All posts filed under: Uncategorized

Musings & Meanderings: Caitlin Billings on the ‘construction of gender,’ her new mental health memoir, plus deconstructing flash, where to submit this June, being curious & varied

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Curiosity. That’s what a writer needs. She also needs varied life experiences. A break in routine. I tell you this because…well, it’s true for me, but but because it ought to be true for every writer. Here’s why: stagnancy doesn’t produce dynamic anything. So…are you… Exploring? Observing? Questioning? Doodling? Day-dreaming? Remember when you were a kid, maybe 4 years old or so, and well-meaning adults asked, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I mean, we start early with this. Guess what?! I still don’t know!!! Lately, we’ve been taking our daughter on college visits. They all want to know what ‘school,’ or ‘major’ she’s going to select. She loves (and is good at) lots of things. So, how to narrow it down? Does she need to know? No. That’s the beauty of being inquisitive and multi-interested. Our ideas and …

My Story Went Viral: What I Wish I’d Known First

Originally posted on BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog:
By Diane Forman I never expected my story to go viral. Over two million views on a widely read commercial site. 11.5K likes and emojis on Facebook. Over 2.2K comments. The piece was syndicated and posted on Yahoo, Singapore News and elsewhere. A friend saw it as a top trending news story on her phone. A viral piece and huge readership—just what I’d been striving for as a writer! I was completely unprepared for the aftermath. It had taken me several years to gather the courage to write about my daughter’s estrangement, and this was well after we were reconciled. Reconciling took a great deal of time, space, personal change and effort to break long-established patterns. I wrote the story as a commercial rather than literary piece, citing not only my own experience, but research on estrangement and shame. I ended with hope because fortunately, our story had a happy ending. I pitched the piece for Mother’s Day, a difficult holiday for many, with a personal goal of…

Musings & Meanderings: Lisa Solod on her new book, SHIVAH, about memory, mothers, and Alzheimer’s; how phones are draining our creativity, sensitive humans, where to submit, THE UGLY CRY, handling rejections, apraxia book discount

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Have you got a sensitive human in your life? I do. At least two and they are both teenagers. One is my daughter, the other is not. Being a teenager is complex enough, a totally fraught time. It feels often like there is no skin on our body, everything exposed. There is a tremendous amount of self-sabotaging going on, external forces, uncertainty, and more. Heck…the more I think about this, the more it dawns on me that this is almost exactly how a writer feels when we put our work into the world, even if it’s not published. Just having a friend or instructor read our work can be a tough thing. What’s one to do? Keep growing, keep being open to feedback and listen. Is this easy? No. Neither is being a teenager or an adult or a writer. How’s it going? Respond …

Creative-health check-in, Erika Krouse on TELL ME EVERYTHING, apraxia news, diversions, recently-published work, what I’m reading and listening to, calls for submissions, more

By Leslie Lindsay Remember last week’s Musings & Meanderings? You can’t be everything to everyone everyday. Are you remembering to: Rest. Read. Nap. Write. Spend Time in Nature. Surround Yourself with Nurturing Souls? Let me know how it’s going. Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. xoxoxo ~Leslie : ) There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling! It’s a bittersweet end: my fabulous longtime publisher, Woodbine House, will be closing their doors in June. This is a pandemic-driven decision. Woodbine House has been churning out top special-needs resources for 37 years, including SPEAKING OF APRAXIA. The good news? All of their books are 50%, while supplies last. The bittersweet news? SPEAKING OF APRAXIA is sold-out, at least from the publisher’s website. But! You can still get it, while supplies last on Amazon, maybe Barnes & Noble. Bookshop.org is a possibility, too. We are looking at other options, too, for it to remain in-print, but that might be awhile to come to fruition. If you–or someone you know–could benefit from the book, the time …

Heather Gudenkauf chats with me about her new domestic thriller THE OVERNIGHT GUEST, set in rural Iowa, her favorite true crime podcasts, plus what’s on her nightstand, and more

By Leslie Lindsay From the NYT bestselling author, Heather Gudenkauf, another grisly psych thriller with a brilliant structure about a double murder and a missing girl. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book Leslie Lindsay in Conversation with Heather Gudenkauf Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of eight novels. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE, was an instant NYT bestseller and remained on the list for 22 weeks. Gudenkauf’s critically acclaimed novels have been published in over 20 countries and have been included in many Best Of lists including Seven Thrillers to Read This Summer by the New York Times, The 10 Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2017 by The Washington Post, a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, and a Best Book for the Beach by ChicagoNow.com. Her most recent novel, THE OVERNIGHT GUEST, is available now. ABOUT THE OVERNIGHT GUEST: A woman writer receives and unexpected visitor during a snowstorm in this chilling thriller THE OVERNIGHT GUEST (Park Row, January 25, 2022). True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t …

Ashley Audrian on her debut, THE PUSH–now in paperback–about motherhood, family history, genetics, and more

