Five Talents

Excerpts and insights into characters and scenes from Five Talents can be found here, as well as the ongoing series of the main story sections from the in progress audiobook edition of Five Talents. The story follows Calvin Graves, who is competing for a job at the LA Weekly against fellow intern, Matt Reade, but Matt has an edge: a deal with a devil named Gast who’s tilting the odds heavily in Matt’s favor.

AVAILABLE NOW! – Wherein an end is a beginning, and gratitude is found to be appropriate at both points.

EP. 16 – CURTAIN CALL – Wherein accords are reached, friends break bread, a Devil takes his cue and gets more than his due.

EP. 15 – OFFICE SHOWDOWNS – Wherein a journalist, a devil, and a chef all walk into their respective offices and have their futures determined in the face of Hell’s ill wishes.

EP. 14 – SPINNING TABLES – Wherein a Devil visits an amorous Muse, a Demon visits a lawyer and finds his work redundant, and a murderer confronts the Executive Director of Wrath and find themselves an immovable object and immovable object, respectively.

EP. 13 – SAFE SPACES – Wherein a Devil makes LA Traffic even more grating, a family business is revealed to a friend, Human Resources finds its no match for cowardice and a dinner with monks is added to the agenda.

EP. 12 – WEBS WITHIN SNARES – Wherein an HR Director is bound by real estate boundaries, drunken despair proves to be a bitter repast, and the lack of a physical body is found to be only a hindrance rather than an out game over.

EP. 11 – SHIPS IN THE NIGHT – Wherein staff reorgs are confirmed and denied,  the cavalry arrives a few minutes too late, and a journalist shares too many drinks with a chef.

EP. 10 – RE-ORGS AND RACES – Wherein an editor draws closer to her prey, a Devil lays his final snares, and memories are shared of Adam from the Garden- both good and bad.

EP. 9 – RUSH SERVICES – Wherein a mafioso vets a consigliere, a deal with a Devil begins to backfire, and two immortals partake of an American tradition: a good old fashioned road trip.

EP. 8 – WHAT’S COOKIN’? – Wherein an editor makes moves to claim her favorite intern, an unlikely visitor becomes an unexpected joy, and we find that it’s possible to have it all.

EP. 7 – WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS? – Wherein a Devil is set loose on Vegas, Calvin devises a desperate plan and Karen sets it (and more) in motion.

EP. 6 – HOT BOXES – Wherein Calvin gets stiffed on his second drinks tab, but not the last, and we find out more about the intricacies of mafia run Italian restaurants.

EP. 5 – FORMS AND PROCEDURES – Wherein Tie attempts to help his friend, and we encounter red tape bureaucracy of Earth and Hell alike, and find they are not dissimilar.

EP. 4 – WHAT YOUR DRINK SAYS ABOUT YOU – Wherein Devils, their wards, editors and writers all align on how to deal with their respective adversaries.

EP. 3 – KEEP YOUR BOTTLES STRAIGHT – Wherein we learn more of the struggle between Gast and Aba, we meet the sole member of Sally’s waitstaff, and Calvin has an interesting conversation over coffee with Matt Reade.

EP. 2 – BYLINE? WHAT BYLINE? – Wherein Calvin investigates his “lost” byline, we find that bosses don’t have to be Satan to be hellish and an apology is one reason to go to work in the morning.

EP. 1 – DEVILS, INTERNS, & BEIGNETS – The first three character sections: Gast, Sally, and Karen & the Nats

LISTEN! – Wherein I share the first (rough) attempt at recording Five Talents.

CERTAIN UNIVERSAL TRUTHS – Wherein I reveal secrets of the universe writ small in New York Times Crossword

MENTAL CHESS – Wherein we explore the mental tug of war by which self-confidence is won and lost in a matter of seconds.

ON ETERNITY – Wherein I share the final words of my novel’s story and my final words on eternity.

MAKE AMERICA COOK AGAIN – Wherein we learn that cooking is metaphor for life and cultural tolerance.

LILITH & THE GARDEN – Wherein Lilith discusses the beauty of all God’s creations, as well the importance of sexual chemistry as far back as the Garden of Eden.

THE DEVILS: ABA & PITCH – Wherein we see that Devils are often as clueless as we were and still are about affection and crushes.

BENNY AND NARRATIVE VOICE – Wherein the mafia finds a consigliere and border walls talk breaks narrative voice.

BLIND DATES ARE AWKWARD EVERYWHERE – Wherein we discover that blind dates are a form of torture in Hell just like on Earth.

ON SALVATION – Wherein we see that the Sodomites brought the party but not the snacks, and review a single corporate memo from Hell’s CEO.

CALL YOUR PARENTS 1 – Wherein communication and the value of physical print books is explored with a well meaning mother.

A DEVIL NAMED PITCH – Wherein we discuss empty coffers and the vices of Netflix binging.

A DEVIL NAMED TIE – Wherein we discuss more of Wrath’s ranks and the Taco Bell menu

LILITH – Wherein we meet the debatable first woman ever created and explore the nature of the joys of tax returns.

THE BAR WHERE KILLERS DRINK – Wherein we discover a bar you’ll never visit even if it has a solid yelp review.

A DEVIL NAMED ABA DON – Wherein we meet the Executive Director of Wrath in his first corporate project, and discover that demons feel feelings too.

KAREN AND THE NATS – Wherein we meet Karen, the Nats espouse the virtues of Sunday Funday, and the differences between analogy and metaphor are briefly discussed and ignored.

GOOD FOOD FOR ODD PEOPLE – Wherein a hipster causes a hungover chef chagrin, but is still cheerfully accorded a seat at the table.

CORPORATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES – Wherein we see that Hell’s approach to handling sexual harassment by and among their demons is much like the Alt-Right and MRA’s.

DEMONS, IMPS AND DEVILS. OH MY. – Wherein we discuss the difference between a demon, imp and a devil and find that it’s a matter of imperfect design by a perfect Creator and imperfect imitator- Like Louis Vuitton and Trump’s fashion line.

A DEVIL NAMED GAST – Wherein we learn that no one famous gets airtime for being polite… Except Tom Hanks.

FLUSHED – Wherein we learn that editors need love too, and emails being sent after midnight say more about themselves than the any of the text they carry.