Release Day: I Don’t Have a Happy Place

Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom

“Korson’s preoccupations—checking crime blotters for neighborhood stats, being certain that her first child would come out crazy, avoiding chitchat at parties—may keep her firmly in her cranky cave but will strike a funny bone in readers.”
— Publishers Weekly


Kim Korson’s writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine and Moomah the Magazine. She is originally from Montreal, Canada, has lived in Brooklyn, NY and now lives in Southern Vermont with her husband and two kids. She doesn’t get out much but finds time to write often, hence the birth of her fantastic collection of personal essays, I Don’t Have a Happy Place: Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuester; original trade paperback; $16.00), to be published on April 4, 2015.


When a trip to the therapist ends with the question “Can’t Kim be happy?” Kim Korson responds the way any normal person would – she makes fun of it. Because really, does everyone have to be happy?

Aside from her father wearing makeup and her mother not feeling well (a lot), Kim Korson’s 1970s suburban upbringing was typical. Sometimes she wished her brother were an arsonist just so she’d have a valid excuse to be unhappy. And, when life moves along pretty decently – she breaks into show business, gets engaged in the secluded jungles of Mexico, and moves her family from Brooklyn to dreamy rural Vermont – the real despondency sets in. Its a skill to find something wrong in just about every situation, but Kim has an exquisite talent for negativity. It is only after half a lifetime of finding kernels of unhappiness where others find joy that she begins to wonder if she is even capable of experiencing happiness.

In I Don’t Have a Happy Place, Kim Korson untangles what it means to be a true malcontent. Rife with evocative and nostalgic observations, unapologetic racism, and razor-sharp wit, I Don’t Have a Happy Place is told in humorous, autobiographical stories. This fresh-yet-dark voice is sure to make you laugh, nod your head in recognition, and ultimately understand what it truly means to be unhappy. Always.

Some of our favorite quotes from the book…

“Samantha Narvey was only five years old and yet she had it all. And just in case the scales weren’t completely tipped in her favor, just in case she didn’t already have every single thing known to man, in the summer of 1973, it was her babysitter, not mine, who drowned and died in front of our eyes.”



“These were the fundamental tenets of feminism, as presented in my house:

1. Wear pants.

2. Do not let a man open the door for you (and if he does, make throaty sounds of outrage and disgust).

3. Veto the kitchen.

4. Have other people watch your children, or better, have them watch themselves.

5. Barbie: You are not welcome here.”

 “My father’s 1970s look fell somewhere between European porn director and Jewish buckaroo.”


“My Barbie desire was pretty modest. One. I just wanted one glorious plastic whore.”


Eight Weeks:

“Who doesn’t love a kid who overcomes obstacles because she tries harder than anyone and it actually pays off? Me. I can’t stand that fucking kid. Not to worry, this isn’t a story about that kid.”


Good Grief:

“As we set sail and I began to hear the song, I forced myself to have a good attitude for my children and the children of the world. Plus, it was the least I could do for the UNICEF kids, a payback of sorts for the Halloween I dressed like a Fonzie’s chick and collected change in the orange boxes, promptly spending it all on Double Bubble instead of turning it in to Mr. Bowker.”

There’s No Business:

“Worse, perhaps, is the recent college graduate, who enters the first rung of their career shocked they have to fetch tabouli salad for their boss or walk her springer spaniel in the rain instead of being consulted on how to run the company. Paying dues is not glamorous work. I knew absolutely nothing about anything and yet I was in a constant state of outrage at the menial nature of my job.”

A Discussion with KIM KORSON

1.  I Don’t Have A Happy Place explores some heavy subjects; mental illness, depression and complicated family relationships just to name a few. Did you find writing this collection of essays was therapeutic for you?

It wasn’t exactly a cathartic experience but it certainly was educational. I didn’t necessarily feel better or cured or ready to get off the couch, but I did gain a new understanding of myself, maybe even some acceptance. Unpacking all that luggage did make me feel raw for a long time but writing helped me fold and put away some of the ill-fitting clothes lingering in that suitcase.

2.  Looking back as an adult now, do you find it ironic that you were once envious of your friend’s misfortunes, like an alcoholic father and dead babysitter?

Not so much ironic as mortifying. Growing up, I had this nagging desire to be somewhere other than my home. And it wasn’t really a grass-is-greener situation. In the way that some people feel they are simply in the wrong body, I felt that way about my family. There was technically nothing wrong with my house or family, but–like country music, or beets– they just weren’t for me. I used these extreme situations to highlight my yearning to be elsewhere, with a variety of people whose experiences were different than mine. And if their situations were rife with turmoil and negativity, well, that was just a bonus.


3.  Have you learned anything new about yourself after writing about your life up to this point?

 I’m pretty self-aware, to a fault, because I live in my head so much. But something I learned, which came from the actual writing process, was that I actually could have discipline. I often say the only thing in my life I’ve ever finished was childbirth. I have pages of novels in drawers all over the house, half-started photo albums, all kinds of ideas of things I’m going to do, but I never finish. It was thrilling to complete something. Especially something so important to me.

