Eraserhead Press Publishes Book Plucked From LitReactor Class

Class, Classes, eraserhead, News, Rose O'Keefe, Tom Lucas

As the director of LitReactor's class program, it's always thrilling to hear that students have placed the essays and stories they've written in our classrooms for publication. And now, here's something really special: Pax Titanus by Tom Lucas, which was just published by Eraserhead Press, was plucked directly from one of our classes!

Earlier this year, Rose O'Keefe, the head of Eraserhead Press, taught a workshop for LitReactor called Bizarro Fiction 101. Before that class, I didn't know much about the genre, but I knew Rose had a great reputation, and the genre seemed to have a passionate community. As with any new class, I was worried it would be a tough sell—and then it sold out. Quickly.

As for the pickup, Rose said she didn't have any expectation that she would find something publishable, but that changed by the end of class: 

[In] the fourth week of class, when teaching them about putting together a synopsis for pitching books to publishers, I decided to invite them to submit their pitches to one of my editors at Eraserhead Press, if they so desired. Pax Titanus was originally written as a short story by Tom Lucas in week two of our class, the week we focused on creating memorable Bizarro characters. His writing is smart and imaginative and I could see through his work in class that he was a good storyteller with a lot of enthusiasm.

Tom submitted not only that pitch, but two other book pitches to Eraserhead Press editor, Spike Marlowe. She was thrilled to received them and accepted Pax Titanus for our New Bizarro Author Series, which was published in November 2014. It's a fun exciting read that is both action packed and hilarious, but at the same time emotionally complex and layered. I highly recommend people check it out!

I asked Tom a bit about why he signed up for the class, and here's what he had to say: 

First and foremost, I signed up for the class because I have had a suspicion that much of my writing skewed toward Bizarro, but I wasn’t entirely sure. I was hoping to learn more about the genre and in turn, how my writing might fit within its scope.

Secondly, and not something I announced when entering the class, I was treating the experience like a debut or audition. It was my intention to make a positive impression, in the hopes of being able to submit or pitch some time in the future, to either Eraserhead Press, or another Bizarro publisher.

The class was a rigorous four weeks and I turned out three different short stories, all of which I felt were workable drafts. In the final week, Rose opened her door to pitches and I wrote a pitch based on each of the stories. I didn’t know what might grab her interest, but I was excited at the prospect of writing any of them.

Turns out I wrote some decent pitches.

Let's all raise our glasses to Tom, and then go buy three copies of his book, which is about an alien construction worker who enters the greatest fighting tournament in the universe to save his kidnapped son. 

This isn't the first time one of our classes has produced a publication credit. Plenty of short stories were cut in our classrooms. Chloe Caldwell's students routinely place their essays. Our first erotica class, led by Rachel Kramer Bussel, just ended, and it's already produced a sale: "Rain Dog" by LN Bey will be published in an anthology next year. But this is, to my knowledge, the first book that jumped directly from the classroom to print. 

I try my best to keep track of this stuff, but if you've published something that came out of one of our classrooms, please share it in the comments!

And, heavens forbid I let an opportunity for promo go by: We've got a ton of classes coming up in the new year, plus one very cool class on novel structure starting Thursday. Check them all out here

Image of Pax Titanus (New Bizarro Author Series)
Manufacturer: Eraserhead Press
Part Number:
Price:

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Comments

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life December 10, 2014 - 9:27am

Fantastic news. Congrats!

Tom Lucas's picture
Tom Lucas from Orlando is reading Cloud Atlas December 10, 2014 - 9:45am

Thank you!

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies December 10, 2014 - 9:48am

sweet

KT Wagner's picture
KT Wagner from British Columbia, Canada is reading a TBR pile that stretches into the stratosphere! December 10, 2014 - 9:51am

That was a fun class!  Congratulations, Tom.

KT

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes December 10, 2014 - 9:54am

That's awesome! Congratulations.

______

I've taken many LR classes. They've helped me so much. 

Six stories from my work in classes have been published. Another is pending. 

The work I did for John Langan's section of The Horror, The Horror II developed into the first novella in a trilogy that will be published by Apocalypse Ink Productions starting in January 2015. 

I wholeheartedly recommend the classes here. Worth every cent. 

 

 

 

DaveShepherd's picture
DaveShepherd from Calgary is reading No Country for Old Men December 10, 2014 - 10:02am

That's awesome! Congrats Tom.

Re: publishing something from the classroom, I wrote this in Craig Clevenger's 200 Proof Storytelling class and sold it to Fireside Fiction a while back.

Tom Lucas's picture
Tom Lucas from Orlando is reading Cloud Atlas December 10, 2014 - 10:55am

Thanks all :)

I'm planning to take a few classes here in 2015. Hope to see you all there.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer December 10, 2014 - 11:04am

Awesome stuff.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life December 10, 2014 - 11:08am

Remember guys, report your accomplishments to Nathan for LitReactor's monthly community spotlight: http://litreactor.com/contact/community

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb December 10, 2014 - 12:26pm

Congratulations! Great work!

Tom Lucas's picture
Tom Lucas from Orlando is reading Cloud Atlas December 10, 2014 - 7:08pm

Cheers! Thanks all!

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk December 11, 2014 - 3:08am

Nice one Tom! Well done!

Tom Lucas's picture
Tom Lucas from Orlando is reading Cloud Atlas December 11, 2014 - 8:44am

Thank you, Dave!

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life December 11, 2014 - 9:59am

Was the character on the cover based on you? (Please don't kill me with your giant space-hammer!)

Tom Lucas's picture
Tom Lucas from Orlando is reading Cloud Atlas December 12, 2014 - 10:23am

I wish I was cool as Titanus. Four arms! Two hammers! And the ability to increase the size and length of any body part?

WOW!