Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kelly Simmons

Kelly Simmons is a former journalist and current novelist/advertising creative director. Her first novel, Standing Still debuted in February 2009.

As president of bubble advertising, Simmons is not only one of the most award-winning advertising writers on the East Coast, she is the only gender marketing expert in the Mid-Atlantic. Prior to launching bubble, Simmons was Chief Creative Officer of Interpublic-owned Tierney Communications, a partner in the gender marketing agency goose, and Executive Creative Director of Earle Palmer Brown.

Her new novel is The Bird House.

Recently I asked Simmons what she was reading. Her reply:
I read novels week after week until I’m stuffed and almost queasy, so full of motivations and twists and fat paragraphs of prose, that I think if I see one more prologue I’m going to barf. Then I relieve the distress with a very select work of non-fiction or a collection of essays or short stories. Something to cleanse my palate after gorging myself on all that conflict and redemption. (Redemption alone can bloat you for days.)

Last week I found myself in such a coma after reading another big juicy tale, that I knew it was time to crack open a book of short stories: Ann Beattie’s The New Yorker Stories.

Ann Beattie is one of my very favorite writers, and this collection is an act of sheer bravery: her short stories in chronological order, over a 20-year span.

That’s right. She is baring the timeline of her own abilities. Was she best when she was young and fresh? Or was she obviously green compared to her later years? Time will tell. Because unlike novels, I read collections of short stories slowly. One slim slice at a time.
Read more about The Bird House, and visit Kelly Simmons' website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Standing Still.

My Book, The Movie: Standing Still.

--Marshal Zeringue