People Like You on CNN Best Beach Reads for 2017

‘The world needs more of her writing’

I was hunched over the kitchen counter this morning, bleary-eyed, trying to fix myself a cup of coffee, and then from the other room I heard this: “Hey, you’re on CNN.”

Honestly, I thought he was talking to somebody else. (Who that would be I’m not sure, but I was tired.)

Then I thought he was kidding.

Then I looked at his iPad, and sure enough, there was CNN’s Beach Read list for the summer with (wait? what?!) my name next to the name of my book.

Sandi Shelton, a Connecticut novelist with the pen name Maddie Dawson, read PEOPLE LIKE YOU and loved it and went on to say dreamy things about the characters and the writing.

She said:

“Malone’s characters are funny and unhappy and self-sabotaging and honest and brave,” says Shelton.

Every time this happens, I’m still dumbfounded that someone gets it,  what I was trying to do with those stories. It blows me away.

 

She also said:

“I couldn’t stop reading these stories and now I find myself missing them, so I go and reread them over and over. I want to go over to Malone’s house and cook her meals and do her grocery shopping so that she has time to write more books, because the world needs more of her writing.”

Happy to take you up on this offer, Sandi.

Here is the LINK to the BEST BEACH READS of 2017.

Thanks again.

 

The Masters Review Craft Essay: “This Is How A Writer Writes A Story”

I’d been writing one craft essay for The Masters Review, and then most of the way through, days before the deadline, I scrapped it and wrote this one instead: THIS IS HOW A WRITER WRITES A STORY.

It’s actually kind of funny too (not haha funny) – because the creation of the essay itself mirrors the process I write about in the essay.

Ouroboros kind of a deal.

Thanks to the fine folks at The Masters Review for reaching out to make this happen.

I’m honored to have work published with them.

Here’s the book I reference in the essay:

images

[And thanks to Arthur Koestler for allowing me to sum up a mind-blowingly phenomenal behemoth of a kick ass book in a couple sentences. I’m aware of the liberties I took.]

WordFest Book Chat

Many thanks to Alan Rose for this great conversation leading up to October’s WordFest in Longview, WA. And thanks to KLTV and the fine folks operating the audio and camera.

I felt right at home.

Here’s the link to the Book Chat interview with Alan Rose.

And if you’re in Washington, come say hello on Tuesday, October 11 from 6-8.

Summer Reading: New Story Up at Portland Monthly

A few months ago, Portland Monthly came to me and asked for a brand new short story with a few rules:

  • Set in the Pacific Northwest
  • Word count under 1,400 words
  • And, written to the theme of  “That Summer…”

The result is The Buried Forest, published online today, and the print version is out in the August issue of Portland Monthly. Inside, you’ll find new work from authors David Shafer and Diana Abu-Jabar, and poetry by Anis Mojgani, Elyse Fenton, and Samiya Bashir.

For the whole shebang of Summer Reading stories and poems, go here.

Enjoy the read, and happy summer!

E-book is out for People Like You

The PEOPLE LIKE YOU e-book is now available for purchase.

Here are a couple links, depending on where you like to buy your books:

Scribd

Bookshout

On Bookshout, it says the book can be read in about 3 and half hours, which is hilarious because it took me about twelve years to write. I guess I better get back to writing the next one…

xo

 

 

Small Press Picks & KLCC Reviews

Deep gratitude to Beth Castrodale of Small Press Picks, and Connie Bennett of the Eugene Public Library for their beautiful reviews of PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

Beth’s review can be found on her site, Small Press Picks, where she champions small presses (and short stories too!) doing good work.

Connie’s review can be read and listened to on the KLCC website here.

As I’ve said before in various places on my site and in other media, finding a reader that not only understands what you’re doing but loves it is just about the best thing out there for a writer. It is the ultimate kind of connection.

Thank you both so much.

People Like You Wins Balcones Fiction Prize

Balcones Logo

I am ecstatic to announce that PEOPLE LIKE YOU was awarded the 2015 Balcones Fiction Prize. There were some fantastic books on the shortlist with me, and I am humbled to be in their company.

Biggest of thanks to Joe O’Connell at Balcones Center for Creative Writing and to this year’s judge John Blair, author of the Drue Heinz Prize winning collection American Standard, who had this to say:
“Margaret Malone’s People Like You is a masterfully minimalist collection of lives lived poorly but with the best of intentions. Her stories are powerful, sad, and plain-spoken, and this debut collection takes the normative-yet-desperate circuits of the day-to-day that Bobbie Anne Mason and Frederick Barthelme brought to the forefront of American short fiction and makes them both new again and powerfully affecting.  These are marvelous and worthy stories, and very much deserving of recognition.”

I am totally blown away by this award, and really looking forward to coming down to Austin next Spring.

Thank you all so very much.

Best Day of My Literary Life – PEN Hemingway Ceremony

Today was an extraordinary day.

It started with a private tour of the Ernest Hemingway archives at the JFK Library. Wow. Super duper wow. (Sidenote: If you will be in Boston anytime before the end of the year, please go through this phenomenal exhibit.)

Then lunch at a table with, in a room with, some of the most talented American writers, who, it turns out, are also funny and charming and kind in a variety of ways.

Then the award ceremony where Joshua Ferris, presenter and a judge, along with Alexandra Marshall and Jay Parini, of this year’s PEN Hemingway award read aloud the citation from the judges for People Like You. I could not breathe as he read the following paragraph:

PEN Award Framed

And then I couldn’t breathe for two seconds after that either because, oh my sweet stars, did they just put the names Chekhov, Carver, Beattie, Moore and Twain in a sentence about People Like You? But I had no time to not breathe because I had to walk up onstage and accept the certificate and shake hands and pose for a picture and then somehow walk, without falling, all the way back to my seat, and the whole time my heart is not thumping along in my chest cavity the way it’s supposed to. No, it’s flailing, kicking, pushing, punching so loud I wanted to audibly ask it to shush please. But then I thought better of it and thanked my heart for reminding me what an undeniably extraordinary beautiful moment was happening… to me. Right that second.

Nothing left to do, then, but to simply take it all in.

My deepest gratitude to PEN New England; to judges Joshua Ferris, Alexandra Marshall, and Jay Parini; to the winner Ottessa Moshfegh, my fellow finalist S.M. Hulse, and honorable mention honorees Karim Dimechkie and Chigozie Obioma; to the crazy talented editor and publisher Mark Allen Cunningham of Atelier26 Books; to Diane Prokop, publicist extraordinaire; and most importantly to Brian Padian who kept the home fires burning (and the kids from burning the house down) so I could be in Boston, and he not only never once complained but told me again and again of how proud he was, of how much I deserved it, of how hard I’ve worked, of how much he loved me.

All of you, you changed my life today. Really.

Thank you.