Interview with A.J. Hackwith, Author of THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN

Saturday, October 12, 2019

I am so excited to welcome A.J. Hackwith to The Debutante Ball. We attended Viable Paradise together in 2016.  A.J. Hackwith is a magpie of plots, bad ideas, and spite. She is a queer speculative fiction writer who writes contemporary fantasy as A. J. Hackwith and sci-fi romance as Ada Harper.  Her writing has appeared in Uncanny Magazine and various anthologies, and she’s an alumni of Viable Paradise workshop. She’s…

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Oh, how I love the bracket trick.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I love revisions. (I know, you’re about to ask—which demon rose from depths of hell and is currently wearing a writer coat?) I just think it’s incredibly fun to take a rough piece of coal and polish it into a diamond. But first drafts have their charms, too. You don’t have to impress anyone — not even yourself. In a first draft, you can just knock the firehose to full…

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Rejection is a teacher.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rejection is a great teacher. When I was a journalist in upstate New York, I’d often have to ask tough questions of people that were not entirely excited to speak to me. The problem is, as a journalist, you can’t really go along with rejection. If someone says “no,” you have to continue to say “yes.” You have a responsibility to the story and to your readers, so you have…

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I don’t do balance.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I don’t do balance. I mean, I wish I did. I’d like to. A balanced life seems appealing, in its own special way—tranquil and well-ordered, like an apartment lovingly curated by Marie Kondo. I’m not being clever or facetious. I’d love to live in a place like that. Life would unfold in shades of delightful Instagram pink, in eustress rather than stress, in coffee mugs on back porches, in variations…

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There is no “normal.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Before I begin, let’s get something straight: there’s no “typical path to publication.” There’s only what happens to you, when it happens to you. Remember, this is a business where the only effective marketing advice are dollar signs and shrug emojis. That said, my journey is actually fairly typical. I call publishing “the eye of Sauron,” because you’ll find yourself living through long stretches of time where nothing much is…

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Tick, tick, tick…

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

In 2006, I went to a house party. While crossing the lawn on the way back to the car, my foot caught in a lawn divot, twisted badly, and shattered bones in five places—including my cuboid, which any orthopedist will tell you takes talent. I stuck my foot in a boot and prepared to spend the next six weeks in crutch-laden misery. If only. Two weeks in, I felt a…

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Greetings from your friendly neighborhood danger extrovert!

karen-osborne
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

In college, I had a summer job at the Latham Circle Mall Waldenbooks (of blessed memory). The manager made me a keyholder, so I was tasked with getting to the mall early, opening the rattling grate, turning on all the lights and setting up the registers. If I did that fast enough, I then had twenty minutes to put away newly-delivered books. Sometimes—just sometimes—I’d leave a tiny little gap in…

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