Besides having day jobs to help support themselves, most writers face additional demands on their time—from parenting to helping aging or ill relatives or friends to coping with global threats such as the recent pandemic. Creativity can languish when relegated to the graveyard shift. How do you manage an intense day job and personal obligations while still getting a book out...or more? Come hear how writers Desmond Hall (Your Corner Dark), Doris Iarovici (Minus One), Daphne Kalotay (Blue Hours), and Rishi Reddi (Passage West) did it during this on-demand panel discussion, and then share your own experiences during the live Q&A starting at 11:30am.
BBF Unbound: Writing in the Graveyard Shift Panel
Desmond Hall is a Jamaican-born author whose debut YA novel, Your Corner Dark, is a fast-paced thriller that has been described as American Street meets Long Way Down. This searing and gritty novel confronts police brutality, colorism, gang culture, and political deception. Hall has written and directed an HBO feature movie, A Day in Black and White, which was nominated for the Gordon Parks Award. He’s also written and directed a full-length stage play, Stockholm, Brooklyn, whichwon the Audience Award at the Downtown Theater Festival at the Cherry Lane theater. The play was also picked for the Public Theater's New Works Series. As an advertising creative director, he’s written many TV campaigns, two Superbowl commercials, and won multiple awards while running the creative side of Spike Lee’s advertising agency. While working in the advertising and film industry he’s served on the board of the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the Advertising Council, judged the One Show, Addys, and the NYC Downtown Film Festival. He’s also been named one of Variety magazine’s Top 50 Creatives to Watch. For two years, Hall worked as a high school biology and English teacher in Brooklyn, NY. In this period of his life, he also counseled teenage ex-cons after their release from Rikers Island Correctional Institution. He graduated Marquette University with a BA in Journalism and was selected for the “Who’s Who of American College Students.”
Doris Iarovici is a writer and psychiatrist whose short story collection, Minus One, was released in November 2020. A previous collection, American Dreaming and Other Stories, received the Novello Literary Award and other publishing honors. She is a recipient of the Jack Dyer Fiction Prize and fellowships in fiction to the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hambidge Center in Georgia, and elsewhere. She has written a number of essays for the New York Times, including a Modern Love column that was made into an Amazon TV episode released in August 2021, as well as a WBUR/NYTimes podcast. Her nonfiction book, Mental Health Issues and the University Student, focuses on college psychiatry. Born in Romania and raised in NYC, Iarovici now lives in Boston.
Published in over twenty languages, Daphne Kalotay’s works include the bestselling novels Sight Reading and Russian Winter—winners of the New England Society Book Award and the Writers’ League of Texas Fiction Award, respectively—and the fiction collection Calamity and Other Stories, shortlisted for the Story Prize. Her most recent novel, Blue Hours, is a 2020 Massachusetts Book Awards “Must Read.” She has received fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, MacDowell, the Bogliasco Foundation, and Yaddo, among others, and her short story "Relativity" was the Boston Book Festival's 2017 One City One Story selection. She teaches at Princeton University but makes her home in Somerville, MA.
Rishi Reddi is the author of the novel Passage West, a Los Angeles Times "Best California Book of 2020," and Karma and Other Stories, which received the PEN New England Award for Fiction. Her work has been selected for Best American Short Stories, aired on National Public Radio, and received honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize. In 2013, her work was chosen for Boston Book Festival's One City One Story all-community read. Her essays, translations, and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Asian American Literary Review, Partisan Review, and Salamander, among other publications. Reddi is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Book Critics Circle, Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, and the US Department of State. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Northeastern University School of Law, she was born in Hyderabad, India, and grew up in Great Britain and the United States. She lives with her children and badly-trained little black dog in Cambridge, Massachusetts.