Interview: Jalysa Conway – Rising Star

By Sam Reilly I recently had the opportunity to catch up with a rising star and alumna of the UCR Palm Desert program, Jalysa Conway. While 2020 led to a lot of interesting changes, Jalysa was able to capitalize on her creative momentum. Jalysa has had a busy winter with the season premiere of FOX’s 9-1-1: Lone Star, where she serves as writer and producer. We talked about her career as a captain in the air force and how that has informed her writing during her time on Grey’s Anatomy, as well as the current state of the industry, and…

Interview: A Conversation with the Ladies of the Fright

By Kathryn E. McGee I had the privilege of meeting Lisa Quigley and Mackenzie Kiera while studying with them in the UC Riverside Palm Desert MFA Program about seven years ago. We were beginning our careers by working on horror and dark fiction projects, and I remember how remarkable it felt to suddenly know these amazing women who were trying to do the same thing I was—make sense of the darkness in a way that translated for readers. Since we graduated, Lisa and Mackenzie have gone on to do so much, creating an award-winning horror literature podcast as the “Ladies…

Interview: Melissa Febos talks to The Coachella Review

By Jackie DesForges Somehow my conversation with Melissa Febos has drifted from cuddle parties to crime fiction. Febos is one of my feminist icons, and crime fiction hasn’t had the most progressive track record as far as fiction genres are concerned, so I’m surprised we’ve ended up here—and besides, we are supposed to be talking about Girlhood, her new collection of essays. But when the topic naturally begins to shift, I tell her—nervously—that I’m writing a crime novel. She tells me—excitedly—that crime is one of her favorite genres to read, but there is a caveat: “I need the writing to…

TCR Talks with Stephen Graham Jones

“I think we can all agree, 2020 has been an absolute dumpster fire. But it has been one hell of a year for Stephen Graham Jones and his horror novel The Only Good Indians.”

TCR Talks With Ephraim Scott Sommers

by Leni Leanne Phillips My friend Linnette and I stopped in at a local brewing company for lunch a while back. While we waited to be seated, we perused a wall of live music posters from the venue’s earlier days. One of the posters was from Siko’s Paint the Town tour a dozen years ago—the first and last national tour of a popular local band featuring frontman Ephraim Scott Sommers. “Whatever happened to them?” Linnette asked me. “They were really good. I always thought they’d make it big.” “The lead singer got a Ph.D. in English,” I told her. “He’s a writer…

TCR Talks with Michael Scott Moore

by Matt Ellis As a writer, Michael Scott Moore has covered the gambit of disciplines. As a freelance journalist, Moore has worked for the American and German press, covering a range of topics from theater, travel, politics, science, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or outlets like Spiegel Online (now Der Spiegel), The Atlantic, The New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, and many more. Though his novel Too Much of Nothing was his first long-form prose, he is best known for his creative nonfiction work, which has involved traveling the globe to rough and violent areas. For his surfing history, travel, and…

Photo Essay: Solitude & TCR Talks with Photographer Mahayla Rheanna

PHOTOGRAPHY by Mahayla Rheanna Model Esther Aliah Interview by Leni Leanne Phillips An interview with the photographer, Mahayla Rheanna, follows below, after her photo essay, “Solitude,” featuring model Esther Aliah. Jump to Interview. Solitude: An Essay in Photographs by Mahayla Rheanna All images copyright © 2020 Mahayla Rheanna. All rights reserved. TCR Talks with Mahayla Rheanna by Leni Leanne Phillips I recently had the opportunity to chat with emerging photographer Mahayla Rheanna about her photo essay “Solitude,” her beginnings as a photographer, and her plans for the future. The Coachella Review:  How did you become interested in photography? Mahayla Rheanna: It started when…

TCR Talks with Joe Meno

by Matt Ellis It’s a presidential election year, a time when we are bombarded by political hot button issues from every social and mainstream media outlet with superficial sound bites that often offer little substance but ask us to take sides nonetheless. Immigration ranks among the top. If you want to be better informed about the immigration issue, you need look no further than bestselling author Joe Meno’s debut nonfiction book, Between Everything and Nothing: The Journey of Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal and the Quest for Asylum. Meno is a fiction writer and journalist who lives in Chicago. He is the winner…

TCR Talks with Billy Lombardo

By Collin Mitchell I call writer Billy Lombardo at his home in Chicago to talk about his novel, Morning Will Come. “How’s the summer been?” I ask him. “I’ve been doing some weird work,” he says, going outside to talk. His dad recently moved in due to COVID-19 and it’s a full house.  He pauses and I can hear his dog barking from inside. “Stuff I didn’t expect to do.” Lombardo’s voice is distinctive, like listening to David Sedaris on audiobook. We talk about teaching, especially teaching fiction to teenagers online. “They’re high energy kids, self-directed and brilliant and all of…

TCR Talks with Caroline Leavitt

by Anna Reagan Caroline Leavitt is wearing some bitchin’ earrings. Or piercings. I cannot tell. And it fits her laid-back style and her chic, unaffected black curls. Later, I ask her about them, and she tells me that she does have piercings, but what I saw were her headphones because her coma medication screwed up her hearing. Oh. Leavitt, affable and frank, has experience with these questions. After giving birth to her son, Leavitt went into a medically induced coma for weeks and had five emergency surgeries, until a specialist finally diagnosed her with an extremely rare blood disorder. Those sacred…