Garry Craig Powell

GARRY CRAIG POWELL

Author of  Stoning the Devil

Interview with Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World

My interview with Alexander Weinstein, recently published in Rain Taxi Review of Books (link at the end of post). This collection of speculative dystopian fiction has been compared to the Black Mirror TV series. It’s quite excellent.

Garry Craig Powell: In a recent interview with 0 + 1 reads, you cite the influence of filmmaker Charlie Kaufman and mention that in spite of his metaphysical concerns, he grounds his stories in a gritty world. It struck me, reading Children of the New World, that you do that too. Unlike some cerebral writers, including some that you acknowledge as influences, you create complex, well-rounded characters with whom we can empathize. In the title story, “Children of the New World”, for example, a couple has to ‘delete’ their virtual son when his program is plagued by a virus—and incredibly, we feel sorry for them. You seem to want the reader not only to consider where the future is leading us, but also to explore universal human problems. Would you agree with that?

Alexander Weinstein: Absolutely.  I think the future is intrinsically linked with our universal human problems. In fact it’s these very problems, and how we deal with them, which will determine our future.  I set many of my stories in a gritty “realist” world, but one that is plagued by an overuse of technology, which is akin to the world we find ourselves living in now.  The problems we have with our current technology often reveal our own human foibles, and it’s these new emotions of cyberspace which reveal our struggles. (Continue reading)

Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

amodestinheritancecover10/20/16   A MODEST INHERITANCE, BY CAROL BIRD, takes us to West Virginia in a tightly drawn, subtle mystery in which much is behind the scenes and the apparent monetary stakes aren’t as high as the spiritual and emotional ones. I enjoyed dropping into the life of every-woman protagonist Amanda as she drove home to Charleston and learned that her 100-year old grandmother had inexplicably changed her will one year before her death. As Amanda travels back and forth between her own home in Annapolis and her late grandmother’s hillside, historic Charleston house—under the new will about to become the house of someone outside of Amanda’s family—Amanda gradually realizes that the end of her grandmother’s life was not idyllic in every way, as many people would have her believe.

 

I was able to meet author Carol Bird and ask a few questions about A Modest Inheritance.  

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Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

8/10/2016. INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIA SCHULTHEIS, AUTHOR OF ST. BART’S WAY

One of Patricia Schultheis’s greatest strengths as a writer is her abilityPatricia Schultheis to examine relationships between people. She’s also very good at exploring relationships people have with expectations, rules, traditions, and other conventions of life. In her short story collection St. Bart’s Way, which I reviewed here last month, she offers a host of individuals, all trying to understand life and their role in it, particularly as it relates to others. In the interview below, Schultheis talks about how she creates these characters and how they come to inhabit her stories.

Schultheis’s other publications include her pictorial history Baltimore’s Lexington Market and numerous short stories and essays in national and international literary journals. (Continue reading)

Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

5/10/2016. INTERVIEW WITH JAMES SCOTT, AUTHOR OF THE KEPT 

Only a brave author would create his debut novel with characters whoJames Scott are different from him in almost every way. James Scott, author of The Kept, took on that challenge and compounded it with a harsh setting and even harsher themes. But as I said in my review of The Kept last month, Scott gives his characters multi-dimensional personalities that shine against the turmoil of the story. I was eager to ask him how he combined those elements so well. He shares some of his thoughts on process and inspiration below.

