I’m happy to share that my short story “Ripe,” published in Shooter Literary Magazine, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize! It can be a slog getting pieces published in the first place–every writer out there has a collection of rejection letters–so this is a lovely boost, and I’m grateful to the editors for their confidence. Learn more about the issue here.
Join me and Landis Wade on November 15th at the wonderful Park Road Books in Charlotte to hear writing advice and anecdotes from our author interviewees in our Write Quotes series! Plus we’ll launch our new comedic murder mystery novella Death by Podcasting and talk about the co-writing process–and what inspired us to write a book about two podcasters threatened with murder.
I’ve been remiss in not sharing another short story I had published this earlier year by Caustic Frolic, “The Fortune Teller.” You can read the story here. This one is a dark, eccentric fairy tale about a little girl who makes a bargain with a stranger in the woods. What could go wrong?
Thanks to Pangyrus for publishing my short story “Straight White Male!” You can read the full story here. This piece offered a chance for me to explore some darker themes through the mentality of a character who’s different from myself–though I think parts of this will be relatable to anyone who’s felt disaffected or alienated. Or who’s caught themselves doomscrolling.
Registration is open for the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s fall conference, and I’ll be there, along with your other Charlotte Readers Podcast co-hosts! Since the three of us live in different areas, this is the first time we’ll all be together in person, and I’m excited to talk shop with them. Aside from our fun, interactive workshop, there are so many excellent writers and teachers represented in this year’s conference calendar. The conference will run from Nov. 3-5 in Charlotte. Click here to learn more or register.
I recently learned that my latest hour-long pilot, CLAIRE, reached the second round of the Austin Film Festival! This script is a fun one, both more personal than most and wildly different for me, and it was my first attempt at writing a mystery plotline, which let me tell you, is a whole new ball game. I’ve had some interest from producers in the script so I’m excited to get back into the project post-strike.
Logline: A woman juggles work (solving a murder for the true crime podcast she produces) and family. And her second, secret family.
I have a new short story, “Ripe,” out in Shooter Literary Magazine! This UK-based journal publishes some wonderful fiction and poetry, and I like that they’re willing to be bold with their choices. My story is about a frustrated 1970s housewife encountering the horrors of aging to–gasp–41. It’s a little bit, ahem, adult, but in a literary way, with some dark humor in the mix. If you’d like to learn more or order a copy, click here.
Part two of our series of Charlotte Readers Podcast Write Quotes workshops for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is here! These workshops draw inspiration from the over 500 author interviews quoted in the Write Quotes book series to learn lessons and spark discussions. The newest workshops will focus on books 4-6 of the series, which is where we really dig into the craft of writing itself, going from inspiration to final draft.
If you attended one of the prior workshops, feel free to come out for one of these since the content will be new and we’ll explore new writing exercises. But if you’ve never attended one of our workshops, don’t worry, these sessions are standalone!
My natural inclination as a writer is to just hole away in my office and write. Going to events, connecting with people, and promoting your work can seem daunting. But embracing networking has brought me so many professional opportunities, and so many genuine friends. On September 6th at 6 PM, I’ll be leading the Building a Community: Networking for Writers session for Charlotte Lit. We’ll talk about how and why writers should network online and off, with tips for how to make the most of conferences, critique groups, and social media–and how to make all of it more fun and less intimidating. Register here!
UPDATE: Here’s the Soundcloud link for the audio version of our episode, and here’s YouTube for the video. We chatted about the beautiful simplicity of Munro’s writing, the moral complexity of her characters, the ambiguity of her endings, and the timeless way in which she writes women. Also ketchup sandwiches, shedding the shame, and pugs. Thank you to Vicky for having me on!
I love meeting new North Carolina authors, and I’m excited to be sharing an event with Sara Johnson Allen for her debut novel, Down Here We Come Up! We’ll both be at Editions Bookstore and Coffee Shop in Kannapolis on August 5th at 2 PM. Stop by throughout the afternoon to get a signed copy of Sara’s book, or my novel The Plus One, or both! Plus Editions has plenty of other good reads to explore in the store (and good coffee).
