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Running Flat author, Eric Maywar (center)

An author, illustrator, musician and photographer walk into a bookstore…

Local Trentonian and Classics Bookstore owner, Eric Maywar, is creating of a new kind of storytellytelling in his blog-novel Running Flat (www.runningflatnovel.com) as he intertwines stories about people falling in love and smuggling and revenge. Combining storytelling, photography, illustration, spoken word and music, Running Flat accomplishes something that is impossible to do on the printed page.

Eric Maywar (author) has teamed with Tamara Ramos (photographer), Bethany Sellers (illustrator), and Blue Method (music) to provide a multi-senses storytelling experience with chapters that include photography, illustration and music.

“If books can be digital, why not do new and interesting things,” said author Eric Maywar.

The 75-chapter novel, with original art, photograph, and music, will be delivered to subscribers in installments by email, like a modern digital version of a Dickens novel. And, rather than reading in a traditional method, readers can choose which characters or subplots to follow on the website which will be sortable by character as well as plot-line.running flat

“If you want to read only the parts of the story that have Amadeo D’Onofrio, the man who once beat a man to death with a bag of doorknobs, you can click on his name and read just about him. If you want to read only the story about two people falling in love, you can click on that and read just that part of the novel. If you want to read the whole thing, in chronological order, of course you can do that too,” Maywar explained. Subscribers will also have access to continual updates to the Running Flat website along access to the online bookclub on FaceBook.

“Often Hollywood tells stories of smart girls who can’t get the guy until she takes off her glasses and everybody sees how gorgeous she is. Blech. I wanted to flip that story on its head and tell a story of a woman who isn’t taken seriously by folks until they realize how smart she really is,” said author Eric Maywar.

The novel idea for this blog novel started when Maywar was reading a friend’s blog that was organized in categories. “I thought, ‘How cool would it be if you could sort a novel the way you sort a blog?'” shared Maywar. “This could empower the reader to say ‘I only want to read the car chases and explosions not the mushy stuff’ or ‘I only want to read the relationship story and skip the action.’ Once I was thinking about putting the novel in a blog format, I realized we could deliver it serially. Even later I realized the opportunity to embed videos of music or poetry readings.”

Maywar is traditionally a short-story writer and has been published in some small literary journals with storylines about a gunshot at a poker game, a thin man meeting the woman he used to love, a boy who when kissed could see the moment of the other person’s death, and a man shot accidentally by a hunter going to get a drink in a bar. Running Flat is Maywar’s first longer work.

As for the inspiration for so many storylines and characters, Maywar shared with MercerMe that the elements came from a different passion.

“My inspiration for the love story is my wife. (‘It better be,’ she shouts from the other room.) Often stories of people falling in love focus on obstacles the couple have to overcome: when they first meet they hate each other, or one is black and the other is white and the families put pressure on the couple, or one is a robot and the other is a robot hunter, or she didn’t know that her Nazi-fighting husband was still alive. But that isn’t like my relationship with my wife—we met and fell in love and kept falling in love. I wanted to tell that story,” said Maywar.

“For the inspiration for story of smuggling and revenge, I can’t tell without revealing spoilers! But I can say that I became interested in remittance services, nuclear powered Russian lighthouses and obsessive, smoldering hatred.”

While the story will not be released until January 2016, Running Flat‘s Kickstarter campaign runs until August 25 and pre-order subscriptions are available through that and through the Running Flat website. While you’re waiting for Running Flat to be released, you can get Running Flat swag and show early support while getting artwork, sponsorships, exclusive invitations to parties, being in the photos, and having characters named after you.

To find out more and to read the first seven chapters for free, check out the Running Flat website.

NOTE: MercerMe’s publisher/editor/founder, Mary Galioto, was excited be part of this project and have the opportunity to be editor of Running Flat.

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