11-11: Southern fiction (Christopher Cook)

I began my love affair with Southern fiction, as most of us do, with Faulkner, but I didn’t get serious about studying the genre until I started reading Tom Franklin. His then-distinctive blend of gritty blue-collar stories set in a modern but familiar American South, a style of writing Franklin likes to call “Industrial Gothic,”Continue reading “11-11: Southern fiction (Christopher Cook)”

New publication

Just a quick note about a new story of mine, though “new” is a bit misleading — I actually wrote the first draft of this one something like a decade ago and have been revising and retooling it ever since. A while back I finally got it where I wanted it, and it’s been makingContinue reading “New publication”

11-11: Western review (Elmer Kelton)

Wow! I haven’t posted an 11-11 reading update since March! But I have been reading from the list, gang, and I’ll be playing catch-up in my reviews every few weeks from now on. And since I just finished a Western novel, Elmer Kelton‘s The Time it Never Rained, I might as well start with it:Continue reading “11-11: Western review (Elmer Kelton)”

PCA/ACA: almost the end

The conference is over. I’m exhausted, mentally and physically, in the best ways. But it’s going to take me a couple of days to get around to writing a fuller account of my conference — the panels I attended, the ideas I heard or offered, the fiction I read, the friends and colleagues and scholarsContinue reading “PCA/ACA: almost the end”

A Writer’s Notebook: Mapping a story

This past Tuesday, I visited Zayed University to speak to an education class studying youth literature and preparing to write young adult stories of their own. (I’ll write a fuller post on this experience later this weekend.) We talked about books they were reading and how they might begin to write their own stories. TheContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Mapping a story”