Tag Archives: Novel

What Even is Now?

It’s mid-2020 and the world is simultaneously burning down and rising up. The weirdest year possibly ever. The “president” sucks. The coronavirus is a menace. The police are dicks. The wrong people are dying. Karens are abusing their cell phones. Sports are put on pause!

But. But! Some social justice work is finally happening, at least in the ways that people can instigate. Sometimes by resistance and force. Sometimes by discussion and amplified voices. A rebuilding and a rethinking. The thing more people are learning: Just because something is part of history (or perceived as history) doesn’t mean we should glorify it with statues, flags, monuments, and misguided team names. This is why Germany doesn’t have statues of Hitler or fly Nazi flags–because they are symbols of shame and embarrassment.

So while we count down the days to when Trump gets dumped and shit settles down a bit, and since it’s been a long while since I updated folks about my creative adventures, I thought I’d give a quick update…

I started the year by taking some time off of my job at Powell’s to finish work on a novel I’d been working on for about seven years. The timeline on this book and how it was build was a good lesson in perseverance. Up until last summer (August 10th to be exact), I had written just 22,400 words on it. With a renewed focus and commitment, I was able to strap myself in and finish the rest of it in about six months (final word count around 62k). I’m super happy with it and currently querying agents for representation. In a lot of ways, it felt like it was the first time I’d written a novel, maybe because it’s more linear than my past books. I don’t want to tell you too much about it yet, besides the fact that it’s narrated is two years old at the beginning of the book and five at the end.

Then I got a kitten. Her name is Susan. She is perfect.

Then I went back to work. Only to get punked by COVID-19, which shut down nearly everything everywhere. Since mid-March I’ve been out of work and on unemployment (hoping to return to work later this year), giving me some extra solitary time to work on various projects. One of them is an upcoming book of some of my collages that Clash Books is putting out at the end of the year. It’s called I Made an Accident and it will also include some of my poems. I should have more info and a cover reveal for you soon. Here’s a recent collage…

I put Future Tense Books on hold for a bit while I worked on this stuff, but I have our next release set for early 2021 (which will also be announced soon as well) and more to be announced later this year. Recently, we had a Black Lives Matter fundraiser which was a great success (over $800!).

I had a poem in the Winter/Spring issue of Poetry Northwest.

I wrote an essay about cleaning out my desk at work for Book and Film Globe.

I have an essay about living during COVID-19 coming soon in this anthology.

I am very proud of this longer short story published in Southwest Review.

A short essay and three collages were just published by the friendly folks at Old Pal.

Another essay from early this year, about trying to grow a beard! In Split Lip Magazine.

Thank you for reading and for all the things that you do to make this a better world. xo

Eating Paste and Sniffing Glue

Hey. Happy Fall!

I have a new collage show up at Radio Room in Portland right now. It’s up until Nov 25th. Come hang out and say hi at my “Paste Eater” reception on Tuesday, Nov 3rd. I worked really hard just in the past couple of weeks on this show. I stayed up until 4am two nights in a row this past week to make sure I had lot of fresh, new pieces to show. Even Simba helped.


Gratuitous shot of Simba’s manx tail.


I suddenly have a few other collage things in the coming days as well. I’m teaching a collage workshop at this year’s Wordstock at the Portland Art Museum on Saturday, November 7th. And then there’s always the Open Collage Night at the IPRC (every 2nd Wednesday of the month)–so much fun!

"Shirley" from Paste Eater, at Radio Room, November 2015

“Shirley” from Paste Eater, at Radio Room, November 2015

In writing news, I’ve been taking a novel writing class the past several weeks (you can take it too!). Which means I’m back into a writing groove as well. I’m very excited about the book I’m working on and can’t wait to see how it all comes together. I’m only about 1/4 of the way through right now though, so it may be a while.

In the meantime, I have two poems in the new issue of Pouch Magazine! And I wrote a piece in the new Poets & Writers Magazine about Andrew Proctor at Literary Arts Inc.

Thanks for checking in, friends. Hope to see you soon! xo

Moving Into The Tin House

After two years of hard work, dizzy confusion, doubt, sadness, and eventual triumph, I recently finished work on a novel titled This Is Between Us. That was the first (and hardest) part.

The second part is selling the darn thing. And I’m happy to announce that it is now SOLD! At some point in late 2013 or early 2014, the book will be published by the magnificent Tin House Books.

I’m extremely thrilled to be working with the awesome staff there, some of whom I have known for a while–their main office is here in Portland and I’ve had the pleasure to blurb two of their books from this past year (The Listeners by Leni Zumas and Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith).

This last week, I had a lunch meeting with one of their newest editors, Masie Cochran, and I feel like she will be a great editor to work with on this book. I said yes to their offer on Wednesday.

For those who haven’t read excerpts of the book, or heard me talk about (or read from it), I’ll give you the general description:

Spanning five years of one relationship’s ups and downs—the insecurities and passions, the sadness and joy, the hopes and disappointments, This Is Between Us is an intimate collection of personal moments between a man and a woman, both divorced, both with a child, and both trying to create a good life together in Portland, Oregon.

Full of sweet moments, emotional time bombs, blunt sexuality, and laugh-out-loud scenes, Kevin Sampsell navigates this novel’s couple (“you” and “I”) through their first kisses and secret dates to breakups, reunions, and everywhere in between.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me with this book, either as a friend or reader. I can hardly wait to polish it up into a beautiful Tin House paperback and smell the fresh scent of its paper and ink.