Pre-Order STILL ALIVE! (Book Trailer Dropping Next Week OMG)
It’s less than a year until my novel STILL ALIVE makes its debut in the world and I’m slowly acclimating to the idea of being read (seen?), criticized, and all the hubbub / crickets that come with putting your work out there.
- The good news is that if no one reads it, no one will be obsessed or disapppointed.
- The bad news is that if no one reads it, no one reads it.
(These are the thoughts of an anxious author.)
If you missed our FANTASTIC Zoom Reading “A Murder of Malarkeys” back on March 22, you can watch it here [Passcode: bwp0z#my].
Next week, my book trailer is dropping (yes, this is a thing now).
Also, I have a lot of summaries of the book, and I’m not sure which one is straight fire and which ones are BORING. Or if a mix of them is best? HALP.
Let me know which summary you like best / which is the most appealing / which you think would most likely make you BUY THIS SUCKER? (I’m learning how to do this as I go.)
V expects a tug-of-war romance with the charming yet withholding LEX to cure her early-2000s ennui, but her family’s chaos threatens to derail her overdue adulthood. This fast-paced swirl of memory and action hurtles toward a surprisingly hopeful end. As sexy as De-Transition Baby and Luster, with razor-sharp humor and heart-tugging romance. STILL ALIVE is a novel to fall into, out of, and back again.
STILL ALIVE captures the fast-paced remembrances of the manic, bisexual V and her multiple-decade infatuation with Lex amidst the interjecting traumas of her past. 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 best friend Leroy has found happiness elsewhere and the city isn’t what it once was. After following V to Los Angeles, she realizes at last who she is and more importantly — who she doesn’t want to be. STILL ALIVE is a 21st century novel for the YouTube and Tiktok generations hungry for a new voice that reflects not only their reality, but their deepest longings.
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 emotional tug-of-war with the charming and withholding Lex. Weighted by the fallout of 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 best friend Leroy has found happiness elsewhere and the city isn’t what it once was. After following V to Los Angeles, she realizes at last who she is and more importantly—who she doesn’t want to be. STILL ALIVE is a 21st century, unconventional narrative with a surprisingly hopeful end.
A sharp eye, contending with time. A disillusioned idealist, who expects feeling to create purpose. Meanwhile, 20th century narratives about gender, accomplishment, and family weigh heavy and persistent, though refused again and again. And love — the grand and foolish specter of love — enlivens it all. This is one way to talk about STILL ALIVE. The other way is to focus on plot. Or character: the narrator, V, is a judgmental, stubborn queer woman, unable to hew herself into the categories of identity and family that the world has offered her.
STILL ALIVE is an alternative to the loud and dominant voices of mainstream experiences and their expected worries and moral systems. It is a glimpse at a certain underworld of friendship, love, and survival that has existed for decades in bars and clubs, in basements, cities, and country hideouts, mostly unnoticed by the rest of America. STILL ALIVE enables the reader to be a voyeur where they may not have tread, or perhaps, to recognize (at last), a piece of their own experience.
In my estimation, STILL ALIVE would be at home on the shelf beside Eileen Myles and Thomas Bernhard, read on the Q or R trains headed to Queens, or left on the bar for the next patron after finishing. And perhaps for these reasons, among many, it is better suited for you than almost any other title. It is my hope that you agree.
Love to my favorite heathens,
P.S. Pre-Order STILL ALIVE here.
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.
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.