Down Here We Come Up is about three women who have lost connection with their children, through alienation, adoption, and across a militarized border. Their lives intersect in a “safe house” for migrant workers outside of Wilmington, North Carolina in 2006. Author Alena Dillon calls it a “literary mic drop” and says it “will draw you in and won’t easily let you go.” I can’t wait to read the novel when it releases on August 1st!
Our first Charlotte Readers Podcast Writing Life workshop with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System was a blast–but if you missed it, we’re offering the same workshop at a different location! Register here to join us on July 22nd at the University City branch. Once again, free books and lunch will be provided to all participants.
We’re also planning further workshops that draw on topics explored in other books in The Write Quotes series, so stay tuned for those.
Join me and my Charlotte Readers Podcast co-host Landis Wade for a workshop inspired by lessons learned from over 500 interviews with authors ranging from David Baldacci to Jill McCorkle to Jason Mott. We’ll be leading a series of these workshops at different branches of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library System over the next year, so stay tuned for more sessions coming up! We’ll offer inspiration and advice and have plenty of opportunity for participants to discuss their own writing victories, frustrations, questions, and goals.
Our first workshop is on June 24th from 10 AM-2 PM. Click here for more info and to register. The workshop is free, and you get a free book and free lunch! What more can a writer want?
My Charlotte Readers Podcast co-host Landis Wade and I joined Consciousness Cafe to talk about writing, publishing, and book marketing, drawing from our own experiences and the lessons we’ve learned from other writers compiled in The Write Quotes series. If you’re interested in hearing about topics like the pros and cons of traditional vs. indie publishing, how to persist through rejection, and tips for how to get started as a new author, check out the video here!
Thank you so much to Victoria Bennison of Fika with Vicky for having me on her show to chat about the inimitable Ray Bradbury! We talked about Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury’s writing process, and how his ideas are more relevant today than ever. Oh, and why everyone should go to the library right now. Give the episode a listen here.
I’ve appeared on the radio show/podcast Fika with Vicky a couple of times before, and always enjoy her warmth, wit, and enthusiasm for books. This week we’re sharing fika to chat about a mutual favorite–Ray Bradbury! We’ll discuss his best-known works, like Fahrenheit 451, some of his earlier pieces like Dandelion Wine, what he means to us personally, and where his legacy stands in 2023. Tune in on May 11th at 1 PM EST for the live show on 107.7 & 105.3 New Orleans or at Vicky’s YouTube channel, or catch the recording wherever you listen to your podcasts.
If you’re in the Charlotte area, join me on April 8th for a workshop presented by the Charlotte Writers Club. I’ll be there with my Charlotte Readers Podcast co-host Landis Wade to lead a discussion inspired by the funny, practical, and insightful quotes in The Write Quotes book series, plus a Q&A about our different paths to publishing.
This workshop is free, and all attendees receive a free paperback copy of book one, The Writing Life! Learn more and register here.
The Charlotte Art League is hosting an ekphrastic exhibit of poetry and art, and I’m participating as a poet. It’s been a while since I wrote new poetry, so this was a great reason to get back into it. Poetry just taps into a part of the brain that no other writing does.
Come out for the exhibit opening on March 10th if you’re interested – free and open to the public! I can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with.
Join me, my Charlotte Readers Podcast co-hosts, and Paul Reali and Kathie Collins of Charlotte Lit for a free online event to celebrate the launch of The Write Quotes book series! We’ll discuss some of our favorite quotes from book one, plus share the process of publishing this series, with tips for how to expand your platform by getting creative with your content.
March 1st, 6 PM EST – Register Here
The Page 1 Challenge is a quirky new short-form book podcast that shares the first page of a book–and THEN tells you what the book is. The idea is to judge a book by its first page, not its cover, and decide if you’d like to read more. I was so pleased when the host, Jeff, reached out to me about featuring The Plus One, and you can hear that feature in episode 2!
Professor, author, and blogger Mark West is a gem in the local literary community (my nephew enjoyed his book The Peeve and the Grudge!). I’m honored that he featured The Plus One as a recommended read for Valentine’s Day. Check out his article here to learn more about my inspiration for the book and my experiences in the Charlotte writing world.
