What happened to T.M. Shine?

This kid here was looking forward to more T.M. Shine. The most unlikely awesome writer of recent years had arrived in the Post pages, thanks to a slow influx of Miami Herald feature refugees. Then he disappeared. Last year brought no new work from Shine, and this year I got curious.

Turns out he’s writing a book. Remember the Post Magazine story about losing his job, the piece that started this blog’s miniobsession with his work? Well, there was a fantastic line in there, “Nothing happens until it happens to you.” At first thinking about writing a memoir, Shine has now turned that sentence into a such-titled novel coming this autumn, a January Times story (that only I discovered this morning) told us.

Mr. Shine said he enjoyed the freedom of writing fiction. When he originally conceived a nonfiction account, he had planned to track the post-layoff lives of colleagues who also lost their jobs. But once he began writing fiction, “I could decide their futures rather than waiting to see how it would pan out.”

Then again, his publisher “could have said ‘I want to turn it into a musical,’ and I would have said, ‘Hold on, I’ll get my harmonica,’ “ noted Mr. Shine, who has written two nonfiction books. “I was just so desperate.”

On sale: Sept. 7, 2010. I’m already excited.

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