Written Word

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Emerging, Bestsellers, Reviews, Summer Reads, and Indie Bookstore Moments. Who doesn’t love a good book. Get to know the author behind the book as we highlight California writers and authors.

Marc Sotkin

Editor’s note: Marc Sotkin is one of the funniest guys I know! He is writer and producer of more than 350 episodes of various situation comedies, including Laverne & Shirley, The Golden Girls, and the Garry Shandling specials for Showtime. Here’s a situation that happened one day when Marc thought he was getting a little “Eye Contact.” More about Marc Sotkin’s latest projects coming soon. I had a little accident this week. I was walking down the street and a younger woman, a much younger woman was checking me out. No, really. We actually made eye contact, which distracted me, and I walked into a wall. Very READ MORE

Derek Sivers

Editor’s note: Derek Sivers is an awesome book reviewer. Here are some of our favorite books summarized by him that will help you achieve your goals for 2018. Derek has been a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher, but his biggest fascination is the usable psychology of self-improvement for business, philosophy, and culture. READ MORE

Philadelphia Eagles 1984 with Andre Hardy

Dear Football, I love you. You have been the love of my life for as long as I can remember. Everything good that I am, everything good that I will ever be, in part I owe to you. You were there for me when I thought all was lost. You picked me up and loved me when no one else would. Now can you please sit down? I have some things I need to say. READ MORE

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

Pasadena’s Vroman’s Bookstore “Walk of Fame” dedication to Luis Rodriguez by Luis J. Rodriguez In two years, I spoke or read poetry to an estimated 25,000 people in over 200 events, and millions more in English and Spanish language TV, radio, publication, and Internet media. My press, Tia Chucha Press, released the largest poetry anthology of L.A.-area poets called “Coiled Serpents: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles,” edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. One of the poems I wrote for the city, “Love Poem to Los Angeles,” was read on KPPC-FM and published in Rattle READ MORE

The Wandering Song, Tia Chuca Press

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, Tia Chucha Press, 2017 (Northwestern University Press distributor) Prelude by Leticia Hernández-Linares LA MISIóN, SAN FRANCISCO November 28, 2016 HOME WAS BEHIND US, always somewhere else. Born into 1970s Los Angeles, a few months after my parents arrived in the United States, I experienced El Salvador as a distant place we referred to as “back home.” Civil war disappeared the pos- sibility of return, and yet, my parents’ country transplanted itself within the walls of this other home, colored our beans, determined our verb conjugations and our difference. “Back home” shadowed our lives here; my parents READ MORE

Luis at Tia Chucha Books

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States is a multi-genre collection of poems, short stories, essays, memoir, novel excerpts, and creative nonfiction. The book showcases writers who render a multiplicity of experiences as refugees from the wars of the 1980s to those who barely remember the homeland, or who were born in el norte. READ MORE

Harley and Me by Bernadette Murphy

Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life By Bernadette Murphy Prologue (Previously published May 31, 2017) Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. —T. S. Eliot The day is finally starting to soften with the onset of evening as a storm assembles to the southeast. The sun has been scorching my retinas all day and is just now starting to dim. I’ve been riding my motorcycle more than eight hours today, winding first through the stunning canyons of Utah, veering into Idaho for a bit, and now entering the READ MORE

Artfulllife by Harold Cleworth

“Blessed The Lowered” Harold Cleworth Design Studio Press Hardcover, 168 pages (11×11 inches) Harold Cleworth CLEWORTH: an ARTFULLlife is the first publication to compile his life’s work, and is a captivating visual journey of an illustrious career that has spanned almost four decades. A must-have for automobile aficionados, it features Cleworth’s most highly coveted paintings to date, and the fascinating stories behind them. Be dazzled by gorgeous paintings from award-winning automotive artist Harold Cleworth. From illustrating the elegant curves of the multimillion-dollar 1936 Bugatti Atlantic, to perfectly depicting the brilliance of the head-turning red of Ferraris past and present, Cleworth brings an incredible photo-like quality READ MORE

Borrowed Bones by Luis Rodriguez

People’s Sonnet #1 by Luis Rodriguez A shadow hangs where my country should glow. Despite glories shaped as skyscrapers or sound. More wars, more prisons, less safe, still low. Massive cities teeter on shifting ground. Glittering lights, music tracks hide the craven. TV, movies, books so we can forget. Countless worn out, debt-laden and slaving; Their soul-derived destinies unmet. Give me NASCAR, lowriders, Hip Hop, the Blues. Give me Crooklyn, cowboys, cool jazz, cholos. Give me libraries, gardens of the muse. Give me songs over sidewalks, mad solos. Big America improperly sized. Give me your true value, realized. Excerpt from Borrowed Bones (Northwestern University Press, READ MORE

Luis at Tia Chucha Books

Interviewed by Barbara Lieberman Luis Rodriguez knows that Los Angeles is a “great poetry town.” His tenure as Poet Laureate went from 2014 to 2016. It may have come to an end but for Rodriguez, it’s just the beginning. Having published a new book of poetry with Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press called, Borrowed Bones, he is currently working on another book that will be a collection of essays. In addition, he’s been working as a script consultant for the FX TV show Snowfall, co-created by John Singleton. And if that isn’t enough for this busy man, Rodriguez continues to teach creative writing in two maximum-security READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, US Poet Laureate

by Natalie Durkin “It’s fantastic to be a poet in L.A., and to be an Angeleno.” That’s right, our country’s chosen wordsmith is one of our city’s own. Amanda Gorman was born near Los Angeles International Airport, fitting considering she has wings rivaling any aircraft’s. Her path to poet laureate began “at the cross-section of diametrically opposed neighborhoods; the economically stable and largely black population of Ladera Heights, the cultural vibrancy of Inglewood, the rich and sprawling Ballona Wetlands and blue Marina lining the sea.” Gorman attended middle school in Malibu and high school in Santa Monica. Trekking up, down, and around the coast cemented READ MORE

The Hill by Davis MacDonald

Miss Annie: Sometimes the Judge does get quite morose. It’s something to do with his Welsh roots. I find it useful to come and sit on his foot. This way it’s difficult for him to ignore me, and he can’t really get up and walk away. He usually gives in and starts to stroke my head. That’s when I know I’ve got him. READ MORE