Pamlico Writers Group Welcomes Frank McNair for Workshop, Book Signing

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The author of the award-winning new novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption will join the group on October 24th

The Pamlico Writers’ Group in Washington, NC, will welcome author Frank McNair of Winston-Salem and Bath, NC, as Featured Author on Tuesday, October 24, from 7 to 9 p.m.  McNair will read from his new, award-winning novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, sign copies of the book, and conduct a mini-workshop on “Plotting and Keeping Up with Characters.”

Open to the public, the event will be held at historic Turnage Theater, 150 West Main Street, Washington, NC. 27889.

Set in the rural South in 1965, Life on the Line is the story of two middle school boys struggling to understand themselves and the world around them as they meet on the football field and immediately despise each other.

A former football player himself, McNair draws his readers into play-by-play action during grueling practices and often violent, bloody games as the boys lead their team towards an undefeated season — despite the tension and animosity that escalates between them.

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McNair’s novel is built around football, but it also contains themes of family and faith, love and loss, and how all of that leads the boys to hard-won reconciliation. Earlier this year, it was named “Best Book” in the Young Adult category for the Spring 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.”

Frank McNair grew up in Laurinburg, NC, where he was a member of the Scotland County High School “Fighting Scots” football team. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Morehead Scholar, he received his MBA degree from Wake Forest University. He has published successful non-fiction business books but Life on the Line is his first venture into fiction. He is currently working on a second novel, this one exploring the life of Christian faith, entitled A Creeping Certainty.

McNair and his wife Laura are active members of their church community, where they teach and contribute in other ways. They live with their beloved lab, Buddy Brown, in a house overlooking the woods in Winston-Salem when they’re not in residence at their coastal home in Bath overlooking the Pamlico River.

The Pamlico Writers Group is affiliated with the Arts of the Pamlico and meets twice a month. Its mission is “to help other aspiring writers accomplish their goals in writing.” For more information on the October 24th book signing and workshop: https://pamlicowritersgroup.wildapricot.org/event-2671367.

For more information on Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, go to www.lifeonthelinebook.com.

 

 

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WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: “First-time novelist draws on experience as football player for coming-of-age story”

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By Lisa O’Donnell 

Frank McNair’s debut novel, Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, was 10 years in the making.

 

After lots of stops and starts, McNair fought through writer’s block and crafted a young adult novel set against the backdrop of something he knows well — football.

 

“I thought football was a good petri dish in which to tell a story about adolescence and coming of age,” said McNair, a native of Laurinburg. READ MORE…

Award-winning Novelist Mark Spano Joins 2017 “Meet The Author” Series June 25th

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Chapel Hill novelist Mark Spano will read from his new book Midland Club. 

June 8, 2017 (Raleigh, NC) — As part of the Raleigh LGBT Center’s 2017 Sizzling Summer “Meet the Author” Series, novelist Mark Spano of Chapel Hill will read from his critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Midland Club on Sunday, June 25th, beginning at 1 p.m.

After the reading, Spano will sign copies of the 120-page book that GayBook.Reviews.com critics have called “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” “…a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic,” and “…more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.” Most recently, ReadersFavorite.com reviewer Romualdo Dzemo praised the book as a “pure delight, composed of beautiful social commentaries and wonderful themes.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Midland Club has maintained a 4.2 (out of 5) rating on Amazon since it appeared there in December of 2016. Earlier this month, Midland Club received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE), one of only two books honored for Winter 2017 in the Mystery category.

Set in a midwestern city in 1958, Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.

Midland Club is now part of the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library.

This and all other “Meet the Authors” events this summer are free and open to the public.

The LGBT Center of Raleigh is located 324 South Harrington Street in downtown Raleigh. For more information: www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

For more information on Mark Spano and Midland Club, go to http://blog.markspano.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

 

A Small Jewel…Flawlessly Smooth and Realistic…An Engaging Work of Noir Fiction

mc-cover_smCritics and readers alike praise Mark Spano’s Midland Club.

(Chapel Hill, NC) — Thunderfoot Press author Mark Spano’s new 120-page book, Midland Club, officially released just one month ago, is already receiving rave reviews from critics and readers and remains ranked at 4.3 stars out of five among Amazon Customer Reviews.

“I’m stunned and humbled by the favorable critical responses to Midland Club,” Spano said recently. “What, though, is of greater consequence is that the book has struck a chord with its readers. That is surely every writer’s ambition.”

Set in 1958 in a Midwestern town, Midland Club is a 120-page mystery novel about corruption, lies, and murder. The protagonist, Rich St. Pierre, is compelled to expose the truth about a friend’s death knowing he’s risking his own life in the process. The protagonist is a gay white man and a member of a highly respected family. The deceased is a gay black man.

The premise intrigued two reviewers with Gaybook Reviews.com. One described the book as “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.”

The other reviewer called the book “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” adding: “The beauty of Midland Club is the telling of the tale, rather than the answer to the mystery…There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.”

Mark Spano admits that he set Midland Club in his old neighborhood in his hometown, Kansas City, MO. But in his book, he refers to the location only as “a Midwestern city.” Yet one Amazon reader, also a Kansas City native, said he immediately recognized the city’s “repressive social strictures of decades ago, designed to prevent the intersections of ethnicity, class, and forbidden love at the heart of this tale of passion and loss.” Spano “can be proud of his story,” he wrote, “as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

Another reader echoed that sentiment, adding, “This book is more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.”

Midland Club is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Review copies are available by emailing publicist Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is a filmmaker and author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. (Headshot available on request.) For more information: blog.markspano.com.

Nine-Year-Old Book Critic Praises “The Mahogany Door”

Author J. Mark Boliek reaches, and impresses, his target audience.  

August 31, 2011 (Durham, NC) – A positive review from a professional book critic is any author’s dream-come-true. Yet for J. Mark Boliek, author of “The Mahogany Door,” a new fantasy-adventure book for young readers, no review will mean as much to him as the one he recently received from the kid in Pennsylvania who writes the blog “This Kid Reviews Books.”

In early August, nine-year-old Erik (last name withheld for privacy) requested a review copy of Boliek’s 353-page book and the all-original soundtrack CD that comes with it. Delighted to have the chance to hear an honest opinion from a member of his book’s target audience (nine to 20-something), Boliek quickly obliged.

This Kid Reviews Books blog logo.

Erik’s synopsis of the book: “What would you do if you could save someone who was lost in a different world? Years ago, JT, Kali, Michael and Charlie traveled to the world of Bruinduer through The Mahogany Door, a magical portal. The friends thought Charlie died in Bruinduer, but he didn’t. He is just trapped and the others now realize it and they vow to get him back. JT, Kali and Michael have to travel back through The Mahogany Door. They’ll face old enemies, fight in a war, cross a desert, have to find trust in Billy (their guide in Bruinduer) and convince Charlie (who wasn’t happy to see them) to come back home.”

Erik was so pleased with the book, in fact, that he wanted to interview the author.

“I liked ‘The Mahogany Door’ so much that I asked Mr. Boliek if he would answer some questions about his book and music. He was very nice to let me do the interview,” he wrote in his post on August 25.

I have to say, when I first started into the story, I thought it was going to be too much like ‘The Witch, Lion and the Wardrobe,’ but it wasn’t,” he writes in his review. “The story of ‘The Mahogany Door’ is unique. The story really kept me reading (seriously, I couldn’t put the book down)… I recommend it to everyone!”

He even gave “The Mahogany Door” his highest ranking, “5 out of 5 bookworms,” which means “You have to read this book!” according to the blog description.

Erik also liked the accompanying CD so much – “The songs are really great” – that he posted a link to Boliek’s website so his readers can hear the songs for themselves.

“This is it,” Boliek said after Erik’s review was posted. “This is straight out of the mouth of a member of my target audience. I can’t even say how much Erik’s review means to me. I’m also extremely impressed by Erik’s love of books and his writing quality. He’s an amazing kid.”

Erik began reviewing books in January 2011 because “I love books, so that’s why I have this blog. The reason I’m doing this is for parents to approve of a book, and for kids to find an excellent book, too,” he writes on the “About” page.

Who reads his blog? “Other kids, parents, teachers, librarians, authors, publicists, publishers, illustrators, and people who just like books have all visited my blog,” he said via email. “I think it’s actually pretty cool how people from all over the world visit my blog.”  (The latter statement is confirmed by his blog’s statistics.)

Erik’s entire review of “The Mahogany Door” and his interview with the author can be read at http://bit.ly/pcyMAA.

The Mahogany Door” is currently available at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC, Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC, and The Moravian Books & Gifts shop in Winston-Salem, NC. Ebook versions, including an enhanced version with imbedded music, are available at the iBook Store, Amazon, and other outlets. For more information visit www.jmarkboliek.com.

