What drew you to the topic of werewolves? Was your interest sparked by something you’d read or seen, or was it sparked by (ahem) something you’d experienced?
To be totally honest, I wasn’t drawn to werewolves at all. In fact, when I was teaching creative writing in the years just after …
Every year I reread this essay by Colson Whitehead, and every year it knocks me flat.
We know when you happened, too. We were at a bed and breakfast in Vermont, he had proposed to me that day, hours before. That day. I was terrified and at peace all at once. It really did feel different. All my second guessing gave way to profound peace. Like, oh, you will be the…
You guys! I know I said I was looking forward to seeing what the cover for the upcoming issue One Teen Story issue looks like, but I had no idea. LOOK AT THAT THING. It’s terrifying, mesmerizing, beautiful. They do such gorgeous work.
And SPEAKING OF: right now OTS is having a kind of ridiculous deal, where you can subscribe and get a year of issues for $12. That’s crazy. And I believe that subscription would start with my story and its amazingly wonderful cover (above). The issue should be out in a few weeks.
Thank you to Patrick Ryan, Adina Talve-Goodman and everyone at One Teen Story, and to Stefan Lawrence, the artist/madman who designed that cover.
PS: I’ll be reading from the story at two events this month. If you’re in NYC and like nice people, please come say hi.
1. Saturday, September 6, where I’m reading as part of Slice magazine’s “Writers on Tap,” along with Sara Majka, Justin Taylor, Ingrid Nelson, and Kseniya Melnik. There’s also free Sixpoint beer.
2. Saturday, September 13, as a part of Lit Crawl New York: “An Evening with One Teen Story,” where I’ll be reading with other OTS authors Julie Buntin and Martin Wilson. There are also rumors that Patrick Ryan will be there in the flesh. Think Coffee, 1 Bleecker St., 6pm.
See you all there!
PPS: $12!!! Best deal on the internet this week, easy.
I wrote this post over a month ago, and then I held off on posting it because I felt shy about it. I really don’t know when or how to announce happy news. Somehow even in tiny doses it always feels like bragging. But then not announcing it feels just as weird. So I’ve decided I’m going to put it all in one place and call it my SEMI-ANNUAL HAPPY NEWS DUMP!
The first thing is that The Land of Steady Habits was chosen for the long list of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. This made me fist pump in joy and triumph, especially when I saw the other books on that list (above). It’s a huge honor to be in this company.
The next thing is that I’m very happy to report that the novel will be published in the Netherlands (by De Arbeiderspers) and in Italy (by Bollati Boringhieri). Above is the catalog from my German publisher, Ullstein, which came in the mail last week, and look who’s on the cover! (“Die neue literarische Stimme aus Amerika,” y’all.) The German edition comes out this fall.
The final piece of book-related news is that The Land of Steady Habits has been optioned by Fox Searchlight for a film adaptation to be written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. I’ll just leave that info there, since I’m still not sure what to do with it. Except that I should probably say I’m kind of in awe of the fact that a director I’ve long admired wants to make it, and that there’s even a possibility this could actually happen. (The official announcement should come soon, which I will post without shame.)
Salon has also been re-publishing these "Ask a Debut Novelist" columns I’ve been writing for the Little Brown tumblr. They’ve already posted the first four (with their own inventive headlines). It’s been overwhelming to see those reaching such a large audience. The internet is a crazy place.
I’m also thrilled to announce that I’ll have a new short story coming out in One Teen Story in September. It’s called “The Beasts of St. Andrews” and it’s about boarding school werewolves. Or really one boarding school werewolf. A lone wolf. I suppose it’s also my first piece of YA fiction (though to be honest I wrote it without that label in mind). They do such a beautiful job with their issues. I’m dying to see what the cover looks like.
I have two new book-length projects I’ve been working on these days, and I’m very happy to have the opportunity to spend a few weeks this October at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. MacDowell is the oldest artists’ colony in the country and is notably where Thornton Wilder wrote Our Town, James Baldwin wrote Giovanni’s Room, and Aaron Copland wrote part of Appalachian Spring. So you know, no pressure. But I’m greatly looking forward to my time there. (Above is one of the 32 individual studios that makes up the colony, where they famously deliver your lunch in a picnic basket on your doorstep so as not to disturb you. Carrie says not to get used to it.)
And finally, and most excitingly, we’re looking forward to welcoming our first baby in December. This photo was taken at dinner nearly a month ago. You guys, it’s already been so amazing. I mean we’re both nervous and also kind of euphoric. Parenthood! How can something so common seem so intensely singular to you? I apologize in advance for all the daddy stuff that will likely fill this space.