Say hello to Bruce Hartman who is stopping by as part of his current book tour to promote his latest book The Rules of Dreaming
Bruce will award a $50 Amazon or BN.com gift card (winner’s choice) to one randomly drawn commenter.
In The Hot Seat-
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. (My fair city. Complete series on Netflix/Roku.)
Mojitos. (Actually not very guilty about this.)
Best Advice You Ever Got…
This is from André Gide (not given to me personally!):
“Throw away my book: you must understand that it represents only one of a thousand attitudes. You must find your own. If someone else could have done something as well as you, don’t do it. If someone else could have said something as well as you, don’t say it—or written something as well as you, don’t write it. Grow fond only of that which you can find nowhere but in yourself, and create out of yourself, impatiently or patiently, ah! that most irreplaceable of beings.”
A Country or Town You’d Like to Visit…
Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Vienna, Budapest. My wife and I plan to visit Prague as part of a projected Beer and Opera tour of Central Europe, from Berlin to Budapest.
Highly Recommend You Read This Title…
All That I Have, by Castle Freeman, Jr.
Shameless Self Promoting….
Here’s a little background on my new book, THE RULES OF DREAMING, which was published by Swallow Tail Press last month. The book is in the mystery/suspense category. It’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle e-book formats.
THE RULES OF DREAMING is the story of a young psychiatrist, a blackmailer, and some patients at the Palmer Institute, a private mental hospital in upstate New York. The story begins when a schizophrenic patient with no musical training—21-year-old Hunter Morgan—sits down at the piano and plays a fiendishly difficult piece of classical music in front of his psychiatrist, Dr. Ned Hoffmann, and Nicole P., a beautiful graduate student who has checked herself into the Institute after a brief mental breakdown. Nicole soon returns to her apartment, where she struggles to put her life back together, but in follow up visits she perceives Dr. Hoffmann’s life spinning out of control as he falls under the spell of three irresistible women. Meanwhile a blackmailer named Dubin follows the trail of these events back to a tragedy that occurred seven years earlier: the apparent suicide of an opera singer named Maria Morgan—the mother of Hunter Morgan and his twin sister Antonia—on the eve of her debut at the Met.
Nicole becomes convinced that the opera Maria Morgan was rehearsing—Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann—is the key to all the weird events that have been happening at the Institute. It seems to be taking over the lives of Maria Morgan’s two schizophrenic children, the doctors who treat them and everyone else who crosses their paths, until all are enmeshed in a world of deception and delusion, of madness and ultimately of evil and death. Nicole discovers that she too has been assigned a role in the drama, and along with Dubin she sets out to solve the mystery of Maria Morgan’s death and its uncanny consequences.
The Tales of Hoffmann is a beautiful, fantastic work which is all about the shifting boundary between fantasy and reality. If you haven’t seen it, I would strongly recommend that you watch the surrealistic film version that was made by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in the 1950s. Powell and Pressburger were British directors who also made The Red Shoes and The Thief of Baghdad. The DVD of The Tales of Hoffmann contains a fascinating commentary by Martin Scorsese, who was strongly influenced by the cinematography. My interest in the film and the opera led to a study of E.T.A. Hoffmann, who is known in the English-speaking world almost entirely through derivative works (The Tales of Hoffmann, Tchaikowsky’s The Nutcracker, Robert Schumann’s “Kreisleriana,” Delibes’s Coppélia, Freud’s essay on “The Uncanny”) and the stream of influence that traces back to him (Schumann, Poe, Baudelaire, Dumas, Offenbach, Doestoevsky). Unconsciously standing knee-deep in that stream of influence, I recalled an idea for a story I’d had years before (Hoffmannesque, without my knowing it) about a patient in a mental hospital flawlessly playing a difficult piece of piano music without the benefit of any musical training or experience. THE RULES OF DREAMING took off from there.
You can read more on my blog, brucehartmanbooks.com; on my Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/brucehartman; and on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1672631.Bruce_Hartman.
The book can be found at: