Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Elvia Wilk. Her debut novel, Oval, is available from Soft Skull Press.

 

Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York and Berlin. She contributes to publications like FriezeMousseMetropolisArtforum, and Zeit Online. From 2012 to 2016 she was a founding editor at uncube magazine and from 2016 to 2018 she was the publications editor for transmediale. She is currently a contributing editor at e-flux journal and is finishing a masters at the New School for Social Research. She has taught at the University of the Arts Berlin, Eugene Lang College, and City College of New York.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Lilliam Rivera . Her new YA novel, Dealing in Dreams, is available from Simon & Schuster.

 

Rivera’s previous novel, The Education of Margot Sanchez (February 2017) was nominated for a 2019 Rhode Island Teen Book Award, a 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult Fiction by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and has been featured on NPR, New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, MTV.com, and Teen Vogue, among others.

She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion alumni with a Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship. Lilliam has also been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Speculative Literature Foundation. Her short story “Death Defiant Bomba” received honorable mention in Bellevue Literary Review’s 2014 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by author Nathan Englander. She recently received honorable mention in the 2018 James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award.

Lilliam’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Lenny Letter, Tin House, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and more. She has been a featured speaker in countless schools and book festivals throughout the United States and teaches creative writing workshops. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Balli Kaur Jaswal is the guest. Her new novel, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, is available from William Morrow. It is the official April 2019 pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Jaswal is the author of Inheritance, which won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award in 2014 and was adapted into a film at the Singapore International Festival of the Arts in 2017. Her second novel Sugarbread was a finalist for the 2015 inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize and the 2018 Singapore Literature Prize.

Her third novel Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (Harper Collins/William Morrow) was released internationally to critical acclaim in March 2017. Translation rights to this novel have been sold in France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Greece, China, Brazil and Estonia. Film rights to Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows have been acquired by Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free Productions and Film Four in the UK. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was also picked by Reese Witherspoon’s book club and The Girly Book Club in 2018.

Jaswal’s short fiction and non-fiction writing have appeared in the UK Sunday Express, Cosmopolitan MagazineThe New York Times, Harpers Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveller and Best Australian Short Stories, among other publications and periodicals. She has travelled widely to appear in international writers festivals to conduct workshops and lectures on creative writing, pursuing an artistic career, the power of storytelling, global citizenship and social justice advocacy through literature. A former writing fellow at the University of East Anglia, Jaswal has taught creative writing at Yale-NUS College and Nanyang Technological University where she is currently pursuing a PhD.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sam Lipsyte. His new novel, Hark, is available from Simon & Schuster.

 

This is Sam’s second time on the podcast. He first appeared in Episode 154, on March 6, 2013.

His other books include the story collections Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and The Fun Parts, and three other novels: The Ask, The Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Madhuri Vijay. Her debut novel, The Far Field, is available now from Grove Press.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Vijay was born in Bangalore. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and her writing has appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, Narrative Magazine and Salon, among other publications. The Far Field is her first book.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Thomas Kohnstamm. His debut novel, Lake City, is available from Counterpoint Press. It is the official January pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Kohnstamm is also the author of Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? (Crown). He was born in Seattle and lives there with his wife and two children.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with John Wray. A recipient of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim fellowship, his new novel, Godsend, is available now from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Andre Dubus III. He is the author of seven books, including House of Sand and FogThe Garden of Last Days, and the memoir Townie. His new novel is called Gone So Long. It is available from W.W. Norton & Company.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with T. Greenwood. Her new novel, Rust & Stardust, is available from St. Martin’s Press. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club

This is Tammy’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 267 on April 9, 2014.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Amber Tamblyn. She is an author, actress and director. She’s been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film. She is the author of three books of poetry including the critically acclaimed bestseller, Dark Sparkler. And her debut novel, Any Man, is available from Harper Perennial.

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Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Liska Jacobs. Her debut novel Catalina is available from MCD/FSG.

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For the launch of my third novel, I thought it would be fun to have the story editor, Patrick J. LoBrutto, ask some questions. He’s not only conversant with the novel; he made it better.

Pat, who worked in-house at Bantam and at half a dozen other major imprints, has edited more books than most people read in a lifetime. Over a career spanning three decades, he’s worked with Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Eric Van Lustbader, Walter Tevis, the Louis L’Amour Estate, Don Coldsmith, Jack Dann, F. Paul Wilson, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Herbert, and hundreds of others.

Obviously, if any of my answers come across as incoherent, it’s all Pat’s fault.

I love stars, the kind you find in the sky, but I’m not as enamored with those on the ground.

Your new novel, The Upcoupling— a contemporary take on Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata— is set in a suburban town in New Jersey called “Stellar Plains.” One day a cold wind blows and one by one the women, young and old, begin to say no to their men. Again and again in your writing you seem to return to the suburbs-and sex.

Both seem to me to be very vivid and durable territory for fiction. They each provide potential landscapes for all kinds of strong and paradoxical feelings.  I remember being in my bedroom late at night when I was little, and looking out my window into the window of the house next door, which wasn’t very far away; all the houses on our street were lined up and almost identical.  I saw the mother from next door through that window, and though I didn’t see anything unusual-no nakedness or fighting or anything-I had a jolting sense of proximity, and of how it was possible to have an entirely different life from someone else, and have an entirely different consciousness, even though you all lived in the same place.  As for the place itself-I think it sometimes depressed me, but I didn’t know it at the time.  There was so much turnpike, so many stores that held no interest: Dress Barn; the supermarket called Bohack’s.  Yet saying these names now after all this time, I find that they are weirdly electric to me, and still draw me in.

