When I read the short story that Robin Kirk submitted to Wicked South: Secrets and Lies, the anthology I co-edited with Katie Rose Guest Pryal, I knew I’d be excited to read Robin’s soon-to-be-released first novel, The Bond. The Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and a long-time human rights advocate, Robin was uniquely positioned to write this book. I was thrilled to have her on the blog to chat.
Kit Frick’s debut novel, SEE ALL THE STARS, came out a couple of days ago—to rave reviews. It’s a Bustle Best YA Book for August 2018, an Amazon Best Books of August 2018 Editor’s Pick, and a Publisher’s Marketplace Spring/Summer 2018 YA Buzz Book. I can’t wait to read it—and I was thrilled to have the chance to interview Kit about writing novels, her career as a poet, why mentoring matters—and the reason she considers herself a Slytherin.
People come to writing through many different paths. For Andrea Thome, one of the most challenging times in her life gave rise to her literary career. She says, “Writing is something I’ve always loved to do, but I didn’t feel a sense of urgency about it until my mom died. While she was in Hospice care, she gave me the greatest advice.
For me, there are few feelings more exciting than finding a new book I love at the library—and then discovering that the author has a massive backlist. This happened to me just recently with Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I read my way through every book in the series that the library had, feeling much the way I do when I eat my way to the bottom of a pint of Double Dark Chocolate Talenti gelato (shhhh…don’t tell anyone).
Like many authors, Kelly deVos found her way to writing on the heels of another career—in her case, as a graphic designer. She queried her first novel for several years without finding a home for it, but never gave up on her dream. Kelly says, “I’ve been very fortunate to make a lot of great writer friends who inspired me. It can be a lot easier to keep going when you’re not going it alone.”
Laura Shovan is a poet, a teacher, and a novelist. She says, “I spend about a month ‘in residence’ at each school I visit, doing poetry workshops with an entire grade. It’s the perfect job for me.” I was fascinated to learn about how she intermingles poetry in her book-length works—her first book, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, is a novel in verse, and in her newest one, TAKEDOWN, one of the main characters uses writing poetry to cope with anxiety
Being a person who juggles several lives at once—and often struggles to balance them—I’m always intrigued when I discover someone else who does the same. Samantha Heuwagen is a debut novelist, but she is also a bilingual therapist and an activist. She says, “I’m very, very lucky to be able to mix all that I do together in such a way that is meaningful and creates the change I wish to see in the world.”
Courtney Brandt is a woman of many talents. She writes YA, including the steampunk series THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND; she also writes adult books, under the pseudonym Anne Benjamin; she’s a fanfic author; and she has a popular food blog, A to Za’atar.
Before I had the opportunity to interview K.T. Hanna about her newest book, SOMNIA ONLINE—INITIALIZING, I had no idea that LitRPG existed. So of course, I was excited to have the chance to ask her lots of questions about it … and I’ve learned a ton. Welcome to the blog, K.T. … and congrats on bringing your newest book into the world!
Welcome to the second installment in my bookseller interview series! This time around, I’m chatting with Justin Souther, Senior Buyer and Bookstore Manager in Asheville, NC’s Malaprop’s—one of my favorite literary haunts. The store’s philosophy is perhaps best summed up by Justin himself: