This Close to Okay: A Novel

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Leesa Cross-Smith on the Moment a Story Begins

At CRAFT, Leesa Cross-Smith discusses her story collection, So We Can Glow, her upcoming novel, This Close to Okay, and how she uncovers a story’s beginning. “I almost always start with some sort of visual of a tiny moment or a word or a line of dialogue. Sometimes it’s a fully formed character, but not as often. It can be someone touching someone else’s hand or the cuff of a sweater.” Cross-Smith has published flash fiction, short stories, and novels, and says the different formats allow her to revisit her characters. “I give myself room to circle back. That’s why so often I write flash fiction or a short story about a character and return to that same character later, because I’m not finished. And it’s not that I need to make the original story longer…but it’s because I want to meet them again…wherever they are…and listen.”

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