I self-published my first book when I was seven. It was called Idioms, and it contained what I thought were idioms (they were not), accompanied by horrifically hand-drawn examples of those idioms. My next book, age eight, had to do with a haunted house and a single mother and was no doubt inspired by my own single mom and the crumbling turn-of-the-century home we lived in in Southeast Detroit that made strange creaking noises in the night. There were a few more books from my little imprint, which included cardboard covers decorated with wallpaper scraps, but my early career peaked around age ten with a passive-aggressive story about a mean sister (my sister isn’t mean).
Throughout my life, writing has consoled me, challenged me, tormented me and made me both happier and sadder than I’d have ever thought possible. It is my passion. I finished my first novel in 2008 just in time for the recession to hit but also at a moment when self-publishing became a viable option. I went on to self-publish three novels, while also working full-time as an arts administrator, a career I still enjoy today. Much of my work is inspired by song lyrics and artworks and occasionally by something I hear that sticks in my brain and needles away until a story forms. I am an obsessive eavesdropper, a person who will talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything, and I love when someone starts a sentence with, “You are not going to believe this!” I like to laugh, and I like people who can make me laugh. And I like most people, which I’m finding is kind of unique.
Some of my favorite books are Little Gods by Meng Jin, Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, and Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. My favorite movie will always be Lost in Translation, and I could listen to the song Lovely Day by Bill Withers nonstop all-day long, forever. In the past, I’ve been an office cleaner, an assembly line worker in a chocolate factory, a massage therapist, and a Greenpeace canvasser. I’ve been trying to learn French and Spanish for approximately two decades.
I don’t know if the above qualifies as a bio, but below is something you’re more apt to see. I hope we get to meet someday.
Kerri Schlottman is a native Detroiter living in the New York City area since 2005. She is the author of three novels, and her short stories and poetry have been featured in Belle Ombre, Wayne Lit Review, The Furnace, Muse Apprentice Guild, and Juncture: A Literary Magazine. Kerri holds a Master’s degree in English from Wayne State University in Detroit and has worked with artists and arts organizations since 2001. She is currently the Director of Institutional Advancement at Creative Capital, a non-profit organization that supports artists, filmmakers, performers and writers in creating new works. Kerri has been a literacy volunteer and taught art to incarcerated youth. She loves reading a good novel, watching comedy, and documentary films about anything as long as animals aren’t harmed. She is also an avid biker, runner and an excellent pie maker. Kerri lives in Jersey City with her husband, their beloved dog Jupiter, and so many books.