If you know indie publishing, then you know Akashic Books. Founded by punk rocker Johnny Temple and an early denizen of the Brooklyn literary scene, Akashic's slogan is Reverse-gentrification of the literary world. The publishing house first made a name for itself with books by such emerging authors as Nina Revoyr and Chris Abani. Akashic has also had a strong focus on authors from the Caribbean, and they established a highly successful place-based noir series from authors and cities all over the world.
Then they hit the big time with their children's book for adults, Go the F*ck the Sleep, which is now available in a Jamaican patois translation and an audio version read by the snake man himself, Samuel L. Jackson.
Akashic also has a couple of themed web series with very short stories (750 words max): Their noir series, Mondays are Murder, is followed by stories of parental misadventure on Terrible Twosdays and finally their drug-induced Thursdaze. Each series is updated every week with new, original fiction, and is free to read. At only 750 words per story, you can get your literary fix while waiting in line at your favorite third-wave coffeeshop, and they're a much better way to while away those empty in-between moments than the latest Flappy Bird replacement.
My own very short story, The Preaching Game, was recently published on Mondays Are Murder. It's set in Charlotte, North Carolina, where there are so many churches you'll die before you can visit them all. Read it right now.
We are going to party like it's 1989!
This year, August 23 marks the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way, a massive independence demonstration that stretched across three countries, and serves as a major turning point in my novel.
So it couldn't be more perfect that the official launch party for the book takes place that day.
Please join me at 2pm on August 23 at the downtown LA Central Library for the party. We'll have live music and Lithuanian snacks, and Skylight Books will be on hand with copies of the book for sale.
Here are all the details. Hope to see you there!
Book Launch Party for Love Songs of the Revolution
Saturday, August 23 at 2:00 pm
Los Angeles Central Library
630 W. 5th St. (map)
LA, CA 90071
Meeting Room A (near the 5th Street entrance)
Reviews have been coming in for Love Songs of the Revolution. Of course I think you should read the book, but you don't have to trust me. Ask these fine people:
Vilnius might as well be a character, for Kudirka's relationship with the city is romantic, sensual, and redemptive. When Kudirka finds the body of his murdered wife, he grieves her death, calling her "beloved," which is also the way he repeatedly describes the city, "my beloved Vilnius," "my beloved city," "like an old lover." Both his wife and home are his lovers, and Kudirka seems to perform a bit of psychological displacement by trying his best (which isn't very good) to help the independence movement happening in Vilnius in order to allay his guilt over having been a fairly pitiful husband. Kirdurka admits as much, realizing that "if I believed in nothing else, perhaps I could believe in that. If Vilnius was to be an epicenter of a great uprising against the Soviets, then I had to be part of it. For Natalie, if not for myself" and "Vilnius [was] the only lover I'd ever been faithful to." This devotion and romance for his home is his redeeming quality, and it is the thing that pulls us through to the end of the narrative. However, the narrative is not the end of the story. In fact, what happens after Kudirka's memoir is where Mauldin's real genius shows itself.
by KC Kirkley at Curbside Splendor
All this changes when Martynas’ wife is murdered. The authorities are reluctant to investigate. He learns that his wife had secrets. He feels compelled to search for the truth. He becomes embroiled with revolutionaries, criminals and spies. All this against the backdrop of Vilnius, a city alive with political and cultural change, a city he writes about with all the passion of the exile.
by Goodreads reviewer Kate Vane
Solid take on the suspenseful thriller, suitably twisty, takes place in Lithuania in the late 80s, which gives (as is its aim) an intimate and relatable feel to big seemingly cold themes of political unrest and espionage.
by Goodreads author Leo Robertson
The good natured self-loathing of the main character is explained by the surprising twists introduced in the second portion of the book, where the story takes an unexpected and delightful turn. Overall, Mauldin's masterly prose, ability to create extraordinarily believable characters and brilliant insights into power dynamics, writ large and small, make her an author to watch.
by Amazon reader L. Lueders
Lately I've been making zines. For a limited time, you can see my first zine on exhibit at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Read more.