Hi, and thanks for visiting.

We designed this website to be more than the usual please-buy-my-book site. We want it to be interesting, fun, and even useful for both readers and writers.

On these pages you’ll find information about my novels Found Objects and Monkey Temple and my nonfiction book Hurling Words into Darkness, as well as resources for writers, commentary and how-to, and links to other interesting sites.

I’d be happy to hear from you or answer questions.

Come on in…


A Book Doctor’s Dose of Brain Science for Writers

Revised Second Edition

For thousands of years, writers have been taught theories and rules about writing based on tradition, philosophy, esthetics, poetics, scholarship, mysticism, and arbitrary dictates.

Meanwhile, over the past few decades, cognitive science has discovered much about how the human mind sees the world and extracts meaning from it, giving us a better understanding of the role stories and storytelling play in human survival, growth, and evolution. Yet these discoveries have often remained cloistered in the realm of science, out of sight to writers and artists.

Hurling Words into Darkness uses these discoveries to connect previously undiscovered dots between authors’ misconceptions and readers’ desires. This book summarizes what I’ve learned about writing over decades of editing manuscripts and studying scientific research into the human mind and brain, but have rarely found in other books about writing. My goal in writing it was to provide helpful insights for all writers, whether beginners or pros, who are interested in creating a deeper and more effective reading experience.

“…the author tackles the fundamentals of fiction in perhaps the most basic way anyone has dealt with them before.… In a crowded genre, this craft guide makes a lasting impression. An illuminating writing manual with an evolutionary focus.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“A fascinating dive into what authors should know about the brain science of how and why we read.”

—BookLife Reviews


A coming-of-old-age adventure about two longtime best friends and rivals who, determined to “not go gentle into that good night,” set off on a road trip to face their past failures and give meaning to their dwindling futures before it’s too late.

“Peter Gelfan’s Monkey Temple is a rollicking journey down a winding road to a dubious paradise. Rich in insight and humor, it is, in the end, a story about stories themselves.”

—Tony Cohan, bestselling author of On Mexican Time


“I am a tidy person, my wife is not. Our lover, Marie, can go either way.”

So begins Found Objects, a novel about unconventional people, unconventional love, what happens when unconventionality collides with convention, and then with itself.

“Sexy, slyly funny, and highly readable. Found Objects works its way subtly into your conformist consciousness and then carries you, enthralled and believing, right to the last page.”

-Fran Dorf, author of Saving Elijah and A Reasonable Madness.