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Robin Antalek, acclaimed author of The Summer We Fell Apart, is featured in TNB Books’ new collection, The Beautiful Anthology, where she wrote about her daughter’s tattoo. Here, Antalek answers a few essential questions about beauty:

 

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve even been, and why is it beautiful?

The moment right after giving birth, when the pain is gone and the baby is healthy. Everything stopped, and nothing mattered but the now.

This is what happens AFTER you write the next book.

You have days of euphoria. No one save for a few people who you love and trust and who probably love you a little too much to objectively read the drafts of your next book, are even aware that you have finally completed the new manuscript.

This past week, I got a Kindle. I have not been so changed by a reading experience since Stephen King’s Needful Things, which was the book that made me realize I wanted to tell stories. It’s the sort of genius-level device that demonstrates the fact that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Truly wonderful.

I am naked in a bookstore near you.Big box, chain or indie.You can find me there.

The unflattering florescent lighting exposes all and opens me up for discussion, comment and speculation.I am less than a pound and 384 pages long.All those jiggly, messy bits of me that I am usually so good at masking are out there for all to see. I wanted this and now I am terrified. The enormity of the conundrum leaves me dry-mouthed with sweaty palms.

If you found yourself at Target on Valentine’s Day, and you happened to peruse the fiction section, you may have noticed a familiar name among the selections.

Yesterday, The Summer We Fell Apart, the debut novel by TNB’s own Robin Antalek, hit the shelves at said department store, a selection for the prestigious “Bookmark Breakout” program.

You live in Saratoga Springs, New York, home to Yaddo, one of the most famous artist colonies in the United States. Truman Capote, Patricia Highsmith, John Cheever, Amy Bloom, and Andrea Barrett, among many others, have been awarded fellowships over the years.

Frankly, I didn’t even know what a huge deal Yaddo was when I first moved to Saratoga and it is literally around the corner from where I live, just past the famous Saratoga Flat Track.  I had a two year old and a five year old when I moved here so… I was a little preoccupied by Barney and packing a PC lunchbox (something I never mastered).  Saratoga Springs is a jumble of contradictions. A quaint Victorian village in the shadow of the Adirondacks, it is most well known for the flat track which has drawn the rich and famous and their thoroughbred horses since the late 1800’s and the Sulphur Springs for the purported healing properties and for one of the most expensive private liberal arts colleges in the country: Skidmore.  The gardens at Yaddo are open to the public and I’ve spent a lot of time on the grounds… soaking up the ghosts of writers past, I guess you could say, but I’ve never applied for a residency.

How to Clean House

 

What my mother does admit to me when she calls is that Finn is on another bender and she can’t possibly rely on him to help her clear out the house before Monday.  She sounds so small and sad on the phone and I am in such a weird state of mind that I overlook the fact that I am being manipulated.  She needs me.  I can tell by the tone of her voice that she would also like me to offer to find him, just like the other times.  This time, however, I am going to let him sit and pickle before I drag him back home.   Besides, divesting the house of our childhood is enough pain for one weekend.