Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor Joy Lanzendorfer on her forthcoming book, Right Back Where We Started From, out May 4th. In this debut novel, Joy tells the story of Sandra Sanborn, an eager young women looking to be discovered in Hollywood during 1930s, whose life is thrown off track when she receives a letter from a man who says he is her father. Through this narrative, Joy creates “a sweeping, multigenerational work of fiction that explores the lust for ambition that entered into the American consciousness during the Gold Rush and how it affected our nation’s ideas of success, failure, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a meticulously layered saga—at once historically rich, romantic, and suspenseful—about three determined and completely unforgettable women.”
“From the California Gold Rush to the to the San Francisco earthquake, through the Great Depression and World War II, Joy Lanzendorfer artfully weaves a beautifully textured saga. Yearnings, secrets, and shame shape the lives of three generations of American women as they dare to question the rigid societal expectations that confine them to proscribed roles and stifle ambition. Gripping prose and complex and memorable characters make this shining debut novel a pleasure to read.”
Liza Nash Taylor, author of Etiquette for Runaways and the forthcoming In All Good Faith.
To pre-order your copy of Right Back Where We Started From click here. Also, be sure to check out Joy’s website and Twitter as well as her past work in Issue 5.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor, Peter Ho Davies, on his new book, A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. Tracing “the complex consequences of one of the most personal yet public, intimate yet political decisions a family can make: to have a child, and conversely, to choose not to have a child”, this novel tells of a “first pregnancy… interrupted by test results at once catastrophic and uncertain” and a “second pregnancy [that] ends in a fraught birth, a beloved child, the purgatory of further tests—and questions that reverberate down the years.” Peter, in his novel, asks and explores the questions, “When does sorrow turn to shame? When does love become labor? When does chance become choice? When does diagnosis become destiny? And when does fact become fiction?”
“A brilliant book about modern marriage and parenthood, about choice and its fallout, that is hilarious and devastating, both true-to-life and a comforting fractured parable for our time.”
Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway
To order your copy of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself click here. Also, be sure to check out Peter’s website as well as our interview with him in Issue 19.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor, Susan Wingate, on her forthcoming book, Bobby’s Diner, out March 31st. Winner of The 2020 Best Fiction Pacific Book Awardand the first of a series,this suspenseful fiction novel explores the themes of life, love, death, grief, pain, loneliness, and redemption, as it details “a woman trying to find herself in a town where nobody wants her.” The story follows Georgette Carlisle who, fifteen years ago, went to the town of Sunnydale and fell in love with Bobby, who was not only “the owner of a diner named after himself, but… was also married.” Bobby has now died and “left his restaurant to both women.” However, trouble ensues as a Zach Pinzer begins to want the property for his own project and “is willing to kill to get what he wants.”
“A breathtaking story that will fill you with joy and laughter, Bobby’s Diner is a great read for any book lover.”
Coffee Time Romance
To pre-order your own copy of Bobby’s Diner click here. Also be sure to check out Susan’s website and Twitter as well as her past work in Issue 1.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor Lessa-Cross Smith on her new book, This Close to Okay. The fiction novel depicts two strangers and the weekend they share, after, one, Tallie Clark, spots the other, Emmet, standing at the edge of a bridge. The story alternates between the two’s perspectives as they come closer to learning the truth as to what brought them together.
“Leesa Cross-Smith is a consummate storyteller who uses her formidable talents to tell the oft-overlooked stories of people living in that great swath of place between the left and right coasts.”
—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
To order This Close to Okay click here. Also, be sure to check of Lessa-Cross’ website and Twitter, as well as, our interview with her from Issue 15.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor Patricia Ann McNair on her forthcoming book Responsible Adults by Cornerstone Press, which will be released on December 4th. The book was selected for Cornerstone Press’ Legacy Series and takes a look at the Midwestern human experience and makes the reader wonder ” What happens when responsible adults are anything but responsible people? When they are at best, irresponsible, and at worst, dangerous?”
With startling honesty, precise observation, and a deep faith in the beauty of language, Patricia Ann McNair creates a world where the so-called adults in the room abandon, lie, cheat, steal. They’re familiar, these faults, you think as McNair traces the delicate cracks and gaping chasms of the human condition, her gaze unflinching, unnerving, watching as opposing forces collide, unleash catastrophe. Especially then. Who, she seems to ask, is left behind and why turn away? In this remarkable collection, McNair hits her writerly stride with a sureness that is nothing less than breathtaking. – Christine Rice, author of Swarm Theory
Click here to see Cornerstone Press’ announcement for the launch of Responsible Adults. Be sure to also check out Patricia’s website and Twitter, as well as her piece featured in Issue 3.
