Oh hey, I was on NPR Illinois today.
Wild to have grown up listening to NPR, and then today I got to turn on the radio and hear my voice right after NPR News from Washington!!
It was a pleasure to join Community Voices, a show produced by NPR Illinois WUIS 91.9FM out of Springfield, to talk about the work I do for the Kirkland Fine Arts Center, the College of Fine Arts at Millikin University, my upcoming book (STILL ALIVE, Feb 2024) from Malarkey Books, and how much I love living in Decatur. I even wedged in a mention of Frank’s, purveyors of the best Italian Beef in Central Illinois.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! Now read THANATOS, my creepy short story at Malarkey Books.
Malarkey Books published Hellarkey, just in time for Halloween (as a fundraiser for the press), and it sold out in mere hours. But even if you missed the chance to get your own copy, you can now read my story online!!!
A happy samhain to you and yours,
STILL ALIVE, my debut novel, to be published by MALARKEY BOOKS in February 2024
!!!!! I am thrilled to share that STILL ALIVE (formerly STARBOI), which was long listed by [PANK] for their book contest in 2020, will be published by MALARKEY BOOKS in February 2024 !!!!!!!!
An excerpt of the novel already appeared as a preview on MALARKEY’S website and you can read it here: STILL ALIVE (Excerpt) by LJ Pemberton.
Another excerpt is forthcoming from Cosmonauts Avenue, and I will of course share that when it goes live.
Here’s the neato graphic announcement that MALARKEY made to share the news:
If you're excited about my book, and you love good writing, I highly recommend joining the MALARKEY BOOK CLUB at their Patreon. For $20 a month, you'll get one outstanding book of fiction or non-fiction or poetry EVERY MONTH (12 a year!) from this doing-the-good-work indie press. Proceeds directly support the operations of the press AND THE AUTHORS THEMSELVES. Which, as you know, I really believe in.
No doubt there will be more to share in the future, but I wanted you to know what’s up. I’m 100% nervous and excited to share this book I’ve been working on for literal years of my life. It’s a doozy.
sending big love,
EXCERPT from STILL ALIVE, a novel: Currently available at MALARKEY BOOKS
It is with extreme delight (and a touch of trepidation) that I share with you today’s hot, fresh off the press, excerpt of STILL ALIVE. STILL ALIVE (formerly STARBOI) was long listed by PANK for their Big Book contest in 2020, but it has not yet found a publisher. Not only that, but another excerpt has been accepted for publication with Cosmonauts Avenue for their relaunch.
This book is horny, and sad, and relentless, and it is the first novel I’ve written that I really, truly, am proud of. I believe, deep down, that it will find the right home someday.
Plot synopsis for the whole damn book: STILL ALIVE is an anti-coming of age story told through the fast-paced remembrances of the manic, bisexual V, as she enters a multiple-decade romantic tug-of-war with the charming and withholding LEX. Weighted by the emotional fallout from her parents’ dysfunctional marriage, mother’s addictions, and brother’s temporary escape into eastern religiosity (he’s nicknamed RICHARD GERE), V leaves the Portland, Oregon of her childhood for new roots in New York City, only to find herself further disillusioned. Her gay best friend LEROY has found happiness elsewhere and the city isn’t what it once was. After following her now wife, Lex, to Los Angeles, their relationship survives two affairs, but V ultimately realizes Lex is a person, not an answer, and chooses independence after all. STILL ALIVE is a fervent, 21st century feminist narrative with a surprisingly hopeful end.
This section comes early in the novel, when V, the narrator (whom Leroy jokingly calls “Sophia”), runs into Lex at a club and falls slowly back into the situationship between them that neither can escape.
New Short Story: The Deserving at Malarkey Books
Over the years, I’ve written stories and books that were like homework: practice at technique, voice, dialogue, plot, all the usual. And some of those stories have been published. Others never will be. I don’t particularly like them. They are just something that came out of me while practicing something else.
And then there are stories I’ve written that I love. The ones that seem unlikely to survive this world, like they might not have a chance to ever be read, but at least I’m proud of them. I know what I did.
The Deserving is such a story.
That this story was published, by Malarkey Books no less, means more to me than any other fancy accolades or credentialing I’ve been lucky to gather.
Big love and special thanks to Alan Good.