Scott’s previous work has been short listed for the Pushcart Prize and nominated for the Best New American Voices. He’s received awards from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the New York State Summer Writers Institute, the Millay Colony, the Saint Botolph Club, the Tin House Summer Writer’s Conference, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. (Continue reading)

Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

4/20/16 INTERVIEW WITH LOU ARONICA, AUTHOR OF THE FOREVER YEAR

In The Forever Year, Jesse, a young man, is the last child in his family, born when his father was lateLOUARONICAheadshot middle-aged. Growing up, Jesse felt that his father and older siblings lived in a world apart from him and that he didn’t know his dad as his siblings did. When his father is no longer able to live alone, Jesse surprises his siblings by arranging for Dad to live with him. During the time the two men spend together, Jesse hopes they’ll connect. What he doesn’t expect is to learn that the love of his father’s life was not Jesse’s and his siblings’ mother. Yet their mother was the only woman their dad married, a marriage that lasted most of his lifetime and lasted until their mother’s death—not an unhappy marriage. (Continue reading)

Sonia Linebaugh

SONIA LINEBAUGH

Author of At the Feet of Mother Meera: The Lessons of Silence, and the (unpublished) novels The Wisdom Project, The American Year, and the Hardest Thing.

2/23/16 INNOCENT—AND ON WELFARE BY SONIA LINEBAUGHInnocent

Hillary Clinton wrote to thank Barbara Morrison for writing Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. The letter said: “I am grateful to you for sharing your personal story and demonstrating the positive impact that social assistance programs make upon families, communities, and our country. Yours is a vital story to tell.”  I found Innocent a compelling page-turner as well. (Continue reading)

JENNIFER YACOVISSI

Author of Up the Hill to Home

1/20/16: E. A. Aymar, author of the Dead Trilogy, Talks Noir and Sympathy

E. A. Aymar, author of the DEAD trilogyE. A. Aymar is a noir kind of guy. He hosts D.C.’s “Noir at the Bar” and just finished up hosting the expanded version, “Noir on the Air”, on 11 January, in which nine noted thriller writers read their work on the Global Radio Network. His short story “The Line” appeared this month in Out of the Gutter, a lit mag known for its dark, edgy content. He’s also the Managing Editor of The Thrill Begins, the online resource for beginning and debut thriller writers from the International Thriller Writers Organization. Aymar is best known as the author of the Dead Trilogy, the first two entries of which are I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and You’re as Good as Dead. Fans eagerly awaiting the final installment can get their fix of Aymar’s signature deadpan humor and general take on things in his monthly column “Decisions and Revisions” in the Washington Independent Review of Books. I met Ed through my own participation with the Independent, and asked him to chat with me here about his writing.

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Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

1/10/2016. INTERVIEW WITH JEN MICHALSKI, AUTHOR OF THE TIDE KING

In her novels, novellas, and numerous short stories, Jen Michalski jen michaelskiwrites about topics as varied as the colors of the rain. She’s tackled murder, incest, romance, loneliness, and other subjects, coming at them all from different angles and with different perspectives. In her debut novel, The Tide King, which I reviewed here last month, and her forthcoming novel, The Summer She Was Underwater, Michalski explores her subject matter with magical realism, only one of the many tools she wields so well. She was voted one of the best authors in Maryland by CBS News, one of “50 Women to Watch” by The Baltimore Sun, and “Best Writer” by Baltimore Magazine (Best of Baltimore issue, 2013). In the interview below, she talks about writing with magical realism, labeling of authors, understanding loneliness, and more. (Continue reading)

Sonia Linebaugh

SONIA LINEBAUGH

Author of At the Feet of Mother Meera: The Lessons of Silence, and the (unpublished) novels The Wisdom Project, The American Year, and the Hardest Thing.

11/23/15 ERIC D. GOODMAN INTERVIEW BY SONIA LINEBAUGHEric D Goodman

I love traveling by train, ensconced with strangers boarding and debarking according to some mysterious and personal trajectory. So right from the start I was intrigued by Eric Goodman’s Tracks, a novel in short stories about travelers on a train headed from Baltimore for Chicago. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

