All posts tagged: writing life

GHOST WEEK: Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A GHOST IN THE THROAT is a tremendously dark and varied and authentically raw exploration of contemporary motherhood married with archaic morals, plus a writing prompt, more

By Leslie Lindsay ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Featured Spotlight: A GHOST IN THE THROAT by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a poet and essayist. In addition to A Ghost in the Throaf, she is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Ostana Prize, a Seamus Heaney Fellowshop, ad the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT: “When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.” So writes Doireann Ní Ghríofa in A GHOST IN THE THROAT, a “…female text, a chat, a keen, a lament, and an echo,” and I love everything about it. On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who narrowly avoided her own …

GHOST WEEK: An Examination of Poetry from Maggie Smith, featuring GOLDENROD, THE WELL SPEAKS ITS OWN POISON, & GOOD BONES

By Leslie Lindsay Gorgeous, ancestral, matrilineal collection of poetry with a focus on nature. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ GHOST WEEK Featured Spotlight: THE POETRY OF MAGGIE SMITH Maggie Smith is the author of Keep Moving (Simon & Schuster, 2020), Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017), The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015), Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005), and three prizewinning chapbooks. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Smith is a freelance writer and editor. ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS: I have been on a poetry kick lately because reading it always makes me a more insightful, deliberate writer–in whatever genre. GOOD BONES (Tupleo Press 2017), I’ll admit to following in love with based on the title alone, might be my favorite collection from Maggie Smith and I’ve read GOLDENROD as well as THE WELL SPEAKS ITS OWN POISON )both good, but GOOD BONES just spoke more tenderly to me, resonated in a way I was not expecting. For me, a collection of poetry ‘works’ when the themes and motifs are …

WITCHES WEEK: What is the psychogeography of a region? C.J. Cooke talks about this and writing about trauma, the subconscious, motherhood, limpets, carving yourself into a place that ‘fits,’ and more in THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES

By Leslie Lindsay A chilling tale set on a remote Scottish island, THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES has suspense, supernatural elements, and historical references for a delicious fall season of reading. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Leslie Lindsay & C.J. Cooke in conversation CJ Cooke grew up on a council estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She started writing at the age of 7 and pestered publishers for years with manuscripts typed on her grandparents’ old Remington typewriter and cover notes written on pages ripped from school notebooks. Her debut, The Guardian Angel’s Journal, was an international bestseller. She has published two poetry collections, a creative anthology (Writing Motherhood) and her sixth novel, The Lighthouse Witches, published October 5 2021 in the U.S. ABOUT THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES: A spellbinding read about witches, mother-daughter relationships, folklore, and even the human impact on nature, THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES by C.J. Cooke is an exploration of reinvention and what it means to be a family. One of PopSugar’s “10 New Books About Witches Are Utterly Spellbinding” Traversing several time periods …

WITCHES WEEK: Ariel Gore’s WE WERE WITCHES, exploring fabulous feminist fiction, poetry, witches, motherhood, and so much more, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A sublime genre-bending tale of teen mom Ariel Gore caught betwixt the 1990s family values or home and family, along with the hopes of redeeming herself through education, WE WERE WITCHES casts a spell like no other. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ WITCHES WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Featured Spotlight: WE WERE WITCHES by Ariel Gore Ariel Gore is the founding editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction. I was alerted to this book after reading and attending an online class with Laraine Herring. Her book, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS: A Speculative Memoir was featured earlier this month. ABOUT WE WERE WITCHES: We Were Witches is a 2017 novel by Ariel Gore. It is a first-person narrative of a fictionalized version of the author, of her life as a teen mom and budding feminist, from the birth of her daughter when she was 18 years old, to her graduation from Mills College. This book is a little different than most, and perhaps a misnomer. …

Is a ghost a commitment? What do we inherit? Laraine Herring talks about her new memoir, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS, speculative work, epigenetics, ravens, and more

By Leslie Lindsay A truly unique slant to a traditional genre, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is just that–a cacophony of voices from the past, present, and maybe future–surrounding strong themes of life, death, grief, ancestry, shunning and estrangement. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Leslie Lindsay & Laraine Herring in conversation Author, lover of cats, creative writing professor, grief counselor, illustrator, book coach (focusing exclusively on women over 40), and founder of Hags on Fire, a ‘zine for women to write about aging through perimenopause, menopause, and croning, Laraine Herring is multitalented and constantly juggling. A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is her most recent memoir. ABOUT A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS: A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS (forthcoming Oct 19 2021 from Regal House Publishing), is unlike any other, inviting you to think deeply about your ancestors, loss/death, your body, and more. Like a murder of crows or an unkindness of ravens, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is just that: a boisterous and magical exchange of voices in the dark, from within and with…out. It’s a bit poetic in a sense, but …

