New Book News!

 
If you’ve only known me as an adult, you might not know that my full name is Allison. I was named after a Gordon Lightfoot song and I spent my childhood listening to old folk records as if they held the secret to fixing everything that was wrong in my life.
 
Folk songs are essentially stories, and I think the time I spent with my ear pressed against the stereo speakers, trying to hear every squeak of fingerprint ridges against guitar strings, every word, breath and hesitation, shaped the way I see the world and what I want a story to feel like.
 
For over a decade — since before I finished STAY — I’ve been writing about April Sawicki, whose best understanding of the world comes from Bob Dylan songs, who doesn’t fit in the life she was born into, who has a fierce little heart that pushes her to want something more for herself.
 
I have loved all of my books, but I loved writing this one so much that I wasn’t certain I’d ever want to let it go. It’s been the story that fills my head in all the in-between times — between other books, other projects, other heartbreaks. I promised myself that for April, there were no compromises. So, I have fought to free the spaces in my heart, and the spaces in my career to allow this book to be true to itself, true to me, and true to my favorite imaginary friend. I know this may sound crazy, but for all these years, I’ve felt like April Sawicki was in the woods and I had to write her out.
 
So, it is my greatest, strangest pleasure to finally tell you that Gallery Books is publishing my long term project – THE PEOPLE WE KEEP – in August 2021. I found the right partners to help me get April out of the woods and into the world. My agent and editor and everyone at Gallery has honored what this book is and what it means to me. Knowing April is deeply understood by her caretakers really does fix the creaky hinges of my heart. I wish I could go back in time and tell that kid in front of the record player that someday we’d get here. My name on the cover will be Allison Larkin, because I wrote this book for the version of me who honestly believed Bob Dylan held the answers to everything.
 

3Ws – Kaira Rouda

 

 

What do you create?

I create piles.

Creative piles, mostly. My husband and I have been married for 27 years. My warning to him when we married: Love me love my piles. For me the creative process is messy, but fun.
That sort of describes me, too.

 

Why do you create?

Because I must create. Here’s the thing. If you know you want to write, have dreamed of doing so, and you’re not: it’s time. I waited a long time to actually pursue my writing career. It’s ok, because it happened. I would be inconsolable if it never happened. Please, if you’re reading this and it’s your dream, find a way to make it happen. Your dreams are worth it.

 

What do you consume?

Until I watched the documentary, What the Health, I consumed cheese. If you love cheese, don’t watch that movie. If you love the planet, you probably should. As for other things I consume. Novels, of almost any kind. Time spent with friends and family. And life. We’re so blessed to be here.

 

Links

 

3Ws – Linda Stasi

 

What do you create?

Every day as a newspaper columnist, I get to create an alternate spin on a news story that’s real and often unbelievable—the who, the what, the-what-the-hell of it. Some true stories though, are so inexplicable that if I wrote them as fiction, I’d be drummed out of the business.

Ah, but then in my other life, the novelist one, I get to create stories about a newspaper columnist based on the mystical research I’ve done. Hopefully, I create compelling and believable stories—not ones that will make readers ask, “What the hell?”

When I’m not typing, I’m taking pictures. My photos are reflective of what I do in life…except my photos ask a question without answering it.

 

Why do you create?

Because I have no choice. If I couldn’t write, I couldn’t breathe. I began tooling around with writing fiction when I was going through a very bad period and was out of work. I’ve always worked as a writer, and when I didn’t have a job I literally felt that I couldn’t catch my breath. So I started writing fiction to try to find myself again. I was shocked to discover that writing fiction is the opposite of reporting. Tabloid journalism means you have to compact the most information into the fewest words. Writing novels meant I had to learn to luxuriate in taking two whole sentences instead of two measly words to describe something. Without noticing it, I started to breathe again. Then I got a job.

 

What do you consume?

At the risk of sounding like a fool, I consume adventures like other people consume coffee. For my first novel, I drove through five countries by myself, (consuming too much gas), took a road trip with an exorcist priest of the Vatican, (again more gas), hiked a mountain twice (no gas) and consumed too much of food and wine along the way. For my new novel, I traveled to the Middle East, went into a 3,000 year old burial tomb discovered under a distant relative’s home in the desert of Israel, consumed everything in sight, and consumed way too much wine. My husband and I just got back from climbing Machu Pichu and seeing all the stuff in Bolivia that couldn’t have been created by humans. There isn’t much air to breathe at 14,500 feet above sea level so I consumed coca leaves like a native, and consumed oxygen from a can like a sissy tourist.

 

Links