“Reading to relate is like looking in a mirror; I want to walk through a door.”
In this insightful Authors Talk, Patricia Ann McNair delves into the idea — and issue — of readers and writers only finding value in work they can relate to.
Many times she has heard the phrase, “I can’t relate,” from students and peers in regards to stories. As readers, it can be easy for us to become uncomfortable when confronted with stories that we cannot relate to and we cannot understand, but Patricia argues that it is exactly these stories we need to be reading.
When we read only stories we can understand, we are simply looking in a mirror; but, when we read stories that do not resemble our own, we are shown through an open door into a world we never would have encountered before.
“Write what you don’t know….”
Listen to her full Authors Talk below.
Check out Patricia’s newest work, Responsible Adults, coming out in December of 2020 (Cornerstone Press).
Join us in congratulating past contributor Jami Attenberg on the release of her newest novel, All This Could Be Yours.
The author of 7 books, Jami has been praised for her incredible works by NPR, USA Today, The New York Times, and Kirkus Reviews among many others. Her novel, All This Could Be Yours, was listed in People magazine’s “Best of Fall” list.
In addition to her newest novel, Jami also has a fortchoming memoir from Ecco Press. Congratulations Jami, we cannot wait to read your forthcoming work!
Check out Jami’s interview, “Plenty of Light,” from Issue 20 of S[r] here.
Learn more about Jami and her work at her website.
Being isolated in our homes gives us writers that sweet time we always crave to actually get some writing done. Personally, I’ve been reading through my old work, sprucing it up and sending it in to some of my favorite magazines. I might as well while I have the time, right?
One of the most helpful parts of being the Fiction Editor for Superstition Review this year has been learning what editors look for in writing. And since it’s been helpful for me, I thought it might be helpful for you! Here’s an insider’s look on the selection process here at Superstition Review.
The first thing I did as Fiction Editor was make a mistake. I linked my editor’s account on Submittable to my personal submissions account. That means, every time I opened Submittable to review submissions, the first thing I saw was all of my rejections for stories I’ve submitted over the years. For the first hundred stories, I felt like I owed it to every author to at least read their story all the way through, because that’s what I want for all of my stories. Soon enough, I was weeks behind on deadlines and extremely tired of reading every page of the stories that I didn’t enjoy. Thus, I learned my first lesson.
Lesson 1: It’s the first page or two that makes or breaks a story. If I’m bored early on, I will not read the rest. Make that first page captivating enough to make me read the second page, then make that page captivating enough to make me read the rest of the story. Otherwise, I do not have the time.
I started catching up, but I was still behind. Submissions poured in faster than I could read them. Our Founding Editor called me and gave me some new helpful advice. We are a magazine that does not read blind. That means we read your bio and cover letter before we read your story. Trust me, the bio and cover letter are more important than you may think.
Lesson 2: Don’t waste your editor’s time with your bio and cover letter. By all means, include a bio and cover letter, but this is a brief blurb about who you are, your degree if applicable, any major awards you’ve earned for your writing, and maybe where else you’re published. This is not your resume, your life story, or a list of your Boy Scout merit badges.
Finally, I had all my favorite stories picked out. I met with our Founding Editor and the Senior Fiction Editor, and we compared notes. Unsurprisingly, all three of us have different tastes in fiction, but none of us caved to the others. We fought for the fiction we liked, and, in the end, we all left happy. This lesson is a stretch, but bare with me.
Lesson 3: Your story doesn’t have to be universal. I feel I have to address this because lots of literature is praised for being universal. There are plenty of good niche stories out there, and they are all the better because they aren’t forced to appeal to everyone. We all fought for the stories we felt the strongest about, and we all had our absolute favorites published.
I’m really proud of the upcoming fiction section in Superstition Review. The authors who wrote the stories we’re publishing should be proud as well. The authors of the stories that didn’t make the cut but were counted among our favorites should be proud. Everyone who submitted should be proud that they put their work out there.
Lesson 4: Keep writing, keep submitting, keep aiming for publication in your favorite magazines. Every time I logged on to Submittable to review new fiction submissions, I saw all of my rejections from over the years. Honestly, I was proud of them. That’s how many times I’ve put myself out there with stories I was proud of.
Keep up the good work! And thanks for a fantastic submission season.
Stop by the library for a discussion with fellow book lovers. The Great Books Foundation promotes reading, thinking and sharing of ideas. Kathy and Don Dietz will lead discussions on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. in the Connections Café at Tempe Public Library.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser before the book discussion at 6 p.m.