Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day!


This is the text of the Declaration of Independence, signed by representatives of the original 13 United States. The original document is on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum. The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.


DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

   He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

   He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

   He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

   He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

   He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

   He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

   He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

   He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

   He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

   He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

   He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

   He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

   He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

   For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

   For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

   For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

   For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

   For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

   For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

   For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

   For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

   For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

   He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

   He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

   He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

   He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

   He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.





Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Spiral Shell and Braided in Fire: BOOK BEGINNINGS


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY

As we head into this long Independence Day weekend here in the US, I have two books to share on Book Beginnings on Friday. Please join me to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are featuring this week.

Add the link to your post in the Linky below. If you share your post on social media come up please use the #bookbeginnings so we can find each other.


MY BOOK BEGINNING

Both books I have are new World War II histories described as memoirs. I get the idea they are “memoirs” because the authors inserted themselves into the narratives, describing the way they investigated the histories they wanted to write about and how they interacted with the people whose stories they told. But I will understand more when I read the books. They both look excellent.

The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets of Jewish Resistance in World War II by Sandell Morse

I knew so little of my own history. On my father's side, I had two names: Henriette Ducas and Jacques Hirsch, my great-grandparents, both born in Héricourt, France, a commune in the Alsace that used to go back and forth between France and Germany, a spoil of war.

The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets of Jewish Resistance in World War II by Sandell Morse.

When Sandell Morse was 71 years old, she got a writer's grant to go to France. The result is The Spiral Shell in which she explores her inward journey to find her own identity as a Jew, and her outward journey as she pieces together the history of French Jews under the Vichy government.

Braided in Fire: Black GIS and Tuscan Villagers on the Gothic Line by Solace Wales

I stood in dappled shade on a small hilltop in northern Tuscany, somewhat perplexed. How had I, despite walking daily past this monument to World War II heroes, missed seeing this name before?

Braided in Fire: Black GIS and Tuscan Villagers on the Gothic Line by Solace Wales.

Solace Wales tells the story of Sommocolonia and the Black 366th Infantry Regiment that defended the village in WWII during the Battle of Garfagnana. At the center of her story are Lieutenant John Fox, who won the Medal of Honor for his heroism and the brave Biondi family.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.



THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts a weekly event where participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of their book of the week. Please visit her blog to share your post on The Friday 56.

MY FRIDAY 56

From The Spiral Shell:

"This is important to me, that he became a gendarme afterward."

Important to me, too. His father was not involved in round-ups and deportations.

From Braided in Fire:

Most of the students at Ft. Benning were white. Apart from having separate sleeping quarters, Ft. Benning was not segregated.



Saturday, June 27, 2020

Kevin T. Myers - Author Interview

headshot of Kevin T. Myers, author of novel Hidden Falls

Kevin T. Myers has worked as a stand-up comic, comedy writer, journalist, editor, speechwriter, and media liaison, among other jobs. He grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Portland, Oregon where he works at a spokesperson for Reed College. 

Myers's new novel Hidden Falls launches July 15 from Beaufort Books. It is available for pre-order now.

book cover of Hidden Falls by Keven T. Myers

Kevin talked with Rose City Reader about his new book, Hidden Falls, its New Bedford setting, and what books he likes to read:

How did you come to write Hidden Falls?

When I began Hidden Falls, I was emerging from a dark time when I was processing a lot of old trauma through my writing. I set out to write the book I wanted to read to help lift me out of that place. At the time, my guilty pleasure (read: obsession) was reading the missed connections classifieds. It was a carnival midway of ideas, emotions, magical thinking, hope, optimism, denial, and sometimes depravity. Mostly it was filled with romantic souls exposing their secret desires to the world in hope of finding a connection. So, I started to write a comedic love story whose protagonist was pursuing a relationship through an ad he found.