Facts about The Mahogany Door:

Author: J. Mark Boliek.  Publisher: Split Rail Books.  Publication Date: May 2011.  Genres: Fantasy-Fiction, Adventure-Fiction.  Illustrator: Lauren Gallegos.  Age Group: 10 and up.  ISBN: 978-0-9832900-0-1.  Paperback: 353pp.  Retail Price: store’s discretion.  Website www.jmarkboliek.com. Ebooks are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and iBookstore.

“Staying Crazy” Sponsors Anticipate Book Release

Cary author receives community support.

August 25, 2011 (Cary, NC) – As humor blogger and columnist Cris Cohen looks forward to the

Cris Cohen

publication of his first book “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane” in September, he has many businesses and individuals in the Cary, NC, community and beyond to thank for support.

In March of this year, Cohen announced that he was going to publish a collection of his humor columns – some written while he worked for several newspapers in California, others written since he and his wife, Michele, moved to Cary in 2008 – in book form as a means of raising money for a local baseball league for children with special needs, including his own son, Max. He announced that he would donate proceeds from sales of “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane” to the league, where he has been serving as a volunteer.

“We’ve gotten a lot from the League,” Cohen said. “It’s a place where Max gets to have some independence, to leave Mom and Dad in the stands and head out to the field. And we have made a lot of great friends, people who understand the challenges of being the parents of a special needs child and can offer advice, support, etc. After receiving all of that, Michele and I wanted to give something back.”

To offset the expense of publishing the book, he put out a call for sponsorships. And they came – from the Cary community to his native California and points in between.

The primary local sponsors for the book are: The Behavior Exchange, Raleigh; Anfield Inc., Raleigh; The Avilez Family in Iowa; Chambers Arts, Cary; Dr. Ben Schemmel, Cary; Hooper Law Firm PLLC, Raleigh; and The Garden Supply Company, Cary. Primary sponsors outside the Triangle are: Live A Little More Enterprises, Marylin Cooper, Digi-Q and Evantac of California; the Cannata Family of Georgia; the Sadler Family of Virginia; and Mommy and Me Are A Family of Texas.

A host of other individuals have contributed small sponsorships and Cary artist Darla Yancho created the cover art.

“The sponsors really made this book possible,” said Cohen. “Their contributions gave us the extra push we needed and also served as a wonderful vote of confidence.”

Cohen is publishing “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane” through his own small press, Tyrannosaurus Max Press, in early September. To learn more about the book and the baseball league for kids with special needs, visit www.stayingcrazy.com.

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen of Cary, NC, is the author of the “Nothing In Particular” blog (criscohen.typepad.com), the humor columnist for Cary Citizen.com, and the author of the upcoming book “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane.” Cohen and his wife Michelle are co-owners of Tyrannosaurus Max Press and regular volunteers with the Miracle League of the Triangle. For more information on Cohen and his book, visit www.stayingcrazy.com.

The Hungry Intellectuals Club Selects Cris Cohen Book for 2011 Dinner Theme

The Raleigh book and supper club plans its 2011 Meals From The Market fundraising event.

July 11, 2011 (Durham, NC) — The Hungry Intellectuals, a book and supper club in Raleigh, NC, will hold another “Meals From The Market” dinner this year to help raise funds for Durham Central Park. And the members have voted Cris Cohen’s upcoming humor book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, as the theme for their 2011 event.

Meals From The Market dinners are annual fundraisers that individuals and groups host in their homes. Ticket sales to the dinners support Durham Central Park’s preservation and cultural activities. Last year’s Hungry Intellectuals fundraising dinner helped buy new red benches for the park.

To make the annual event more fun for book club members, The Hungry Intellectuals select a book around which they create a theme for the dinner.

“The Hungry Intellectuals Book and Supper Club is very excited to use Cris’ book for our Meals From The Market 2011 dinner theme,” said club organizer Heather Curtis. “We are all too familiar with the idea of ‘staying crazy to keep from going insane!’ “

Cris Cohen of Cary, NC, is the humor columnist for the CaryCitizen.com and a prolific humor blogger. He is publishing his new book this year as a means to raise funds for a local baseball league for kids with special needs, including his own son. The book will be a compilation of humor columns he wrote for several newspapers when he lived in California before moving to Cary in 2008 and new ones he’s written since then. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the baseball league.

Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane has already been endorsed by Pulitzer Prize-winning humor author Dave Barry, New Yorker magazine cartoonist Drew Dernavich, and PEN/Faulker Prize-winning author T.C. Boyle.

Cohen was invited to speak to The Hungry Intellectuals, a group of “young professionals who enjoy reading, eating, drinking and debating,” this spring. They chose his book for their dinner theme afterward.

“I am very flattered that they chose my book for this year’s event,” said Cohen. “It is possible that this decision was the result of a computer error or that most members voted while intoxicated. Although, to be fair, I think that is how most bills make it through Congress.”

The Hungry Intellectuals’ 2011 Meals from the Market dinner is scheduled for Sunday, September 18.  The group hasn’t determined the exact location yet.

Durham Central Park is a downtown destination that offers a venue for cultural activities. It is also part of a 24-hour, walkable neighborhood for arts, recreation, and locally owned businesses. The Park includes The Great Lawn, The Pavilion (home of the Durham Farmers Market) and The Skate Park. For more information, visit www.durhamcentralpark.org.

For more information on The Hungry Intellectuals, visit http://www.meetup.com/The-Hungry-Intellectuals/.

For more information on Cris Cohen and Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, visit www.stayingcrazy.com.

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen, the author of the “Nothing In Particular” blog at http://criscohen.typepad.com, and humor columnist for CaryCitizen.com, was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, his wife Michele, and their young son Max moved to Cary, North Carolina, in 2008. His first book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, is due out in the fall of 2011. For more information visit www.stayingcrazy.com.

“The Mahogany Door” Makes BookExpo America’s New Titles Showcase

Split Rail Books gets its first title before international buyers, librarians and more.

May 25, 2011 (Durham, NC) – “The Mahogany Door” by J. Mark Boliek, a new fantasy-adventure book for young readers just published by Split Rail Books of Durham, is included in this year’s New Title Showcase at the BookExpo America (BEA) going on now at the Javits Center in New York City.

BEA is the largest book-publishing event in North America that’s attended by book buyers, librarians, editors, publishers, and literary agents, as well as book authors and illustrators. The New Title Showcase provides a way for publishers of all types, including small presses, to have their book titles on display at major international book fairs in prime exhibiting locations, and in official fair exhibits. Books in the Showcase are also included in a searchable, online database on the BEA website for one year.

“Most book expos are in the fall, but since this one is in May and my book has been officially released this month, it just seemed right that ‘The Mahogany Door ‘would be a part of the BEA,” said Boliek. “I’m delighted that it’s there for buyers, librarians and others to discover.”

“The Mahogany Door” is the first book in J. Mark Boliek’s The Buinduer Narrative fantasy-adventure trilogy. Accompanied by an original music soundtrack CD, it is a story about three friends, separated years ago by a traumatic event, who are compelled to reunite so that they may once again pass through “The Mahogany Door” and into the fantasy Vryheids world of Bruinduer. They must fulfill a destiny they left undone nine years before to keep Bruinduer from collapsing. The eight songs on the soundtrack CD capture the mood and message of certain sections or themes of the book.

A 353-page, soft-cover book, “The Mahogany Door” features original cover art and interior illustrations by California artist Lauren Gallegos. It is intended for young readers ages 10 and up, as well as parents who like to read to their children. Signed copies of the book and CD ($24.95) are currently available on the author’s website www.jmarkboliek.com.

For more information on Book Expo America and the New Titles Showcase, visit www.bookexpoamerica.com.

For more information on J. Mark Boliek and “The Mahogany Door,” visit www.jmarkboliek.com.

About J. Mark Boliek:

J. Mark Boliek, the author of “The Mahogany Door” and the entire Bruinduer Narrative series, grew up in Eden and Durham, North Carolina. An avid writer and athlete, he received a football scholarship after high school but chose to join the Navy instead. He graduated from Concord University in Athens, WV, in 1997 and lived in Wilmington, NC, for a while, where he began to develop The Bruinduer Narrative, a fantasy-adventure series for young readers, as well as the soundtrack CD that accompanies “The Mahogany Door.” Mark and his wife Jill now live in Durham, NC, where they own and operate Split Rail Books and Split Rail Multimedia LLC. For more information on the author and “The Mahogany Door,” visit www.jmarkboliek.com and his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jmarkboliek.

Humor Author/Entrepreneur Takes His Message To The Triangle

Cris Cohen talks business, baseball, books.

