Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Betsy St. Amant | The Key to Everything
Author Guest / October 16, 2020

If you travel to north Louisiana and listen carefully, whispers on the cypress-laden air will tell you legendary tales of a young woman who repeatedly tried to make lemon bars. The trees shield their eyes from the tragic tale of utter failure, while the bayous draw their waters up tight in sympathy and shame. . . Well, okay, that might be exaggerated, but not by far. Confession: I don’t bake. If you say the word “lemon bar” around my mom, she turns ghostly pale from blocked memories of my attempts to make those pesky little yellow desserts all through high school. Never got it right. I’m convinced they’re my nemesis. Now, don’t get me wrong–I can make a mean batch of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies. You know, the kind where you cut open the package and place the already perfectly circular bits of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes? I’ve got that down! In fact, I make them a little on the “not quite done” side, and people rave. Everyone always wants me to bring those to parties, like I did something spectacular. (and when I remember the lemon bars, I’m convinced I did) My mother…

Betsy St. Amant | Taking Risks
Author Guest / August 15, 2014

Writers love words—and some of my personal favorites are combined into the following quote by Jonathan Franzen. “Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.” This is one of the truest things about writing. When an author plays it safe and cranks out a formulaic or cliché idea, just to guarantee that next book deal and pay the bills, their story suffers for it—and therefore, their readers suffer for it. The author didn’t grow during the process of writing the book, and as a result, the reader didn’t grow either. A reader will only reap out of a story what an author sows into it. If the author hasn’t laughed or cried during the writing, the reader will not laugh or cry during the reading. If the author isn’t emotionally spent and wrung out by the time he or she types The End, the reader won’t be moved by the time he or she finally reads The End. Oh, I get the temptation to cut corners, trust me. As a single mom, I more than understand needing groceries on the table and electricity to power up that computer!…