Most of us are starving for success, but there are some people who take their obsessions to a whole other level. Training a carefully-honed eye on the secret world of eating disorders, author Lisa deNikolits delves into the sensitive topic of beauty in her well-received novel, THE HUNGRY MIRROR.

WordHustler sat down with deNikolits to talk fame, fashion, and being famished. This savvy South-African-turned-Canadian author has done an amazing job of churning out many projects while still maintaining her other career as an art director for top fashion magazines. Read on to find out how this talented writer is taking the fashion world- and the world at large- by storm!

WordHustler: You have an amazing and eclectic background from growing up in multiple countries, working as a writer and an art director in the fashion magazine world…what do you consider your first big break, writing-wise?

Lisa deNikolits: My first big break came, oddly enough, in the form of a rejection letter from Carolyn Jackson, the managing editor of a publishing house in Toronto. With characteristic generosity of spirit, she pointed me in the direction of Inanna, and The Hungry Mirror came to be as a result. My second big break would of course be the offer by Luciana Ricciutelli and Inanna to publish the book.

WH: You’ve written a few short story collections and some other novels- what made you decide you HAD to write this book in particular?

LD: If anything, it was The Hungry Mirror who made the decision for me! The Hungry Mirror wanted to be written and it was insistent. There were times when I wished it hadn’t “chosen” me as its conduit, because it was a tough book to write and the writing spanned a very long time. But I feel the book explores a number of important and controversial social and mental  health issues, and I am very pleased to be the author.

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WH: When drawing from your experiences in the fashion world, do you find it difficult to disguise people you actually know? Or do you make the characters amalgams of many people?

LD: All amalgams, absolutely! I borrow bits and pieces shamelessly from everywhere, from everyone and I create character collages. And in return, I am quite happy for anyone to borrow anything from me! The only real difficulty I have encountered so far is when people misinterpreting themselves to be the basis for a fictional character. Then it’s awkward to have to say well actually that character originated from my imaginings – meanwhile a lot has been revealed that might better have been left unsaid.

WH: What for you is the most challenging part of writing? Realistic-sounding dialogue? Educating/getting your message across without sacrificing story?

LD: I struggle with tenses. I start off writing in the past tense, I swing into the present, then veer into the future. When I go back and tackle a first draft, I am dismayed by the mess I have created. It can be hard to untangle mixed up tenses, like trying to fix bad knitting. I also need to learn more about the intricacies and rules of punctuation.

WH: You are doing a fantastic job of marketing yourself and your book. What advice can you give other writers looking to promote and market themselves?

LD: Thank you for the kind words! Yes, the marketing is going very well and while I would love to take credit, all kudos go to my publisher, friends and family. The support and generosity of their time, their enthusiasm, their help and encouragement have just been incredible.

For my part, I worked hard to set up a number of social networking infrastructures but that was really just like mailing out a lot of invites; the party is a great success because people show up and bring their passion and energy.

Other key points to successful marketing would be; start thinking about this early on in the process, leave no stone unturned, do a lot of research, make a lot of lists, keep knocking on doors.

WH: What are a few of your favorite books out there today (besides your own, of course! 😉 )?

LD: Two of my favourite women authors are Edeet Ravel: Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth, Ten Thousand Lovers, Wall of Light, Look for Me, and Annie Proulx: Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Bad Dirt, and of course, The Shipping News.

I love Harry Crews: Body, The Gospel Singer, Feast of Snakes. In terms of recently published books, I’ve been enjoying a number of Inanna’s books – Butterfly Tears by Zoë S Roy, Women’s Spirituality by Johanna S. Stuckey, First Voices (An Aboriginal Womens’ Reader), edited by Patricia A. Monture and Patricia D. McGuire, Truth and Other Fictions by Eva Tihanyi. I thoroughly enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and I am halfway through Linden MacIntyre’s The Bishop’s Man.

WH: What is your preferred writing method? Do you have a certain writing spot/technique?

LD: I used to write longhand but then I got tired of inputting all the copy. So I switched to writing on my iMac, and I sit at my Hungarian grandfather’s old dining table which is set high on wooden blocks, to accommodate my red retro step chair stool with polished red vinyl seat. It is an unusual setup but one that works for me! It’s all quite elevated and precarious!

WH: How do you best balance your fiction writing with your art direction commitments?

LD: I squeeze time! I can fit a lot into a day! And when I feel start to feel a bit sorry for myself, trying to do all these things, I remind myself of all the mothers out there who have to juggle more than I could even imagine, and it’s not like they can take a break whenever they feel like it. So, it’s all a matter of perspective.

WH: What are three things you’d advise aspiring writers to do?

LD: Read style manuals. Attend writing workshops. Print your work out and read it a aloud.

WH: What are three things you’d advise aspiring writers to NEVER do?

LD: Never give up.  Never stop reading with the intent to learn. Never write an entire 220,000 word manuscript as internal narrative (I learned this one the hard way!).

WH: Do you think WordHustler is a valuable resource in helping writers successfully get their work out there, professionally and effectively?

LD: Yes I do think WordHustler is a valuable resource. Finding one’s way through the maze of agents and publishers can be much more daunting than writing the book. So when you say: “Bottom line: you’re a writer. You should be spending your time writing.” Well, I just love that!

She’s a savvy writer, indeed. Saving time with all the paperwork so you can get back to writing is WordHustler‘s goal for you. Use our helpful Advanced Search Wizard in the Markets section to help you target the perfect agents, publications, and publishers for your work, or submit your wonderful writing to any of our thousands of writing contests!

WordHustler wants to help you get your work out to the world quickly, efficiently, and successfully. So what are you waiting for! Destiny is only a click away!