4.  As a writer, what do you think are the benefits of breaking I Don’t Have A Happy Place up into individual essays instead of traditional chapters?

When I set out to write this book, it was with the intention of mining my history to see if indeed I experienced happiness, or was capable of feeling content. I chose some quintessential milestones to explore and when those ran out, I delved into some more obscure ones. I’ve heard many people say that happiness, or life, is about moments. Turns out, unhappiness is also about moments. I wanted to focus on these pockets of time, and felt that stand alone stories could achieve that.

5.  When you were reflecting on your past, were there any moments that surprised you or that you saw differently years later?

I knew I always wanted to tell the story of my grandmother’s funeral. The players involved were in fine form, and I like to find the humor in tense or upsetting situations. My goal for that story was always to focus on my grandfather and I was surprised by how much I learned about my role in the family, how my family handled grief and each other, and it unlocked some feelings about my mother, some insight into her personality that I hadn’t expected.

6.  There are some particularly poignant moments in I Don’t Have a Happy Place (especially in the essay “Good Grief”), was it difficult to share such raw emotions from your life?

It wasn’t hard when I was alone at my desk. Now that all those words are actually in print and out in the world, I kind of want to take to the bed.


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On the other side of death, is destiny.

Callie Ingram is spending her senior year focused on one thing: swimming. Her skill as a competitive swimmer is going to secure a scholarship and her future, or so she hopes. She has big plans, and Liam Hale, her gorgeous new neighbor, isn’t going to affect them. But when Callie sees Liam beheading someone, she learns his family has a secret that will change everything. The Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who’ve been charged by The Fates to find their new destined leader.

Callie’s caught in the middle of a budding Norse apocalypse, in love with Liam Hale and desperate to protect her best friend…who the Hales believe is marked for transformation. Putting the clues together as fast as she can, can discovers she has the power to rewrite destiny, for herself and all humankind.




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Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.


Three of my books release today!

I got up extra early (nah, but anyway) to celebrate the release day for three of my books today. WHAT? THREE? Yep, you heard that right. I couldn’t be prouder.

So today is the release of: Valentina and the Whackadoodle Witch (a picture book, and the sequel to Valentina and the Haunted Mansion), House of Horrors and Fright Train (both books in the Weirdville series).

Valentina and the Whackadoodle Witch

18163642This hybrid picture/chapter book is ideal for kids as young as 4 and as old as 9, depending on reading level and parental involvement.

It’s not every day that a witch gets stuck in your chimney, dangling upside down.

When Valentina and her new-found friend Jerry play dress-up on the attic, the Whackadoodle Witch comes crashing down the chimney. She’s one of the most powerful witches of all time, but even she can’t free herself without a spell book.

Just one problem: that spell book was snatched by Masked Muggers, invisible thieves who steal valuable objects and hide them where you’d least expect it.

If Valentina and Jerry want to help the witch, they’ll have to search the house from top to bottom. Not an easy task in a house crawling with monsters in all shapes and sizes.

Available formats: eBook, paperback and hardcover

Amazon US | Apple iTunes-Books | Barnes and Nobleicon | Diesel | Smashwords | Sony | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

House of Horrors (Weirdville #2)

hh_5x8This chapter book, the second in the Weirdville series, is ideal for kids as young as 6 and as old as 11, depending on reading level and parental involvement.

When her parents allow her to go to the fair, Jacky is over the moon. The fair is most famous for its haunted mansion, the House of Horrors, and her friend Ben can’t wait to try it out. Her best friend, Cass, is a little more reluctant, but then again, Cass has always been a chicken when it comes to getting scared.

Jacky and Cass are determined to act tough, so when Ben suggests they try out the House of Horrors, the girls tag along, even though the place gives them the chills.

As soon as the three of them enter the spooky monstrosity, the ride comes to a screeching halt, and the horror begins.

The lights fade, and a hooded figure appears and tells them they’re stuck in a twisted game of cat and mouse. He will show them their worst fears, and if the kids manage to face down those fears, they’ll have a chance of getting out of the House of Horrors alive. If they don’t, well….

Thirty minutes to go. Thirty minutes to face their nightmares… and the clock is ticking.

Available formats: eBook and paperback

Amazon US | Barnes and Nobleicon | Diesel | Smashwords | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Fright Train (Weirdville #3)

ft_5x8This chapter book, the third in the Weirdville series, is ideal for kids as young as 6 and as old as 11, depending on reading level and parental involvement.

Charlie’s parents drop him off at the train station so he can visit his grandma in Weirdville. It’s a cold winter evening, so when his usual train is cancelled at the last second, Charlie wishes he’d stayed home.

An hour later, shivering from the cold, he climbs onboard the next train to Weirdville, even though he’d rather not. It looks like something straight out of the nineteenth century, as if it used a time machine to arrive at the station.

His shivering doesn’t stop, for soon after Charlie boards, he realizes just how right he was to be wary of this strange train. Something is seriously wrong with all the people onboard. If only he could figure out what was going on. If only he could get off the train.

Available formats: eBook and paperback

Amazon US | Barnes and Nobleicon | Smashwords | Amazon CA | Amazon UK