By Leslie Lindsay  Deliciously dark and juicy psychological drama–a DEBUT–you’ll be talking about long after you turn the last page, the issues and concerns surrounding motherhood, family history, genetics, and more.  NOW IN PAPERBACK! ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay and Ashely Audrain in Conversation NOW IN PAPERBACK! THE PUSH (now in paperback from Pamela Dorman Books/PRH January 4, 2022) is one of those buzzy–OMG–books you’ll devour in one sitting. Is it a conversation-started? You bet. Will have it have you puzzling out your own maternal history–going back generations? Yes, that too. Here, we meet Blythe Connor, a woman whose experience of motherhood is not at all what she imagine. Blythe is determined to be the warm, caring, generous mother she herself never had. Still, she can’t let go of the disturbing, nagging thought that her daughter, Violet is not like other children. Is something ‘off?’ She’s distant, defiant, stubborn, antisocial, angry. Is she dangerous? Is Blythe just exhausted? Is it because Blythe doesn’t have much of a mother figure and her …

#1 AMAZON Bestseller in its category, debut author C.J. Washington talks about THE INTANGIBLE, how he found his agent, books he’s reading, and asks me about my reading and writing life

By Leslie Lindsay A fascinating and wholly unique twist on ‘bookclub’ fiction featuring strong protagonists, an intelligent and emotional read about two grieving women, their spouses, and what happens when the answer’s to life’s impossible mysteries are…intangible. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book Leslie Lindsay in Conversation with C.J. Washington C.J. Washington is a data scientist by day, a writer by night. THE INTANGIBLES is his debut–and it’s astonishing. I was immediately intrigued with THE INTANGIBLE (Little A, January 1 2022), a debut from C.J. Washington. It has all the elements I crave in a good story: something a little psychological/medical, motherhood, grief, research, but is firmly fiction. ABOUT THE INTANGIBLE: Amanda Jackson has longed to be a mother. The early weeks of her first pregnancy is a mixture of joy, anticipation, and uncertainty. But then, a devastating loss. Amanda is heartbroken, and although the doctors tell her otherwise, she is no longer pregnant. The mind is a marvel–good or bad–and Amanda has developed a rare and mysterious condition: pseudocyesis, a false pregnancy, complete with all of the outward …

Shari Lapena talks about her juicy and dark new domestic suspense about a wealthy family, a murder in which the children are suspects, her writing routines, favorite dysfunctional memoirs, her old farmhouse, travel to Iceland, more

By Leslie Lindsay Everyone’s keeping secrets, everyone’s a little suspect, and even the dead know a thing or two, the sixth domestic thriller from Shari Lapena is one not to be missed. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book|Fiction Friday Leslie Lindsay & Shari Lapena in Conversation Bursting onto the domestic suspense scene in 2016, Shari Lapena is a tremendous force–a #1 internationally bestselling author–no one does claustrophobic suburban paranoia quite like Shari. I absolutely LOVE Shari Lapena’s work. This is ‘grip-lit’ at its absolute best. Lapena has a way of reeling in readers with a taut plot, plain-spoken yet intelligent (and sometimes unlikable) characters, and more.  The tension is always high, the mood is claustrophobic and yet everything is elegantly–and tortuously–done to perfection. ABOUT NOT A HAPPY FAMILY: Meet the Merton Family. They’re wealthy, successful, a bit uppity, and they’re harboring secrets and alliances. Set in upstate New York, where the homes are large and spacious, the grass is green, and yet…the parents are gruesomely murdered. It’s the last family dinner the Merton Family …

Memoir Monday May Roundup with an emphasis on Motherhood & Mental Illness

By Leslie Lindsay May is all about growth. Spring is in full bloom; and it’s a time for recognition and celebration, but it can also be a loaded month. Over thirty years ago this month, my mother devolved into psychosis. We were estranged starting in my tweens, until her suicide over six years ago. How does that leave me to mother my own daughters? Would I fall victim to the same genetic legacy? Could I break the cycle of poor mother-daughter relationships? And how do I celebrate Mother’s Day with no mother? How did I celebrate my mother when she was alive and not capable of being much of one? “I am so grateful to have this conversation with you. It means a great deal respond to someone who has so carefully read my work and I’m thankful to have this opportunity to reflect in this way.” -Vince Granta, EVERYTHING’S FINE For the entire month of May, I’ve featured some really wise and thoughtful authors–they’ve courageously shared their relationships with their mothers, opened up about …

Poet MOLLY SPENCEr talks about her astonishing, award-winning collection, HINGE; serious illness, the body, growing up in orchards, how obsessions can often lead us to our writing material, PLUS the structure of roofs.

By Leslie Lindsay  Myth, legend, landscape…lush and razor-sharp lines…HINGE is exactly that: revealing and concealing–sometimes squeaky–moments in time. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~  POETRY FRIDAY Aside from the arresting cover, HINGE by Molly Spencer (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, 2020) is a gorgeous meditation of motherhood, the passage of time, a stunted world–in terms of all–land, home, marriage, and body. There’s a great deal of tension and then well-earned release, the world and imagery rich in details and texture, about creation and recreation, told in a simply elegant, yet mournful voice. I have a wealth of images trapped in my mind from the words–and worlds–created within these pages. It’s about space and homes and how they all tie together, but also seasons and cycles and interiority. HINGE is the perfect read for the bleaker days of late fall, into winter, as we naturally fold within ourselves. Molly Spencer’s poetry has appeared in various well-known and recognized literary journals. She is a poetry editor for Rumpus, and this collection won the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition in Poetry 2019. Please join me …