Joseph Cassara reflects on his debut ‘The House of Impossible Beauties’

In addition to celebrating debut authors and their books in 2019, we will look back at some of our favorite recent debuts in a series of short interviews all about the debut experience.

A lot of people might pick up Joseph Cassara‘s The House of Impossible Beauties because they’re fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race. They might expect an insider story of backstabbing queens throwing shade and spilling the tea. Once you open to the first page, you’ll realize this is a touching portrait of the Harlem’s Latinx and black queer community in the late 1980s.

Wil Medearis discusses gentrification, art, and murder in his debut ‘Restoration Heights’

In his debut novel Restoration Heights, Wil Medearis explore gentrification through a murder noir set in the Brooklyn art world. The conglomerate of ideas came to the author over a series of events spread across years.

In the novel, a young art handler is the last to see a woman alive and becomes captivated by what happened to her. He becomes a sleuth trying to piece together her disappearance. Medearis himself has a background in art and watched his Brooklyn neighborhood change rapidly before his eyes.

Appalachian misunderstandings and memories with Mesha Maren, author of ‘Sugar Run’

A confluence of events led to Mesha Maren writing Sugar Run. The debut author grew up in rural West Virginia where her father volunteered working with incarcerated women. Years later, while working as a waitress in Iowa City, she drew on those scenic summer days she missed to create an atmospheric setting for her characters.

Rachel Lyon reflects on her debut ‘Self-Portrait with Boy’

In addition to celebrating debut authors and their books in 2019, we will look back at some of our favorite recent debuts in a series of short interviews all about the debut experience.

Rachel Lyon is the cofounder of the monthly reading series Ditmas Lit, which she hosts in her native Brooklyn. She is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications who also teaches writing at Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, Slice, and elsewhere.