9/4/15 – INTERVIEW WITH TESSA BRIDAL, AUTHOR OF RIVER OF PAINTED BIRDS

Called a “fresh voice in Latin American literature” by the New York Times for her debut novel TheTrTessa Bridal Headshotee of Red Stars, Tessa Bridal is about to enter new territory with a second novel, River of Painted BirdsSlated for release in mid-October in both English and Spanish language versions, this new novel follows the adventures of an 18th century Irish woman who marries an abusive husband at fifteen and boards a ship westward-bound ship after accidentally killing him six years later. Rather than landing in Boston as expected, she ends up in the country known today as Uruguay where she joins forces with a wealthy half-Indian smuggler and a renegade priest determined to save the native people from slavery. 
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Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

KATIEGILMARTINheadshot8/20/15  INTERVIEW WITH KATIE GILMARTIN, AUTHOR OF BLACKMAIL, MY LOVE  In my review last month of the 2015 Lambda Award-winning mystery Blackmail, My Love, I said that as I read Gilmartin’s account of gay life under 1950s police and societal brutality, I realized she was also in effect writing about what it’s like to be a member of the wrong party under a totalitarian government, where people are persecuted for being who they are, for thinking what they think, and for wanting to meet and interact with other like-minded people. Today I have a chance to ask author Gilmartin what inspired her writing. (Continue reading)

Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

8/10/2015—INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP CIOFFARI, AUTHOR OF DARK ROAD, DEAD END

Philip Cioffari’s novel Dark Road, Dead End, which I reviewed here Philip Cioffarilast month, piqued my interest in illegal animal smuggling so much that I couldn’t wait to ask Cioffari how he came up with the topic and what strategies, in both research and writing, he used to make the novel so compelling. His sense of the atmosphere of southern Florida and the good and evil that battle there had me hooked on the first page. Cioffari’s answers to my questions appear below.

A multi-talented author, Cioffari has written novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays. His previous fiction works include Jesusville, A History of Things Lost or Broken, and Catholic Boys, all published by Livingston Press/University of West Alabama. His independent feature-length film, Love in the Age of Dion, which he wrote and directed, has won numerous film festival awards. Cioffari’s short stories have appeared in literary and commercial magazines and anthologies, and his plays have been produced off and off-off Broadway at the Chelsea Playhouse and the American Globe Theater, among others. (Continue reading)

Michael J. Tucker

MICHAEL J. TUCKER

Author of  Aquarius Falling and Capricorn’s Collapse

Interview with Ginger Manley, author of Disarmed

Ginger Manley did not discover she wanted to be a writer until she was in her fifties. Before that she was a registered nurse and advance practice nurse, a certified sex therapist, a wife, mother, and almost completely normal person. Once she was takenGinger Manley under the spell of writing she has not been able to stop telling stories, inspired by a collection of vintage aprons she inherited, the antics of her grandchildren and other family members, the questions asked about sexuality by her students and readers, and now the lifelong story of her relationship with her husband, John, and his artificial arm.

When she is not writing, she works part-time at Vanderbilt University Medical School, teaching whoever will listen about sexuality, health care, and ethical practices for today’s doctors and nurses. In her free time, she is an avid gardener of her one-acre home place in Franklin, TN, where she composts anything that is biodegradable. She plays an occasionally decent round of golf but mostly sees the game as a vehicle for friendly associations with buddies in beautiful settings followed by food and drink. She, John, and the arm travel widely when given the opportunity to do so and are looking forward to whatever life journeys await them in the last couple decades of their lives.

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Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

6/10/2015. INTERVIEW WITH TOM FRANKLIN, CO-AUTHOR OF THE TILTED WORLD

Tom Franklin’s fiction overflows with detailed characters, richTom Franklin headshot credit Maude Schuyler Clay (2) emotion, and the smoldering energy of the Deep South. I first encountered his novels with Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, a marvelous story of murder and tested loyalty that was nominated for nine awards and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award.

