Essays

"Alex Kiester on Obsessing Over Her Mother's (Eventual) Death," LitHub 

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A little over a year ago, I was taking a walk, talking on the phone with my mom like I do most afternoons. We hadn’t been talking about anything important—a book one of us had read maybe or a restaurant we wanted to try—when suddenly she interjected with, “By the way, I just heard from Nancy. She finished the death dress.”

"In My Skin: Being an author was all I ever wanted. Until I faced the terror of promoting my book," Toastmaster 

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a novelist. Some of my earliest memories are of walking around my neighborhood, barefoot, narrating stories in my head.

I started writing my first manuscript at age 25. It was more or less a disaster and fortunately, no one read it except for one gatekeeper of the publishing industry who gave it a polite but resounding no. My second book was better, thank God. It placed as a finalist in an international manuscript competition and was starting to get some real interest from real literary agents.

For the first time in my life, the thing I’d wanted more than anything, the thing I’d wanted since I was 7 years old—to become a published author—was within my reach. But rather than feeling excited, I was terrified. I was so terrified, most nights I cried myself to sleep.