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Tony Bertauski


My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I've written textbooks on landscape design, but that was straightforward, informational writing; the kind of stuff that helps most people get to sleep. I've also been writing a gardening column with a humorous slant. That takes a little more finesse, but still informational for the most part.

I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I wanted to write, not the assigned reading we used to get in high school. I wanted to create stories that kept you up late.

Fiction, GOOD fiction, is hard to write. Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

1. Halfskin (2012)
2. Clay (2014)
3. Bricks (2015)
Halfskin Boxed (omnibus) (2015)
1. Claus (2012)
2. Jack (2013)
3. Flury (2014)
4. Humbug (2016)
Claus Boxed (omnibus) (2014)

The Catastrophe Theory (2014) (with Shalini Boland, Cary Caffrey, Scott Cramer, Sarah Dalton, Katie French, Deidre Gould, Jenni Merritt, T W Piperbrook, Deborah Rix, Samanth, Megan Thomason, Joseph A Turkot and David Wright)
Terrible Cherubs (2015) (with Brian L Braden, Robert Brumm, Thomas Cardin, Allison M Dickson, Hanna Elizabeth, JW Kent, Renee Miller, Katrina Monroe, Will Swardstrom and Steve Wetherell)

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