The Tilted World, which Franklin wrote with his wife, Beth Ann Fennelly, is even better. In The Tilted World, Franklin and Fennelly explore the devastating consequences of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 on property and people. As I said in my review of The Tilted World last month, the authors give life to the fear, grit, and courage of the people who were there. Franklin teaches in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program. Today he tells us about the novel, Mississippi, and the flood. (Continue reading)

Garry Craig Powell

GARRY CRAIG POWELL

Author of  Stoning the Devil

Introducing Guest Blogger John Vanderslice, author of Island Fog

John Vanderslice is our guest blogger for June 1st. Here, with gratitude to Jeremiah Chamberlain, the editor of Fiction Writers Review, who first published my interview with him, I reproduce our conversation, which dealt mainly with his linked collection, Island Fog.

A native of the Washington DC area, John Vanderslice has an MFA from George Mason University and a PhD from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. After graduating from ULL in 1997, he began teaching at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), where I met him when I began teaching there in 2004. John is a much-loved professor, and I was at once struck by the wit, the range, and the quality of his short fiction, which has been published in many leading journals, as well as several anthologies, including Chick for a Day and The Best of The First Line. His debut collection, Island Fog (Lavender Ink), was published in the fall of 2014. He is also a marathon runner, and gets up earlier than a fisherman each day to write.

Named by Library Journal as one of the Top 15 Indie Fiction titles of 2014, Island Fog is a quirky yet captivating collection of ten stories and two novellas (Continue reading)

Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

2/20/15 INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH D. HASKE, AUTHOR OF NORTH DIXIE HIGWAY HASKEjosephd

Professor of English at South Texas College in McAllen, Haske was awarded the 2011 Boulevard Emerging Writers award for short fiction. His work is featured in journals such as Boulevard, Pleiades, The Texas Review, AleCart, and Fiction International. Last month on Late Last Night Books I reviewed his riveting debut novel, North Dixie Highway, and today I’m honored by the chance to interview him.

Q: Why did you choose rural poverty as the environment for your first novel? (Continue reading)

Michael J. Tucker

MICHAEL J. TUCKER

Author of  Aquarius Falling and Capricorn’s Collapse

2/13/15—Interview with John Neely Davis, author, Bear Shadow 

Last month I reviewed Bear Shadow, winner of the Janice Keck Literary Award for Fiction. Today we get to interview the author, John Neely Davis.

MJT: John, Bear Shadow is introduced as a prequel to your debut novel, The Sixth William. Other than geography, what is the connection between the two stories?John Neely Davis - Photo

 

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Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

1/10/2015—INTERVIEW WITH CLIFFORD GARSTANG, AUTHOR OF IN AN UNCHARTED COUNTRY AND WHAT THE ZHANG BOYS KNOW

I discovered Clifford Garstang through his excellent blog “Perpetual Folly.” I wasClifford Garstang looking for information for a SheWrites.com blog post I was writing about literary magazines, and Garstang had the information right there when I needed it. So I started reading his blog and realized that his writing is both engaging and provocative. His collection of short stories, In an Uncharted Country, won the Maria Thomas Fiction Award and the IPPY Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction–Mid-Atlantic 2010. His novel in stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, won the 2013 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction. Most recently, Garstang served as curator and editor of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, published in 2014. He is also editor of Prime Number Magazine(Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

12/4/14 – INTERVIEW WITH SANDY WARD BELL, AUTHOR OF PARKED AT THE MANSFIELDS’Sandy Ward Bell

In The Jane Austen Persuasion, I wondered how Jane Austen could be widely idolized by so many readers and yet at the same time dismissed, even despised, by other equally thoughtful, literate people. So I was delighted to have a chance to interview Sandy Ward Bell. As the  author of Parked at the Mansfields’, a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, I figured  she could shed considerable light on this question, and I wasn’t disappointed. (Continue reading)

Garry Craig Powell

GARRY CRAIG POWELL

Author of  Stoning the Devil

Tom Williams

11/26/14   Tom Williams has published two novels, The Mimic’s Own Voice and Don’t Start Me Talkin’. His short story collection, Among The Wild Mulattos, will appear in Spring 2015 from Texas Review Press. The Chair of English at Morehead State University, he lives in Kentucky with his wife and children.

