I’m thrilled to talk with Rachel Swearingen today about a story from her new debut collection, How to Walk on Water! Rachel’s book was just mentioned in the New and Noteworthy section of The New York Times on Sunday, which is a huge deal! Check it out here.


To get the most from our conversation about the story, “Advice for the Haunted,” it’s best to read it first here: Advice for The Haunted.





Rachel Swearingen is the author of How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, winner of the 2018 New American Press Fiction Prize (October 1, 2020). Her stories and essays have appeared in VICEThe Missouri Review, Kenyon ReviewOff AssignmentAgniAmerican Short Fiction, and elsewhere.

She is the recipient of the 2015 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. In 2019, she was named one of 30 Writers to Watch by the Guild Literary Complex. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University and teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. https://www.rachelswearingen.com

You can find this fantastic book at Bookshop here or Amazon here.



My essay, Astraphobia, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by River Teeth.

My poem, Riding out the Pandemic in My Great Grandmother’s Bedroom, was nominated by the Museum of Americana for Best of the Net.

I Have the Answer is available for purchase, and I may be biased, but I think it would make an excellent and affordable holiday gift for your friends and family. I am happy to send a signed bookplate to anyone who buys the book. Please contact me via the website contact page, if you are interested. Stay safe and well, everyone!


  1. I love this series and am so glad–and impressed–that you are remaining active in the literary arts and sharing with us during these trying times! Thank you!

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