Entries in SummerBooks (29)


SummerBooks Live Events

When Natalie and I started our book podcast, SummerBooks, last June, we had no idea where it would go. Quickly, we found that not only did we enjoy reading and talking about books to a larger audience than just ourselves, but that others found our discussions lively and entertaining. 

Our next exciting challenge: two "SummerBooks Live From" events! One is the upcoming Press 53 Gathering of Writers in Winston Salem, NC on August 10th. This one-day literary event sponsored by the award-winning press will be our first live event, and we're super excited. Past Press 53 authors on our podcast include Cliff Garstang and Anne Leigh Parrish, and former nonfiction editor of Prime Number, Tracy Crow.

Our second live event will be at the Winter Wheat Writing Conference sponsored by Mid American Review at Bowling Green State University. My co-host Natalie and I are longtime participants in Winter Wheat and are thrilled to attend this year with a Live From Winter Wheat podcast, featuring Matt Bell. We discussed Matt's book Cataclysm Baby last fall, and will talk with Matt about his new novel, among other things.

SummerBooks went fro m idea to reality quickly, and I'm excited to see it growing in these new directions. Our next podcast, coming soon, features the novel You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt. The current podcast features Cathy Marie Buchanan's The Painted Girls and is available on iTunes or at summerbooks.podbean.com


New SummerBooks Podcast

New SummerBooks episode live today, featuring The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan. Listen to us talk abut historical fiction, true crime, why it's hard to write ballet well, truth, absinthe, accountants in crushed velvet, shout outs to our friends and much more.


So, Renée, what have you been up to?

It’s an imaginary voiceover, as if I’m being interviewed for something. Well, I’d say, I hardly know where to begin.

Okay, I’ll quit the cutesy stuff. Perhaps not my style. This week I launched a journal called Souvenir with Keegan Lester. I say a journal and not a lit journal because we’ve expanded into so many other avenues than what one would expect from a lit journal. So, less is more, hence simply a journal.

We launched and got over 2000 hits in our first 48 hours or so. I think those numbers are reasonably correct. Keegan watches the analytics and I paraphrase. Souvenir launched with poems, podcasts, fiction, essay, photography and film. All at once. Look for updates regularly, but maybe not as many at once. And more and more variety, too.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not also working on SummerBooks with Natalie Sypolt. We will be heading up to AWP, and while there scoping out lots of future features for our podcast. I also tweet for SummerBooks, and you can follow that zany-ness @summerbooks1.

Look for an update on our next podcast soon. 

But wait, there’s more (yes, in the vein of as-seen-on-TV products): I’m still teaching ballet, and two of my students auditioned for and were accepted to competitive summer intensives. One (only nine years old!) was invited to American Ballet Theatre’s Young Dancer’s Summer Workshop in New York City, and the other was invited to BalletMet Columbus. So proud of both!

And, since we’re talking dance, I’ll be teaching again in West Virginia University’s Dance Program’s Summer Dance Academy, June 16-22, 2013. All the awesome ballet you could want in a week on campus, ages 11-18.

Not all work, but also a little play. I have tried a small boatload of red lipsticks. For those following 50 Shades of Red, update soon, I promise. How about a teaser?

 NSFWThe number 26 lipstick (in order tried) is actually called a lip tar. Applied with its own little brush, much like spackle on a wall, it’s from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I’m not even making this up. They have several reds, but I chose NSFW, a “true, balanced red.” And it was. The application was a little weird, both thick going on but light wearing, which was honestly surprising. OCC cosmetics are cruelty free, even though one of the reds is called Psycho. Lip tars also come in their own see-through ouch, so you don’t tar the whole contents of your purse.  Clever!

Stay tuned for updates on publications coming out soon. And other exciting stuff. I’m trying to live up to my tagline, create something extraordinary, which is less for marketing than it is a constant reminder to me what, in the best circumstances, I yearn to try for each and every day. Doesn’t always happen, but no reason not to try.




Recent lag in updates

Just a note to the regulars who check out my site (thank you, by the way), that I will return to regular postings soon. I'm helping to launch a web-based journal (more on that soon) and it's been a bit of a time consumer, along with all my other projects and teaching.

Never fear, though, a long update on red lipsticks, and other goodies, will be here soon.

Also, I got a fun update on LinkedIn that my profile was in the Top 10% of viewed profiles. I had no idea that I was so popular on LinkedIn. Wow. 

Remember to keep up with SummerBooks on twitter: @summerbooks1


SummerBooks Update

The new SummerBooks will be coming soon. We will be looking at two books: Board a literary collage created by the online culture magazine The Nervous Breakdown, as well as Scott McClanahan's Crapalachia: A Biography of Place