Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Parents of shooters

Watching that Dallas shooter's poor dad was 1 of the saddest things I've seen in ages.

Brought to mind Columbine parent Sue Klebold. And the other 3 parents, no doubt, wherever they are.

In most cases, those people did nothing wrong, but their lives are ruptured and they are typically vilified. I hope this family finds some peace, eventually. Won't happen today.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My 2 vastly-different pieces on Pulse

I wrote two vastly-different pieces on the awful Pulse shooting for Vanity Fair this week--the first based on my Columbine experience, the second on my gay experience.

I discussed both pieces with Vanity Fair editor Mike Hogan at the new Vanity Fair Hive site.

I'm really glad that's over with, praying I don't have to do it again soon.

Monday, June 13, 2016

My worlds collided: the Pulse tragedy

My worlds collided this weekend: years immersed in mass murders after Columbine, and refuge in gay bars each time one has passed.

I was so distraught when I finished this piece on the Pulse tragedy in Orlando after 1am that I emailed my editor that I had failed, but he could publish if he thought it was OK. Turned out he really liked it, and it’s Vanity Fair's cover story right now.

I’m still really sad. But this actually wrung much of it out of me, for now.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Synopsis of my upcoming gay soldiers book

I updated my site with much more info on my gay soldiers book coming from HarperCollins in 2018.

I added a summary description of the book (3 paragraphs), as well as some background on the origin.

(just a temporary mockup, for discussion purposes;
not what the final will cover will look like)
I started following these fascinating soldiers in 2000, when I did an in-depth piece on them for Salon, which won a GLAAD Media Award. Since then, I've whittled the story to the two most interesting lives, and plunged in deep.

I'm still writing the book, making great progress this spring.

Here's a taste--more at the site:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Autographed 'Columbine' copies

I just signed several copies of the new expanded edition of Columbine at McNally Jackson Books  (a great indie store), and Barnes & Noble Union Square. Both ship worldwide.

I try to keep a supply of autographed copies at both stores. In the future, call to make sure they have a signed copy:

  • McNally Jackson: 212-274-1160 or info[at]mcnallyjackson.com (And big thanks to them for the "We Recommend" sticker they keep on copies of Columbine.)
  • B&N Union Square: 212-253-0810. They always order many copies at a time, so they generally have the best supply.

Down the road, if they are both out, email me and I'll try to head down there soon: dave@davecullen.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Read COLUMBINE excerpts

Purchase the new edition
You can now read Chapter 1 of Columbine at my site. I have also posted excerpts from the new epilogue to the expanded edition just released this spring.

And finally, I posted several of the journal scans that we just added to the book. (The site includes a handful of them.) For the new edition, I carefully culled back through the thousand pages of journal entries and other material released by Eric and Dylan. I wanted to provide the bits that would be most revealing, that illustrate the most crucial points, and show as many possible sides.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bobby Sneakers visits Uncle Dave for Fleet Week

Bobby Sneakers came to visit again and we had a wonderful weekend.

It was Fleet Week in Hell's Kitchen (in NYC, but especially in HK), and Bobby was quite the hit with sailors. These Marines were really taken with him.

We also took our first little shopping trip. I kinda hate shopping and usually avoid it, and it never occurs to me that lots of places accept dogs. Especially this dog! He helped me pick out a coupe tanks at Universal Gear.

I worked most of the weekend, and Bobby likes to come sit beside me while I write. Some days, he is very eager to get up on my lap and help. It's hard to get much work done, but he's hard to resist.

(I didn't have the A/C in yet, and it was getting mighty hot in here. Plus . . . I do most of my writing in various forms of underwear. haha. One of the perks of my profession. (Fortuitous, since writers can barely afford clothes. haha.)

Friday, May 27, 2016

New pix page for my coming gay soldiers book: West Point and Guantanamo

I've traveled to some amazing places for my upcoming book on two gay soldiers, so I decided to share some of the pictures along the way.

