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Dylan James Brock Author of Roosevelt, Michigan - EMLab Artist Profiles

“The world works better when you try to understand first and then be understood.

What I found throughout this book was that if I reduced it to language and I reduced it to the the thing that exists between us...I think that the empathy component of this was very

instrumental. And I think if everyone just tried to be someone else and to see them as someone who's having a problem the world would be a much better place.”

Dylan James Brock

“Roosevelt, Michigan is a beautifully haunting story that conjures up a wistful affection for a past place with iconic characters pursuing an impossible dream leading to tragedy. F. Scott Fitzgerald would be proud of this novel’s achievement."

— Evan Matthew Papp

Buddy Henshaw is a folk musician and teenage orphan who lit out on a cross-country filmmaking project. After nearly killing his first love and collaborator Lily by falling asleep at the wheel, he flees her angry family for New York City, leaving her convinced he is dead. When he returns home to Michigan a decade later and founds an artists’ colony in a desolate downtown, he hopes to recapture Lily but ends up partying his way into a series of murders instead. Ultimately, casualties mount from battles between his artistic and romantic ambitions, and Buddy’s friends are left to deal with the wreckage that remains.

Echoing the language of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Roosevelt, Michigan is a love letter to house parties and the extraordinary relationships that support folk and roots music. From a touching affair to a mentorship that goes violently wrong, Brock takes readers to the kind of unforgettable party where no one is sure what's in the punch, but everyone is enjoying the journey - until people start to die.


Buy your copy of Roosevelt, Michigan at: https://www.rooseveltmichigan.com/fiction


Excerpt - “The Role of the Artist”

About the Author

Dylan James Brock is an author and musician and his second novel titled Roosevelt, Michigan - A Musical Novel, will be released on June 18th, 2021. His first novel, Dry World, was released in 2016 and is accompanied by a 25-song album.

At age sixteen, Dylan enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in 2006 he received a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing at Hunter College in New York City. This year, he founded Verisimi Lit, an independent publisher of newsletters and novels that can be found on Substack.

In this interview, we discuss:

  • How Dylan got interested in writing and who are his biggest artistic influences;

  • Why he wanted to write Roosevelt, Michigan - A Musical Novel;

  • His unique writing process; and

  • The role of the writer and artist in society.

Follow Dylan James Brock’s work:


Though my time has come and gone

What is needed now is to

Forget where I came from

See No Nothing


Buy your copy of Roosevelt, Michigan at: https://www.rooseveltmichigan.com/fiction


Excerpt - “Reimagining the Great Gatsby”


About EMLab

Empathy Media Lab is produced by Evan Matthew Papp and we are a proud member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. Support media, authors, artists, historians, and journalists, who are fighting to improve the prosperity for all.


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