Storytellers Telling Stories podcast

I am profoundly excited to announce that I’ll be joining a new podcast series, hosted by author Jude Brewer, called Storytellers Telling Stories. The series will consist of writers sharing their work and their craft in a new version of the oldest tradition: oral storytelling. You can check out the teaser trailer online now. I’dContinue reading “Storytellers Telling Stories podcast”

Buy Hagridden and help fight hate

  In the past month, Americans have seen our darkest underbelly — our racists, our hate groups — crawl out from under their rocks and take to the streets to incite and commit violence and, in some cases, to commit murder and terrorism. Really, this has been bubbling up like some foul odor from ourContinue reading “Buy Hagridden and help fight hate”

Thoughts from a white writer on our responsibilities as writers

I write historical fiction, and my approach is largely realistic. I also grew up in the South and set most of my fiction there, and for the time being, most of what I write about is set during some of the most difficult and painful eras in our nation’s short history: the Civil War andContinue reading “Thoughts from a white writer on our responsibilities as writers”

Hashtag Hagridden

I’m not on Instagram, which is weird considering how much I like taking and sharing photos. (Remember when I used to keep a Photo Blog here on this website?) But a lot of folks seem to love it, and some of those folks — lo and behold — also dig my novel, Hagridden. Okay, sure,Continue reading “Hashtag Hagridden”

Denis Johnson told us what he dreamed, and he told us what was real

Last night I went to sleep thinking about Denis Johnson, the news of whose passing was among the last things I read before turning in for the night. This morning, I woke to find everyone else thinking about Denis Johnson, too — many hadn’t seen the news until daybreak. One writer I know shared the newsContinue reading “Denis Johnson told us what he dreamed, and he told us what was real”

A couple of Southern transplants around the Puget Sound

Last Thursday, I joined novelist Alec Clayton for a reading and book signing at the Timberland Regional Library in Lacey, WA. Alec read a couple of passages from his most recent novel, Tupelo, with a perfectly timed emotional shift: a bit of humor and then a wonderfully nostalgic teenage make-out session that takes a sudden turn at the end intoContinue reading “A couple of Southern transplants around the Puget Sound”

The music I listen to as I write

As is my wont, I’ve been been listening to music as I work on my current novel, and I’ve begun building a playlist of songs that are either keeping me in the mood of my book or else directly inspiring passages or even whole chapters of my novel. So I thought I’d share some ofContinue reading “The music I listen to as I write”

The Watchman that Harper Lee set for me

This weekend, I read Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I’m not going to revisit the speculation or controversy about its discovery and publication — I’ve written about that elsewhere — except to concede that this does feel like the unpolished draft of a novel, just as most of us expected it would be. ButContinue reading “The Watchman that Harper Lee set for me”

Portland book porn

This afternoon, I sojourned once again into Portland. My destination was the Another Read Through bookstore, where I gave a reading with some of my fellow writers in the current issue of The Timberline Review. But by happy (or, more accurately, bittersweet) accident, this is also the final weekend for Portland’s beloved Reading Frenzy indie bookstore — theContinue reading “Portland book porn”

The confidence of knowing your fictional universe

For about a year now, I’ve been struggling to revise a novella of mine. It has an interested publisher, and that publisher sent me some fantastic notes for kinks to work out in the story, but as I began tugging on burls in the knots I’d tangled, I realized how much more story there was to tell. AndContinue reading “The confidence of knowing your fictional universe”