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Atlanta authors

Courtesy of Akashic Books

Brooklyn publisher Akashic Books has been showcasing the darker side of cities with their noir series since 2004. Now, it's Atlanta's turn.

Fourteen Atlanta writers have contributed to "Atlanta Noir," an anthology of short stories set in the neighborhoods or suburbs of the writer's choice.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with two of the contributors, Daniel Black, whose story is set in Mechanicsville, and Jennifer Harlow, whose story is set in Peachtree City. Several writers will be reading their stories and discussing the anthology tonight at 7:30 at Charis Books. 

Al Such / WABE

"Early Sunday morning is when the magic happens" according to Denene Millner. The New York Times bestselling author has released her first picture book. It’s called “Early Sunday Morning” and centers on a young girl named Sarah who one Sunday is called upon to sing a solo with her youth choir during church services. The book follows as she goes to different people for advice and tries to calm her nerves.

Al Such / WABE

The literary cannon has lots of examples of children stranded on islands, from "Lord of the Flies" to "Peter Pan" and beyond. Atlanta-based author Laurel Snyder offers her take on the idea in her new novel "Orphan Island" from Walden Pond Press.

"The goal was to write a book where there were no grown ups," Snyder tells "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes. "But counter to something like 'Lord of the Flies,' I wanted it to be a kind of utopian world where the children really to care for each other."

"The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome" cover courtesy Unbridled Books; photo credit Mattie Bell

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Wes Browning / Sema Films

Every once in a while we need a change in setting to get a fresh perspective and, hopefully, to be inspired. Enter “the retreat,” a tried and true way to get away from the daily grind.

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It isn’t reserved for just the office worker though, artists often use retreats to improve upon their craft. In this edition of “Writer to Reader,” best-selling novelist Joshilyn Jackson explains how.

Jackson goes on three to five retreats per book, typically with a group of close confidants.