A conversation with authors Yousef Allouzi & Samuel Snoek-Brown about writing, publishing, and co-creating
With the launch of The Bedouin by Yousef Allouzi and There Are No False Alarms by Samuel Snoek-Brown right around the corner, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to give readers a deeper understanding of the how’s and why’s behind the paired chapbooks and their authors. So, we asked Yousef and Sam to chat with us about their writing, the publishing process, and their relationship as writers and co-conspirators. Enjoy, friends!
Yousef Allouzi, “It’s Your Country, Too”
Q: Yousef, your essay centers on heritage and reconnecting with your family, but it also touches on racial profiling and discrimination in the U.S. Will you talk about how those themes intermingle in your writing and personal life?
A: The intermingling of heritage and family with discrimination and racial profiling has always been a part of my life. From the time I was young, I was very aware that being Arab-American was drenched in stigma, whether it be the “t word” (terrorist) or the general portrayal of Arab-Americans in pop culture and television. I lived much of my youth ashamed of my heritage. I liken it to the feeling of being poor. I can remember the first time I visited a kid’s house in a gated community back in Texas. I felt like I shouldn’t be there. No matter how many showers you take, or how expensive the clothes you are wearing, you don’t feel like you belong. So, naturally, I try and let those feelings seep into my writing.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from reading your essay?
A: The American story is a story of diversity. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s your country too. It’s become somewhat of a cliché, but history has a way of repeating itself. Our country has a very fickle relationship with civil rights during conflict, and the fallout of 9/11 was no different.
Continue reading It’s Your Country, Too
We can’t keep Kellie Richardson’s book cover under wraps any longer! It’s too good to keep to ourselves, and the story behind it – and behind Kellie’s creative work in collage – is worth sharing. So, let us introduce you to The Art of Naming My Pain, a collection of prose, poetry and collage by Kellie Richardson.
The cover of is based on one of Richardson’s collage pieces, “Listen,” created in 2019 with acrylic, tissue paper and found items on canvas.
Continue reading Cover Reveal: The Art of Naming My Pain
Goodbye snow, hello spring! Well, almost spring. As we await blue skies and warmer weather, we’re also saying hello to a new addition to the Blue Cactus Press team: Carlisle Huntington. Please join us in welcoming Carlisle to the literary fold as a much-appreciated publishing intern! Carlisle is a student at University of Puget Sound, and she’s studying English and Creative Writing. Over the next few months, she’ll assist with all sorts of
pesky editorial, marketing and distribution tasks here at Blue Cactus Press.
But before Carlisle’s work begins, we think it’s important to give you – our friends and readers – a sense of who she is and what she stands for. We held a quick Q&A session with Carlisle to do just that. Here goes!
Continue reading Hello, Carlisle!
If you’ve been wondered what was rolling around in author Samuel Snoek-Brown’s head as he wrote his new short story collection, There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, today’s the day to find out! We sat down with the Tacoma-based author to chat about how his new collection came to be, the narratives inside, and some of the secrets hidden within its stories. Enjoy!
Q: We heard through the grapevine you like to hide secrets or slip riddles into your stories … is that true?
A: I’m a big fan of literary puzzles and Easter eggs! So yeah, I hide all sorts of nerdy things in my stories. The main thing I hope every reader keeps an eye out for are the hidden connections between my stories, not just in this book but in all the stories I write. (Example: There’s a connection between the story “Jarabe” and my Civil War novel Hagridden, but I’ll let readers find it on their own.) But there are also other little games I play while I’m developing stories, and I don’t know if anyone else will spot them or if they’re just for me, but I like that they’re in there. A lot of my stories come from songs, for example, as did the title of this collection. But I won’t spoil the game of figuring out which songs. And those Easter eggs aren’t as important as the stories themselves, anyway. Continue reading Author Q&A with Samuel Snoek-Brown