The Writer’s Handful with Jacob M. Appel

Mondays + Writers = finally something to look forward to.

Week nine (sorry we missed last week, on the road) of The Writer’s Handful welcomes Jacob M. Appel, the author of many things, among them the much anticipated and exciting new novel The Biology of Luck, forthcoming from Elephant Rock Books. Funny, smart, bold—this book (The Biology of Luck) is just another indication that this industrious and prolific writer is definitely someone to watch!

Welcome Jacob!

Did you write today? If yes, what? If no, why not?

Yes.  I wrote six progress notes on psychiatric patients at my hospital.  Also a few dozen medication prescriptions.   They were not terribly literary.  When I return home, I will likely write something that I hope has more artistic promise….

What’s the first thing (story, poem, song, etc.) you remember writing, and how old were you when you wrote it?

I wrote an obituary for my first grade teacher.  Unfortunately, she was still alive and not particularly appreciative when I gave it to her during class.  In fact, it earned me a visit to the school psychologist.

What are you reading right now?

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.  It’s better than it was in high school.  Amazing how much his writing has improved in twenty-five years!

What’s the most important advice you ever received? (Writerly or otherwise.)

Be optmistic.  Change into clean underwear before going on a date.

If your writing were an animal, what animal would it be? Because…

Leona Helmsley dog.  $12 million would go a long way…..


Jacob M. Appel is the author of the forthcoming novel, The Biology of Luck, and the forthcoming short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper.  His most recent novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award.  He practices medicine in New York City.