Archive for the ‘No Going Back Issues’ Category

Gay Mormon Lit Anthology

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Hi all! Progress on my current writing is slow (partly because I have a lot of paid work at the moment, which is definitely a good thing). However, I do have a news item to report.

A month or two ago, I was contacted by some people I know who are putting together an anthology of stories about the gay Mormon experience. They asked if I’d be interested in having a selection from No Going Back included in the anthology. I said yes. Since then, I’ve been spending odd moments poking around and looking at possible candidates for inclusion.

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No Going Back as a Novel of Ideas

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Over the past year, one of the most interesting places for thinking and reading about Mormon literature has been The Low-Tech World — a blog by Scott Hales, a graduate student in English and comparative literature at the University of Cincinnati. In a series of witty and insightful reviews, Hales has tackled topics ranging from Doug Thayer’s The Tree House to the works of Nephi Anderson. This past week, it was No Going Back’s turn in the barrel. I think it came out pretty well.

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Earning the Big (sic) Bucks!

Monday, January 31st, 2011

I got my 2010 royalty statement and check last week for No Going Back. The check was for a little over $150: my share in the sale of 109 print copies and 77 electronic copies during 2010. That brings total sales to 227 print copies and 77 electronic copies, for a grand total of 304 — and about $250 total in royalties earnings between 2009 and 2010.

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Non-Mormon Reactions to No Going Back

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

I’ve had another positive review of No Going Back from a non-LDS reviewer. Heather at Buried in Books wrote in part:

I was immediately gripped by the story of Paul a sophomore in high school who knows he is gay, but also knows it goes against everything his religion teaches…. What religion? Mormon which I knew nothing about and still know only a very small part of it. But Paul is very proud of his faith and very faithful and wants to stay true to his vows to the church…. The things [Paul] reveals to [Richard, his bishop], feels comfortable telling him, feels like he has to tell him, and the way the Bishop helps him, I have to say, I’d lie like hell. Nope nothing to confess here. I’ve been very good. Never done one thing wrong. Don’t need any help at all. Especially when I’d have to face him every time I went to my best friend’s house. My sex life in my high school years was definitely my own business and I’d never have discussed it with the minister at church. It’s a very different religion than what I grew up with…. This book is not filled with religious doctrine and preachy. Not at all! I would have returned it and said I just couldn’t read it. I have my own personal religious beliefs and I’m still trying to work a few things out so anything very preachy is a big turn off to me…. Towards the last few pages, the tissue box came out. I tried to be quiet because it was 2:00 am and everyone was sleeping, except me the insomniac or reader with a great book. Mr. Langford develops the characters so well, you feel exactly what they’re feeling and at the end you can’t help but cry with Paul and the bishop as he talks to Paul from his heart. It was gut wrenching, bittersweet, you don’t want that to be the solution…. It is not the type of book I’d usually go for, but I found so much to recommend about the book. The extremely well developed characters, their growth, the various relationships and how they grow, and how faith, in something bigger than yourself, can carry you through, guide you, help you make decisions, shape you, for better or worse. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a deep faith in anything, like Paul. I hope I do someday.

I really couldn’t hope for a better response than that — particularly from a reader who doesn’t share Paul’s faith (and mine).

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On Being an Emotional Yo-Yo

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Quick one tonight:

I was feeling somewhat discouraged earlier today. Someone who had agreed to read and review my novel backed out, because she thought it might have more “questionable” bits than she was comfortable with. And I went on Goodreads and found another 3 rating, which brings down my average.

And then I did my periodic Googling on my name + No Going Back, and I found a tweet from earlier this week from a blogger who’s reading my book and liking it more than she was expecting. And suddenly I’m feeling happy again.

It really is true (for me at least) that as an author, I can’t really separate my own ego from how people react to my book, no matter how much everyone seems to claim that it ought to be possible…

Book Blogs

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Did you know that there are more than 50 book bloggers in Utah alone? No lie. Not to mention who-knows-how-many-more in the English speaking world in general. Which, it turns out, is the answer to the question I posed not so long ago about new things I might to do help promote No Going Back.

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Running Out of Ideas

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I had lunch today with Chris Bigelow, my publisher at Zarahemla Books. It was fun, as it always is. We shared gossip and talked about future projects, both joint and individual, and about my recent review of Doug Thayer’s book The Tree House (also published by Zarahemla Books) — and about the fact that we seem to be running out of ideas for ways to publicize No Going Back.

Here’s a short list of some of the things we’ve done:

No Going Back — Young Adult Novel?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

A somewhat different version of this column, oriented more toward broader questions related to the YA literature genre in the Mormon market, is posted at A Motley Vision website under the title “Some Definitional Thoughts About YA (Mormon) Fiction.”

Who’s the intended audience of No Going Back? In particular, does No Going Back fit the definition of a young adult (YA) novel? That’s proved to be a tricky question.

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Reaching Out

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

A year and a half ago, I wrote the following as part of my Writing Rookie series at A Motley Vision website:

I’m a socially motivated person. I like spending time with people, talking to people (face-to-face or at a distance), getting to know people. Part of what I’ve always liked about literature is the feeling of truly getting to know the people I’m reading about. Characters are my friends.

Writing stories, I find, is the same kind of activity—taken to another octave of intensity. The horrible vulnerability that comes in story-writing is the flipside of this desire to reach out and connect to other people on the kind of personal level that comes with creating something that touches your readers.

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Mixed News

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The last week or so has been kind of bittersweet from my perspective. The Whitney Awards were announced, and while I was very pleased to have been a finalist, I was unsurprised to discover that I didn’t win the award in my category. (The person who did win the award, Jamie Ford, is a very fine author whose book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, is the one I thought probably would win, so I’m not complaining.)

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