Lauren McKeon answers her question: how the heck does anyone write a book?
It was the spring of 2014, and Lauren McKeon — award-winning freelance writer and editor of This Magazine — was “stuck in bed with a broken leg.” She had time to think.
“One of the questions I kept returning to: How the heck does anybody write a book?”
McKeon answered that question by enrolling in the University of King’s College’s two-year limited-residency Master’s in Creative Nonfiction program. At King’s, she wrote a book answering yet another question that was on her mind: “If women aren’t connecting with feminism, what’s wrong with it?”
F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism will be published this fall by Goose Lane Editions. As the catalogue copy explains: “Through a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the new gender wars, Lauren McKeon explores generational attitudes, debates over inclusiveness, and differing views on the intersection of race, class, and gender. F-Bomb … confronts the uncomfortable truth: for gender equality to prevail, we first need to understand where feminism has gone wrong and where it can go from here.”
McKeon is the eighth graduate of King’s three-year-old MFA program to have already earned a book deal.
“I know a lot of emphasis is put on the program helping students write a book,” McKeon says, “but it’s so much more than that: we learn the ins-and-outs of the publishing business, we’re taught to push our creative and literary boundaries and become better writers, and we do a deep dive into the genre’s best writing.”
She says advice from the program’s mentors was “invaluable — not only in helping to shape my manuscript, but in keeping my spirits up as I wrote the book, hit walls, and fully waded into the publishing world. They cheered me on, kicked my butt when I needed it, asked tough questions, made me think in new ways and consider new perspectives, immensely helped improve my writing, and so much more. I can’t thank them enough.”
BenBella Books, an American boutique publisher, will release F-Bomb in the United States in the spring of 2018.
As for McKeon, she’s busy with a couple of ghostwriting projects and is in the “brainstorming terrible ideas” phase for her next book.