I don’t write following an outline, and somewhere along the way my protagonist, Michael Quinn, went lookin’ for trouble. The original story almost necessitated that Michael be an unreliable narrator. As I dug deeper into why he was so lacking in self-awareness, his backstory became more interesting to me than what I was writing. Had I not had that false start, I don’t think Michael would have been as interesting, and I don’t think the book would be as fun.

The setting of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is key to the story because the location shaped the personalities of many of the characters. Why did you choose New Bedford?

Well, nobody had ever written a decent book connected with New Bedford. I was going to begin with the line, “Call me Michael.” Kidding. The story of Hidden Falls was invented whole cloth. It is also deeply rooted in the milieu of New England’s lower middle class, where I was raised. As I get older, I find myself becoming more appreciative of what I think was a pretty unique upbringing. In the first draft, Michael was from my hometown of Peabody, Massachusetts, but when the story started taking on elements of crime, I decided to change it to New Bedford. Not because of how it would reflect on the city, but because illegal gambling was so prevalent in Peabody that I didn’t want people to mistake the book for a memoir.

I chose New Bedford because I think it is the archetype of the kind of New England town I wanted to write about. The once great centers of now dead American industries. At one time, Peabody was to leather tanning what New Bedford was to whaling. The towns’ high school teams are named the Tanners and Whalers. We took great pride in an era and trade we never knew. It’s part of our heritage. The people from my hometown have a special bond that’s not easily explained. There’s also a connection to sports, professional and otherwise, that a lot of people who have never been exposed to that environment don’t understand. I wanted to explore those themes and I thought New Bedford was a great place to do that.

Your book is a mix of family drama and gangster story, kind of Richard Russo meets Elmore Leonard. Did you plan it that way or did the story take a turn as you went along?

The writer/director Judd Apatow said Hidden Falls was like Dennis Lehane meets David Sedaris; a theme seems to be developing that I’m really enjoying. I read Russo’s Straight Man around the time I started Hidden Falls. I never thought it influenced my book, but now you have me wondering. To answer your question, the book evolved into what it became. The characters lead me into the family drama and gangster stuff. I was about 30,000 words into what I was calling Missed Connections when it really became a different book. I went back and threw out most of it and reworked a few things. The rewrite was very intentional. I added some characters and gave others more of a voice.

The idea of combining genres was inspired by the French New Wave. I studied filmmaking in college and became fascinated by the idea of altering the construction of a film’s reality as it progresses. In Hidden Falls I wanted the narrator, Michael Quinn, to gradually ease readers from his workaday life in Portland to his extraordinary life in New Bedford without hitting readers over the head. That’s why there is an emphasis on Michael’s internal dialogue. His Portland concerns don’t go away, they just change perspective as he falls deeper into the realities of his life in New Bedford.

What do you admire most about your protagonist Michael Quinn? What is his least endearing trait?

I think what I admire most is that Michael is his willingness to take in new information, learn from it, and adapt his behavior as a result. He’s slow on the uptake, for sure, but he eventually gets there. His least endearing trait is still endearing when it’s not infuriating. He has a little Walter Mitty in him, but his fantasy life is more functional than fantastic. Michael is an editorial writer for the fictional Portland Daily, and his lack of self-awareness expresses itself in his columns; they are more aspirational than accurate when he’s writing about his own life.

What did you learn from writing Hidden Falls – either about the subject of the book or the writing process – that most surprised you?

I learned to trust my process and my instincts. I’ve been writing for a very long time, but only started writing novels about 10-years ago. My first manuscript was never published. I read it recently and totally understand why. It was very stiff. I made all the obvious choices. It was like I was imitating someone else’s writing. With Hidden Falls, I just listened to my own voice and gave the characters freedom to explore. My first manuscript was written while I was in a writing group and it reads like it was written for the group’s approval rather than my own creative expression. To be clear, that was my fault, not their influence. There were some really good writers in that group, but I think I was more concerned with impressing them, or at least not embarrassing myself—I lacked confidence as a writer at that time. What surprised me was following my process and trusting my instincts brought Hidden Falls to places that I didn’t foresee.