I’m so glad to be able to share a new project that’s been in the works for a while with my co-hosts at Charlotte Readers Podcast. Introducing The Write Quotes book series! We’ve compiled quotes from every episode of the podcast, as well as from entries to our community blog and Patreon episodes, over 500 interviews total, to share inspiration and tips for writers everywhere. These quotes come from New York Times bestsellers, debut novelists, screenwriters, poets, and more. The first book in the series, The Writing Life, is available now! (Note that it’s available on ebook–print editions forthcoming in the future). The other seven books in the series, featuring topics like how to revise, the emotional writing journey, and book marketing, will be released over the course of 2023.
Best of all, this first book is FREE! To learn more about the series and download the ebook, check out our website.
“Writing is not about writing, necessarily. Writing is about living. And the more deeply and fully you live, the more you’re able to write.” – Anthony Abbott
A couple of years ago, I guested on the Fika with Vicky radio show and podcast, and had such a wonderful time talking to Vicky about books and writing–so I was thrilled when she asked me back for the new edition of her show! This time we’ll record live, so you can watch live through Facebook or YouTube (and on YouTube, you can interact and ask questions). So join us on Thursday, February 9th at 1 PM EST for the live show, or check out the recording later!
Oh, and fika is the Swedish practice of slowing down to enjoy coffee with friends, so be sure to bring your favorite beverage.
UPDATE: I had such a lovely time talking with Vicky again, as I knew I would! We covered the similarities and differences between poetry, screenwriting, novels, and short stories; the pros and cons of genre-hopping; and what makes characters feel real (and also, why 29-year-olds feel pressure to get married!). Plus, I shared a new poem and an update on some recent projects. Check out the recording on SoundCloud or PodBean.
Thanks to Charlotte Lit for sharing my article on how to shape up your writing routine in their newsletter and blog! You can check it out here on their website for tips on how to reframe the way you think about your writing health.
Check out our new Charlotte Readers Podcast intro video to learn more about what the podcast offers and how authors can get involved and promote their work. Plus, learn about a new publishing project we’re working on at the podcast–more on that coming soon!
I had a great time talking about screenwriting with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Writers Beyond Borders group. They asked insightful questions, and we got to go over a lot of information in an hour! If you’d like to watch the recording, it’s available on the library’s YouTube channel.
Thank you to The Barcelona Review for publishing my short story “Baby Doll!” This is a wonderful journal published in English, Spanish, and Catalan. They feature some very talented and daring fiction writers, so I’m honored to be in their pages.
I dabbled in short fiction when I was younger, but never pursued it seriously. Over the past year, the short story bug caught me, and I’ve started writing shorts again and truly love how liberating the form is. Without the stakes and time commitment of a novel, I’m able to be much more experimental with voice and subject matter, and I appreciate how short stories offer just a glimpse, leaving so much space for the reader’s imagination. As I’ve begun submitting a few stories to journals, I hope to have others to share with you in the future.
Want to learn more about fiction and screenwriting? Join me on Zoom on January 18th at 9:30 AM EST! I’ll be giving a presentation to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Writers Beyond Borders group, followed by time for Q&A. This is a welcoming group of writers from around the world, and I’m looking forward to chatting with them. Register for free here.
I’m honored to be leading a discussion with NYT bestselling author Therese Anne Fowler on Oct. 2nd at the Mint Museum in Charlotte in honor of the Charlotte Writers Club’s 100th’s (!) anniversary. Therese is a tremendously talented and versatile writer, and a great speaker to boot, and I can’t wait to hear what she has to say, and to mingle with other club members as we celebrate this milestone. The event is open to the public–tickets on sale now!
The Charlotte Center for Literary Arts (better known as Charlotte Lit) is an incredible resource for the North Carolina writing community–and I’m happy to share that I’m joining their faculty for the upcoming programming year! I’d love to see you at any of the following events. Financial assistance is available for classes.
September 14th at 6 PM
I’ll be talking with Patrice Gopo, renowned memoirist and children’s author, about writing in different media. Free!
October 13th at 6 PM
We’ll cover key insights into the mindset of entertainment industry decision makers, the defining traits of screenwriting as a creative form, the collaborative nature of filmmaking and how to write as a team player, and how any fiction or screenwriter can harness marketing skills to pitch not only their work but also themselves as a creative asset.
