Pik-Shuen Fung on astronaut parents and Ghost Forest

Pik-Shuen Fung on astronaut parents and Ghost Forest

Pik-Shuen Fung, author of Ghost Forest, grew up in Canada in an astronaut family – where a parent stays back in the family’s native country working while the rest move abroad. Those experiences found their way into her debut novel. Prior to releasing Ghost Forest, she receivedfellowships and residencies from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kundiman, the Millay Colony, and Storyknife.

Fung corresponded with Debutiful to give more insight into her debut experience.

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Elizabeth Gonzalez James feels Mona at Sea can help serve the community

Elizabeth Gonzalez James feels Mona at Sea can help serve the community

Elizabeth Gonzalez James was certain Mona at Sea would never be published. It was passed on in 2015 and sat in a drawer until she entered it to the Santa Fe Writers Project award. Even when she won, she wasn’t sure if she’d sign a contract.

We discussed the long journey she took and Mona took from graduating with a business degree during the Great Recession to publishing a book about unemployment over a decade later.

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A Life of Books with Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett, authors of The Very Nice Box

Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett are best friends who write together. Their natural chemistry oozes onto the pages of their debut The Very Nice Box. It’s an off-kilter work place comedy where bad men get what’s coming to them.

I asked the duo to fill out the semi-regular “A Life of Books” questionnaire to help introduce them to readers.

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Jonathan Parks-Ramage says we should all be our own Daddy

Jonathan Parks-Ramage says we should all be our own Daddy

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Jonathan Parks-Ramage joined the podcast to discuss dating older men, dark novels, and journalism.

He is the author of Yes, Daddy, a novel about a young man who enters a relationship with an older artists. Everything seems to be going well… until it turns dark over a summer vacation.

Parks-Ramage, who spent years writing longform journalism for places like Vice, Slate, Out Magazine, and elsewhere opened up about daddy culture, writing journalism and switching to fiction, as well as what books inspire him. Listen below.

Vince Granata knew he always had to write his heartbreaking and revealing memoir Everything is Fine

Vince Granata knew he always had to write his heartbreaking and revealing memoir Everything is Fine

Vince Granata‘s memoir Everything is Fine is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. I think that term is thrown out a lot; however, the story inside it truly made me weep. Vince’s brother, with undiagnosed schizophrenia, killed their mother. His memoir is about that event and what came after. How could he still love his brother? How would their family move on? So many questions I asked myself how I’d react in Granata’s shoes but couldn’t.

Everything is Fine is a moving mediation on pain and suffering, but also love and persistence. We corresponded via email about his background and why this memoir had to be written.

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A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After

A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After

JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After, had a career as a mediator and judicial officer before writing her debut book. In her first novel, she explores a familiar situation: an idyllic town turned upside down by a the shocking death of two teenage boys.

The book, however, is about more than the mystery. It’s about how the families can put their lives back together and how the town can trust again. It’s a meditation on optimism in the darkest of times.

Below, the author answers Debutiful‘s A Life of Books Questionnaire.

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A Life of Books with S. Kirk Walsh, author of The Elephant of Belfast

A Life of Books with S. Kirk Walsh, author of The Elephant of Belfast

The Elephant of Belfast, the debut novel from S. Kirk Walsh, was inspired by events that took place in Northern Ireland during World War II. Inspired by the true store of Denise Austin, the book follows twenty-year-old zookeeper Hettie Quin and three-year-old elephant Violet. The two share an immense bond and one night in 1941 when bombs start dropping, Hettie does everything she can to protect Violet.

Walsh writes with exquisite and tender prose throughout the book making Elephant an unforgettable read. Below, she answered the semi-regular “A Life of Books” questionnaire so readers can get to know her better.

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A Life of Books with Forsyth Harmon, author of Justine

A Life of Books with Forsyth Harmon, author of Justine

You may recognize the name Forsyth Harmon. If you do, you’re lucky enough to have read tremendous books that she has illustrated like the essay collection, Girlhood, by Melissa Febos. 

Now Forsyth has her own illustrated novel out called Justine and it is exquisite. Set in 1999, the story follows Ali as she meets Justine in a life changing series of events. Justine takes Ali under her wings at a local store where the two start as coworkers and blossom into something more. Harmon’s work is intimate. It’s cozy in the way that you want a book to be but allows you to be uncomfortable with the realities of these young lives.

I wanted to know more about what makes Forsyth Harmon tick and asker her to fill out Debutiful’s A Life of Books questionnaire. Read her answers below.

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