I used to have a YouTube channel when I was in library school. Or maybe not a channel, but I recorded and uploaded videos every so often at How I Feel About Books.
Video isn’t really my format—I do much better with text. But I’ve done a few readings for my chapbook and wanted to use the audio in some way. So I decided to create some videos for a few of the to celebrate my book’s two month anniversary.
CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the giveaway on Twitter and Instagram. Lauren Voeltz is the winner!
I can’t believe my book has been in the world for one month now! So many friends have posted pictures on social media and shared their favorite stories. Oh, and David Sedaris has a copy of it! I went to his reading last week and gave him a copy at the signing. He asked what it was about and said “I look forward to reading it.” !!!
To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway. You’ll get a signed copy of the book, a super-cool Venus tea trap, and two delicious teas from my favorite companies.
If you’re not active on bookstagram you might be unaware of Taylor Swift as Books, an amazing account that perfectly matched Taylor Swift’s style to indie books. In the spirit of the account, I made my own (because I’m not cool enough to REALLY get one…yet?):
Listen to the recording HERE. My section starts around the 53 minute mark.
This Sunday from 1-3pm CST, Alien Buddha Press is hosting a reading. It’s audio-only through Twitter Spaces, so grab your phone and listen in without needing to primp for Zoom vide. You’ll see a colorful ring around @thealienbuddha‘s profile picture when we’re live. If you follow the press already, the Space will be at the top of your newsfeed. Whichever approach you use, just click to join and listen to these great writers:
I’m honored to share this blurb for my forthcoming chapbook, Won’t Be By Your Side.
48 Blitz was the first book I was completely on board for in my initial role at Split/Lip Press, which means Brett Biebel was the first author I got to work closely with and really hype up on social media. I kicked off my “Five Questions” interview series with Brett and still remember his engaging answers. He recorded himself reading one of the stories (“Warriors”), which you can hear on his book’s Split/Lip Press page, linked above.
That story exemplifies what you get from his flash fiction collection. Insights into the lives and minds of people you might not think twice about—as the back cover copy says, the book is “inviting readers to immerse themselves within, rather than fly over, the wide-open Midwestern prairie.”
Some of my favorite stories include:
“The Messenger,” which features a politician holding rallies at bowling alleys
“Message to the Grassroots,” which is about a fast food company trying to figure out how to spin the unfortunate death of one of their customers
“Dear Abbey,” an ode to young love and moving on
“Capacities of Self-Abuse: An Ethno- Porno-Graphic Immersion,” which is about, yes, masturbation and the study of
“Kansas City Blues,” which is an evening with a newlywed couple already facing stress
And ALL the stories about Mulberry’s: their unique marketing approach, possibly offensive commercials, and just the subtle mentions in many stories.
I love how Brett’s collection has 48 distinct stories, but you’ll read a name and think, “Wait…” and flip back a few stories to see the character mentioned in passing. It’s an immersive way of storytelling that truly feels like you’re among these people, hearing stories from people who know each other.
I’m so honored that Brett agreed to read and blurb my chapbook because I greatly admire his writing, and I hope you’ll check out 48 Blitz. In the meantime, check out this amazing story he recently published in Atlas and Alice: “Holy War.”
Since then, Keely’s second book, Baby Is a Thing Best Whispered, came out with Alien Buddha Press. Once I stopped staring at the gorgeous cover, I dove in and the stories swept me away. The relationships in this book are realistic, even when that means they’re fraught with uncertainty and anxiety. Keely deftly inspires those emotions in the reader.
A few of my favorite stories include:
“Some Girls are Just Trashy and No Good,” about girls at the fair testing the limits of who they are and what they could become, with descriptions so vivid you can smell the food in the air as the colorful lights flash before your eyes.
“Adult Teeth,” about a family of women that hammer their baby teeth into a tree.
“Love Is Riding the Log Flume at Splash Town in Late Summer,” which is about love and loss and the passage of time, told with heart-wrenching, brutal honesty.
“How to Bake Cookies When Your Child is Dying,” giving you step-by-step instructions on how to make cookies and think of anything other than your child dying, while deftly inserting emotion into each part of the recipe.
I need to stop before I highlight every story, but you get my gist. This flash fiction collection is one you don’t want to miss!
The first cover tease was a photo taken during the same shoot, but that and the color scheme are the only common threads with the cover image itself. This tease is getting a little closer to the source…
Spoiler alert: The cover of my upcoming chapbook is a photograph I took a few years ago. I’m never one to take a single photo and feel satisfied, so I usually take dozens (okay, hundreds) each shoot. I culled this specific shoot down to about 12 images, then picked my eight favorites. One is the cover—as soon as I titled the book, the image came to mind and just clicked. I tried another image and it wasn’t right, so I listened to my gut. But I still wanted to share the other seven pictures, so I planned out a few cover teases—and this is the first.