turned author Kirk Farber is receiving accolades for his first
The stories started early and for no
Kirk Farber wanted funny. He couldnít
help it. In some haphazard roll of the genetics dice, Farber inherited
his motherís sense of humor and his dadís storytelling prowess.
And so naturally, the Oconomowoc teenager set about crafting humorous
tales ó all for the pure entertainment it provided him.
These days, the 38-year-old rocker
turned author is writing for more than an audience of one. His debut
novel, "Postcards from a Dead Girl," was published this year
by Harper Perennial, an imprint of publishing house giant
HarperCollins. Less than a month after its release,
"Postcards" hit No. 3 on Denverís local bestsellers list
and was included on the Indie Next List for March, a monthly
recommended reading index compiled by independent U.S. booksellers.
"I remember my sophomore year in college I read this article
where some guy said it takes 20 years to get good enough to write a
novel," says Farber, who now lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.,
with his wife, Kelly. "And I thought, ĎYeah right.í But Iíll
tell you what, it did. It took more than 20 years for me to get
Farber didnít take the straightest of
paths to becoming an author. The writing was always there. Sometimes
it hovered on the periphery of his life.
He was influenced early on by
Oconomowoc High School teachers. Their passion rubbed off and Farber,
who found he had a knack for writing, dove into creating more stories.
It was a gift ó and an escape ó that Farber relied on after his
mother, Kathleen, died just a few weeks into his freshman year in
college. "It was a pivotal moment in my life," Farber says.
"I got more serious and more introspective. I became introverted
during that time and pretty much just read and wrote in my
Farber would take a turn writing
screenplays and tried to create science fiction and horror stories. As
the drummer for Spill, a successful Milwaukee band that produced two
albums in 2000 and 2004, Farber also wrote songs.
But it wasnít until about five years
ago that a more experienced Farber set out to write a novel. Farber,
with the first 100 pages of "Postcards" in hand, joined Red
Bird Studio, a writing workshop run by Judy Bridges in Milwaukee.
Farber shared his work with other writers every two weeks for three
years before "Postcards" was ready. "I hadnít really
shared my writing with anyone before, so it was pretty intimidating at
first," says Farber, who also had several short stories published
during that time.
He would spend nearly eight months
trying to find a literary agent willing to take him on. But it would
be one serendipitous moment, not long after moving to Colorado, that
would produce results. Farber decided at the last minute to attend a
Pikes Peak Writers meeting, where a literary agent was speaking.
"She had a closed list, which meant I had no chance," he
says. "But I decided to go and she opened up her list. I waited
three months after sending my stuff. I didnít want to be that guy
who calls. But Iím glad I followed up. My manuscript was sitting in
the rejection pile, but it had never been read. She read it and ended
up loving it."
"Postcards" was quickly
snapped up by HarperCollins and suddenly Farber was a published author
on a book tour visiting stores in San Francisco, Colorado and, of
course Wisconsin, where he was greeted by a packed audience of family,
friends and fans at his hometown bookstore, Books & Co.
Now, Farber says, onto the next book.
|The Southeast Wisconsin Festival
of Books will be held June 18 and 19 on the UW-Waukesha campus,
1500 N. University Drive, Waukesha. The free weekend event will
feature local and national authors, including a special area
dedicated to childrenís and young adult authors. The festival
will include book signings and readings, live music and drama
performances, food from area restaurants and an art fair.
Featured authors scheduled to attend the festival include A.
Manette Ansay; Kris Radish; and David Maraniss, an author and
Pultizer Prize winning journalist. For more information, go to