What is your professional background? How did it lead you to writing this novel?

My resume looks like a shotgun blast. I started out my adult life as a standup comic and comedy writer in Hollywood, including writing for the Archie comic strip. I was an agent for syndicated newspaper columnists, like Hunter S. Thompson and Ann Landers. Then I wrote screenplays and directed a low budget feature film. I sold newspaper ad space and wrote movie reviews for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and became the first editor of their website. I was a bartender. I moved to Alaska and did communications for the Sierra Club; trained as a bagel maker; was the morning news anchor for the pop radio station. I was the general manager and editor of the Capital City Weekly, which all lead to my first job in Higher Education at the University of Alaska Southeast. Now, I’m the director of communications for Reed College.

I’ve always tried to move in a direction that would sharpen my skills as a communicator, and my career choices have given me a lot of life experience from which to draw.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as an author?

I don’t know that I’ve ever been given a single piece of advice about being an author that was all that valuable. The most useful advice came from my standup days—it’s some version of find your voice. There are no tricks or shortcuts, you have to put in the work. I was talking about this recently with a group of writers. I’ve been to scores of readings and lectures by wonderful, talented, and successful writers; but it’s seldom you hear the same piece of advice twice. All the contradictory counsel leads me to believe that the best advice is to find what works for you.

Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by the books you read?

This is a tough one. I do think I my writing is more influenced by specific books rather than certain authors, but there are writers who blow me away like, Ishmael Beah. Radiance of Tomorrow has stayed with me from the moment I first picked it up. It’s so beautifully written. It’s filled with love and hope while navigating the most horrific setting imaginable. In some ways it’s like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, I couldn’t put it down, but I didn’t want to read on. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery was the first piece of writing that I have carried with me my whole life, and I love The Haunting of Hill House for very different reasons – it’s funny, quiet, and meticulous in its exposition of a mind unraveling. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was the book that made me want to be a writer. I also love Kurt Vonnegut, Peter Rock, Dennis Lehane, and David Eggers.

What are you reading now?

I recently finished Peter Rock’s, The Night Swimmers, which I highly recommend, and now I’m about halfway through Peter Stark’s Astoria. Evidently, I’m going through a Peter phase.

What do you do to promote your book? Do you use social networking sites or other internet resources?

I have a website that has links to some of my other writing and some of the nice things people have said about Hidden Falls. I also have an author Facebook page where I have recorded a few readings from the book.

What’s next? What are you working on now?

Well, I bought a Ferrari with my anticipated royalties from the book. So, there’s that. I’m working on a novel manuscript that’s set during the late ’70s in my hometown of Peabody, Massachusetts. The story takes place as the last of the factories are folding up and leaving town. The protagonist is going into his freshman year of high school and desperately wants to make the varsity basketball team—but the book is really about coping with sexual abuse in an environment of toxic masculinity.


THANKS, KEVIN!

HIDDEN FALLS COMES OUT JULY 15 AND IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ONLINE NOW.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Arzak + Arzak and Create Beautiful Food at Home: BOOK BEGINNINGS


It's Friday! Time to share the first sentence (or so) of the book capturing your attention right now. For me, two new cookbooks have captured my attention.

Please share your Book Beginning on Friday by adding the link to your post below, or leaving a comment telling us where to find you on social media. Or just leave a comment with the opening sentence and name of the book.

Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings so we can find each other.

MY BOOK BEGINNINGS

Arzak + Arzak by Juan Mari & Elena Arzak (Grub Street Books)

Arzak has been a household name in Spain since the 1970s and Juan Mari Arzak, who presides over the family restaurant, is the innovative force behind its rise to the upper echelons in the world of culinary art.

-- from the Introduction by Gabriella Ranelli.

