Reviews everywhere

“As a writer, Link knows there’s nothing she’s “supposed” to do; her imaginative freedom is unmitigated by a need to counterbalance the weirdness with explanation. “Don’t explain,” Billie Holiday used to sing, and Kelly Link concurs.”
— Meg Wolitzer, NPR

“Link is a master of the contemporary short story, and her zeitgeist is oddness.”
— Cate Fricke, Bookslut

“That’s Kelly Link in a nutshell: inordinately brainy, always concise, darkly whimsical, and entertaining as heck.”
— Eugenia Williamson, Boston Globe

“With a delicately balanced mix of the utterly mundane and the bewitchingly fantastical, each of the nine stories offers something at once relatable and slightly off-kilter to chew on.”
— Alexis Burling, The Oregonian

“Link’s writing is characterized by both a high literary value and a deep human sentiment…. At the same time, no matter how far-ranging her imagination, how beautiful her language, Link keeps the characters firmly at the focal point of these stories, tales of change and understanding, of loss and growth, of fundamental human truths that will resonate with familiarity for every reader, no matter how weird things get.”
— Robert J Wiersema, The Toronto Star

“There were times, reading this book, that I audibly went “Mmmm.” How can you not, when confronted with rhythmic, lulling writing, traces of supernatural energy, and dark, writhing plot points? Link’s first book in 10 years requires a sense of adventure and, at times, a strong stomach—but the weirder it gets, the more satisfying it feels.
— Megan Angelo, Glamour

“The best of her stories linger after they end, casting shadows and opening doors to strange new worlds.”
— Margaret Quamme, Columbus Dispatch

“Link tiptoes up behind these characters and gives them a push; get in trouble, she seems to say, show us what you can do.” — Shelf Awareness

“The stories in Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble soar and zing like LSD-tipped arrows shot into the farthest reaches of the imagination.”
— Elissa Schappel, Vanity Fair

Largehearted Boy Book Notes

Kelly has a huge “working” playlist (and also: huge headphones) and she wrote about part of it for David Gutowski’s Largehearted Boy Book Notes series:

I wrote the nine stories in Get in Trouble over not quite a decade. I wrote them, usually, with headphones on; usually listening to to the same songs over and over again. When no one else is around I sing out loud — embarrassingly, terribly, out of tune — mangling lyrics and harmonies. Does anyone else do this? Type out your own sentences while singing someone else’s lyrics? Anyway. I need to be distracted from the work that I’m doing while I’m doing it.

The songs below are culled from the very much larger playlist that I listen to when I work. There are significantly more than nine songs on it, but I couldn’t whittle it down any further. They’re the songs that I wore out the hardest while writing these stories. I’ve ordered them according to how long they’ve been stuck on that playlist, and for each story I’ve attached the song (or songs) that seemed to have particular resonances with it, and for me. [read on]

Interview: Brazos Books

Brazos Bookstore: In an interview you did with The Short Review, you said you often enjoy writing with other writers within “conversational distance.” Do you still do that?

Kelly Link: Yes! I do! I’m actually sitting here with Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, on a couple of sofas. It’s 1:38 in the morning and we’re all getting a little more work done . . . Read More

By the Book

The author, most recently, of Get in Trouble asks: ‘Why is the prospect of hosting a dinner party for much-admired living writers so much more terrifying than the idea of hosting the dead?‘”

Kelly Link, By the Book, in The New York Times Book Review

Early Reviews

“The trick, of course, is that we can’t stop reading, that we — like she, like so many of the characters in this collection — are hopelessly engaged.” — David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“A new Link collection is therefore more than just a good excuse for a trip to the bookstore. It’s a zero-gravity vacation in a dust jacket.” — Amy Gentry, Chicago Tribune

“Link is one of a kind.” — Jane Ciabatarri, BBC Culture

“Utterly addictive, finely wrought concoctions of fantasy and science fiction and literary realism and horror and young adult and old adult.” — Isaac Fitzgerald, The Millions

“If you’ve ever lost something, if you’ve ever had to live without something you really and truly love, Link will break your heart with her stories, and you’ll be glad.” — Rebecca Vipond Brink, The Frisky

“Link’s work is truly original, taking on the shadow places with humor and those that are basked in light with a gravity we’d perhaps be inclined to ignore on our own. Whether it is rich girls building pyramids to entomb their bodies or a hotel where a girl goes to meet the true love she’d found on the Internet, Link takes us on a joyously raucous journey.” — Ben, Book People, Austin, TX

“In her story collection “Get in Trouble,” Kelly Link’s characters splash, thrash and flounder in the unpredictable eddies of a Bermuda triangle bounded by horror, black comedy and pop-culture geekiness.” — Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Any Questions? In Which Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and I Attempt to Be Useful

For almost a decade now, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and I have been working together. By which I mean we meet up, talk about what we’re working on, do some writing, pass our laptops around and give each other feedback or fix spelling mistakes, and so on. By so on, I mean that we talk about narrative. We talk about each others’ work. We talk about things that we’ve read. Romance novels! Young adult novels! Ghost stories! We talk about the television shows that we’re watching. We talk about what makes readers like a character, or how to make those readers want particular things from a story, or how to surprise readers by giving them something else entirely. We also talk about publishing.

I wrote the various stories in Get in Trouble over the last ten years. Holly and Cassie read them, in various drafts, and in some cases, even helped me figure out what I wanted to write next. As Get in Trouble has gotten closer to publication, Cassie and Holly have been finishing up books that I read in early drafts and helped figure out parts of. Cassie has been writing Shadowhunter novels (start with City of Bones if you haven’t read any of them yet.) Holly has published, most recently, The Darkest Part of the Forest. (They also co-wrote middle-grade novel The Iron Trial, because they had some spare time.) And since our work lives have been so intertwined, it seems appropriate that Powell’s Books has agreed to let me collaborate on this blog post with them.

Here’s the deal. Do you have questions about writing? About genre? About publishing? About work methods, career, or your love life? Or: would you just like a book recommendation? Ask us anything!

You have until 3 pm EST on Friday, January 23. And Cassie, Holly, and I will do what we usually do. We’ll talk things over, joke around, and possibly even try to be helpful. And then Powell’s Books will run our answers on their blog in the first week of February.

Updated: Thank you for all the questions! The Q&A will be posted on the Powell’s Blog soon!

“I Can See Right Through You”

Kelly’s story from McSweeney’s issue 48 can also be read online on the McSweeney’s website: “I Can See Right Through You.

When the sex tape happened and things went south with Fawn, the demon lover did what he always did. He went to cry on Meggie’s shoulder. Girls like Fawn came and went, but Meggie would always be there. Him and Meggie. It was the talisman you kept in your pocket. The one you couldn’t lose.