started.
The Fires discussion here.
And here's what Alan says in his Welcome message to online readers/posters at the B&N site:
"It's a pleasure to become part of this good enterprise, both as a writerand a reader. For as long as I can remember, I've been a reader, and a certain point in my adolescent years tried to become a writer. But as good as I was as the former, the latter goal eluded me for decades. It wasn't until I was approaching my fortieth birthday that I sold my first story, and I've had some success at it ever since. But I've always been a successful reader, and that's just as important to me as writing. Borges, in his poem "The Reader", says that he's not as proud of the books he has written as he is of the books he has read. I agree. I haven't written Shakespeare's Tragedies, no one else has, but we bask in the warmth of that triumph, and in the triumph of every good book we approach and take in, dwell in, and become part of.
I hope these novellas--always an orphan form--will have some good effect for you. Not a story, not a short novel, the novella is something I have written at during the past decade. I published half a dozen of them, in several little magazines, from The Idaho Review to the Reading Room. Here are two of them in "The Fires".
What are they about? Human beings under stress, in torment, in love, and misery, and triumphant, somehow, at the end. Or perhaps you'll see these in another light. I always remember what my dear late friend Bernard Malamud used to say. After he finishes the work, the writer becomes only just another reader."