parasocial BFF edition

Hello, my long-lost loves,

I’m headed to sunny Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania next week to go to StokerCon, hurray!

It’s my first horror-specific writing conference, and I’m starting to get jittery. It feels oddly high-stakes, considering I don’t have anything to sell, I’m not on any panels, and I’m not reading. But it is a chance to make some actual, non-Twitter, non-parasocial connections with a bunch of people I really like and respect (albeit mostly from an awkwardly parasocial Twitter distance).

It has suddenly occurred to me how badly I would like to make a good impression, hence, nerves.

So please, say hi to me if you’re there!


Wellllllll I did at least write this newsletter? I’m afraid that’s about all I’ve got to show for the last few weeks. But here are my submission stats:

  • Active submissions: 15

  • Active pieces: 9

  • Shortlist notices: 2

  • Unofficial assumptions of shortlisting based on obsessive Submission Grinder rejectomancy practices: 2

I was also reduced to literal tears when I saw the cover design for next month’s issue of Apex. It’s gorgeous, and it has my name on it, and I’m still so shocked and proud and humbled by the whole thing.

I really hope … well, I don’t think this is a story everyone will like. So I won’t say I hope everyone likes it. Instead, I’ll say I hope it reaches the people I wrote it for and leave it at that.


Jackal by Erin E. Adams is a great read, especially if you\’re someone with a complicated relationship with her small mountain hometown. It does such a good job of digging into the layers of unspoken history these kinds of places harbor, and it’s such a smart combination of social thriller and supernatural horror story.

The Ghost That Ate Us by Daniel Krauss was also an abject delight. I did enough solo cross-country road-tripping in college that midwestern interstates feel like their own decentralized nation that I used to sort of live in, and so this book felt like its own kind of homecoming for me.

Like Jackal, it also rang so true to my experience of small-town adolescence, and most of the characters mapped with eerie precision to people I knew growing up, many of whom I really cared about. That plus layers of election and pandemic grief and a very specific kind of gallows humor I can’t get enough of made this one of my favorites this year so far. Not for everyone, but it was definitely for me.

I also listened to How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. This was one of those books that made me incredibly anxious, because I was so deeply in agreement with her premise but also felt so helpless to get late-stage capitalism’s hooks out of my own brain. Good read and a lot to think about, though (even if part of me is snarkily muttering jokes about how apparently bird watching is the thing that’ll save democracy [but really, it might]).


My spouse and I both had such a good time with Schmigadoon and Scmicago that we wanted to keep the musical love going. So we started Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which I’d never seen. It’s hitting me at a sensitive spot in my own mental health quagmire extended gladiatorial combat journey, and it’s odd to realize how long ago 2015 was, but I’ve still very much been enjoying it. I wouldn’t say it’s aged perfectly, but overall, it’s still pretty great.

We also watched the first episode of Shiny Happy People last night. I’ve got some pretty close connections to the whole mess, and so I’ve got opinions.

I guess the thing that irritated me was the show’s commitment to shock value. All the carefully edited clips designed to foreshadow and build suspense with that menacing score underneath felt like unnecessary overdramatization to me. It’s a horrific story on its own and it doesn’t need to be shoehorned into thriller narrative beats. I also feel like that kind of treatment puts a certain amount of comforting distance between the viewer and the subjects in a way that has almost the same effect as the TLC show did—it’s presented as entertainment, not reality.

And I assure you, extreme right-wing Christian nationalism is reality, and the people who live it don’t experience it as prestige drama. I don’t think we’re moving anything forward by pretending like that’s what it is.

The Murder Garden

I can’t believe I, A.V. Greene, notorious not-a-plant person, have kept an entire tableful of notoriously finicky plants alive for this long! Look at some of these beauties!

Anyway, I love you all, and I hope your summer is off to the right start, with adequate access to swimming, AC, sun, or shade, depending on what makes you the happiest.

Keep up with me.

No promises.


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