February 7th, 14th, and 21st at 6 PM
This class is a crash course in the basics of screenwriting: the differences between writing for film and television, using software to help with script formatting, the power of visual storytelling, the importance of structure, and the impact of budget and audience on the creative process.
Thanks to Mark West of the wonderful Storied Charlotte blog for featuring the new Charlotte Readers Podcast! Great article on the revamped podcast and everything the busiest writer in Charlotte, Landis Wade, is up to. I’m excited to have Mark contributing to our show.
I’m thrilled to share that I’m joining the Charlotte Readers Podcast as a regular co-host! I began listening to CRP and met the host, Landis Wade, when I moved to the Charlotte area three years ago, and it’s been an invaluable resource for getting to know the local literary landscape. I’ve also been fortunate to be on the podcast twice before, once as a guest and once as a guest host.
Now that Landis has 300 episodes under his belt (amazing!), and has expanded to interview authors in 30 states and four countries, including many New York Times bestsellers, he decided to shake things up a bit, and invited me and his publicist, Hannah Larrew, to co-host. We’re innovating with the format of the show to include more authors than ever, and introducing new ways for listeners to get involved. If you’d like to stay in the loop, sign up for our newsletter through the podcast’s homepage.
I’m a writer, which means that–not to stereotype, but it’s often true–I like to hunker behind my computer and write. Putting my voice out there in a new medium is a fun challenge. When we recorded our first episode yesterday, we talked a lot about the value of connecting with other readers and writers and forming a community. I hope to do just that with the podcast!
Exciting screenwriter news incoming: I sold my first feature script!
The script is in development with MTV Entertainment, and I’ll share more information when I’m able.
Almost any screenwriter can probably relate to the struggle: you write and write, and imagine these characters in your head, knowing that the realistic chance that they’ll ever come to life is almost nil. It’s such a joy and an honor to know that you all might get to meet these voices from my head (they’re less scary than that sounds, I promise).
I recently heard Judy Goldman give a wonderful talk about lessons she’s learned in her decades as a writer, and she spoke of the entirely unpredictable string of successes and failures (mostly failures) that comprise most writers’ careers. Selling something, getting a piece published, winning a contest–these are the peaks that remind you that you’re not writing in a vacuum. Your work can reach other people. You just can’t usually foresee or control when those peaks will come. I always tell myself to try to enjoy the valleys too–those are when creation happens.
Can’t wait for this class I’ll be teaching on May 21st. Tickets available! Join us online or in person in Phoenix to learn simple, practical tips for creating impactful characters.
A happy side effect of the pandemic has been the explosion of opportunities to connect with readers and writers all over the world. I was fortunate recently to be a guest on the Singapore and India-based Love of Literature podcast. Check out our conversation here to learn about how to research a novel, the publication process, and the connections between fiction and screenwriting!
Any writers out there interested in learning more about character development, I’d love to have you join me for a seminar I’ll be teaching with the Phoenix Screenwriters Association on May 21st. Students can join in person or online. The course is geared towards screenwriters, but will be applicable for anyone looking to craft memorable, compelling characters. And, I mean, who doesn’t want to do that?
I had a blast talking with talented writer-comedian Brandon Prosek for the Entertainment Buffet Podcast. We talked about the genesis of The Plus One, fiction vs. screenwriting, and the step-by-step process of how I wrote and published my first novel. Listen here on Spotify or watch here on YouTube!
I’ll be giving a talk on November 16th to the historic (99 years old!) Charlotte Writers Club about all things fiction and screenwriting. Email Axel at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link!
The Charlotte Writers’ Club has some great initiatives in the works to support local students. I’ll be speaking on the Ask an Author panel on 10/28 at 6:30 PM. Find more info and the Zoom link here!
I’ve had the privilege of participating in events with Consilience Journal before, and I’m very much looking forward to being part of the launch for their virtual exhibition of poetry and artwork. Register for free here if you’re interested! They’ve brought some really stunning work together from artists and writers around the globe.
I’ve advanced to the semifinals of the Nicholl! Writing is strange, solitary, sometimes tortuous work–but then you have moments like these that remind you your words can go out there and actually do something.
