Far from Mars: Nine Creative Nonfiction Stories Featuring People and Places in Champaign-Urbana
The pieces in Far from Mars range from dog walkers who adore their Greyhounds to a cassette collector who hosts a local radio show and plays on-air music via the tapes he buys. The Midwesterners in the charming book are regular people who took chances, followed their passions, and pursued meaningful hobbies.
Something is deeply off about the new publication in Champaign-Urbana, starting with the oily paper-hawker that Seth Kesler dubs the Newspaperman, who hand-sells the C-U Journal for a mere dime on a downtown street corner. The Newspaperman is a smart satire horror/mystery that will keep readers intrigued right up until the gut-punch ending.
Learning Journalism Where Writers Rise: Four Enlightening Years in Graduate School at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
“I wish I could say the original inspiration to write this book stemmed from an idealistic desire to teach what I learned about journalism and spark an interest in others to pursue the field, which has gone through turbulent times in recent years. And though the project did evolve into me having those lofty intentions, the reality is that it was initiated by my desire to … well … simply earn some extra cash.”
What begins as a collaborative effort by Alex Neitzel, Trevor Neitzel, and Chad Batt quickly becomes an example of the needling, conspiring influence money can have. The slow-burning, suspenseful plot of The Millionaire’s Cross puts ordinary individuals into an extraordinary circumstance, testing one man’s emotional state and ability to come to grips with his actions.
Written by author Sal Nudo in the mid-1980s, when he was a child, Eddie the Catfish is a tale that shows the innocence of boyhood alongside vengeful mayhem in an aquarium. It all begins when Tyler Matheson and his dad purchase fish in The Pet Place in Milwaukee. One of them, Eddie the catfish, does not play nice in the tank and is soon loathed by the other fish. Conniving ensues when Tyler and his father get a companion catfish to settle Eddie down. Little do they know the other fish have a plan to get back at Eddie for all his bullying. Eddie the Catfish offers a mix of youthful childhood exuberance with feistiness in the fish tank for an enthralling short-story read.