(just a temporary mockup, for discussion purposes;
not what the final will cover will look like)
I started a pictures page here, starting with pix from West Point and Guantanamo. Many more coming. Here's a small sample, below.

First a mock up of the cover I did, and I dug up of me as a drill corporal at Fort Benning in the olden days.

Me, long ago.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Post your expanded #Columbine selfie

Help spread the word on the expanded new Columbine edition. Take a selfie with it and tag me and #Columbine and post it to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, wherever. Thanks.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Prince: How he changed my work

First tingling my ears: freshman dorm, 1979, exchanging music with my black neighbor. We quickly respected each others' tastes, but didn't always understand it, so we swapping favorite cuts, and providing context. I shared Elvis Costello and The Clash. He was enthralled by Prince, played a few cuts off his 2nd album, "Prince." Jangley and unmelodic to my ears, lyrics way too on the nose. I called that one a miss on his part. Hahaha.

Why I recall that so vividly, though, is that my friend didn't give up on me, and I came around pretty quickly: and shuddered at the myopia of my ears--and the artistic center of my brain. It so alien to my ears I had no place for it--and I had not seen that as a good thing!

I've gone back to that moment a million times, when I wince at something and others rave. Maybe I just haven't found the way in yet.


Sillier memory was convincing Jean, the lovably uptight editor of our college paper The Daily Illini to dance with me to a boppy song at a party, and then

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Columbine anniversary

Yesterday was the seventeenth Columbine anniversary, and I tried something new this year. I've been rattled by way too much Columbine in my soul writing the new material and dealing with Sue's book. So . . .

This year, I took a few minutes to think about all the survivors I've come to know and love, send out warm thoughts . . . and then adopted the tactic of most survivors I know: try not to think about it anymore today. Focus on the future, stay immersed in my next book, and not let those two kids get any more of me.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Back to West Point

I had such a great time at West Point last spring, I'm headed back this weekend. I'm also looking forward to gathering more material for my gay soldiers book.

Saturday is the 5th annual gay-straight alliance dinner, where the guest speaker is acting Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, the first known gay leader of any military branch. (He's only "acting" because a Kansas senator is holding up his confirmation.)

I was so surprised that they had so many out gay cadets last year, that I wrote this piece about it for Vanity Fair: What’s It Like to Be a Gay Cadet at West Point These Days?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Expanded new edition of COLUMBINE

Purchase the new edition
The tragedies keep coming. As we reel from the latest horror . . .

That's how I began the epilogue to this expanded new edition of Columbine.

After 17 years covering Columbine, I stepped back to consider how it created a new template for nearly two decades of “spectacle murders.” But it is a false script, seized upon by a generation of new killers. (See below.) In the wake of Newtown, Aurora and Virginia Tech, the imperative to understand the crime that sparked this plague grows more urgent every year.

So we are publishing this expanded edition, with over 30 pages of new material (50 since the hardcover.) It features a wealth of additional scans of the killers' writing and drawings, and an excerpt from the Columbine Teacher's Guide, which I'm offering free to teachers. All ebook formats include the new material (Kindle, Nook, etc.).

As of March 27, 2016, The new edition is shipping from Amazon, BN.com and has reached most physical stores. All ebook formats come with the new version. (At physical stores, look for the modified cover pictured here, with the dog-eared top corner. If your bookstore has the old one, ask them to order another copy, and they'll receive the new one.)

Please post a selfie with it and tag me if you get a new copy. Thanks. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Sue Klebold piece in Vanity Fair

Sorry, I was negligent in posting a link to this. It's been a few week though, and the impact has been settling in. I actually had to pull back from everything Columbine-related after this, because it sent me over the brink into depression again, so I pulled back.

I've not been allowed to read the book yet, except for a short bit, but I was impressed so far. I hope you like the Vanity Fair piece: Columbine Mother Sue Klebold’s First TV Interview Was a Startling Look at the Parent of a Mass Shooter.

And here is info on the new expanded version of my book Columbine