Richard Parks is an occupational journalist and critic who commits occasional creative acts of poetry, music, and illustration. For evidence, find for his fiction in ABJECTIVE and elimae, his illustrations in The Believer, FANZINE, andTheRumpus.net, and his music in the coldest, darkest corners of the Internet. Parks has previously reviewed poetry books (in Pleiades and Mid-American Review) and baseball books (in Elysian Fields Quarterly and Spitball). He’s also written about submarines (in the Oxford American), music (in No Depression and Paste), and stolen flowers (in the East Bay Express). He has authored enough daily news articles—including ones for the Oakland Tribune and the San Jose Mercury-News—to choke several large horses, and has served as editor at two small-town newspapers. He is an associate producer for The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández, a feature-length documentary film recently nominated for an Emmy. He has written for a clothing company blog, contributed music to chewing gum commercials, and cut grass to support his writing efforts. If all goes to plan, in two years’ time he will be a Master of Journalism. Wish him luck.
What aspiring novelist doesn’t dream of early fame? Granted, it’s a willfully suppressed narrative—unwritten, unspoken, and perhaps for a noble few, unimagined—but most writers have contrived versions of a meteoric rise to literary success along with more prosaic early fictions. And, given the chance, who would shunt the regard of established authors, modest financial gains, and possible tenured teaching position that await? How I Became A Famous Novelist (Grove/Atlantic, July 2009), Steve Hely’s debut novel, uses this condition as pretext for rollicking satire.
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