New Essay in Fairy Tale Review

While I’ve mostly been novel-writing as of late, I have a new essay, “No Girls Allowed,” up at Fairy Tale Review about the Berenstain Bears book of the same name. This was one of my favorite books when I was little, and rereading it as an adult, I was shocked by its messaging regarding gender roles. This essay is about the book, and also about the same messaging in literary and academic worlds. Many thanks to editor Joel Hans for publishing it!

Strange Theater: Reading at AWP

I’m delighted to be reading at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Tampa on Thursday, March 8 with a lineup of amazing, fabulist writers. Please join me and Sequoia Nagamatsu, Adrienne Celt, Tessa Mellas, Jason Teal, Daniel Hoyt, Dana Diehl, Anca Szilagyi and Melissa Goodrich at the 5 Star Dive Bar from 7-9 p.m.

I’ll also be serving on a panel the following day, Friday, March 9, at the AWP Conference on the teaching of undergraduate creative writing with Laura Van Den Berg, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Shane McCrae, and Sequoia Nagamatsu. Please join us at 12-1:15 p.m. in the Marriott Waterside’s Meeting Room 4!

Missouri Author Series

This week, I’m visiting my home state as part of the annual Missouri Author Series, which brings in writers who are from or who write about Missouri. It’s a true honor to have the chance to read at several Missouri universities from a novel set in Missouri, and as someone who grew up here. I read last night at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, which was such an amazing evening and event, and today I’m headed to the University of Central Missouri as part of the Pleiades Visiting Writers Series. Tomorrow, I head to the University of Missouri, and on Friday I’ll be in Springfield at Missouri State University as part of the Moon City Press Reading Series. Many, many thanks for Brad Modlin, Michael Czyzniejewski, Phong Nguyen, Jenny Molberg, and everyone at each of these institutions for a week of fantastic events.

New Fiction in Pleiades

Since I’ve largely been working on novels for the past two years, I wrote one short story last year and am absolutely delighted for it to appear in the new issue of Pleiades, a literary journal I’ve long admired. The story, “Here is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn,” is about a grief-stricken man who visits the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis for a haunted tour after hearing the voices of his deceased family members on sound recordings of birds. The story appears alongside new work by Brenda Peynado, Micah Dean Hicks, David James Poissant, Matthew Minicucci, Susannah Nevison and Brian Brodeur, among others. Many, many thanks to editors Phong Nguyen and Jenny Molberg for including this story in the issue!

Reading at KGB Bar

Despite the bomb cyclone that blasted New York City this week with snow and frigid wind, CJ Hauser and I had a wonderful time this past Sunday night at KGB Bar in Manhattan. The theme was “resolutions” to kick of the new year, and we each read short pieces on this theme before both reading for the first time publicly from our new/forthcoming novels. It was a great evening – many, many thanks to Suzanne Dottino for inviting us to read!

Paperback Readings


Happy New Year, and Happy 2018! With the paperback of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down releasing this past month, I have a few readings and events this winter including a kick-off this coming weekend at KGB Bar in New York with novelist CJ Hauser. Then later this January, I’ll be traveling to a few universities in my home state of Missouri through the Missouri Author Series. If you are in any of these cities, I look forward to seeing you! I also have a new, monthly TinyLetter publishing at the start of each month, the latest of which was sent out yesterday. Wishing you a very happy January and 2018!


As of December 19, the paperbacks of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down are officially here! Friends and family have been kind enough to send me photos of them making their way into the world and onto bookstore shelves. The paperback cover is gorgeous – many thanks to HarperCollins for a beautiful edition! I have a few paperback readings and events coming up in January and will post the schedule shortly. In the meantime, wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

New Monthly TinyLetter

I’ll admit it: sometimes posting writing-related news on Facebook and Twitter makes me want to hide under my desk. So I’m starting a TinyLetter that feels more contained, quiet and contemplative – mostly focused on inspirations, writing process and nature, but with a bit of writing news splashed in too. Subscribe here for monthly writing and notes (and occasional birdwatching and spying on chipmunks).