V.C. Chickering’s love for writing can be traced back to umpteen pen pals and those little diaries with the tiny lock ’n key.
She wrote and directed plays while at NYU, then eventually spent 10 years writing, directing and producing on-air promos for various television networks such as MTV, Comedy Central, Lifetime and Oxygen. During this time she interviewed Judy Blume, Amy Poehler, and Joan Jett, under the byline Tori Galore for BUST magazine. She also wrote two screenplays, articles for Cosmopolitan and The Washington Post magazines. Plus countless essays, two of which were published in the anthologies, The BUST Guide to The New Girl Order and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World.
Years later, Tori decided to give novel writing a try while her kid was at summer camp. She read Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem!, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, then wrote 1,700 words a day over an entire month — and didn’t stop there. Four years and 11 drafts later, Nookietown, a funny, racy farce, was published. Her second novel, Twisted Family Values, revels in the hidden heartbreak of friendship and sexual longing, and one family’s struggle with acceptance and forgiveness with grace. Read EBWW attendee Lori Duff’s review and interview here. The book is slated to be published June 25 by St. Martin’s Press. You can pre-order it online through vcchickering.com or at a local indie bookstore.
Tori also has tried her hand at writing music and lyrics and found it a productive way to procrastinate. She started a band, Tori Erstwhile & The Montys, who play an unpredictable mix of original songs in various genres —pop, jazz, bluegrass, Latin, crooner, R&B, a style that’s most often compared to Flight of the Conchords. Laugh-out-loud funny and always charming, their music is catchy, friendly and infectious.
At the 2018 EBWW, Tori and fellow writer Elly Lonon performed the catchy “Still Smokes” during Stand-Up Comedy Night before an appreciative audience.