Meet Alina Simone, the accidental writer

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Songwriter Alina Simone’s landed the best gig of her life — and it has nothing to do with music.

The South Slope songstress, who previously hadn’t written anything seriously beyond a blog post, celebrates the release of her new memoir, “You Must Go and Win,” this month.

The collection of essays are owed, in part, to Eric Chinski, the editor-in-chief at Farrar, Straus & Giroux who discovered the singer while listening to his PJ Harvey station on Pandora a few years back.

“I was struck by her voice and fell in love with her music,” said Chinski. “Her voice is just so overwhelmingly good.”

Chinski soon realized there was potential in her written voice. After reaching out to Simone to say what a big fan he is, they became friends and he heard more about her life — her father’s exile by the KGB in the Ukraine, revisiting her homeland with her philosopher husband decades later, the ups and downs of striving to make it as a musician in New York.

Soon, a book deal followed, and Simone set aside the next year-and-a-half of her life to writing.

“It’s probably one of the weirdest thing if not the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Simone. “I was not even on the cusp of writing a book, or an article or a short story or anything.”

The resulting book is a collection of funny, cynical essays on meeting sketchy producers off of Craigslist, her obsession with Skopsy, a Russian castrati set, and battling fleas in her Williamsburg apartment.

Simone concurrently celebrates the release of a new album, “Make Your Own Danger,” but it appears she has caught the writing bug — bad. She recently finished a screenplay about a home organizer in New York City, and is deep into a novel about a woman searching for a passion in New York City and decides to become a DIY filmmaker.

“I don’t know if I have enough life material to do [autobiographical essays] again, so I’m trying different styles,” said Simone. “I feel like I put my best adventures in this book for now.”

Yes, for now.

Alina Simone at WORD [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-0096], June 8 at 7:30 pm. Free. For info, visit

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Gina Catone from Weston Florida says:
Wonderful! Homework Time With Charlie is being sold on Amazon and B&
June 3, 2011, 5:53 am
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June 3, 2011, 12:49 pm

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