This was an exciting email to get–I’ve made it to the quarterfinals of the Nicholl for my script The Life of Harriet Jacobs! This feature is a passion project for me, which has stretched me as a writer and personally. I’m continuing to revise it and work on it, and this is just the inspiration I need to keep going. Harriet’s story is such an important one.
I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed on podcasts before, but recently I got the chance to sit in the other seat, as a guest host! For the Charlotte Readers Podcast, I interviewed Joani Elliott about her debut novel, The Audacity of Sara Grayson, in which a 32–year-old greeting card writer is tasked in her mother’s will to write the final book in her bestselling suspense series. This book was such a joy to read, and all the wit and warmth and wisdom on the pages came through in Joani herself when I spoke with her. Please check out our conversation here. We also recorded a Patreon episode where we talked about writers’ groups: how and why to join one, or even form your own.
I have a poem in the new issue of Consilience, a literary journal that explores the intersection of the arts and sciences. They selected my poem as an Editor’s Pick! Check out the issue here, where you can also listen to an audio recording of the poem. There’s some really beautiful work in this issue, written by people who actually work in the sciences. It’s worth a read!
Join me on Instagram Live on 6/21/21 with historical fiction author Finola Austin! We’ll be having a quick, fun conversation about her debut novel, Bronte’s Mistress, and the writer’s life in general!
I’m looking forward to joining Writers Beyond Borders on Friday, April 16th, 2021 to discuss my book and answer any questions about the writing and publication process. This is a welcoming group that includes writers from all across the globe. Please email the address below if you’d like to attend!
So happy to be the pick of the month for the Bookend Book Club in Kannapolis, NC! I love talking with book clubs–what’s better than friends discussing books?
The Women’s National Book Association (the other WNBA) has been supporting women in publishing since 1917! I’ll be joining them for a virtual panel on April 7, 2021, along with authors Madi Sinha and Sophie Sullivan and Carin Sigfried from Macmillan. Go here for more info or to register!
UPDATE: Such a fun event, and I learned plenty about publishing myself! You can watch the recording here if interested.
The wonderful Editions Bookstore and Coffee Shop in Kannapolis, NC hosted me for a Valentine’s weekend signing. It was a lovely chance to chat with readers!
The Charlotte Readers Podcast is a gem, and after appearing on the show last year, I’ve now written a guest article for their blog. Go here to read my thoughts on the value of writers’ groups, and how to get involved in one.
Awesome news to share: The Plus One is in development for television!
I wrote this book about five years ago, so creatively, I’ve basically been over and done with it for a while. But thinking about the possibility now of changing it up for a series has really gotten me excited about the world and the characters again. This is a dream opportunity for any writer, and I’m so grateful that this is a possibility.
When women are the majority of readers and publishers, why is “women’s fiction” isolated as its own category? I shared some thoughts today in an article for Women Writers, Women’s Books on my experiences publishing in that genre-that-shall-not-be-named: Chick Lit.
I had a lovely time chatting with Parthvi Modi of the Ahmedabad Book Club about books, movies, and how we’re getting out of 2020 alive. William the pug also made a guest appearance! You can watch the stream on Facebook here.
Some fun news today: I just put out a chapbook of poems! It was a fun personal project and a way to get my creativity going. You can read more about Weird Women and download the book for free here, over on my blog!
One of the most surreal things I’ve said in the very strange year that is 2020: my book is out in Japan! Most of us writers dream of reaching people we’ve never met with our work, so to be published on the other side of the world is a real privilege. You can check out the book (and the gorgeous cover art!) here on Amazon, or read a column from the editor.
The Women’s National Book Association hosted a wonderful online panel yesterday, June 18, 2020, about different authors’ journeys to publication through small and large publishers and self-publishing. Thanks to them for including me–it was fabulous to meet these other women and hear about their experiences!
The Charlotte Readers Podcast is a local institution, and I had a great conversation with them about how I got my first novel published, AI, and, of course, dogs. Check it out here!
I joined the wonderful Charlotte Readers Podcast for their COVID-19 Read-In to share a poem I wrote recently, “Salem.” You can hear my poem and a selection of other works here! Check out some of the other episodes while you’re at it–they’re like a literary anthology for your ears.
