Author and Teacher

Weiss received his bachelor's degree in English and Anthropology at Michigan State University and received his PhD in English from Wayne State University in 2009. He has been teaching Composition, World Literature, and American Literature at Macomb Community College since 2011 and World Literature and The West in Film and Literature at Lawrence Tech University since 2014.

He has a handful of academic publications that range on topics that include James Fenimore Cooper, William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy framed by studies of violence, the American Tradition, slave history, and psychoanalytic theory. He is a regular presenter at the American Literature Association/Popular Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, NM. He has a published novel (2004) and lives with his wife and three children in West Bloomfield, Mich. He continues to develop his teaching and research pursuits.

Occasionally, I present papers once a year or every eighteen months at various regional or national conferences in topics and novelists which may include William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, Violence in the Postmodern Novel, or on Herman Melville and James Fenimore Cooper.
I have experience in the horticultural and landscape architecture fields. I currently work as a landscape designer and as a consultant for a telecommunications firm. I live in West Bloomfield, Michigan, with my wife and two children.
I am working on a two books, one a collection of short stories dealing with violence, prison life, and post prison life and the stories of people and their families, and the other, a novel called The Landscaper. Oh, yeah, my dissertation, too.

Writing has always been one of my most important interests. I decided long ago that the only way to become a good writer was to study "good" writing. I have spent the last twelve years studying English, American, and Irish literature.

The difference between private writing and public writing is that private writing is intended for personal use or perhaps for a close circle of friends and family. Public writing is meant to be read by as many people as possible.

The publishing industry is a very difficult business to navigate. The percentage of first time authors who get publishing contracts is less than 5%. First of all, publishing houses have been entering into different businesses outside of the publishing industry, like other large corporations who diversify. Publishing is a business, and the art sometimes takes second place.

There are fewer and fewer publishing houses in existence due to the high cost of printing and often low level of return. Most published books do not make back their printing costs not including marketing and advertising costs. Publishing houses are looking for the next big commercial hit. This doesn't necessarily translate into publishing good novels all the time, and certainly, like movies, there are bad ones published all the time.

Like James Fenimore Cooper, who first read a novel by Jane Austen, (he thought that novel was so awful, he began to write, his third novel being - you might have heard of it - The Last of the Mohicans), I picked up a popular "literary" novel about 1988, read it, and couldn't believe it was published it was so awful. They went on to make a movie on it (which wasn't half bad). The writer in me clicked in and most writers have a similar feeling: I have something to say and other people might want to read it. It is something, I believe, you are born with.

Publishing houses have particular novels and subject matters that they may be looking for at any particular time. A fantastic novel may be rejected because there may be a similar novel like it in production, it may be the wrong time of year, or a novel does not fit with a particular editor's taste. A lot of documentation over the years has shown that even would be famous novelists like Whitman, Twain, or even Nabocov have been rejected because their works didn't fit what a publisher was looking for.

Before you can even get to a publisher, you must secure a literary agent who filters a lot the work for publishing houses, but then has to contend with the kinds of obstacles I have laid out. I myself found a literary agent who worked on selling my novel for two years and many others expressed interest in its representation. It has been a long, long journey.

Elysian Publishing
PO Box 602
Keego Harbor, MI 48320