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Nice to meet you

I'm a writer of literary fiction novels, most recently Tell Me One Thing, which was a 2024 PenCraft Fiction Award Winner, a 2023 American Book Fest Best Literary Fiction Book Finalist, and a Shelf Awareness Best Book This Week. My writing has 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. For the past 20 years, I've worked to support artists, performers, and writers in creating new projects. I'm also a part-time professor at NYU in arts administration.

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My Story

I self-published my first book when I was seven. It was called Idioms, and it contained what I thought were idioms (they were not), accompanied by horrifically hand-drawn examples of those idioms. My next book, age eight, had to do with a haunted house and a single mother and was no doubt inspired by my own single mom and the crumbling turn-of-the-century home we lived in in Southeast Detroit that made strange creaking noises in the night. There were a few more books from my little imprint, which included cardboard covers decorated with wallpaper scraps, but my early career peaked around age ten with a passive-aggressive story about a mean sister (my sister isn’t mean).

Throughout my life, writing has consoled me, challenged me, tormented me and made me both happier and sadder than I’d have ever thought possible. It's my passion. I finished my first novel in 2008 just in time for the recession to hit but also at a moment when creation tools were making indie publishing much easier. I worked with an impressive small collective called Paper Doll Publishing to publish three novels (two of which are still available: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME and SWEETHEART DEALS) then later with Indie Reads (a variation of this collective) to publish NO MORE TIME, and finally moved up to a larger indie publisher Regal House Publishing to recently debut TELL ME ONE THING – all while also working full-time as an arts administrator, a career I still enjoy today.

 

Much of my work is inspired by song lyrics and artworks and occasionally by something I hear that sticks in my brain and needles away until a story forms. I am an obsessive eavesdropper, a person who will talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything, and I love when someone starts a sentence with, “You are not going to believe this!” I like to laugh, and I like people who can make me laugh. And I like most people, which I’m finding is kind of unique.

Some of my favorite books are Little Gods by Meng Jin, Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, and Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. My favorite movie will always be Lost in Translation, and I could listen to the song Lovely Day by Bill Withers nonstop all-day long, forever.

 

In the past, I’ve been an office cleaner, an assembly line worker, a massage therapist, and a Greenpeace canvasser. I’ve been trying to learn French and Spanish for approximately two decades.

I hope we get to meet someday.

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