Fika, the traditional Swedish coffee break, is about enjoying coffee and baked goods, but also about showing down and enjoying conversation. I had a lovely virtual coffee chat on the show Fika with Vicky, where Vicky and I talked about the differences between fiction, poetry, and screenwriting, diversity in writing, cats and dogs, and all manner of things.
Those of you who listened to the first half of my appearance on the Sh*tty Christians podcast have been waiting breathlessly to hear the conclusion of Rhett and Evelyn’s cowboy Christian billionaire romance (much like the ever-breathless Evelyn herself). Part 2 is live now!
I had a blast appearing on the Sh*tty Christians podcast to talk about religion in media, capitalism, and every woman’s desire for a handsome cowboy billionaire virgin. Episode 1 is live now, with part 2 to follow. Give it a listen!
Blog tour kicks off today for the paperback version of the UK version of my first novel! (Are you still with me?) Check out what these great sites have to say about How to Build a Boyfriend from Scratch! The first stop is with Love Books Group.
I was so flattered when Holly of the #SheWhoDaresProject reached out to me to do an interview. Check out my piece, and some other inspiring stories from women, here!
Talking about books at a lovely vineyard – what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Come out and join me at this event in Albemarle, NC on March 7th!
Many thanks to Ginger and Champagne for having me on their blog to talk about the inspiration for The Plus One, writing Kelly’s character, and the role of technology in real-life dating. There are so many other fun posts (including plenty of author interviews) on their site–it’s a great place to get lost for an hour or two.
The Plus One is now officially out in Germany! It’s available here from Heyne. The dream for a writer is for your words to go out into the world and impact someone else. To see mine printed in another language is surreal.
Many thanks to Elyse Archer for having me on her podcast, Instant Impact–and for being my sister! We talked about how to get an agent and tips for finding your voice as you write your first book (and an embarrassing childhood story or two). You can listen through iTunes or watch through YouTube.
I had a wonderful time talking with WCBS Author Talks about AI, dating, and how an English major wrote a comedy about engineering: check out the podcast here!
The audiobook version of The Plus One is a 2019 Earphones Award winner! Huge thanks to AudioFile for the recognition and to narrator Lauren Fortgang for her wonderful work on the book! Thanks also to BookTrib for featuring the audiobook as one of their top picks.
So thrilled to share that The Plus One will be published in Germany by Heyne! Look for it in January 2020, but it’s up for pre-order now. Did you know that “roboteringenieurin” is German for “robotics engineer?” I didn’t until today!
It’s July 2, 2019, and The Plus One is officially out! That sound you hear is me doing a very quiet happy dance, trying not to wake up my dog. Check out the book now, and join me at the bookstores below this month and next!
I have the absolute privilege of sharing that Booklist has given The Plus One a starred review! Check it out in their June 1 & 15 double issue. I try not to focus too much on feedback, good or bad–but lovely encouragement like this always warms a writer’s heart.
Readers who think they don’t like romance and those who think they don’t like science fiction may be astonished to discover themselves loving the combination in Archer’s irresistible, unputdownable, comic, debut romance novel.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has kindly included The Plus One on their list of big summer books for 2019! I am thrilled and flattered, and suddenly desiring cheesesteak. Check out the full list here.
Brilliant news: The Plus One will also be released in the UK! Look for it under a different title there: How to Build a Boyfriend from Scratch. Harper Collins will be publishing it as an e-book on July 2nd, 2019, with a paperback to follow in 2020. Check out their fun cover art, and pre-order the book here!
Book tour dates for The Plus One are here – woo-hoo! I’ll post more information about these events as it’s available. Let me know if you’ll be coming, I would absolutely love to meet you!
- powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn: July 9th, 2019
- Copperfield’s Books, Healdsburg (San Francisco/Sacramento area): July 10th, 2019
- Park Road Books, Charlotte: July 11th, 2019
- Creating Conversations, Los Angeles: August 11th, 2019
Putnam has put together a fabulous book club kit for The Plus One! It’s got discussion questions, a behind-the-scenes look at the book, and bonus material. Feel free to download it for your book club or just for your reading pleasure.
Kirkus has offered a lovely review for The Plus One, calling it “a fun story that will appeal to geeks and beachgoers alike.” Check out their take here!
The Plus One will be released on July 2, 2019 and is currently available for preorder. Stay tuned for updates!