Don’t Start Me Talkin’ is a novel about Brother Ben, billed as the Last of the True Delta Bluesmen—but is he? Born in Mississippi, certainly, and purveyor of “authentic” delta blues, far from being the near-illiterate, hard-drinking, womanizing country boy he purports to be, Brother Ben turns out to be a vegetarian, Volvo-driving health fanatic, who listens to jazz for pleasure, is actually an accomplished jazz guitarist, and an extremely savvy and sophisticated manager of his own business—which he manages under his own real name, Wilton Mabry. (Continue reading)

Mark Willen

MARK WILLEN

Author of Hawke’s Point

10/7/2014 — AN INTERVIEW WITH PEN-L PUBLISHING’S DUKE AND KIMBERLY PENNELL

Pen-L_couple_headshotChange seems to be the only constant in the world of publishing these days. In just the last few years, the big traditional publishers have consolidated, most have entered the digital competition, and some have gone to war with Amazon. We’ve seen exponential growth in ebook sales, and thousands of authors are publishing their own work.

Almost unnoticed in the turmoil has been a huge opportunity for small, independent presses. They appeal to authors who don’t want to self-publish and can’t attract the interest of the big guys. (Continue reading)

Terra Ziporyn

TERRA ZIPORYN

Author of The Bliss of SolitudeTime’s Fool, Do Not Go Gentle, and the new novel Permanent Makeup as well as many nonfiction works including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s HealthAlternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases.

10/04/14 – INTERVIEW WITH THE ANNAPOLIS BOOKSTORE’S JANICE HOLMESThe Annapolis Bookstore

We so often hear that the age of independent bookstores is over. With the rise of Amazon and other online sellers, we have even seen the fall of the very chains that were supposed to be putting small-town, independent bookstores out of business – putting the future of all physical bookstores, independent or otherwise, into question. (Continue reading)

Garry Craig Powell

GARRY CRAIG POWELL

Author of  Stoning the Devil

An Interview with Nina Schuyler

Nina Schuyler
Nina Schuyler is the most exciting fiction writer I have discovered this year. A natural story-teller who creates memorable, sometimes quirky characters, her novels explore the collision of cultures. Her elegant prose is always a joy to read. She is the author of two novels, The Translator (Pegasus, 2014) and The Painting (Algonquin, 2004). The Translator was the winner of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book, and was short-listed for the 2014 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. The Painting was named a Best Book by San Francisco Chronicle and nominated for the Northern California Book Award. Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best American New Voices. She is faculty advisor for USF’s Switchback and teaches at the University of San Francisco.

Garry Craig Powell: Thank you for agreeing to speak to me, Nina. I have read both The Painting and The Translator in the past few months, and it strikes me that, in spite of the differences, there are some similarities too. Could we talk about these first? An obvious one is setting. One of the two plots in The Painting takes place in Japan, and the majority of the action in The Translator also takes place in Japan (although the first is during the Meiji period, while the latter is contemporary). It seemed to me that beyond an apparent fascination with Japanese culture and aesthetics, you might have had deeper reasons for choosing that setting. In a way, both novels are about the relationship between East and West, would you agree? And if so, would you say that both books ask what one culture has to teach the other? (Continue reading)

Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

9/20/14 INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL J. TUKCER, AUTHOR OF AQUARIUS FALLING AND CAPRICORN’S COLLAPSE.michaeltucker

On August 20, I reviewed Aquarius Falling on Late Last Night Books, and  on October 13 Mike will join us here as a monthly columnist..

Q: Most of us have many all-time favorite books. What are a few of yours and why are they among your favorites?

A: It starts with The Talented Mr. Ripley and includes the entire Ripley series by Patricia Highsmith. Her main character, Tom Ripley, is a psychopath, but Ms. Highsmith tells her stories in such a way that you are cheering him on, you want to see him survive and avoid capture. She was an amazingly talented author. (Continue reading)