Restaurante Arzak in San Sebastian is legendary. It has had three Michelin stars, the most awarded, since 1989. I’ve never been to Spain, San Sebastian, or Arzak. But I am fascinated by San Sebastian and Restorante Arzak since I watched an episode of Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain when he visits Arzak and tours San Sebastian with Juan Mari. Juan Mari is the third generation of chefs at his family's eponymous restaurant. He has shared chef duties with his daughter Elena for 20 years.

This new cookbook is half a history of the New Basque cuisine that Juan Mari pioneered, and half featured recipes from the last ten years. The photographs throughout are stunning. I will most likely never cook out of this book, but I will read it cover to cover.

Creating Beautiful Food at Home by Adrian Martin (Mercier Press)

Food is something that keeps me up at night. I dream of the perfect, balanced recipe.

Adrian Martin is a young, popular Irish chef. His new cookbook takes reasonably easy to make at home recipes and makes them look very, very fancy. His breezy explanations and the lovely photographs have me convinced.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

THE FRIDAY 56

Please also share a teaser from page 56 of your current book on The Friday 56, hosted by Freda on Freda's Voice.

MY FRIDAY 56s

From Arzak + Arzak:

During the development process, a dish's foundation may depend on a specific ingredient or technique that fascinates the team, but something keeps it from coming together. Time marches on, the search continues until a new element arrives, if it ever does. 

From Create Beautiful Food at Home:

Mushroom soup made from wild mushrooms has the most extraordinary, intense flavour. Don't be afraid to mix and match the mushrooms here. 


WEEKEND COOKING



Weekend Cooking is a weekly blog event hosted by Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. Beth Fish Reads started the event in 2009 and bloggers have been sharing book and food related posts ever since.




Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tina Egnoski - Author Interview

headshot of author Tina Egnoski

Author Tina Egnoski writes poetry and fiction. Her first novel, Burn Down This World, came out this year from Adelaide Books. She is a native of Florida and now lives in Rhode Island where she works in the Liberal Arts Division at the Rhode Island School of Design.

book cover of Burn Down This World by Tina Egnoski

Tina talked with Rose City Reader about Burn Down This World, what inspires her, and books she loves: 

How did you come to write Burn Down this World?

I blame it on Jane Fonda! Seriously. But first, let me step back and give you a quick overview of the book. It centers on Celeste and Reid Leahy, siblings raised in a military family who come-of-age in the South in the late 1960s, at the height of social change and national unrest over the Vietnam War. As students at the University of Florida in the early 1970s, they’re active in antiwar demonstrations. Those activities, which begin as peaceful and soon turn violent, eventually tear the sister and brother apart. The braided narrative tells the story of their history, as well as their reunion after years of estrangement.

The events of the novel were inspired by real anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that took place at the University of Florida in May of 1972. I’m an alumna of the university, although I didn’t attend during the time of the protests. I did, however, work for a time in the university archives.

Now, here’s the Jane Fonda connection. While working in the Photograph Collection, I found a picture of her giving an antiwar speech on campus in 1971. She’s at a podium on a wooden platform at Graham Pond. Students are crowding around the pond and, in the background, many are hanging out of dorm windows. I was fascinated by that picture. It stuck with me. Years later, when I decided to write about student activism, the picture was readily available online. I used it as a jumping-off point.

Jane Fonda giving anti-war speech at University of Florida in 1971


You describe the story as having a "braided narrative." Describe what you mean.

A braided narrative is typically a structure with two or more plotlines interwoven throughout story. This structure allowed me to move between what I call the “present tense” of the story—when Celeste and brother reunite in 1998—and the past tense of the story—the year they spent together in college. The timelines run parallel and each story informs the other. It can be a challenging structure—a bit of a balancing act. I had to give the reader just enough information in each storyline to keep her/him engaged without revealing too soon the twists-and-turns so pivotal to the plot.

Both story lines take place in Florida, one at the University of Florida in 1971-72 and one during the wildfires of 1998. What drew you to these settings for your novel?

