Catch Me If You Can: April 8th-11th, 2015 AWP Conference & Bookfair, Minneapolis, MN

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​April 8th-11th, 2015 AWP Conference & Bookfair, Minneapolis, MN, see below:
 
Thursday, April 9th, 10:30-noon, book signing at Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing table (plus I will be hanging around until 2pm, available to talk about VCFA’s graduate programs);
2-3pm book signing at Harpur Palate
 
Friday, April 10th, 1:30-2:30pm, book signing at Green Mountains Review;
3-4:15pm panel “The Long and the Short of It: Five Debut Authors Divulge How They Got Their Short Fiction Collections Published, Buzzed, Reviewed, and Read”
 
Saturday, April 11th, noon-1:15pm panel reading,
“America by Train: Riding and Writing the Rails”
​followed by book signing at Curbside Splendor
 
You can also catch me from time to time at the Burrow Press table, where you can purchase Train Shots for the special conference deal of $10. I haven’t attended AWP since 2009, and so many dear friends are going. I can hardly wait!  
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Interview with Harpur Palate, plus Book Signing at AWP Minneapolis

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This latest interview is with the wonderful literary magazine, Harpur Palate, which first published the story, “Train Shots” a few years ago, under the editorship of Barrett Bowlin. So it’s been extra special to share the publication of TRAIN SHOTS, the collection, with them and be featured in their “author spotlight.” Moreover, I’ll be selling/signing copies of TS at the Harpur Palate table during AWP Minneapolis, so if you’re at the book fair, please stop on by!

You may read the full interview here:

http://harpurpalate.blogspot.com/2015/02/author-vanessa-blakeslee-interview-and.html

“On Parakeets & Writers”: I talk Train Shots & Juventud with Angela Mitchell

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Back in the summer of 2009, I attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and hit it off with fellow fiction writer, Angela Mitchell. One of the most fun aspects of seeing your books (finally!) turn into print is reconnecting with the hardworking writers you’ve met over the years: to set up readings in one another’s cities, interviews, etc., etc. Angela and I are long overdue for a visit, but I suspect we’ll bump into each other before too long at a book fair or conference. Meanwhile, she was kind enough to interview me for her blog, where we talk mostly about Train Shots, but about the challenge of leaping from short story writing to the novel, too.  Read the interview and while you’re there, check out Angela’s work: her stories have won numerous awards, been published in great places like Colorado Review. All this she’s accomplished while mothering, teaching, and cattle-farming. She’s a creative woman of many hats whom I’m in awe of from afar, and I so look forward to our paths crossing again.

Here’s the link:

http://angela-mitchell.com/on-parakeets-and-writers/ 

Across the Border: Interview with Canadian blogger Rob Mclennan

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Canadian writer and blogger Rob Mclennan’s site is quite the crossroads of the Canadian lit world and he’s featured more than a few of my friends from the Banff Writing Studio. Visiting his site just makes me miss Banff and my dear Canadian lit friends so very much (Toronto! Vancouver! Maybe even St. John’s — I’ll come visit you soon, I promise). Meanwhile, I’m so happy to see my conversation with Rob is now live. One note: this interview was conducted just before my novel got picked up, as you’ll note the mention at the end that my agent was still shopping around the ms. Quite fun to look back and see how much has changed in a few months. The novel, Juventud, will be released by Midwest powerhouse indie publisher Curbside Splendor, which means indeed, I may be visiting Toronto soon indeed. 🙂

http://robmclennan.blogspot.com/2014/12/12-o4-20-second-series-questions-with.html

 

Interview with Belle Reve Literary Journal

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The Belle Reve Literary Journal focuses on “the Southern experience” and I’m happy to have chatted with them about inspiration, forthcoming books, and advice. My favorite question:

“Choose three words that describe your writing nook/office.

Sun, notebook, mug”

You can read the interview here:

http://www.bellerevejournal.com/2014/11/interview-with-award-winning-author.html

Today at Buzzfeed Books: “18 Short Story Writers On Why They Decided To Write A Novel”

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Tremendous thanks to Benjamin Woodard and Buzzfeed Books for inviting me to participate in a conversation with 17 other fiction writers on how we transitioned from writing short fiction to the longer form. I’m honored to have my response featured alongside these remarkable talents, including Lydia Davis, Charles Baxter, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Makkai, Bret Anthony Johnston, and Lindsay Hunter, just to name a few. The responses are as varied as they are illuminating; you can read them here:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/benwoodard/trying-to-ski-jump?bffbooks

Emotional Terrain: Interview with editor Stephanie Lenz

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Recently I had the pleasure of fielding some astute questions from Stephanie Lenz, Editor of the delightful online literary journal Toasted Cheese. TS first published an earlier version of my story, “The Sponge Diver.” We talked Train Shots and craft, specifically delving into one of my favorite subjects: emotional terrain. You can read the interview here: http://www.toasted-cheese.com/ab/14-05/

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