Home

USA Noir

USA Noir:Barbara’s story, “Crazy for You,” that was published in 2010 in Orange County Noir is included in USA Noir: Best of Akashic’s Noir Series, released November, 2013. The new anthology includes short stories by some of the greats in the suspense field: T. Jefferson Parker, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, and more. Details and purchase information ».

Watch a video trailer for USA Noir:


Latest entries from the Pen on Fire blog:

Mary-Beth Hughes and Lauren Acampora on Writers on Writing

Mary-Beth Hughes, author of The Loved Ones talks to Nicole Nelson about finding her way into her novel, using sensory detail to further the narrative, and drawing from her earlier career as a modern dancer (with the Merce Cunningham studio in New York) to tell her stories. Then Lauren Acampora, author of The Wonder Garden, talks about how her false start with a novel led to this book of inter-connected short stories that she had a blast writing, how growing up in the suburbs and later choosing to live there as an adult has influenced the tales she is drawn to, and how she finds the humor in reactions from readers who don’t read flap copy, thanks to a blog post by Rebecca Makkai about online reader reviews.

Download audio.
(Broadcast date: June 10, 2015)

Vendela Vida and Samantha Harvey on Writers on Writing


Nicole Nelson talks to Vendela Vida, author of The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, about the challenges and fun of writing in the second person singular, why she doesn’t read her reviews, and the value of setting a daily word goal. Then SamanthaHarvey, author of Dear Thief, discusses how setting her novel in the form of a long letter allowed the protagonist to explore a wide territory, how her dissatisfaction with academic philosophy led to a realization that she could best explore philosophical questions through writing fiction, and how having real clarity of purpose when writing a novel, knowing what its “necessity” is, working in tandem with perseverance, is crucial.

Vendela will be at Skylight Books in Los Angeles on June 15, 2015 at 7:30P.M.                                                                                                                                                       

(Broadcast date: June 3, 2015)


Michael Paterniti and Marian Palaia on Writers on Writing

Essayist Michael Paterniti, author of Love and Other Ways of Dying, joins Marrie Stone to discuss writing tragedy, how he finds doors into human emotion, what makes a compelling essay, and creating the narrative voice in nonfiction.  In the second half, Marian Palaia discusses her novel, The Given World.   She discusses Vietnam, creating fictional characters from real people, the common pitfalls of new writers, and how her MFA transformed her work.

Download audio.

(Broadcast date: April 29, 2015)

Nayomi Munaweera and Aline Ohanesian on Writers on Writing

Debut novelists Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors, and my former student, Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan’s Inheritance, join Marrie Stone to discuss writing as an exhile, the power of personal history, the effects of war and genocide on future generations, and how to make the political stories personal. 

Download audio.

(Broadcast date: April 22, 2015)

Read more entries in the blog »