Both settings are ripe for drama. While I wasn’t living in Florida in 1998, my mother was. I experience the wildfires through my daily telephone conversations with her and news reports she shared. She did finally have to evacuate. I was lucky to have a sister who lived close by could assist her with that process. It was a scary time, with so many lives, homes, and businesses danger.

In terms of the early 1970s, that time period was futile ground, and not only because of Vietnam War protests. So much was happening. At the University of Florida that academic year, the first African American student body president was elected and the student newspaper was kicked off campus for publishing a list of abortion clinics. I simply couldn’t write about it all. I tried, but the narrative became overrun with subplots. I had to narrow my focus to the protests.

Tell us why you gave Jim Morrison from the Doors a cameo in your new book.

Music is such a powerful connector of people. I knew early in the writing process that the music of the 60s and early 70s would be an important backdrop. The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, The Doors: these were iconic rock bands of the time. You can’t think of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young without thinking of the song “Ohio.”

As for Jim Morrison, well, he and I do share a birthplace. I couldn’t let that personal tidbit go unmentioned. Aside from that, I loved the idea that for Celeste music isn’t just background. Her love of The Doors brings her closer to her brother at an otherwise contentious time in their lives.

What is your background? How did it lead you to writing books?

I began writing at a young age. When I was in my teens, I wrote very, very, very bad love poetry. In high school, I appeared to be industriously taking notes while my teachers lectured, but really I was writing poetry. Everyone assumed I was a diligent student. In reality, I was a daydreamer, more interested in the language and structure of poetry than history or algebra or biology. I turned to fiction while in college.

I studying writing at Emerson College. It was in that program that I began the novel, but in a much different form. It was about Celeste and Reid and their estrangement, but I hadn’t yet figured out the cause. I set it aside for several years. In that time, I had a son and wrote three other books. Then, in 2013 I rediscovered that picture of Jane Fonda and knew I had found the heart of my story.

Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by the authors you read?

There are number of writers who have influenced my writing. In terms of classics, I love James Baldwin, the Brontë sisters, Zora Neale Hurston, Fitzgerald, Flaubert, Toni Morrison, and Edith Wharton. I also write short stories, so I admired short fiction writers like John Cheever, Lauren Groff, Flannery O’Conner, and Alice Monroe.

The one book I re-read every few years is Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. The reason I love that book so much is because it was one of the first books I read that spoke frankly and from a feminist point of view about love, sex, family, family dysfunction, politics, psychotherapy, literature, and religion. In other words—it has it all!

What kind of books do you like to read? What are you reading now?

I love contemporary literary fiction. Authors I read and admire include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tracy Chevalier, Karen Joy Fowler, Ian McEwan, Claire Messud, and Zadie Smith.

Recently, I finished The Snakes by Sadie Jones and The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo. Two of the best books I read in 2019. Both are well-written, engaging, with meaty family dysfunction at the center. And what’s better in fiction than a messy family saga?

What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as an author?

Perfection kills creativity. It’s been said many times, many ways, and it’s true. I have to battle perfectionism with every piece I write. I’ve also had to learn when to let go and send out a story. No creative endeavor is ever going to be perfect. When I deem it “good enough”—and that’s a tricky judgement call—I let it go by submitting it to a journal or press.

What’s next? Are you working on your next book?

I’m working on a collection of short fiction. The stories are historical in nature and focused on writers who have a connection to Florida. For instance, I read recently about the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and a trip she took to South Florida in 1936. After checking into a hotel on Sanibel Island, she walked down to the beach. Just as she hit the sand, the hotel caught fire. She lost the only copy of a manuscript she was working on. She was able to rewrite the manuscript from memory and the book, Conversation at Midnight, was published in 1937. That’s the kind of fact I love to turn into fiction.


THANKS, TINA!

BURN DOWN THIS WORLD IS AVAILABLE ONLINE IN PAPERBACK AND E-BOOK.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...