Yes Is The Answer (Barnacle Books/Rare Bird Books)
Reading at Skylight Books on June 14, 2013
Last night’s progressive rock reading inspired one audience member to ask the panel of writers why there weren’t any girls interested in the genre. We have two, one panelist responded, thinking the guy was asking about the number of female writers in the anthology. No, in bands, as musicians, the questioner said. And you know what I said? Out loud (like not in my mind?) AW COME ON!
Yes dear readers, my social life in LA has come so far as to be the heckler at free bookstore events that begin and end before it gets dark. I go, I ask bad questions and now I also make comments on other people who do the same. Things are really on the up! Continue reading
You will get your ass kicked at the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. It’s not the thing you want to tell a new writer looking to develop their work, but it’s true. Better to just tell them some descriptive details – that you’ll meet in a working writer’s home, that you’ll get lots of feedback on anything you put down on the page, and you’ll make a new circle of friends who will support your work. Continue reading
What mysteries are inside your families? What questions have you not dared to ask? For Michael Hainey, the question was: what don’t I know about the night my father died? This question prompted more than a decade of investigation into his father’s death, the result of which is a memoir about what it’s like to find that kind of answer.
The author summoned the spirit of his family’s past at Book Soup on Thursday the 23rd, by reading from his pages in a ghostly voice and a grave manner. When he reached out to mimic the motion of his mother’s hand when they revisited a haunt from the couple’s early days, I shivered with the thought that we all of us will disappear one day. Until then, how will you overcome your fear? Michael Hainey answered some question on how he did it. Continue reading
Last week Kate wrote about how to rewrite your first chapter. There’s conventional knowledge, she says, about how to treat your character and plot but how do you really suck the reader in? Her answer was to come up with a moment in the life of the character that is very similar to every other day, but just slightly different enough to deserve it’s own 300 pages. Continue reading
Kate explored the dark side of literature with International Crime Fiction night at BookCourt last week.
Many of us write fiction to explore big questions: How do we make sense of life? What are our responsibilities to each other? What does it all add up to? Are our sacrifices worthwhile?
These are literary questions and often tackled by crime writers. And yet, in the industry, there is still a clear line drawn between literature and crime novels. Continue reading
Kate re-visions her first chapter, inspired by Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers (2011) Continue reading
After Visiting Friends explores a most terrifying idea: What if all the people around you are just waiting for someone – YOU – to tell the truth? It’s not easy to accept your fate – that you were meant to live longer than your dad, that he had secrets and that you are the only person that wants to know what really happened. How many times can you ask yourself why me, before you go ahead and write the story you need to tell?
The author, Michael Hainey, has a nagging question that he carried around with him for nearly thirty years. While looking through various obituaries published after his father’s death, he found a few incongruities. The Sun Times, where Robert Hainey worked as an assistant copy desk chief, made no mention of the place or cause of death. Chicago Today, though, where Robert’s brother worked, gave a street address where the man had “collapsed and died,” after leaving the home of a friend. Finally, the Chicago Daily writes that he died, while visiting friends, on the North Side.
At age 18 he asks himself: Friends? Who are these friends? And why have i never met them? Continue reading