Spokane’s amazing Get Lit! – an annual reading and writing festival – happens at the end of April every year. This year was fantastic! I taught two classes. I facilitated “Conversations Over Coffee.” I read my fiction to an enthusiastic audience. And I met so many other great readers and writers from the area.
There was so much happening, I called in extra help. My dear friend Emily, who is also an avid reader, joined me to tell people about Must Read Fiction and to cheer me on. She encouraged everyone to share book recommendations. We’re all looking for more great reads.
I was also invited to write a short fiction piece. The Scoop, a local ice cream shop, joined with Get Lit! to do an ice cream-themed letterpress book: Poetry Prose Pints. My story, “Hopefully Someone Will, Someday” celebrated their Chocolate Buttercup flavor (which is amazing!). All fiction should have its own ice cream.
Calling everyone in Spokane – Get Lit!, our annual literary festival, is in two weeks, and I’m going to be there. I’m leading two talks, facilitating virtual and in-person conversations, and I’m reading my fiction! Oh, and Must Read Fiction will have a table, too. All the events are linked below. Please swing by! I’d love to see you!
I have interviewed 13 authors with Must Read Fiction. What a six months it has been!
Some of the conversations have been in person. We’ve met in libraries—the Mercer Island Public Library’s meeting rooms are particular favorites—and in bookstores and coworking spaces. We’ve met virtually, spanning hundreds of miles through the power of a video conference. I’ve met authors one-on-one or together with their spouse (a married couple with their debut books releasing the same month!).
Each interview has sparkled with possibility and curiosity and a deep love of words. Elise Hooper talked about the research for her novel, The Other Alcott, and how she initially thought she’d write about Louisa, but May was the sister that drew her in. Husband and wife writers Michael Shou-Yung Shum and Jaclyn Watterson talked about their mutual love for the vintage word “pinchbelly” and how the word found its way into their writing. Jessica Strawser, novelist and editor-at-large for Writer’s Digest, provided highlights from some of her interviews with great contemporary writers (she’s interviewed David Sedaris, Stephen King, and Alice Walker, among many others). I’m so grateful for each conversation and so delighted to be able to share them.
Before I ever started writing, I was a reader. I love fiction. I love how it makes me feel connected – to myself, to others, to the world. I love how it allows me escape from my skin, how I can be present in the mind and bodies of others. I love how I carry those ideas with me in my daily life, how a scene from a novel will help provide clarity to moments in my day.
So I started Must Read Fiction, a community of readers who also live life with fiction. A novel makes everything better.