The greater part of my work in the writing and publishing world – is working with talent and helping to shape their words into their very best. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with some incredible voices. I want to share their work with the world. The role of an editor is behind-the-scenes and I love the intensity of collaboration and working closely with gifted writers to reflect and showcase their abilities. My own experience first as Publications Director in Europe, and more recently, as an editor for a variety of publishing houses, has lent me the insight, patience and love of helping others put together books. Here are a few I have recently had the pleasure to work with – their words are strikingly potent and I hope I can continue to showcase their talent and bring others to appreciate what they have done so far:
Nadia Garofalo / Relative Traumas
Singer, songwriter, musician, and poet Nadia Garofalo is a throwback to the days of Byron and all who felt deeply, intensely, piercingly. As a songwriter, Garofalo has the precision of a wordsmith – she knows how to infiltrate the soul and will rend your emotions with her refrain. This debut collection of poetry examines the exquisite pain of chasing your dreams throughout the years, and storing within your blood the urgent need to live passionately. Her writing is raw, edgy, and unapologetic, with a tendency to revive the reader in the way that one is revived by putting their hands in cool water. When you consider your life, imagining the ancestors before you who immigrated and brought their cultures with them, you forge memories without end. Garofalo condenses these types of observations alongside the humming piques of desire and complex relationships. Her confessional words might as well be sung for all the power they possess, imploring to the void for more. There is such a stirring rendition of urgent living here that it quickens the pulse, stirs what was once thought long dead, and awakens us to the potency that is poetry.
Devika Mathur / Crimson Skins, Indie Blu(e) Publishing.
Indian poet Devika Mathur’s acute obsession with the use of confessional lyricism lends her writing a sumptuous sensibility. Finding fantasy a way to escape inner trauma, Mathur’s haunting, visual work speaks of imagined journeys and freedoms, through imagistic and richly textured poetry. Mathur’s work challenges the accepted notions of the female, and illustrates the intensity and eloquence of her life. Crimson Skins will make you want to inhabit Mathur’s hypnotic handling of words and sink into her flowered world of blood and joy, pain and ecstasy.
Christian Livermore / We Are Not Okay, Indie Blu(e) Publishing.
Christian Livermore grew up a shy little girl in a turbulent family sunk in poverty, violence, substance abuse and mental illness. She ate government cheese, suffered from malnutrition and struggled to defend her body against threats both outside the house and within it. And even though she made it out, she has suffered a lifetime of consequences since: excruciating health problems, fear and shame. Especially shame. In We Are Not Okay, Livermore’s deeply personal and moving essays explore what it means to grow up poor in America and ask whether it is possible to outrun the shame it grinds into your bones. She excoriates the inhumanity in how the United States treats its poor and asks the nation to confront how growing up poor in America brutalizes us and warps our perspective on ourselves, on other people and on the world. She concludes with a rather startling suggestion: the dissolution of the United States.
D. B. Wright / Girl on a Swing (novella), BlackBird Press.
Fans of psychological thrillers and gothic-noir, look no further than Girl on a Swing, by D. B. Wright, an intense and horrifying account of a young girls victimization at the hands of her family.
What would you do if you found yourself at the mercy of abusive parents in a remote country home, trying to protect yourself and your baby brother from their violence and depravity? Girl on a swing explores the grim reality of such abuse, and the story of a young girl desperately trying to survive.
An unnerving climb inside the perpetuated horror of familial abuse. From the deep graft of a survivor, this unsettling novella explores what happens to generations caught within a cycle of violence. How love and hate work side-by-side in unhealthy relationships and what sadism can do to a child. With a vivid setting of shocking reality juxtaposed with phantasmagoric escapism through the eyes of a child, Girl on a Swing is a psychological thriller with the fast pulse of a fleeing rabbit, and the intelligence of a pursuing hawk.
Disturbing, essential and eye-opening, this gothicesque horror will get under your skin and stay there. Think of all that sinister fiction you devoured and loved? Girl on a Swing packs the same intense punch. A blend of violence and abuse, a strong protagonist who we root for throughout, with a creepy gothic atmosphere. It’s not hard to see why this novella will keep you burning the midnight oil.
Kindra M. Austin / The Killing Holiday, Indie Blu(e) Publishing.
What are people really capable of when they’re emotionally pushed to the precipice of madness? The Killing Holiday digs beneath the human psyche and begs the question, what will you do for love? Or better yet, what are you willing to do for revenge?
Kindra M. Austin’s dark, disquieting ability to provoke unease delivers a psychological thrill steaming and flinching on a plate. Dark and honest, these characters become more primal—animalistic—as the story progresses. This addictive noir novella forces us to confront the hidden sides of our humanity. We are all killers—killers of the spirit, of the heart, and of course, the body.
Hospital Poems / Nancy Dunlop, Indie Blu(e) Publishing
“Inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care exists within the hermetically sealed white space pressing in on the poems in Nancy Dunlop’s deeply moving chapbook, Hospital Poems. The impact? No extraneous words, no lines that edge out too far, no stanzas that speak a little too long. Any persona between you and the author is stripped away as well, no games, no antics, no masks, only the author speaking directly from somewhere close to the bone. After reading a few poems, you’ll realize you’ve been holding your breath, the poems are this taut.” —Suzette Marie Bishop, Jaguar’s Book of the Dead.
Zinia Mitra / Some Words Never Sleep, Indie Blu(e) Publishing.
Some Words Never Sleep comes from the monsoon soul of Indian poet Zinia Mitra. A bilingual author and accomplished academic, Mitra pours her observations and insights into transformative poetry, evoking what it is to be a woman of India, a breathing soul in an ancient wondrous land. Mitra imbues her intense recollections, responses, and emotions in a myriad of carefully juxtaposed poems that fill the reader with a semblance of what it is to walk in her shoes. The gentle sway of her alacrity as a writer, her femininity and strength, the enduring quality of her life thus far, make for spellbinding reading.
Zinia Mitra places her finger on the pulse of modern Indian verse and finds worlds hitherto undiscovered, with a sumptuous range of evocative pieces that transport us into her universe. Artwork by gifted Indian artist Lakshmi Tara adds to this lush, sensuous journey. Some Words Never Sleep is a dream from which you will not wish to readily awaken from, as it unfolds in waves from the mandala of her mind.
Nicholas Gagnier / Dead’s Haven (Olivia & Hale)
A man accompanied by a troublesome orphan and the ghost of his dead wife ventures to the outlaw town of Haven, where he is drawn into a war that could change America, and the world, forever. This direct sequel to Founding Fathers picks up eight years after the events of that novel, in which white supremacists engineered a national uprising against immigration using social media.
Kristin Kory / Hungry for Ghosts, BlackBird Press
Kristin Kory’s debut collection of poetry explores themes of love, loss and the art of navigating pain in a way that reminds us of our humanity and reaches for the ethereal. Her words are equal parts inspiring, empowering, and haunting. This compelling collection delves deep into the realms of love and heartbreak and draws the reader closer to healing, self-love, and growth.
Hungry For Ghosts speaks to the hidden sorrow in all of us; this book serves as a reminder that even on the darkest days, we can find light in the darkness, and perhaps we are all part of something slightly greater than ourselves.