Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Gervais Hagerty | Exclusive Excerpt: IN POLITE COMPANY
Author Guest / August 13, 2021

14. Crab Crack Six blue crabs rattle in a white bucket at my feet, blowing bubbles and pinching one another’s legs. A gigantic stainless-steel pot boils on the stove. Steam billows overhead, making the already-toasty kitchen even hotter. I dump the blue crabs in-ide. They die instantly, I hope. When they pinken, I drain the pot and carry our Monthly Monday dinner to the porch. For the crab crack, Weezy and I have assembled newspapers, paper towels, heavy spoons, and a bowl of water. Weezy wears an old nursing bra and some stretchy biker shorts. Her grow- ing belly pokes out beneath a tank top. Our legs need shaving. Dirt collects in the spaces between my toes, beneath my nails. We’ve wrapped our hair in careless buns, high off our necks. We sit on the floor. Weezy goes for the claws first. She cracks the shell open with a mallet. I start by prying off the carapace. Warm goop drips from my fingers to the newspaper. I use a spoon to scrape away the gills. I swish the carcass around in the water bowl to clean off excess innards. After I break the body in half, it strikes me that…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE RECEPTIONIST BY KATE MYLES
Author Guest / August 13, 2021

What inspired you to write THE RECEPTIONIST? I started writing THE RECEPTIONIST while on maternity leave. It was an interesting time because I was busy with a newborn, of course, but it was a different type of busy than I’d experienced in my working life. Parenthood seemed gentler on the mind than my job as a television producer. I compared who I’d been just a few months prior – a little harder, maybe a little more cynical – with motherhood, which demanded more softness from me. It got me thinking about the role of vulnerability in women’s lives. This led to the first version of Chloe, the title character of THE RECEPTIONIST. I’d initially conceived of her as being a bit like Cinderella – a fair maiden type from a fairytale. I pictured her embodying all these antiquated feminine ideals of humility and meekness, waiting for someone to notice her innate goodness. What would happen if you plopped someone with zero savvy into 21st century Los Angeles? I figured it wouldn’t end well for her. Chloe changed quite a bit from this initial concept. I had to make her less passive as the plot picked up, but the first seeds…