Savannah Johnston talks about how RITES: Stories initially began as a longing for home, but also the realities of life in Oklahoma, being Indigenous, how watching TV helps with ‘episodic’ writing, more

By Leslie Lindsay In sparse, biting, yet eloquent and compressed prose, Savannah Johnston reveals the truths, sorrow, and joys of the mundane and extraordinary in this collection of stories featuring Indigenous people of Oklahoma. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Leslie Lindsay & Savannah Johnston in conversation Savannah Johnston is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma living in NYC. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, HTML giant, and Gravel, among others. Rites: Stories is her debut collection of fiction, published by Jaded Ibis, a feminist press committed to sharing literature from voices of people of color, those with disabilities, and culturally marginalized voices. ABOUT RITES: Stories: Each of the stories in RITES presents a rich, complex interior life, encompassing the lives of a man newly released from prison as he attempts to reconnect with his family, a young well-endowed girl who becomes a sex worker, drunken feuds at motels, a son who must bury his father, and more. They are struggling, echoes and penumbras of society, and yet we …

Caroline Beecham talks about illegal adoptions during WWII, a distant family secret, a woman pioneer in book editing, and so much more in her American debut of WHEN WE MEET AGAIN

By Leslie Lindsay Hope, love, loss, and the power of reading, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN (Putnam/Penguin Random House, July 20 2021) is about one woman’s struggle with her career, as well as personal matters, set against the backdrop of WWII England and New York. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Caroline Beecham in conversation WHEN WE MEET AGAIN is Caroline Beecham’s American debut in historical fiction and will most certainly appeal to fans of Fiona Davis meets Christina Baker Kline with a touch of Kristin Hannah’s THE FOUR WINDS. This is an absorbing and emotional story about a mother’s love, but also secrets and redemption. ABOUT WHEN WE MEET AGAIN: London, 1943: The war has taken its toll on the book publishing industry. All the while, Alice Cotton, a young, sharp editor is on the rise. She sees books a way to cope, entertain, and distract–her hope is to get them into as many hands as possible. But she falls pregnant–a surprise–and certainly not in line with being a single, unwed woman of the day. She flees …

Michael Rose talks about his debut, THE SORTING ROOM, about delaying creativity, how business informed his writing life, why he loves historical fiction, modernity, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay An epic family saga, THE SORTING ROOM is a captivating tale of several women’s struggles, perseverance, and more set in Prohibition/Depression-era NYC. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Michael Rose in conversation After serving in executive positions in global companies, Michael Rose retired from the corporate world. The Sorting Room is his debut fiction. He grew up on a diary farm and now resides in San Francisco. COMING SEPTEMBER 2021 ABOUT THE SORTING ROOM: It’s the beginning of The Great Depression and Eunice Ritter is a living in squalor. She and her brother, Ulrich–Uli–are not exactly close– she’s alone, living on the edges of his world of marbles and friendship. He throws a rock at her, but Eunice may actually be more industrious and skilled than Uli, and even their parents. She’s just ten years old when she gets a job at a local sweat shop–an industrial laundry–a job no one wants. In fact, Eunice was sort of ‘dared’ into the job by adult men who suggested she would become …

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 …

Diana Kupershmit talks about her unbearable decision, second chances, parenting a child with special needs, photography, and more in her moving memoir EMMA’S LAUGH

By Leslie Lindsay An elegantly raw, and often brutal memoir of a mother’s loss, but also a deep gift of second chances, growth, and more. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book|Memoir Monday Leslie Lindsay & Diana Kupershmit in Conversation Convinced of her inability to love her “imperfect” child and give her the best care and life she deserved, Diana Kupershmit gave her first-born up for adoption. But as with all things that are meant to be, Emma found her way back home. Diana is a social worker, mother, and photographer. EMMA’S LAUGH is her debut memoir. ABOUT EMMA’S LAUGH: The Gift of Second Chances: In this hugely moving and harrowing examination of a life, love, and loss, Diana Kupershmit takes a tragic–and seemingly–unfair situation and turns into a EMMA’S LAUGH: The Gift of Second Chances (SWP, June 2021), about her first-born’s rare, genetic condition, and the gifts she bestowed on the family.Like most eager new parents, Diana imagined a perfect child when she gave birth for the first time to Emma, at the age of …