May 25, 2011 (Cary, NC) – “How I learned through the Miracle League that baseball can be fun and not just the forced labor camp experience I remember from childhood”

Cris Cohen

is one of two messages that humor writer Cris Cohen of Cary, author of the irreverent blog “Nothing In Particular,” is taking around the Triangle to various groups as he promotes his upcoming book Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane.

The Miracle League of the Triangle is a baseball league for children with special needs, including Cohen’s own son, Max. Through volunteering with the League, Cohen says he’s finally learned to love the game, and he’ll share his insights with the Durham Rotary Club on July 18.

“It turns out that, unlike what I experienced during my childhood, verbal abuse from adults is not supposed to be part of the game,” Cohen said with a smile. “I grew up thinking that baseball’s official rules and regulations had passages about the distance between the bases, what equipment was allowed, and how adults should force kids to experience the kind of psychological trauma normally only seen in prisoner of war camps.”

Before then, Cohen will present his talk “Just try. Just ask. You’ll be amazed at what might happen: My entrepreneurial adventure” with the Success Team Speed Networking group in Raleigh on May 31, with the West Raleigh Rotary Club on June 2, with the Wake County Women Business Owners Network on June 10, and with the Triangle Community of Developing Careerists on June 23. These follow a similar presentation he made to the Triangle Business Alliance on May 19.

“I am really grateful to these organizations for letting me speak to them,” Cohen said. “It is possible that they thought I was someone else when they booked me, but I am not going to try and clear up any such confusion until after the appearances.”

“Just try. Just ask” addresses Cohen’s humorous yet successful efforts at setting up a small press – Tyrannosaurus Max Press – through which he’ll publish Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane and other works, and the celebrity endorsements it’s already received (Dave Barry, T.C. Boyle and Drew Dernavich) because he wasn’t afraid to ask.

The book will be a collection of humor columns Cohen wrote for several newspapers when he lived in California and new ones he’s written since he and his family moved to Cary in 2008. Cohen intends to donate the majority of the proceeds from sales of the book to the Miracle League of the Triangle.

For more information on Cris Cohen and his book, and to see his evolving schedule of speaking engagements, visit www.stayingcrazy.com. Cohen’s blog is located at criscohen.typepad.com.

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen, the author of the Nothing In Particular blog, was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, his wife Michele, and their young son Max moved to Cary, North Carolina, in 2008. Cris’ blog is available at http://criscohen.typepad.com. His first book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, is due out in the fall of 2011. For more information visit www.stayingcrazy.com.

“Staying Crazy” Gets New Yorker Cartoonist’s Endorsement

Award-winning cartoonist Drew Dernavich looks forward to Cris Cohen’s new humor book.

May 9, 2011 (Cary, NC) – Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, an upcoming book

Drew Dernavich

by Cary, NC, humor writer and blogger Cris Cohen, has received a rousing endorsement from Drew Dernavich, cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine.

Due out in the fall, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, will be a collection of Cohen’s humor columns, most from the years he spent as a columnist for several newspapers in California as well as new ones he’s written since he and his family moved to Cary, NC, in 2008.

Cohen sent a pre-publication copy of his book to Dernavich, who is also the winner of the National Cartoonists Society’s “Reuben Award” as the best gag cartoonist in the nation.

“If Cris made a lasagna, it would probably be a funny lasagna,” Dernavich wrote in his endorsement. “If Cris made a chair, it would be a funny chair. Thankfully, he has decided to make a book instead, which I enjoyed reading along with a glass of the most hilarious Merlot. Keep it coming, Cris!”

How big of a deal is Dernavich’s endorsement for Cohen? “I am in awe of Drew’s talent,” Cohen said. “At least, that’s how I explained it to the policemen who found me hiding in the bushes outside his house. He can write. He can draw. He does speaking engagements. He’s like a Swiss Army Comedian.”

Cohen is publishing Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane as a way to raise money for a local baseball league for children with special needs, including his own son, Max. He will donate proceeds from sales of the book to the league.

Cris Cohen is also the author of the humor blog “Nothing In Particular: Trying Not To Take Life Too Seriously” at criscohen.typepad.com.

For more information on Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, visit www.stayingcrazy.com and the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/stayingcrazy.

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen, the author of the Nothing In Particular blog, was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, his wife Michele, and their young son Max moved to Cary, North Carolina, in 2008. Cris’ blog is available at http://criscohen.typepad.com. His first book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, is due out in the fall of 2011.