Schlottman renders on the page a simple and beautiful expression of our shared humanity – Cinelle Barnes

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Tell Me One Thing is a portrait of two Americas, examining power, privilege, and the sacrifices one is willing to make to succeed as it tells the story of a provocative photograph, the struggling artist who takes it, and its young and troubled subject. Traveling through the 1980s to present day, Tell Me One Thing delves into New York City's free-for-all grittiness while exposing a neglected slice of the rural rust belt. 



early praise

“Kerri Schlottman has delivered us the richest of reading experiences. I read Tell Me One Thing voraciously with equal parts intrigue and admiration, thinking how did she pull this off? Slinking expertly between time and location and point of view—the contrasts here are bright and nuanced, honest and vulnerable, jagged yet tender. This is a novel of great heart, examining the lines we draw as we become who we are. A devastating and rich exploration of trauma, art-making, love, and the unmistakable hauntedness of what we cannot control, yet long to. I want everyone to read this book.”

– Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot and Heartbroke

"With a clear, empathic gaze, and with a sharp, startling intelligence, Kerri Schlottman's Tell Me One Thing traces two paths—that of artist, and that of subject—through the cruel disparities of the Reagan eighties and beyond. The result is a book that asks enduring questions about what art is for and what we, all of us, owe one another. Tell Me One Thing is phenomenal."

– Matthew Specktor, author of Always Crashing in the Same Car

"In Tell Me One Thing, two women's stories begin in an instant—with a shutter click. Divergent yet inextricable, the paths and aspirations of a photographer and her young subject leap and shatter through the passage of four decades and at the mercy of American dearth, all of which Schlottman relays with understated grit and unflinching humanity. As we follow the photographer through seedy 1980s New York to today's commercially sterilized iteration, Schlottman proceeds to vivify a Polaraid snapped in a Pennsylvania trailer park, infusing viscerality and tragedy into a portrait that would have otherwise hung static on a collector's wall. By reframing an object to be admired as a child to be protected, Tell Me One Thing will both compel and confront readers with questions that only the finest of novels can posit." 

– Jakob Guanzon, author of Abundance, longlisted for the National Book Award

"At once the expansive story of two women navigating two disparate, intersecting lives, and a thoughtful meditation on the transtemporal power of photography, Kerri Schlottman's Tell Me One Thing is that rare book: an art world novel with heart." 

– Rachel Lyon, author of Self-Portrait with Boy


"Fans of The Vanishing Half will love this novel written in alternating points-of-view: each one a perspective rooted in a starkly contrasting experience and yet one that echoes the longings of the other. Reading this was a much-needed exercise in empathy, one tempered by clear, endearing prose. In the parallel universes of two unforgettable characters, Schlottman renders on the page a simple and beautiful expression of our shared humanity. In Tell Me One Thing, we see the private struggles of a famed photographer making it in the wild days of New York City and how her seminal work exposes and yet neglects the harsh truth of one of her subjects. My heart broke and rooted for both characters, and long after I’ve turned the last page, I am still thinking of them." 

– Cinelle Barnes, author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir and Malaya: Essays on Freedom

"I loved the way Tell Me One Thing follows two women trying to find their ways in the world—Quinn, the starving artist whose work rescues her from grinding poverty, and Lulu, a subject of Quinn’s photography, whose own ways of working only mire her further into destitution and desperation. Kerri Schlottman’s vivid writing skillfully recreates 1980s New York City and rural Pennsylvania; we’re invited to witness both the heady art-world scene of the era and the foundations being set for the opioid epidemic. It’s such a smart and well-crafted novel, bursting with life. I couldn’t put it down." 

– Amy Shearn, award-winning author of Unseen City and other novels

"An intimate look at the way art transforms the lives of both artist and subject, and not always for the better. In crisp, descriptive prose, Kerri Schlottman draws a portrait of both rural Pennsylvania and a transforming New York City, as sheand her charactersprobe the murky line between inspiration and exploitation." 

– Wil Medearis, author of Restoration Heights

"This stunning and vivid debut novel is like walking into a late-night dive bar, and the blues band inside is excellent. Two women cross paths almost by accident, and the story follows each of their efforts to overcome the hard lives they’re living. These characters are so realistic, we start rooting for them moments after meeting them. And the writing? One of the women’s homes is so well rendered, I swear I could smell it. Best of all, for all of their hard times, this book is full of unexpected moments of fulfillment, surprising flashes of grace."

– Stephen P. Kiernan, author of Universe of Two and The Baker's Secret

KERRI schlottman

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Kerri Schlottman is the author of Tell Me One Thing from Regal House Publishing. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Dillydoun Review, Belle Ombre, and Women Writers Women’s Books. She placed second in the Dillydoun International Fiction Prize, has been longlisted for the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction, and was a 2021 University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize semifinalist. Kerri is a Detroiter turned New Yorker who works to support artists, performers, and writers in creating new projects.

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works in progress

a daytime moon

Second place winner in the Dillydoun International Fiction Prize

Longlisted for the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction

2021 University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize semifinalist

The Pacific gray whales are dying in record numbers. They taunt Isa’s thoughts. She already feels unrooted. Her relationship is failing. Her work is unfulfilling. She doesn’t belong. Only her friendship with Lizzy feels right, but Lizzy has her own troubles. When Dane, the man who raised her, becomes terminally ill, Isa returns to the California desert she ran away from as a teen. There, she reckons with the past – a youthful prank that killed her twin sister, the grief her brother Cole has carried, the secrets of a mother she never got to meet. As wildfires consume California, Isa is swept up in her former life of desert drag races, tacos and beers with the locals, and haunting reminders of her youth. When Dane passes away, he leaves the name of Isa’s biological father, a key that unlocks her personal history, allowing her to reclaim her mother’s life and finally bring it fully into focus.


While exploring the concept of solastalgia – the homesickness we feel in (rather than for) our own home – A Daytime Moon poetically considers themes of displacement, longing, family, and what it truly means to feel at home.


It’s the summer of 2020 and Bayside, a middle-class suburb of Detroit, is split in advance of the presidential election. Rallies and motorcades are stirring up the locals, while three sisters struggle to find their place among the growing discord. Eighteen year-old Shane can’t envision a future for herself. Sia, seventeen, longs to move away, while sixteen-year-old Rue seeks attention wherever she can get it. The girls work at The Little Seed, a popular cafe in the small downtown, and are raised by their father Frank, a disaffected Army vet who finds himself swept up in the political whirlwind. 


Luke is a high school dropout and the teenage father of a toddler. He wants to be with Shane, but he can’t break the cycle of bad decision-making rooting him in his circumstances. As the election draws near, the characters' increasing agitations unite with the local undercurrent. Soon, The Little Seed becomes a meeting place for those who intend to overturn the election results, and everyone must quickly decide which side of history they’ll be on. 


American Dreams is both a coming of age story and a cautionary tale, inspired by real events that transpired in the author's hometown in Michigan leading up to and after the 2020 election.